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Academic Year

Kiara Germaine-Morris, Lister Community School, tutored by Antonia Gold, Olswang

The Access Project The Access Project

Why We Are Needed

Barriers Solutions Reach Impact

Education is not a level playing field many students Our programme addresses these barriers head on. Our growth during the past academic year means we Meriam Benhaj-Otham, from Clapton Girls Academy
face a range of socio-economic barriers both to their life are able to reach more students than ever before. partnered with Linklaters, has been tutored in French by
prospects and to fulfilling their academic potential. Linklaters volunteers for the past two years. She now holds
offers for The University of Law and the University of Sussex.

The Access Gap An academic tutor Students

We provide our students with academic tuition from a trained

volunteer for an hour each week to improve their grades.

A university mentor
We deliver an intensive programme of university support
from age 14-18. The programme helps students understand
6x less likely
the pathway to one of the UKs top third universities, from
choosing the most suitable subjects at GCSE, through to 938
You are six times less likely to make it to a top third
application, interview and placement at university.
university* if you are from one of the UKs least affluent 891
households (UCAS 2015). We believe this is unfair, and
significantly affects the life chances of less affluent young The Access Project students make more
people by restricting access to a key vehicle for social academic progress than their peers
mobility. This Access Gap is caused by two things: 530
+30% of +50% of
a grade a grade 300
The Access Project has helped me grow in confidence and
my tutors provided me with tailored help with the things I
1. Getting the grades 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
was struggling on. I started year 12 with a D grade in French,
at the end of the year I got a B in the general exam!
There is a well-documented At GCSE, tutored students The more tutorials they
attainment gap between the most made an average of a third attend, the bigger the impact. I come from a background where my family couldnt afford
and least affluent young people of a grade more progress Students who attended more to provide me with extra tuition. My parents didnt go to
that begins at primary school and than their peers in their than 20 tutorials in Year 11 university, my brother went this year I am now the second
reaches its peak at age 18. This tutored subject. made half a grade more person from my family to go to university.
means the least affluent young progress than their peers.
people are significantly less likely
Students not with Students with
to achieve the A*, A and B grades The Access Project The Access Project
Percentage of students who applied to university
at A level required to attend a top and placed at a top third institution.
third university.

Students with The Access Project

are significantly more likely to apply 925
to, and receive offers from, top third
2. Making a good application universities.* In 2015-2016: 54% 39%
The pathway to a top third university
can be very hard to navigate without University applicants who put in an
support. Less affluent young people application to a top third university
lack the support networks they need 548
to make the best GCSE, A level, Applicants who received at least
degree, and university institution one offer from a top third university
choices for them, and to prepare The Access Project students are 15 percentage
the best applications they can. points more likely to be placed at a top third
UCAS Control Group The Access Project Students 319
university than a matched control group

*Top third universities are the most selective institutions based on the academic results *The control group was created by UCAS by sampling students from the National Pupil 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 The Access Project Students UCAS Control Group
of their enrolled students. Database (NPD) such that the proportion of pupils with socio-demographic characteristics
and attainment levels in the control groups reflect those observed amongst students on
The Access Project.

2 Impact Report 2015-16 Impact Report 2015-16 3

The Access Project The Access Project The Access Project

Why this matters

Foreword This Access Gap matters.
I entered the classroom in 2006, with the optimistic
aim of improving life chances for young people in a
tough part of outer London. Ten years on, our society
On one hand, its an issue of fairness. Not everyone
should go to university at age 18. However, we believe it
Average earnings over a lifetime How we work
remains deeply unequal in many ways. cannot be right that if youre poor you are far less likely
to go to university, and six times less likely to go to a top
The Access Project works with high-potential students from
Against what can seem a bleak backdrop, Im so proud third institution. This segregated system does not reflect
1,597,610 disadvantaged backgrounds, providing in-school support
that The Access Project has reached some huge the talent of our young people, and is deeply unfair.
1,385,260 and personalised tuition to help them gain access to top
milestones in the last year. Our causal impact on student
third universities. Our programme is founded on a unique
attainment has been verified by Nesta, and analysis by The Access Gap is also an issue of life prospects. Young
and highly effective collaboration between our community
UCAS shows that we have had a statistically significant people leaving education today face an increasingly
of students, schools, volunteers, individual supporters, grant
impact on our students university outcomes in both of complex labour market. Reviewing all of the available
makers and business partners.
the last two years. evidence, it is clear that going to a top third university
remains the most reliable vehicle for less affluent students
Our businesses encourage their employees to train as
This success has been achieved through the hard work to be socially mobile and achieve financially secure, high
volunteer academic tutors to our students. Businesses, grant
of so many different groups of people. I would like to status employment. We believe all young people should Russell Group* Non Russell Group makers and individual supporters provide matched funding
thank all of you: every one of our 962 volunteers who have the opportunity to access this. This is emphatically
for our work with these students, or fund key projects critical
provided one-to-one academic tuition this year; each of not the case today. From the Sutton Trust 'Levels of Success' report in Oct 2015
to achieving our vision to work with 2,500 students in areas
our 18 inspirational partner schools; all of our financial
We are committed to improving social of highest need by 2020.
supporters, including Impetus-The Private Equity
*The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities.
Foundation; and every one of my wonderful colleagues mobility by helping poorer young people to The Access Project provides in-depth support to students,
who demonstrate such commitment to our young people reach selective universities. In this report schools and volunteers through a dedicated member of
every day. we share conclusive evidence that The staff who works on site at our partner schools, programme
Despite this hard work, much remains to be done. I want Access Project can and should be a part of coordinators and an office-based team who give support
the solution to the growing Access Gap. behind the scenes.
to outline the challenges we face in making access to top
third universities fair, why it matters, and our vision for
the future. Andrew Berwick
Director, The Access Project

