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The Key Project

March 8th, 2012

The Key Project - Tutoring Session

January saw the launch of an exciting new project to ensure that as many as possible of Central Foundation Boys’ School students go to the country’s top universities. 

The Key Project is a collaboration between the school, leading international law firm, Slaughter and May and the charity, The Access Project.

The Key Project aims to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to study at top educational institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford University. It was founded after the discovery that a child on Free School Meals is 22 times less likely than a privately educated pupil to enter a highly selective university*, despite the fact students had the potential to succeed.

The Access Project’s founder, Alex Kelly, found “that aspiration was not the issue – students were aware of what a good career might be, or which universities are seen as the best. The problem was that they weren’t making the grades to get into these institutions.”

At Central Foundation Boys’ School 72% of our pupils are or have been on Free School Meals in the past six years. It has one of the highest intakes of disadvantaged students in the country.

Headteacher, Mr Brownhill, agrees that lack of aspiration is not the issue “it’s about getting practical with the students’ aspirations.  It’s about giving them time for researching their aspirations and hope, helping them really understand the world of work and engaging with the practicalities of employment.”

Students who join the Project will receive one-to-one tutoring to support them in achieving the grades required to go to the top universities.  These sessions have proved very successful so far with students reporting that with fewer distractions, they find it easier to concentrate. Our students feel their confidence growing as they have the opportunity to communicate directly and speak more.

Student, Charlie Shanks, is currently taking part and would recommend the tutoring to other students “but only if they want to actually succeed with it.  It’s something you can gain a lot from but you have to want to gain from it.” 

In addition, students taking part in the project will have the opportunity to visit universities, access internships with businesses and attend a series of workshops on the university application process. 

Assistant Headteacher, Mr Dilley, thinks that this project will be a great success: “We have got untapped potential in our students.  They have the drive and commitment, but until now we haven’t had the resources to really be able to support their progression into Russell Group Universities. “

It project is being led by the Key Project Programme Manager, Ms Spencer, who is based at the school.

It is a very ambitious programme which supports our mission to ensure that Central Foundation students, whatever their background, will fulfil their full potential.

The find out more about the Key Project please visit their website: The Access Project


Key Project Tutor Christina  The Key Project

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*The Sutton Trust, ‘Responding to the New Landscape for University Access,’ December 2010.

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