Thursday March 9 saw the launch of the third year of Stephen Twigg’s Liverpool to Oxbridge Collaborative Project.
The event brought 150 invited students and parents together to formally launch the 2017 programme. A collaboration between the eight secondary schools in the West Derby constituency (West Derby, Holly Lodge, De La Salle, St John Bosco, Broughton Hall, Cardinal Heenan, Broadgreen and St Edward’s College), the Collaborative is designed to encourage more students from the area to consider applying to Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Now in its third year, Year 10 and Year 12 students are nominated to the Collaborative by their schools and are provided opportunities to visit both Oxford and Cambridge, alongside aspiration-raising events, mock interviews and assistance in writing personal statements and other assistance.
The launch, hosted this year by West Derby School, heard from Liverpudlian Oxbridge alumni Leon Tootle and Rachel Cain about their own experiences in applying to and studying at Oxford University, and also Jack Clarke, offered a place at Cambridge University after completing the Collaborative’s programme last year.
“I was absolutely delighted”, said Stephen Twigg MP. “It was wonderful to see so many young people come to our launch event, many with parents or other family members. I started this project because of my own experience as a 17 year old. One of my teachers at my comprehensive school encouraged me to consider applying to Oxford. I would not have done it without that encouragement. I know we have terrifically bright young people in West Derby, and if we give them the same encouragement I was given, who knows what they can achieve?”
Jack Clarke added “I had a brilliant time on the Collaborative. They provided lots and lots of encouragement and practical support and it was all really helpful. I know I would never even have thought of applying to Cambridge without being involved in the Project. I’m really grateful to Stephen and the team.”
Sian Graham, Headteacher of West Derby School added “We were really thrilled to be able to host this year’s launch event. We know that when schools work together, we are able to achieve more for our students. This is a really important initiative and I’m delighted that West Derby have been involved from the start. We could not be prouder of Jack Clarke – he’s one of our real success-stories”.
The Collaborative project has seen more than two dozen students apply to Oxford and Cambridge Universities and a number have been already been successful in receiving offers or being admitted.