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Harris Westminster Sixth Form (also known as Harris Westminster or HWSF) is a selective mixed Sixth Form in central London which was established with the goal of increasing the rate of entry to top universities among students from areas of socio-economic deprivation.[2] Its aim is to "combine the strengths of Westminster School in teaching academically able students with the Harris Federation’s experience in establishing and running outstanding maintained sector schools across London". Harris Westminster cost £45 million to build.[3]

Harris Westminster Sixth Form
Harris Westminster Sixth Form main entrance
11 Tothill Street


TypeSixth Form
Free school
MottoAmbition. Perseverance. Legacy.
FounderHarris Federation
Westminster School
Department for Education URN140939 Tables
HeadteacherJames Handscombe[1]
Deputy HeadAlistair Grant
Age16 to 18
HousesSomerville; Turing; Garrett; Wilberforce
Colour(s)Grey and Red
PublicationThe Rose



The school was formed from an agreement in 2013 between Harris Federation and Westminster School. It aimed to take on 125 pupils in September 2014, reaching an enrollment of 250 the following year.[1] 167 pupils were offered places in the first year, almost 30% of whom are entitled to free school meals.[2]


The school is located in the former Ministry of Justice building, within walking distance of Westminster School and St Margaret's Church on Parliament Square, where its assemblies are held.


Harris Westminster Sixth Form offers a mixed curriculum, consisting of both A Level and Cambridge Pre-U subjects. The Cambridge Pre-U is offered in Languages, English Literature, Art, PTE and Art History. Subjects with the smallest uptakes (presently German, Drama & Theatre and Classical Languages) are studied at Westminster School. Year 12 students also have Cultural Perspectives courses, which look at a range of academia and skills.

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Languages (Latin and Greek)
  • Drama & Theatre Studies
  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Further Maths
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Maths
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics (PTE)
  • Spanish
  • Government and Politics

Extracurricular activitiesEdit

Currently, the school also runs weekly compulsory societies in every subject studied at A-Level or Pre-U and societies for prospective Law and Medicine students. On a Thursday afternoon, the school takes part in sports at Harris Academy Falconwood and Harris Academy Chafford Hundred or other activities such as Bridge, Music and Debating. Competitions have taken place as a result with various inter-house sport competitions and events. These include House football, netball and university challenge.

Examination PerformanceEdit

In its first year of AS Level results, 30% of overall grades were 'A', with the highest achieving departments being Mathematics and Geography at 40% 'A' grades. In its first year of A2 Level results, over 40% of results were A/A* and 25% of their students achieved at least 3 A grades with 50% taking up places at Russell Group universities and six at Oxford or Cambridge.


  1. ^ a b Macquarie, Rob (25 October 2013). "'Oxbridge' academy set up". Cherwell.
  2. ^ a b Hurst, Greg (26 March 2014). "Pupils queue up for a place at 'hothouse' state school" (PDF). The Times. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2014-03-26.
  3. ^ "Michael Gove under fire for 'outrageous' £45million spend on free". Evening Standard. 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2017-01-24.

External linksEdit