Bright Young Things Boosters: Paving the way for education for all
It is a sad but too often accepted fact that the British education system provides less to
those who need it the most. This is a problem that stats early, and continues throughout a
young person’s life. Over a third of children on free school meals leave Primary school
without meeting expected levels of reading, writing and Maths. At GCSE level 33% of
students on free school meals achieved 5 A*-C grades in their exams last year, compared
with 60% of pupils in the UK overall (Teach First). Finally, statistics released last week by
UCAS highlighted this fact as it was revealed that there was almost half the amount of
applications from students living in Britain’s most disadvantaged areas than those living in
the UK’s richest areas (7,210 versus 12,760, The Sutton Trust).
Offering a solution at BYT
My question was how we at Bright Young Things can help to combat this major disparity,
particularly in the face of more challenging A Levels and ever-rising tuition fees. We are
lucky to have some of London’s best tutors, but for the most part we support students who
already benefit from private or grammar school education and all the advantages that go
with that. This is not to say those students do not need our support, they do. But there are
many young people who we were not reaching and who would benefit just as much, if not
more, from our resources.
Working with the Access Project
Inspired by what I had heard about their work and keen to collaborate, I met with The
Access Project – an organisation doing excellent work to narrow the gap in access to higher
education. They mentor students from years 9 to 13, providing 1to1 tuition and holistic
support during the formative years of secondary education. The concept of ‘Booster Days’
was met with enthusiasm, and the first one was put in the diary.
Designing our Workshops
James Weber and I designed the day (he the Chemistry I hasten to add!), and we awaited
bookings with anticipation. Eventually, we had 20 students booked in over the course of the
day and we are all very excited at BYT HQ. The day was a brilliant success, with wonderful,
engaged and inspiring students giving their all to James’ classes and going away with plenty
of revision notes and smiles. All of them fed back that they’d like the classes to continue,
and there will be another Booster Day next month.
Setting a Standard
This is the first time an education company specialising in bespoke tuition has offered the
same service to charitable outreach pro-bono as it does to its private clients. We are really
proud to be the first private tuition agency to move in this direction, and we can’t wait to
meet more students and offer further support. One step at a time let’s redress the balance
by giving back.
We very much look forward to the start of an exciting new offering at Bright Young Things