The Access Gap The situation is worsening Our Goal Our Vision

The past five years has seen a widening gap The Access Project focuses on improving access to top third 2,600 This is a critical time for all of us who are committed to

Number of Access Project Students

universities for young people from the most disadvantaged improving social mobility by making a difference to young
between the number of poor young people 2,400
backgrounds. There is good news: more young people from peoples life chances. In this report we share conclusive
and those from wealthier backgrounds who less affluent backgrounds are going to these universities 2,200 evidence that The Access Project can and should be a part
go to our top universities. than ever before. 2,000 of the solution to the growing Access Gap.
However, the bad news is that like in so many other areas Our goal is to work with 2,500 young people in the areas of
of our economy the gap between rich and poor is growing 1,600 highest need by 2020 and in time to work with all of the
year on year. 1,400 400 schools in England that meet our eligibility criteria. By
1,200 achieving this goal, we would support an additional 1,400
There is a yawning gulf an Access Gap between the pupil premium-eligible young people to top third universities Students Schools Volunteers Businesses Programme
1,000 Coordinators
number of less affluent young people going to our top third each year.

universities and those from more affluent backgrounds. In 800

2010, this gap was 36,900 students. By 2015, it had grown Getting there will not be easy and will require us to work

to 39,600 young people, an increase of 2,700. with more partners than ever before. Whether you are reading
this as a leader in education, business, charity, or government,
This Access Gap is driven largely by the continued gulf 200 we need your support to realise our vision to close The
in attainment between the most and least affluent young 0 Access Gap and make a real and lasting difference to our
people. The barriers to attainment for less affluent young 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2020 young peoples lives. I hope you will join us.
people are numerous. This is exacerbated by a booming
private tuition industry that provides intensive one-to-one Year
support for those who can afford it whilst state schools
across the country are facing real-terms cuts in funding. Our goal is to work with all of the 400 schools
in England that meet our eligibility criteria.

Working at this scale would allow us to

support an additional 1,400 pupil premium- Andrew Berwick
2010 2015 eligible* students to gain places at top third Director, The Access Project

Source: UCAS, 2016 universities each year.

*Pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the
attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gap between them
and their peers.
4 Impact Report 2015-16 Impact Report 2015-16
3 5 6 Impact Report 2015-16
The Access Project The Access Project
The Access Project doesnt just give young
people from disadvantaged backgrounds access
to high-quality tuition, it exposes them to work
environments and jobs that they are very unlikely
to encounter otherwise Ive found this can be as
motivating as the tuition itself.

I would recommend businesses get involved

with The Access Project both financially and in
providing volunteer tutors, to support a charity
that delivers tangible results towards tackling
inequality and expanding opportunity.

