A-Level results: Islington’s Central Foundation Boys School sees surge in students winning Russell Group university places

PUBLISHED: 18:21 15 August 2013 | UPDATED: 18:21 15 August 2013

Tahmid Chowdhury, Shahan Lake and Adrian Hracki (L to R)

Tahmid Chowdhury, Shahan Lake and Adrian Hracki (L to R)


Despite beefed-up grade boundaries, Central Foundation Boys School has seen a dramatic rise in pupils winning Russell Group university places following a haul of knock-out A-Level results.

One in four students are now winning a place at the UK’s most prestigious universities, compared with just 10 per cent last year.

This year’s results also saw a 100 per cent pass rate from around 70 pupils, with 50 per cent getting As and Bs. Nearly one in four – 23 per cent – also scored A*s and As.

And the school, in Cowper Street, has no shortage of ambitious students.

Tahmid Chowdhury scored an impressive three As and will now study at the exclusive New College of the Humanities, established by veteran philosopher A C Grayling.

The 18-year-old, who has written two plays which were performed in the West End, is also now determined to run for election in Islington in next year’s local elections - which would make him the youngest councillor in Islington.

Mr Chowdhury said: “I’m just absolutely over the moon. I was really, really nervous this morning, but now I’ve opened the envelope I’m just really excited.

“I just want to say a huge thank you to my teachers who, without, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It’s been a really fun place to study as well.”

Meanwhile Adrian Hracki scored an A*, A and B in Chemistry, Physics and Biology and is to study Pharmacology at University College London.

He said: “I was stressed this morning, a bit of a sleepless night. But now it’s a huge relief. I was a bit disappointed about the B but it’s counteracted by an A* and I’m really pleased to get my university place.”

Shahan Lake, 18, will now study Economics and Finance at York University after bagging two As and a B.

He said: “I’ve always been more mathematically orientated and have wanted that kind of job so I’m really pleased because now these grades have allowed me to do that.

“The teachers here have been incredibly supportive which has been important because a lot of us have done more than ten exams which can be quite stressful with a lot of pressure. They even changed the grade boundaries for one of the exams. So there’s always been a lot of pressure, but to get these results is just a huge relief.”

Head teacher Jamie Brownhill hailed this year’s results in a school in which 73 per cent of pupils qualify for free meals.

He said: “At this school we don’t really have a middle class with many coming from social housing.

“But our attitude is there are no excuses. The grades that our students have got are a result of hard work and there is no reason why they can’t go on to do as well as students at any other school in the country.

“Schools really are the state’s last chance to send children on the right track, and that’s what we’re all about.”

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“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

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