State School or Public School: For students, It’s the option of public school

For students wanting to go into further education, where they go to study is just as important as what they choose to study, and many on The Student Room state that they would definitely have chosen the option of public school instead of state school if they had that option for starting A Levels.

The main reasons they give for this are:

  • Public & grammar schools tend to be more ‘clued up’ on the UCAS and university admissions system, especially for applications to top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
  • More public school students tend to end up studying at Oxford and Cambridge, compared to state school students.
  • Higher quality of teaching and students having a much higher focus on study, so less disruptions in the class
  • Better access to advices on A Levels, universities, UCAS and careers.

One TSR user, who goes by the username House MD, asks:

“I’ve recently been awarded a full scholarship to a public all-boys boarding school for sixth form entry. I’m not sure whether to go. I’m currently at a comprehensive school so I’m not too sure if [I'll] fit in. I certainly wouldn’t be able to attend if it weren’t for the scholarship.
I’m aiming to study at Cambridge and, even though I obviously can’t guarantee a place there, the school gets plenty of boys into Oxbridge each year so I might be able to get some help with that, e.g. mock interviews etc. Any advice?”

In response, this is a selection of what other TSR users had to say:


“Take the opportunity straight away. By going to a private school you will maximise your chances of getting into Cambridge…
If I was offered a place at a top private school at the start of my A levels, I would have accepted without a shadow of a doubt.”


“Don’t let public school put you off. Public school kids are just normal people. It is an amazing opportunity and can definitely provide a better chance for getting into Cambridge, and boarding school’s fun!”

Public schools may tend to be more clued up about universities than state schools but most still offer good advice and information about universities and UCAS. Many students that don’t get this support will turn to the internet to do more research, which is why we see so much traffic to The Student Room’s Applications and UCAS section all year round.