Students Schools Suneil Setiya

Co-founder, Quadrature Capital
A-Levels are a big jump from GCSEs and The Access Projects support means that some
having somebody to help you through of our students are the first in their entire family Hours of Tuition London West Midlands
Number of
parts of the course you dont understand to consider further education. But the greatest Percentage (29 per hour) (23 per hour)
is extremely helpful and an aspect of The benefit is the resilience the programme offers of students engaged with
Access Project Im most grateful for I feel our young people attending tutor sessions who applied to 313
54% 39% 342,751
tutoring has really boosted my confidence away from the academy means our students university and 299
in Chemistry. Alongside tutoring, being able have to be independent way before entering placed at a top
to go to your tutors workplace gives you work or higher education. This preparation is third institution 2014/15
hours 230
first-hand insight into your prospects after key in an area where there is very little mobility 20,884
university which is really motivational. of any kind. The Access Project students are 15 percentage
points more likely to be placed at a top third
Danyaal Hussain Andrew Burns university than a matched control group*
Moseley School, Birmingham, Tutored by Henry Headteacher, Ormiston Forge Academy, 356,729
Hopcroft, Barclays West Midlands The Access Project Students UCAS Control Group
2015/16 13,852
*The control group was created by UCAS by sampling students from the National Pupil hours 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16
Database (NPD) such that the proportion of pupils with socio-demographic characteristics 35,673
and attainment levels in the control groups reflect those observed amongst students on
The Access Project.

Tutoring is a fantastic and very convenient

way to contribute the wider community its
rewarding knowing that you are making a
contribution towards a young person fulfilling Following a young person through their journey
their potential. As you are directly sharing your to realise their aspirations is both fulfilling and
skills and knowledge, it feels very personal. Its humbling. I am so lucky to be able to support
also great that tutoring keeps that academic students to make these decisions as well as
knowledge fresh in your mind if it doesnt crop guide them along the way by far the most
up in your career. rewarding part is A-Level results day seeing all

that hard work pay off!
Phil Hurt
Assistant Director, Corporate Communications,
Volunteers Coordinators
Tracey Beech
Programme Coordinator at Moseley School
and Ormiston Forge Academy, West Midlands

+0.58 of +0.27 of +0.26 of +0.25 of

a grade a grade a grade a grade

Hours of tuition delivered

in academic year 2015-16 13,852
in working years
Science Maths Humanities Languages 12,727
7 Years
6 Months 8,160
GCSE grade improvement by The Access Project students in comparison to peers by subject
3,310 Help choosing In-depth University visits, Detailed guidance on the Clearing
subjects, universities personal specialised programmes application process support
2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 and courses to apply to statement and subject-specific
support societies
Increase in hours of tuition
7 Impact Report 2015-16 8 Impact Report 2015-16 Impact Report 2015-16 3 9
The Access Project The Access Project

Students Schools Rise in numbers of students

gaining Top Third places at schools
We deliver impact for our students by addressing their two The programme we offer our students not only increases before and since the introduction
key barriers to accessing a top third university: getting their chances of attending a top third university, it also raises of The Access Projects programme
the grades and making a good application. Academic the aspirations of students throughout the schools in which
year 2015-16 saw major successes in both of these crucial we work. It thus transforms our schools overall post-18
areas. At GCSE, students made an average of a third of student destination profiles.
Four years since
a grade more progress in their tutored subject than their
peers. For students who attended at least 20 tutorials in This is illustrated by the growth in the total number of students Three years before
Year 11, this increased to half a grade more progress than who go on to study at a top third university following a partnership
their peers who were not on our programme. between their school and The Access Project (see opposite).
But gaining a place at one of the countrys top universities Weve mapped the outcomes from year 10 to year 13 that School A
isnt just about getting the grades; its also about making we believe students need to achieve to study at a top third
a good application. To do this, our students need to have university, and we place one of our programme co-ordinators
the aspiration and confidence to apply. A unique aspect
of our programme is that our students are tutored by
in school to deliver a programme of high quality university
support to enable students to meet these outcomes. This 42
volunteers from some of the countrys leading employers.
This simultaneously boosts their confidence and hones Tutoring has given me targeted support
ranges from guidance on which GCSEs to pick if youre
aspiring to become a vet, to preparation for engineering
their soft skills, which are crucial to successful university on particular topics within my A-Level degree admissions interviews.
applications. This has a resounding impact on our students Mathematics syllabus. Jamie and I go
aspirations in academic year 2015-16, 90% of students on Further, our schools tell us we provide an invaluable addition to
through questions together and he
our programme applied to university. their teaching expertise: were able to connect their students Six years since
encourages me to explain how I got to with trained volunteers, who have an A-Level or degree-
All of this is underpinned by a framework of targeted, high- my answers; this consolidates my level qualification in the subject their students themselves Three years before
quality university support. From guidance on how to write learning and boosts my confidence. identify they need most support in. This allows the schools
personal statements, to specialised mentoring for Oxbridge we work with, which all serve disadvantaged communities,
entrance exams, our students are given expert support on Armando Karafili to offer weekly one-to-one personalised academic support in
how to navigate the university application process. the subject where it is needed most, for their high-potential
Lilian Baylis Technology School, partnered with the Golden
students who need it the most. London
Bottle Trust. Tutored by Jamie Gossage, Private Bank.
This year we have powerful evidence showing how the School B
Whats more, these connections allow us to provide further
elements of our programme come together to radically
improve our students access to top third universities. We support to our students. This includes the opportunity to 54
compared the university outcomes of our students against
a control group specially developed for us by UCAS.*
join our Medicine and Dentistry society, our Steps to Law
programme (supported by Linklaters and Clifford Chance), and 7
We found, of our students who applied to university, 69% our Oxbridge society (delivered in conjunction with interview
The Access Project students make more
secured a firm offer from a top third university, compared preparation sector-leaders, Oxbridge Interviews, through their
to 54% of students in the control group. academic progress than their peers social enterprise, Oxfizz). These programmes offer students
who are keen to apply to the most competitive courses
Three years since
Whats more, our growth during the past academic year extra support, including mock interviews, admissions tests, Two years before
meant we were able to deliver our impact to more students networking events and tailored personal statement support.
than ever before. We now tutor 938 students across +30% of a grade
London and the West Midlands, up from 300 students in For many schools, their partnership with The Access Project
academic year 2012-13. helps them to send students to Oxbridge for the very first time.
It frequently means that their students are the first in their
*The control group was created by UCAS by sampling students from the National families to attend university. In academic year 2015-16, five of London
Pupil Database (NPD) such that the proportion of pupils with socio-demographic
our students were invited to interviews at either the University School C
characteristics and attainment levels in the control groups reflect those observed
of Oxford or the University of Cambridge. The overall result is
amongst students on The Access Project.

