The LAE opened in September 2012 and was the first Sixth Form College to be set up under the government's Free Schools scheme. It is academically selective and has a limited curriculum of 12 key subjects and admitted 200 students in its first year. The first cohort were presented for public examination in Summer 2014. Results were strong as a consequence of which four students took up places at Oxbridge and some 70 at Russell Group universities. In Autumn 2015 the LAE was named ‘State Sixth Form College of the Year’ by The Sunday Times. In Autumn 2016, 20 pupils from the London Academy of Excellence were successful in gaining places at Oxford and Cambridge – an extraordinary result for a school in its fifth year of operation.
Subjects are being sponsored by a group of seven independent schools, each of which has a record of excellence in that particular sphere. Eton's engagement with LAE is on a number of levels. At an academic level, we are responsible for the delivery of A Level English with two masters on part-time secondment to LAE. English examination results have always been the best within the LAE with 98% of A-Level marks ranging between A* and B in Summer 2016, up from 88.7% in 2014. Overall results saw 86% of A-levels being graded at A*-B in 2016, up from 71% in 2014. Eton also lends its name to one of the houses at LAE. There have been successful exchange visits to Eton and LAE by our respective pupils. Individual teachers from both schools have also organised visits to observe teaching and share expertise in various subjects. At a governance level, the Head Master is a Governor; the Director of Curriculum serves on the Education Committee and Eton's Clerk & Legal Advisor serves on the Finance Committee.
The other independent schools involved are: Brighton College, Caterham School, Forest School, Highgate School, University College School. We firmly believe in the benefits that our sponsorship of LAE will bring to Eton particularly in relation to sharing best practice in learning and teaching methods and the professional development of the staff involved. We are also pleased to re-engage with Newham as a borough, where Eton has historically had a social impact through the Eton Mission.