It has been a great privilege to be Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at UCL and inevitably as I pack my bags to make the long trip from Gordon Street to the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road, I have been reflecting on the last five years. So much has changed and so much has been achieved by UCL.
UCL graduates launch summer schools for school children in Brent
28 August 2012
Two UCL graduates, Jay Ruparelia and Remal Tailor, have set up a summer school programme to help 350 disadvantaged pupils in Brent make the move from primary to secondary school, provided by their business, Teachus, which they set up while still students.
The scheme – which is funded by some of the £50 million the Government has set aside for summer schools for disadvantaged students transferring from primary to secondary school – will benefit children entering Copland Community School, Crest Girls Academy, Crest Boys Academy, Kingsbury High and Preston Manor.
Jay and Remal – both Brent residents themselves – provided the places to pupils transitioning from primary to secondary school who are currently receiving free school meals, and are on below average incomes.
The two weeks have seen schoolchildren benefiting from PE lessons led by personal trainers from Fitness First, drama classes by professional actors from the Mountview Academy and Wembley Majorettes and fieldtrips to London Zoo and the musical Wicked.
The programme is supported by Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families and MP for Brent Central. She has been a passionate support of the Government’s wider programme to ensure disadvantaged children have the best possible start in their secondary education.
“It’s great that so many schools in Brent have taken advantage of the extra funding and I want to congratulate Teachus on running an excellent summer school,” said Sarah. “Starting a new school can be tough and many pupils, often those from poorer families, suffer a dip when they join secondary school. This dip can last for years.
"Social background has been a deciding factor in a child's achievement at school for far too long. These summer schools are giving disadvantaged pupils in Brent the extra help they need so that they are well prepared to succeed at this crucial stage of their education.”
Teachus, which was started by Jay and Remal when they were both students at UCL, has benefited from support from UCL Advances, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship – including one-to-one business mentoring from SMILE Business Mentor Peter Hicks.
“It’s great to see Teachus developing their business in this innovative way,” said Timothy Barnes, Director of UCL Advances, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship. “Our children rightly deserve the best education and Teachus has done a fantastic job of providing top-quality tuition to those that want to boost their grades – and now, of course, to help them move from primary school to secondary school as smoothly as possible.”
“We want everyone to develop the confidence to enjoy learning and develop their talents,” added Remal Tailor, Co-Director of Teachus. “Our dream is to see a summer school at every school in London to boost the prospects of the capital’s poorest pupils, and eventually to have a term-time study centre at every school as well.”