A new learning centre, established by educational charity 'IntoUniversity’ in partnership with the University of Bath, has officially launched aiming to support children and young people in Weston-super-Mare to improve their educational attainment.

The IntoUniversity Weston-super-Mare centre is a new education project run by national education charity IntoUniversity in partnership with the University of Bath. The centre is also supported by the St. James's Place Charitable Foundation.

In some parts of Weston-super-Mare, higher education progression rate is as low as 10%. Building on existing programmes of outreach projects the centre will work with up to 1,000 children and young people each year, to make the best of their talents and improve their chances of gaining a university place.

Based at the Hans Price Academy, the centre is already working with three primary schools and two secondary schools in the area, as well as local colleges and Sixth Forms. It has seen dozens of families and children sign up to receive after-school support, access to university-student mentors, workshops and insight into university life.

Supporting early intervention

Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University, explains: “The University of Bath is delighted to be partnering with IntoUniversity to launch a new centre in Weston-super-Mare. We are very conscious that there is a challenge for students from coastal and rural communities in accessing higher education.

“The IntoUniversity model of community-based engagement to support students and their families in raising aspiration and examination attainment over an extended period fits with the University’s model of work to raise participation and develop the skills to support transition to a degree course."

Dr Rachel Carr OBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We are delighted to have opened this new centre in Weston-super-Mare in partnership with the University of Bath.

“Early intervention is crucial in supporting students into higher education, so our centre will start working with children as young as 7 to sow the seeds of aspiration and give young people in the local community the best chance of attaining a university place in the future.”

The new centre in Weston-super-Mare complements Bath’s existing co-sponsorship of IntoUniversity centres in South Bristol and Hammersmith, London.