South Thanet’s Craig Mackinlay MP, visited Year 9 and 10 pupils at The Charles Dickens School this week to hear about their progress as part of The Scholars Programme – a prestigious national scheme which gives school pupils an opportunity to experience university-style learning.
The programme recruits, trains and places PhD researchers in non-selective state schools to deliver university-style tutorials based on their own research to small groups of pupils. As part of the programme, the pupils will also visit two highly selective universities where they receive information, advice and guidance about university life and how to make a successful university application.
The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club, an award winning charity, whose aim is to increase the number of pupils from under represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. An independent evaluation by the Universities and Colleges Application Services (UCAS) showed that nearly 60% of pupils who complete the programme go on to attend a highly-selective university. For pupils on the programme who were eligible for free school meals, 58% progressed to highly-selective university compared to a national rate of 11%.
Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, said:
“It was great to visit the Charles Dickens School today and meet the pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. I was very impressed with how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic. It just goes to show what young people from South Thanet can achieve if given the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme.”
Mr Wakefield, Gifted and Talented Coordinator at The Charles Dickens School, commented:
“I was delighted to meet with Craig Mackinlay MP and show him the work the students are doing in The Scholars Programme. I’m proud of the achievements of our pupils who are participating and am excited to see how their participation inspires their study and university choices.”
Dr Chris Wilson, CEO of The Brilliant Club, added:
“In Britain today there is an entrenched link between a young person’s background and their chance of education success. The Scholars Programme helps pupils develop the knowledge and skill necessary to fulfil their academic potential and secure paces at highly-selective universities. We’re really grateful to Craig Mackinlay MP for taking the time to come and see the great work that our PhD tutors and partner schools are doing, and the amazing things the pupils are achieving.”