Regarded as a route to the UK’s top universities, Mander Portman Woodward College (MPW) was established in 1973 with the aim of meeting people’s academic needs. With a presence in London, as well as Birmingham and Cambridge, it has enjoyed a reputation for providing excellent fifth and sixth form education. And it sets its students’ aspirations high, basing itself in close proximity to prestigious university campuses.
The college is renowned as an alternative to traditional schools – students do not wear a uniform, are on first-name terms with their teachers, and are taught to take responsibility for themselves and their learning, which is thought to establish the skills they will need for university. Around 70% of the college’s make-up is British and 30% international, ensuring a diverse mix of cultures and traditions.
The majority of students take two-year A-Level courses, which are often taught in small groups with a guarantee of fewer than 10 students in each class. This ensures students benefit from personal attention and tailored support alongside high-quality teaching with a focus on learning outcomes.
In 2014, MPW introduced the University of London International Foundation Programme at the London college, which has since been rolled out to the Cambridge and Birmingham colleges. MPW is one of only three institutions in the UK approved to teach this foundation programme with academic direction by the University of London.
MPW is known more than others as a ‘society’ sixth form college, educating the children of European and London high society. Many of these students completed their studies in the South Kensington (London) college on the historic road of Queen’s Gate. This particular college was described by The Good Schools Guide as a school that is “a positive, professional place with strong teaching and outstanding pastoral care”.
SE16 2XG - Zone 2
SE5 8UB - Zone 2
NW1 8NP - Zone 1
SW3 6NA - Zone 1
E15 2TJ - Zone 2
W10 5BN - Zone 2
KT3 4NN - Surrey
WC1E 6AA - Zone 1
Recent students include a number of notable socialites and aristocrats including Philippa Cadogan, daughter of Viscount Chelsea, heir to the eighth Earl Cadogan, Lily Allen, Tamara Beckwith, and Made in Chelsea stars Binky Felstead, Spencer Matthews and Jamie Laing.
Each of the colleges have their own unique facilities which assist students in achieving academic success and entry to the world’s most prestigious universities. Further to its general rule of a maximum of 10 students per class, MPW is well-known for its personal tutor system. Each student is assigned to a personal tutor – or Director of Studies – whose role is to supervise the academic progress, university applications and general welfare of a small group of students.
Regular one-to-one meetings are held to discuss test results, progress in class, homework, UCAS applications and reports. Parents are encouraged to communicate with Directors of Studies on a regular basis and informal meetings between parents, students and tutors provide a constructive forum for assessing progress.
In 2017, the most commonly achieved A-Level grade across all three colleges was A/A* and over a third of examination entries were at this level. A year earlier, 69% of MPW students progressed to top-tier universities, including those in the Russell Group, 1994 Group or a specialist medical or veterinary school.