Schools and teachers are at the heart of efforts to address educational inequality, and ensure fair access to higher education. However, we have very little understanding of the forms of professional support for teachers which lead to the greatest impact on pupil’s chances of progressing to university. And we have very little systematic understanding of what an outstanding school level approach to access looks like. Yet we know that schools with similar levels of attainment can have radically different progression rates, and that teachers have a huge influence on pupils.
This session will explore the role of schools in widening participation, and seek to identify the support that should be provided to teachers, and approaches that school leadership teams might adopt to raise the progression rates of their pupils.
The session will include a discussion on the barriers to effective interface with schools, and identification of how best to address these barriers. It will have a practical focus to identify what steps need to be taken to make this happen, and the respective roles of universities, civil society and schools.
Jude Heaton leads the access to higher education work of Teach First, a charity which trains and supports people with leadership potential to become inspirational teachers in schools in low income communities across the UK. Before joining Teach First, Jude worked in the Deputy Prime Minister’s research and analysis unit with a focus on social mobility, and served as Alan Milburn’s lead advisor on higher education. This work culminated in the publication of two reports, ‘Fair Access to Professional Careers: A progress report’, and ‘University Challenge: how higher education can advance social mobility’.