Like Andrew Cole I came from modest origins to Hertford – but did not then, and do not now, assume that opportunities to reach Oxford are therefore fair and equal for all, regardless of socio-economic and educational background.

It is surely in Oxford's interests, as well as those of able and well motivated pupils, to encourage applications from all backgrounds and schools, and if necessary support financially those who gain entrance.

Beyond that, it seems important to seek out potential for academic success at Oxford by considering applicants in the round, including not just their high A-level achievements but also the road they have trodden to achieve them. His and my College, and doubtless many other colleges, are putting substantial and increasing time and effort into trying to asses such potential. I hope they will be successful.