Department of Education

Widening Participation Consultancy

A number of colleagues within the Department of Education with particular interests around Widening Participation in Higher Education have been engaged over recent years in the development of close collaborative relationships between academics, WP teams, schools, colleges, community groups, and other stakeholders in WP.

This has included secondments by Louise GazeleyTamsin Hinton-Smith and Emily Danvers. The aim of this strategic approach is to enhance the effectiveness of future WP work by building strong  partnerships that close the research-policy-practice loop through multi-directional knowledge-sharing. Tamsin and Emily have recently completed a two year secondment to Sussex Learning Network, as Research and Evaluation Managers for HEFCE’s £64 million National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). Developing CPD for teachers and others involved in supporting young people’s education and career progression journeys is central to a strategy aimed at supporting young people’s outcomes in a sustainable way by developing educational practices as well as focusing on individual young people. Louise, Tamsin and Emily have designed and facilitated a number of CPD opportunities aimed at supporting teachers and other education partners in developing, delivering and evaluating the benefits of WP support.’

Examples of recent and ongoing projects - led by the University of Sussex and partner schools

February 2018

  • Emily Danvers designed and facilitated a CPD event for colleagues working in further education on how to carry out focus groups for the evaluation of Widening Participation activities. 

March 2018

  1. Emily Danvers and Tamsin Hinton-Smith organised and facilitated a series of regional forums for teachers in schools and further education colleges, community groups, local authority representatives, university WP professionals, parent ambassadors and student union representatives to provide support and a knowledge-exchange opportunity on how to engage parents and young people in widening participation outreach activities. Forums were held at the University of Chichester (8 March), South Coast College, Hastings (15 March) and the University of Brighton (22 March).
  2. Emily Danvers, Tamsin Hinton-Smith and Louise Gazeley organised and facilitated a CPD event for Sussex teachers with responsibilities for coordinating higher education opportunities and apprenticeships for sixth formers which included talks by Louise and WP colleague, Chris Derbyshire.

April 2018 

  1. Led by the University of Lancaster, Emily Danvers and Tamsin Hinton-Smith were the central contributors to the formation of the new network, the 'National Association For Academic Outreach' (NAFAO) which is developing a set of 'best practice' guidance and recommendations for widening participation outreach activity. It is hoped that WP professionals will benefit from the guidance, such as those working in universities, colleges and schools.
  2. Tamsin Hinton-Smith designed and facilitated a CPD event for staff working in further education, at The Platform in Brighton as part of Sussex Learning Network’s Project Exchange Event. The training was developed to support staff engaged in Widening Participation work to carry out case studies for the evaluation of their outreach activities.

March 2019

  • Tamsin Hinton-Smith and Emily Danvers developed and facilitated a series of two seminars hosted at the University of Brighton, and accompanying webinars, to support Widening Participation engaged staff in further and higher education to share their knowledge and good practice through dissemination opportunities including various publication and presentation avenues, including developing skills in this.

May 2019

  • Emily Danvers, Tamsin Hinton-Smith and Chris Derbyshire (WP) developed and facilitated a knowledge-sharing event at Hailsham Community Centre aimed at bringing together further education staff and others working with GRT young people, to share understanding and collaborative development of effective youth and community engagement approaches.    

April - July 2019

  • Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Louise Gazeley, Tam Cane and WP colleague Anne-Marie developed and facilitated a series of 8 events bringing together groups of professionals engaged in supporting the educational progression of care experienced young people. The CPD workshops, as part of the Sussex Learning Network Supporting supporters consultancy project, took place at venues across Brighton and Hove, East and West Sussex, and included foster carers, social work and further education staff. Workshops aimed to collaboratively develop skills and good practice tools for increasing higher education participation for care leavers.