At GCSE, tutored students made an average of a third

heightened aspiration in a schools community and the creation
of a high achieving, inspirational school alumni body. 1
of a grade more progress than their peers in their
tutored subject.

Student survey responses +50% of a grade The Access Project has raised aspirations
Percentage of students who agreed with the statements focusing pupils and staffs minds on
the most competitive universities.
In my tutorials The pupils independence in arranging,
I learn a lot
travelling to and engaging with one-to-
In my tutorials my tutor one tutorials with inspirational graduates
addresses anything I do The more tutorials they attend, the bigger the impact. has been transformational. In addition,
not understand Students who attended more than 20 tutorials in Year 11 the Oxbridge preparation programme
The choice of made half a grade more progress than their peers. has been of the highest quality.
topics reflects my
individual needs
Students not with Students with Max Haimendorf
The Access Project The Access Project Secondary Headteacher, King Solomon Academy,
partnered with OxFizz
10 Impact Report 2015-16 Impact Report 2015-16 11
The Access Project The Access Project

Businesses Volunteers
The Access Project could not deliver its impact without the Our community of volunteer tutors are at the very heart of
Volunteer survey responses
generosity of our business partners. As well as financial the work we do to support students on The Access Project.
support, they encourage their staff to volunteer: 41% of our Tutors work with a student for one hour per week, providing
volunteers heard about us through their employer. And it academic support and guidance in a particular subject area
doesnt stop there. From sharing their skills pro-bono, to to enable the student to develop their knowledge and skills
hosting events, our business partners make The Access and, ultimately, to raise their attainment.
Project work. of respondents agree
In 2015-16, volunteer tutors delivered 13,852 hours of free or strongly agree with
The impact flows both ways: our partners can see their tuition to students across London and the West Midlands, an the statement I would
measurable impact on making university access fairer in increase of 1,125 hours compared to the previous academic 98% recommend volunteering
their local communities and the positive impact our year. Tutors who volunteer their time to support The Access for The Access Project to
volunteering has on employees. Project are passionate about our mission and understand friends or colleagues.
the very real impact their support is having 94% see
volunteering with The Access Project as an opportunity to
Diversity, inclusion and social mobility
help a young person secure a place at a top university.
In the UK, your likelihood of progressing to high status
employment is mainly determined by your parents income. This passion has resulted in an increase in average hours
We believe this is unacceptable, and so do our partners. delivered per tutor, from 13.7 hours per tutor in 2014-15 to 14.3
KPMG is proud to have been a long- in 2015-16. As tutors can see their weekly tutorials are having
Our partners want to make their own workplaces more standing supporter of The Access Project. a tangible impact, they are motivated to invest more time.
diverse and more inclusive for students like ours. The As well as the pride that comes from Tutors tell us they notice improved ambition, confidence, and of tutors agree that
Access Project allows our partners to address this challenge
directly and measurably.
helping a student to achieve their full positivity among their tutees over the course of their tutorials,
in addition to the academic progress made. 94% The Access Project is an
excellent place to volunteer
potential, our volunteers also develop their
The Access Project has facilitated our award-winning own skills, making it a real win-win. Tutors realise the importance of one-to-one tutoring in creating
Key Project since 2011. This is Slaughter and Mays a strong foundation on which to work with a student, and they
flagship social mobility project. Corrine Harms value the relationship they build with their tutee. One tutor
said: Ive enjoyed the opportunity to work energetically with
Kate Hursthouse, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Corporate Affairs, students. Regular one-to-one sessions result in good student
Slaughter and May Employee engagement KPMG LLP, partnered with City Academy Hackney
progress and positive tutor-student relationships.

