About The Access Project

The Access Project works with bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing in-school support and personalised tuition to help them gain access to top universities. Why do we do this? Because at present just 1 in 50 young people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds gets into a top university compared to 1 in 4 of their most advantaged peers. Unless this improves, we are unlikely to see any significant improvements in social mobility in the UK.

As a charity we run a programme with 1,300 young people aged 14-18 across 31 schools. We recruit and train graduate volunteers to be exceptional tutors who work with our students for an hour a week to raise their grades. In addition, a dedicated school-based staff member mentors our students so they have the knowledge and support to make strong university applications. Our results show this approach works. Our students perform better than their peers academically, and independent analysis by UCAS has shown that students on our programme are twice as likely to get into a top university than another student with the same academic track record and background who has not had our support. As a charity our ambition is to reach more young people whilst maintaining this exceptionally high impact.

The Access Project currently works in London and the East and West Midlands. We have a growing team (currently 44 people) working in schools and in our regional offices. We are on a strong financial footing: we are on course for turnover of £2.0m in 2017-18, and will finish this financial year with over £550k in reserves. Our funding comes from a range of sources including schools, businesses, major donors and grant-making trusts.We know that there are many bright disadvantaged young people outside of our current geographies who have the talent to go on to top universities – but aren’t able to fulfil this potential. Our long-term ambition is to grow to national reach.

How we work

The Access Project is intentional in its work. We do not believe it is sufficient just to work hard. We are explicit about the outcomes we help our young people to achieve, and hold ourselves accountable for giving them the best chance to succeed. For this reason we build deep, long-lasting relationships with our school partners: this means we can support their young people from the start of Year 10 to the end of Year 13. We are intensive in our approach, providing weekly academic support through one-to-one tuition, and regular one-to-one support in school from our University Access Officers. And we constantly seek evidence and data to understand whether our support is making a difference to our young people, and how we can improve.

We were incorporated as a charity in 2011, and we retain many of the positive characteristics of a young, startup organisation. Each member of our team is deeply committed to our mission, and we support each other to deliver outcomes – even where this means going above and beyond our job descriptions. We know there is always a lot to learn, and are hungry to continually improve in all aspects of our work. This entrepreneurialism is combined with an emphatic track record of delivery. We are trusted partners for blue-chip firms like Barclays and Slaughter and May, and for major grant funders such as Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation. We take personal pride in ensuring that the service we provide for our partners and young people meets the high expectations that we hold of ourselves.

Safeguarding Statement

The Access Project is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.Disclosure of a Criminal Record

The Rehabilitation of Offenders 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 1986 does not apply to posts where there is access to children. This means that applicants for employment which involves working with children and young people must disclose any criminal record. If you are selected for appointment you will be subject to this procedure. All Disclosures are carried out in the strictest confidence and are made only in connection with your application for employment and for no other purpose. The application for an Enhanced Disclosure will be activated before your first day of work.

If you require further information, please contact The Access Project on 0203 960 6592