Linking London | News | 10 October 2017: Event report - Access Practitioner Group

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Access Practitioner Group Meeting

The meeting featured presentations from Marisa Castellini, Head of Access to HE at OCN London, who provided an overview of the current Access to HE Diploma developments. Marisa Castellini and Andrew Jones, Deputy Director of Linking London, then provided an update on Nursing & Midwifery recruitment and admissions tests. This was followed by a presentation from Andrew Jones on higher and degree apprenticeship opportunities in London. Linking London then shared the findings of their Access entry requirements mapping.

The first Access Practitioner Group meeting was held on the 10th October and was well attended, with 20 partner representatives present. After a warm welcome from Andrew Jones, delegates heard from Marisa Castellini,. Marisa shared with the group the latest statistics and data on the demographic of Access students, achievement rates and recruitment for this year. The group also discussed the impact of year 0s on the qualification and the rise in unconditional offers. 

Marisa Castellini and Andrew Jones then updated delegates on the current plans for Nursing & Midwifery numeracy and literacy admissions tests and discussed the key information from the OCN London Forum meeting in September.

A roundtable partner update followed where partners shared information on entry requirements, outreach offers, and college partners discussed the recruitment of Access learners for 2017/18 and HE progression. Topics included: enrolment and student numbers, how to support students with mental health issues and statistics about their Access cohorts for 2016/17.

After a short networking and refreshment break, Andrew Jones informed the group about the current higher and degree apprenticeships landscape in London. Research carried out by Linking London showed the shift in vacancies since it was last mapped out in May. Andrew highlighted the extensive application process for higher and degree apprenticeships and noted that the level of support this would require to help students progress.

Following this, Andrew Jones and Naomi Smith, Graduate Intern at Linking London, shared their research on entry requirements for Access learners in London. The mapping document provides an overview of the trends in entry requirements compared to last year’s requirements. The research also indicated the trend in increasing number of HEIs not specifying which Access to HE course is required among a wide range of other interesting findings.

Finally, Andrew informed the group about the recent Linking London resource updates, including the 2017 edition of the Access to HE Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health guide and the new Linking London NCOP Sports Guide for Advisers. The collaborative web resource for the OCN London learner pages created by Andrew and Marisa will be going live shortly.

The meeting closed with delegates discussing ideas for the next Access meeting.

The next Access meeting will take place in the spring term. Please keep an eye out for forthcoming events information which will be sent out closer to the time.

Presentations and meeting note

To view the presentations and meeting note from the day please click here. This link will take you to the Partners' Area of the website. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website and you will need your login name and password. If you do not know your login name and password, then please email

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