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Hackney sixth formers to get Oxbridge mentoring

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Sixth form pupils from Brooke House Sixth Form College in Hackney will get fortnightly tuition from Oxbridge postgraduates as part of a new social mobility project.

The sixth form, known as Bsix, has partnered with education charity Villiers Park Educational Trust to provide mentoring and improve access to higher education for 30 disadvantaged students in Hackney. The 30 students who signed up to the scheme applied to the universities and were interviewed by Oxford and Cambridge who selected them.

Ed Durbin is the coordinator for Raising Aspirations, the school’s university preparation programme. He told Eastlondonlines: ‘This is a pilot year but we are hoping that it can be expanded to other schools and colleges across Hackney. There are three pupils from Mossborne Academy and three from the Petchey Academy joining the programme this year, but in the future we would expect there to be more”.

Durbin added: ‘This is an exciting new development following a five year partnership with Pembroke College in Oxford.  We are also working with the Villiers Park Educational Trust and Clare College in Cambridge”.

“We first try to get students interested in a subject, then think which universities would work for them and their chosen subject. On this particular programme, post-graduates who study the subject they want will mentor students and go through their work each fortnight.

‘This will help improve their grades and their engagement and ultimately help them perform better at interview”.

Bill, a 17-year-old student selected for the programme said: “I’m interested in studying biological sciences at university and at the moment, I am studying chemistry, biology, philosophy and history for A level. I’m looking forward to gaining key skills from my mentor and getting some insight into university life.”

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