Philip praises local pupils getting a taste of University

Local MP Philip Davies visited KS1, 2, 3 and 4 and Sixth Form pupils at Bingley Grammar Schools this week to hear about their progress as part of The Scholars Programme - a prestigious national scheme which gives school pupils an opportunity to experience university-style learning.

The programme recruits, trains and places PhD researcher in non-selective state schools to deliver university-style tutorials based on their own research to small groups of pupils. The pupils Philip Davies MP met with today are studying a course entitles Engineering - Illuminating the Body with their tutor Charlotte Stead from the University of Leeds.

As part of the programme, the pupil will also visit two highly-selective universities, where they receive information, advice and guidance about university life and making a successful university application.

The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club, an award-winning charity whose aim is to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. An independent evaluation by the Universities an Colleges Application Services (UCAS) showed the nearly sixty percent of pupils who complete the programme go on to attend a highly-selective university. For pupils on the programme who were eligible for free school meals, 54% progressed to a highly-selective university, compared to a national rate of 12%.

Philip Davies said: "It was great to visit Bingley Grammar School today and meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. I was very impressed at how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic. It just goes to show what young people from the Shipley constituency can achieve if we give them the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future, and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme".

Lead teacher, Nicky Williams said: " It has been a fabulous year for these students and allowed them the opportunity to work at a higher academic level, experience university life, and potential courses available. Our students have been a real pleasure to accompany on the university visits and are a credit to the school".

Dr Chris Wilson, CEO of The Brilliant Club said: "In Britain today there's an entrenched link between a young person's background and their chance of educational success. The Scholars Programme helps pupils develop the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their academic potential and secure places ar highly-selective universities. We're really grateful to Philip Davies for taking time to come and see the great work that our PhD tutors and partner schools are doing, and the amazing things pupils are achieving".