Advancing Access

Most teachers said Advancing Access resources helped them help students

Support for teachers will boost access to top universities

Boosting support for teachers working with young people on their university applications could significantly increase the chance of pupils attending a leading university, new analysis suggests.

An evaluation report found teachers using free resources provided by the Advancing Access initiative reported increased confidence in their ability to help pupils through the university application process.

Advancing Access provides targeted assistance for teachers to help ensure students with talent, potential and ability are fully informed on their higher education options.

Resources have been developed in partnership with teachers in schools with low progression to university.

The initiative is led by the 24 members of the Russell Group of universities.

Of the teachers who used the resources provided online at the Advancing Access website:

  • 93 per cent said the material improved their ability to help students write personal statements, with 69 per cent of respondents reporting it had made a significant difference. 
  • 93 per cent of teachers said they would write better academic references as a result of having used Advancing Access resources.
  • 89 per cent said the website would improve their ability to help pupils prepare for interviews.

More than a third of teachers said they were more likely to encourage their students to apply to a leading university after using the materials or participating in an Advancing Access digital conference.

The findings of the initial evaluation report were revealed as Advancing Access opened registrations for a second online event and launched new resources designed to help teachers support pupils during the application process, inform them on admissions processes and provide information on Key Stage 4 and 5 qualifications.

Dr Karl Devincenzi, Outreach Manager at the University of Exeter, said: “Advancing Access is an excellent demonstration of a successful collaboration between the leading research-led institutions in the country.

“Teachers have access to fantastic resources aimed at providing information on admissions, the application process and post-16 qualifications.

“In addition, the virtual conference taking place on 24 May provides teachers with unrivalled access to key university representatives and information aimed at supporting the student transition from school to further or higher education.

“I encourage teachers and advisers to sign up to this facility and join us on the 24May.”

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Chair of the Russell Group and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, added: “Russell Group universities assign a high priority to widening access, and are working hard to ensure young people from underrepresented backgrounds have every opportunity to apply to a leading university.

“We are making good progress but there is still more to be done. This is why innovative projects like Advancing Access are so important.

“Teachers have a fundamental role to play in ensuring their pupils have all the information they need to make choices that are best for them. These new resources have the potential to make a big difference.”

Date: 10 May 2017

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