Oxford University sponsored learning centre for young people to launch in Blackbird Leys

28 January 2015

Hundreds of children in south and east Oxford will receive significant educational support thanks to a collaboration between Oxford University and children’s educational charity IntoUniversity.

Christ Church Oxford, the University of Oxford and education charity IntoUniversity are creating a learning centre which will work with the local schools and teachers to offer 900 young people each year the support required to achieve a university place or another education pathway.

A new learning centre operated by IntoUniversity and supported by the University’s outreach staff and student volunteers from Christ Church opened in November 2014 and is being officially launched on Tuesday 3 February. The support from the learning centre will include after school academic support, mentoring and a focused programme designed to help young people to realise and fulfil their aspirations.

The centre will also offer an annual programme of visits to university colleges. Staff will be supported by up to 80 student volunteers, from Christ Church and the university, who will act as mentors, tutors and role models. The centre will work closely with local schools and community organisations to achieve the aims of the programme, working with participants from the age of seven over the long-term up to their post-school education and beyond.

In its first academic year, IntoUniversity Oxford South East will work with four local partner primary schools on their FOCUS Programme – Windale Primary School, Pegasus Primary School and Orchard Meadow Primary School (who form the Blackbird Academy Trust) and Rose Hill Primary School. IntoUniversity will also be working with local Secondary Schools, delivering workshops in schools including The Oxford Academy, Oxford Spires and Cheney School, and taking students out of school on trips to Christ Church.

The Very Revd. Prof. Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, said: ‘Christ Church is delighted to have initiated the setting up of the centre in Blackbird Leys. Christ Church and its students are supporting the centre through student mentoring, visits and events at our main site and financial contributions. We believe that the centre will significantly improve the life chances of some of Oxford’s least advantaged children.’

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University, said: ‘We know the importance of early development and educational opportunity to support ability and attainment. Oxford is delighted to be working with Christ Church and IntoUniversity on a sustained programme targeting children early in their educational careers right through to applying for university, apprenticeships or further training and education. Support for this programme from the local primary and secondary schools has been great and we look forward to working with them as this programme goes from strength to strength.’ 

For more information or to attend the launch event, please contact Julia Paolitto in the Oxford University News & Information Office on 01865 280531 or julia.paolitto@admin.ox.ac.uk

The new learning centre – IntoUniversity Oxford South East – will have its official opening on Tuesday 3rd February 2015.

The centre is supported with funding from Christ Church Oxford, the University of Oxford, and The Queen’s Trust.  

DateTuesday 3rd February 2015
Time 4.00pm

IntoUniversity Oxford South East 
Jubilee 77 Centre                       
Sorrel Road                       
Blackbird Leys                       
Oxford, OX4 6SH  

Interviews available with:

The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church Oxford

Dr Samina Khan, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at Oxford University IntoUniversity students IntoUniversity’s CEO,

Dr Rachel Carr

Photographs from the event will be available on 4 February 2015.

Further information:

IntoUniversity is a leading voluntary sector provider of widening participation services and operates eighteen centres in six cities serving 16,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is the only organisation that works with children starting at age 7 through to secondary school. Its aim is to bring a university education within the reach of young people from the poorest homes, thereby opening up a world of new life-possibilities and careers to young people who might otherwise never have these opportunities. In 2013, 82% of IntoUniversity school leavers attained a university place.