Schools Liaison Officer
In 2013, we employed a part-time Schools Liaison Officer (SLO), shared with another College, to offer University application advice to groups from areas that are currently under-represented at Cambridge, raise the profile of the College and contribute to student recruitment.
To be more proactive in our initiatives we needed the role to be full-time, as Dr Andrew Murray, Admissions Tutor, explains:
“We have seen the value of working with networks of schools, which has enabled able and enthusiastic students from a wide range of backgrounds to get a taste of what University can offer. With a full-time SLO we will be able to provide similar experiences to many more students, encouraging them to follow their passions, work hard and aim high.”
Thanks to a donation from Tim Bunting (1982) to help cover the increased cost, Helena Blair joined us as our full-time SLO in 2016.
“Working here full-time will help me think strategically about our outreach activity. We plan to continue our HE+ project in Somerset, set up a similar arrangement with the schools we currently work with in Bath and North-East Somerset, and work hard to increase our engagement with schools in Bristol.”
Across the University progress is being made with access initiatives. In October 2017 Cambridge admitted more students from the state sector than anytime in the last 35 years.
Within Helena’s first year she was able to:
- Continue the work of HE+ Somerset: bringing over 140 year 12 students from 10 state schools in Somerset together to hear more about Cambridge University, participate in subject taster sessions and undertake super-curricular activities
- Work with BaNES Oxbridge to bring together highly able Year 12s from 8 state schools in Bath and North-East Somerset for 2 events and expand the programme to include super-curricular activities
- Launch HE+ in Bristol: 51 school children came to College for their initial visit
- started working with a local comprehensive school as part the ‘Connect To Cambridge Scheme’, running visits to College for four independent schools, delivering talks and workshops
- arrange 11 meetings with teachers to develop outreach activities
- organise three residential visits for individual schools as well as tours of Trinity Hall for a further 8 schools
- Hosted three scholars programmes for the “Brilliant Club” and the Linacre Institute’s annual summer school, providing advice and encouragement to Oxbridge applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.