The London Oratory School

The London Oratory School

Voluntary aided, Roman Catholic, boys 7-18, girls 16-18

Address and contact details
Seagrave Road, London SW6 1RX

Headteacher: David McFadden

tel: 020 7385 0102
ofsted report: London Oratory Ofsted page
DfES number: 205 - 5400

The London Oratrory School, a Catholic school for boys aged 11-18, was founded by The Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (London) and the Fathers of this Congregation are the trustees of the school.

The school's aim is to assist Catholic parents in fulfilling their obligation to educate their children in accordance with the principles and teachings of the Church; to do this within an environment which will encourage and support the spiritual, physical, moral and intellectual development of the child and help him to grow towards full Christian maturity; and to provide a wide and rich range of educational and cultural experiences which will encourage children to discover and develop their potential to its maximum and to strive for high standards of excellence in all activities.

The school expects children to behave and work properly and parents to support the school in maintaining high standards of discipline. There are 1370 pupils, including 340 in the sixth form, of whom 100 are girls. Each year the school admits 160 eleven-year-old boys to the first form; up to 50 sixteen-year-old girls and boys to the sixth form for A-level and AS courses; and 20 seven-year-old boys to the Junior House for a specialist musical education. 

The school has a long musical tradition. For pupils with an aptitude for music and a desire to study it seriously, the school affords extensive opportunities for tuition, study and public performance. Music is an important part of the day to day life of the school. The school provides a broadly-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of its pupils and of society and prepares pupils for the responsibilities and experiences of adult life. The courses followed and the assessments of achievement are designed to include the requirements of the national curriculum.

In the first, second and third forms boys are assigned to one of two broad bands by ability, with 30 of the most able boys being placed in an accelerated group, which is expected to work at a faster pace and complete key stage 3 in the second form in English, French, mathematics and religious education and to take five GCSEs in the fourth form. The curriculum enables pupils to take between nine and thirteen GCSEs in the fourth and fifth forms. Five of the six forms of entry study Latin until the end of the third form, when it becomes optional.

Homework is not regarded as an optional extra but as an integral part of the normal curriculum. Pupils cannot fulfil the requirements of the curriculum unless they make a conscientious effort in the homework which is set and in regular revision. In the sixth form, pupils are expected to take four subjects, three of which will normally be at A-level and one at AS-level. Sixth form pupils are expected to aim for university places and the school has well-established links with universities and Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Last year 184 went on to university, 13 of these to Oxford and Cambridge.

A programme of refurbishment of the school's buildings is planned to begin in spring 2013.

Junior House
Twenty seven-year-old boys are admitted as music scholars to the Junior House for a specialist musical education, including instrumental tuition. Some of the boys are admitted as choristers and are trained to sing at the Oratory church, as well as in the school chapel. Boys admitted to the Junior House are full members of the school and are expected to continue their education at the school until the age of eighteen.

The decision to admit pupils to the school is taken by the school’s governing body, in accordance with their admissions policy for the school. All applicants must complete and return by the closing date the common application form provided by their own local authority. They must also complete the school’s religious inquiry form. This is available from the school and must be returned to the school by the closing date, together with any necessary supporting documentation. An application for the school cannot be completely processed unless the common application form and any additional forms required by the school are completed and submitted.

All applicants are urged to obtain a full copy of the admissions policy from the school prior to completing an application form. The admissions policy must be read in conjunction with the governors’ explanatory notes as these form part of the admissions policy. Any child with a Statement of Special Educational Need that names this school must, by law, be admitted, without reference to the oversubscription criteria.

Summarised admissions criteria
In accordance with the school’s published admission number, the school will admit 160 pupils in September 2012. Whenever there are more applications than places
available, priority will always be given to practising Catholic applicants in strict accordance with the school governors’ published admissions criteria.

By applying the following criteria, in their given order, applications will be put into rank order. Each criterion is applied in turn to determine the 160 pupils to whom places will be offered.

Primary over-subscription criteria

  1. Catholic candidates who are ‘looked-after’ by a local authority, i.e. children either in care or provided with certain forms of accommodation.
  2. The extent to which the candidate and his Catholic parent (where only one parent is a Catholic) or parents meet their obligations in respect of Mass attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
  3. The extent to which the candidate fulfils the Church’s requirements regarding Baptism.
  4. Whether the candidate has received his first Holy Communion.
  5. Service in any Catholic Parish or in the wider Catholic Church by the candidate and a Catholic parent.

Other over-subscription criteria

  1. Whether the candidate has a brother or sister at the school on the date of admission to the school.
  2. Whether the candidate has attended the London Oratory Primary school or any other Catholic school for the whole of their primary education or the candidate’s parent(s) have fulfilled their obligation to ensure a Catholic education for their child.
  3. Whether the candidate and his parents regularly attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligations at the London Oratory church, for a sustained period of at least three years.

Point allocation and ranking
Point allocation is achieved by awarding points to each of the criteria:

Under criteria (2), (3) and (5) applications will be scored using a scale of 0 to 4 with an application which meets the criterion in full being awarded 4 and a 0 for those applications which do not meet the criterion at all.

Under criteria (4), (6) and (7) a score of 1 is given to a candidate who satisfies the criterion and 0 for those candidates who do not.

Candidates who fall within criterion 1 are given priority. Then criterion 2 is applied to all remaining candidates. If there are more candidates meeting criterion 2 in full (i.e. with a score of 4) than places available these candidates will be ranked against criterion 3. If there are more candidates meeting criterion 2 and 3 in full (i.e. a score of 4 for criterion 2 and a score of 4 for criterion 3) than places available, these candidates will be considered against the other over-subscription criteria. Each of the criteria 4 to 7 will be applied in the same manner as criteria 2 and 3, until a final ranking has been achieved.

In the event of a tie for a place after the above criteria have been applied, a ballot system of random allocation will be used with each tied candidate’s name being entered into the ballot and names then selected randomly by an independent body, until a rank of all candidates has been established.

Preference information
851 parents ranked this school as one of their preferences for the September 2011 intake; 160 places were available.

How to find out more about the school

  • Attend one of the meetings for the parents of prospective pupils
  • Visit the school website
  • For further information contact the school  

Page last updated: 01/08/2012