Brunel University plans to establish its own school that will cater to talented students hailing from an underprivileged background as part of the government’s city academies program. Steven Schwartz, the university’s vice-chancellor, believes that the Brunel University Academy will continue the historical tradition of institutions such as Eton and Winchester, which were created in partnership with universities when they were established. The university already offers part-time math courses on weekends and evenings for 80 gifted pupils, mainly covering mathematics. Professor Schwartz hopes to have the 300-student school up and running by 2005, but the requirements to raise substantial private funds to construct the building must first be met. The expenses are to be subsequently covered by the government. According to the Brunel academy’s prospectus, students will benefit from expert teachers and inspirational lectures. Besides full and part-time students, weekly boarding will be provided. Slough local education authority and Eton College have extended their offers of help and cooperation. The school is aimed and designed explicitly for young people with unrealized potential from underprivileged backgrounds, so that they have the best prospects of progressing onto further education. There is also the hope that students will be encouraged into university if they are integrated on the campus early enough. Professor Schwartz’s review of higher education admissions for the UK government led to him being charged with creating recommendations outlining guidelines for the office of fair access, which will assure universities regarding student recruitment from a broad range of social backgrounds. He believes that blame has been unfairly placed on universities, which is a consequence of the variance in the quality of education that prospective students achieve in secondary education. Admissions professors are countering this by providing places to children from badly performing schools with lower grades. The academy has been referred to as a method of expanding public participation in high-quality education, increasing the prospects of successful admission, and addressing social issues relating to poverty and inequality in education.
Kian Stafford is a 39 year old educational blogger and school teacher. He has been teaching for over 10 years and has worked in a variety of different positions. Kian has an extensive knowledge of education, both online and in-person, and has written extensively on education topics. He is also a member of several education organizations, and has been involved in many educational initiatives.