Employee engagement The responses to this years tutor survey demonstrated a high
level of satisfaction among tutors with 98% of respondents
Our volunteers care about social mobility too: 94% of surveyed
agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement: I would
volunteers see volunteering with us as their opportunity to help Business survey responses recommend volunteering for The Access Project to friends
a young person from a disadvantaged background secure a
or colleagues. This is reflected in the number of new tutors
place at a top university. As a result, 73% of volunteers from
who credit word of mouth as the reason they chose to
our business partners say that being able to volunteer with us
volunteer from our current tutors, almost a quarter fall into
makes their company a more attractive place to work.
this category.
Skills-based volunteering opportunity agree they are able to use Ninety four percent of tutors also agree that The Access
94% of volunteers from our business partners say that tutoring 94% their skills and abilities in a
meaningful way in their tutorials
Project is an excellent place to volunteer. We are proud
means they can use their skills in a meaningful way. to consider our volunteers as advocates for our students,
the programme we deliver, and the importance of tackling
We train volunteers to use their academic qualifications and The Access Gap.
skills to make a difference to a young persons academic
attainment. Our students have neither the networks nor the
money to get such support elsewhere.
of senior managers who
This is a way for our volunteers to use their skills, we surveyed said they The students dont lack aspiration
knowledge and experience in a meaningful way
and make a real impact. It sounds obvious to say, 84% would look favourably on a
candidate for promotion who
or ambition, but I think a bit of
encouragement and support, from
but opportunities like this can be difficult to find had volunteered with us
those who have been there before
Linda Zell, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Olswang them, can help them to understand
how to get to where they want to go.
Skills development
One of the best aspects of the project
Our partners know that their volunteers benefit too. 67% is that the students have to arrange
of surveyed volunteers say tutoring has helped them coach of volunteers from our
more junior colleagues and 85% say it has helped them business partners agree the the meetings and come into our
communicate with a wide variety of people. opportunity to volunteer for offices and generally get a bit more
73% The Access Project makes familiar with the norms of office life.
This impact is also seen by volunteers managers. 84% of senior their company a more
attractive place to work
managers who we surveyed said they would look favourably on Isabel Taylor
a candidate for promotion who had volunteered with us.
Partner, Slaughter and May, partnered
with Central Foundation Boys School

12 Impact Report 2015-16 Impact Report 2015-16 13

With thanks to our:

Business partners Major funders

Barclays Fidelity UK Foundation
Clifford Chance LLP Impetus The Private Equity Foundation
EQ Foundation Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Golden Bottle Trust The Careers & Enterprise Company
Quadrature Capital
Slaughter and May
Ashurst LLP
Worshipful Company of Founders
Aspect Capital
The Boston Consulting Group
The Buzzacott Stuart Defries Memorial Fund
Coco Ferguson
Credit Suisse
Schools Frazer-Nash Consultancy
Fulcrum Asset Management
Ark Globe Academy Gowling WLG (UK) LLP
Central Foundation Boys School Independent Franchise Partners, LLP
City Academy Hackney Mercer
Clapton Girls Academy Neil Cosgrove
Haverstock School Nesta & The Cabinet Office
Highbury Grove School Newington Communications Limited
Holte School Northern Trust
Hornsey School for Girls Parthenon-EY
King Solomon Academy Peter Brett Associates LLP
Lilian Baylis Technology School PJT Partners (UK)
Lister Community School PSE
Moseley School Simon Hillary
Oasis Academy Enfield TalentPool
Oasis Academy Hadley Teach First
Ormiston Forge Academy Treebeard Trust
St Aloysius College The Boston Consulting Group
St Georges Catholic School The Clothworkers Foundation
Waverley School The Girdlers Company Charitable Trust
The Ironmongers Company
The Access Projects
The Hiscox Foundation
Impact Report supported by:
The Key Support Services ltd

The Access Project

Bastion House
140 London Wall

0207 601 1939
Registered charity: 1143011

All images by Robert Logan Photography