Linking London | News | 18 May 2017: Event report - Access Practitioner Group Meeting

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Access Practitioner Group Meeting

The meeting featured presentations from Julie Farmer, Farmer Associates and former Head of Access at QAA, who provided an overview of Access to HE Diploma and widening participation to HE. Susie Wright, Morley College, presented on the current Access developments at Morley and provided an FE partner perspective on 2016/17. This was followed by a HE partner perspective by Caroline Sargisson, Middlesex University and Julie Bliss, King’s College London. Andrew Jones, Linking London, also shared a draft resource for Access learners, which is being co-developed by Linking London and Marisa Castellini from OCN London.

The third and last Access Practitioner Group Meeting of the Academic Year was held on the 18th May and was well attended, with 20 partner representatives present. After a warm welcome from Andrew Jones, Deputy Director of Linking London, delegates heard from Julie Farmer, former Head of Access at QAA. Julie shared her observations on the Access to HE Diploma, looking at the trends in Access students from 2002-2015, and provided the group with key data on widening participation characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, age and disability of Access learners. Julie offered insights into the future of the Access to HE Diploma, with consideration to Brexit, the loss of ESF funding, legal entitlement and loans/fees.

Susie Wright then presented to the group on the 2016/17 Access learners at Morley College. Discussion included the scrapping of the Nursing bursary, Morley’s revised approach to their application cycle for Access to HE Diploma students and the announcement of Morley’s new HND courses starting in September this year. Following this, Caroline Sargisson provided an update on Middlesex University’s Nursing, Midwifery and Childcare Access students. Caroline informed the group about the current number of applicants and the group contributed their thoughts on the new Nursing degree apprenticeships. Julie Bliss’ update featured the implication of Numeracy and Literacy tests and the degree classifications of Access students for KCL’s 2015 and 2016 cohorts.

After a short break, 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 raised included the new GCSE grading system and students studying Maths and English alongside their Access courses.

Andrew Jones, Deputy Director at Linking London, then informed the group about the web resource currently being developed alongside OCN London. Andrew asked delegates to contribute their thoughts on the resource and the group responded with numerous ideas. If you would like to contribute to the development of this resource for Access learners, please get in touch with .

Finally, Andrew informed the group on the recent Linking London updates, including the final draft of the Linking London Sports Guide for Advisers and the web resource for the OCN London website. The group suggested possible topics for the first Access meeting of the next academic year.

The next meeting will take place in October, dates TBC.

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. If you do not know your login name and password, then please email

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