Gifted pupils from deprived areas to attend regular seminars at top universities

The Independent is reporting that children as young as 11 are set to be offered classes at universities including Cambridge in a bid to help the brightest comprehensive pupils from poorer areas secure places at top institutions…

Around 400 of the most “highly able” 11- to 14-year-olds at non-selective state schools will be chosen to attend regular academic seminars at four of the country’s most in-demand universities.

All those chosen will be from low and middle-income families, attending schools serving disadvantaged communities with little history of sending pupils to such universities.

The scheme is being launched by the education charity the Sutton Trust, which campaigns for equal access to education for all, in the wake of Government funding for “gifted and talented” programmes to stretch the brightest pupils being discontinued three years ago.

The children, who will attend six days of seminars at Cambridge, Nottingham, University College London and Warwick, will all be from the top 10 per cent of the ability range…

Sir Peter Lampl, the millionaire philanthropist who chairs the trust, said …the scheme was intended “to show the way forward, increasing social mobility through enhanced opportunities for bright young students”. However, he urged the Government to mount a national programme “that highly able state school pupils across the country can access”…

The launch of the scheme today coincides with a YouGov poll showing more than 80 per cent of parents and teachers believe it is important schools provide extra programmes for their most able pupils…

More at: Gifted pupils from deprived areas to attend regular seminars at top universities


See more on this directly from the Sutton Trust at: New scheme to send bright 11 – 14 year olds to top universities


Has the end of the “gifted and talented” programme meant we are currently failing to develop the potential of the most advantaged students, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds? And do you agree with the Sir Peter Lampl that a national scheme to help highly able state school children would be welcome? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. ddubdrahcir

    SchoolsImprove This is great, although bright students who don’t/can’t shine get missed. This is is not HE’s problem to solve, but govt’s.

  2. MsHMFL

    SchoolsImprove so important to have a national programme. Y7,8,9 students are more open to considering Uni. Y10,11 putting up barriers

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