UK – England: Villiers Park Educational Trust


Villiers Park supports gifted young people aged 14-19, their schools and colleges.

Student activities include:

  • Five-day residential courses for gifted post-16 students (Years 12 and 13) costing £200 per student. These are subject-based and typically tutored by university lecturers or postgraduates. In 2009/10 625 students attended 26 courses, 56% first generation applicants to HE or in receipt of Education Maintenance Allowance. Courses are targeted at those with the potential to gain an A grade at A level. Some places are for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • One-day non-residential masterclasses for gifted 14-19 year-olds covering topics linked to an A level syllabus costing £35 per student.
  • Online extension activities in 20 A-level subjects. Each half term open-ended questions are published at the start of the period and suggested responses at the end.
  • Student Voice events, to allow young people to provide feedback to help schools, colleges (and Villiers Park itself) to improve their practice.
  • Scholars Programme, a 4-year support programme helping disadvantaged gifted young people to meet entry requirements to selective universities. Participants follow a personal progression plan including a series of outreach activities and each has a learning mentor. Villiers Park works with the student’s school or college to improve the standard of classroom teaching and learning. The programme is being piloted with 10 schools in Hastings/Bexhill and Swindon. 120 students began in 2009/10 (60 Year 10 and 60 Year 12); a further 120 started in 2010/11. Costs attributable to the programme in 2009/10 are given as £241,000, implying a unit cost of around £2,000 per student per year. The programme is being evaluated by the University of Sussex.

Support for schools and colleges includes:

  • An advisory service to help evaluate current practice for gifted students and pan improvements. In 2009/10 35 institutions took up this service including those piloting the Scholars Programme.
  • Publications including a Handbook ‘Developing Very Able Students at Post-16’ and
  • A contract to work with 30 schools and colleges in Hertfordshire


2 thoughts on “UK – England: Villiers Park Educational Trust

  1. Hi Tim – just noticed your blog about Villiers Park Educational Trust — thanks so much for that! We are trying to raise our profile as we prepare to launch a fundraising effort so this is much appreciated. –Kelly

  2. No problem Kelly. I invited colleagues worldwide to let me know if they wanted me to ‘write up’ their organisations and Mike Baker was the first out of the traps.

    As you can see, I haven’t got very far with the directory of centres or the ‘who’s who’. They’re really a fall-back if I haven’t got a bigger post under development. But I hope to make slow but steady progress on both as this blog develops further.

    Please don’t hesitate to use the comments facility to add further information about Villiers Park activities as they develop. I only ask that you offer factual material rather than ‘advertising copy’.

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