Past events – June 2023

Your Apprenticeship Journey

On the 29th of June, 2023 Aimhigher London, in collaboration with South Thames College Group delivered an open event for all students considering apprenticeships as their next steps.

The event featured guest speakers from the University of West London, ASK Apprenticeships and South Thames College, focusing on how to find and apply, what is available out there, pay scales, how different levels of learning work and what to expect.

The year 12 students from our partner schools; Greenshaw High School and Carshalton Boys Sports College were given bespoke information on their current thoughts, particularly degree apprenticeships, which Janet Rowson, head of apprenticeships at UWL, was able to deliver and how they could access support, which Scott Sherriff from South Thames College re-assured them that all apprentices have the same access to students services like any other college or university student.

“[This] has helped a lot in my decision post 18”

The students were highly engaged and had plenty of questions for our speakers, and all agreed the afternoon helped them to be able to make informed decisions about their future.

This is the first Your Apprenticeship Journey from Aimhigher London, following requests from our year 12 student and in response to The Office for Students new priority to promote alternative pathways, particularly in light of a UCAS report in (2021) which found that 78% of students who were not going to university were considering apprenticeships.

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AHL SEND Annual Conference for staff and practitioners.

I’m going to re-imagine our transition support services, and challenge people about the narrowness of their vision about what neurodiverse and disabled students can achieve’ Response from one delegate

‘Retaining Compassion in Constrained Times’, Aimhigher London’s annual SEND CPD conference, took place during Disability Awareness Week on the 19th June, at London South Bank University.

The conference supports those who teach and enable SEND and neurodiverse to progress into, and succeed at, university. This year we were delighted to host prestigious keynote speakers; Dame Christine Lenehan (Council for Disabled Children), Professor Deborah Johnston (LSBU) and Dr Jonathan Vincent (University of Lancaster). They outlined developments in the sector, at government and university level, and emphasised the need for and how institutions can work toward ensuring neurodiverse and disabled students are proactively given access to the same opportunities as other students to encourage “belonging”,

Professor Deborah Johnston summed up the need as the 4Cs: certainty, consistency, communication, and the provision of choice. To highlight the need for good practice to be systematically available to everyone, two  neurodiverse university students shared insights into how their success was based on chance encounters with teachers or lecturers.

The conference is directed by the Aimhigher London’s Disability Working Group, a forum for practitioners working with students with SEND and each year we reflect on and will be working towards greater dissemination of the learning from this conference with our partners more widely.   

the conference showed the power of professionals coming together and making changes for themselves” Piers Wilkinson, DWG member and conference MC.

Simplifying University – Parent webinar

In delivering a sustained and progressive engagement programme for young people, we are often asked by parents for more information about what their children will be doing, but also more about university and every year hold an event to do just that.

This year is no different and, on the 7 June, we held a webinar in collaboration with St Mary’s University, Twickenham with over 30 parents from our member schools, to outline the university admissions process, what accommodation costs and of course to demystify student finance! The parents also heard from student ambassadors about their experiences and were offered opportunities to quiz them about student life.

The event was such a success, parents stayed on for an additional 20 minutes to ask all their questions. The outcome was that parents felt more informed and better able to support their child through the next phase of their education journey.

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