Oxford’s decision not to make offers for places based on the new A* grade at A level seemed justified yesterday, as it emerged that privately educated students were significantly more likely to achieve the new top grade than those at state schools.Early indications suggest that pupils at private schools were this year three times more likely to receive the A* grade than those not paying for their education. 30% of the total number of A* grades went to pupils at private schools, despite their accounting for only 14% of entries. Comprehensive schools also achieved 30% of the A* grades, but they accounted for 43% of entries.One student, who will begin studying medicine at Oxford in October, said, “I received four A*s, but I am glad that my offer did not put additional pressure on me to achieve them. I didn’t think I would do this well, and would have been devastated to miss out on my place.”Only four universities – Cambridge, UCL, Imperial and Warwick – opted for offers including the A* grade this year. Cambridge, which made most students an offer of A*AA this year, said when adopting the measure that it would also be making “non-standard” offers to students whose background merited them, including to those whose schools did not have a history of sending pupils on to higher education.