Local pupils graduate from London Met GCSE scheme

Upward Bound project, run in partnership with Islington Borough Council, aims to boost exam results and sees 10 students jet off to America

Date: 20 May 2014

Eighty young people from Islington have graduated from London Metropolitan University’s Upward Bound programme, which helps GCSE pupils to improve their grades.

Run in partnership with Islington Borough Council, Upward Bound invites selected pupils from every state school in the borough to visit London Met on weekends. They receive focused Maths, English and Science teaching in a university environment, as well as learning self-motivation and confidence skills.

The programme has a strong record of success; last year, 91% of pupils received grades A*-C in English, compared to the national average of 64%. In Maths, 88% of the students received grades A*-C compared to 57% nationally.

The eighty pupils in this year’s cohort visited the University with their family and friends to celebrate finishing the course at a special graduation ceremony on 17 May.

The good news doesn’t end their though. Ten of the most improved or best attending students were selected to visit The University of Massachusetts, in Boston, USA. There they will experience Higher Education American-style and learn more about university life.  

Sophie Cloutterbuck, Head of Schools Colleges and Widening Participation at London Met, said: “As a University we believe strongly in long term outreach interventions and the importance of collaboration. As always, it was great to see the success of this collaboration between the University, Islington council and local schools, and the difference it makes for learners in our local community.  

“The transformation of these students from when they entered the programme is remarkable. They entered as children and are leaving as young, capable, strong adults who want to achieve and who not only believe, but have the ability to follow their aspirations.”

The Upward Bound project plays an important role in Islington and is closely in-tune with the latest access thinking. A new strategy announced last month by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills highlighted further collaboration and long-term engagement as key factors in improving access to Higher Education - both of which are major characteristics of the Upward Bound project.

Maxine Bunting Thomas, Upward Bound Project Manager, added: “It is great to see the students at the end of their Upward Bound journey so confident and motivated and ready to embrace future opportunities.

“It is always a delight to celebrate their achievements on the project. They are a great example of positivity and aspiration we hope they continue Upward Bound!"