International Day of Education: “The Access Project shows students they are capable of great things”

This Wednesday 24 January, we’re celebrating the International Day of Education. On this global occasion, we come together to champion the transformative power of education and reflect on the profound impact it has on shaping futures. At The Access Project, we believe that access to quality education is not just a fundamental right but a catalyst for change, empowering individuals to break barriers and reach new heights.

We’re proud to partner with 40 schools across the country, helping students from the most under-resourced backgrounds achieve academic success. Today, we’re spotlighting one of our partner schools in Kennington, London: Lilian Baylis Technology School.

School spotlight: The Access Project at Lilian Baylis Technology School

Karen Chamberlain, Headteacher at Lilian Baylis Technology School

Students at Lilian Baylis Technology School are overwhelmingly born into disadvantage. Three quarters of students qualify for Pupil Premium, and many experience barriers such as uncertain citizenship, temporary accommodation issues and care responsibilities.

Karen Chamberlain, Headteacher at Lilian Baylis Technology School told us: “The students that we have are aspirational, polite, courteous, supportive and loyal friends”. She added: “Unfortunately, they face pretty much every barrier that is out there. Whether that’s a barrier of socio-economic status, uncertain citizenship, temporary accommodation issues, being a family’s main carer, or a whole host of other barriers linked with systemic racism and elitism.”

Students like those at Lilian Baylis Technology School are most likely to achieve social mobility by attending a top university. According to The Sutton Trust, free school meal students are four times more likely to place in the top quintile of earnings if they attend a Russell Group university. However, free school meal students make up just 2% of students attending elite universities.

Karen credits The Access Project as one of the reasons for the school’s strong results. Our University Access Officers work with students at Lilian Baylis to prepare them for exams, support them to overcome hurdles, and open their minds to new prospects.

The Headteacher said: “Having a trusted member of staff who helps our students to navigate their challenges and achieve in spite of them is what makes the difference”.

Lilian Baylis Technology School is in its ninth year of partnership with The Access Project. To date, our partnership has helped almost 100 students get through their GCSE and A level exams.

Karen added: “The Access Project shows students they are worthy of investment, that we believe in them, and that they are capable of great things”.

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