Improving access in STEM subjects

Villiers Park Educational Trust

Back to Focusing on hard-to-reach or under-represented groups

Criteria for selecting learners

If you are trying to widen participation, you will have to give some youngsters preference over others.

Youngsters from hard-to-reach groups are much less likely to apply for your activities, so giving them preference helps improve fair access.

Make absolutely sure you obtain the information you need about applicants when they first apply.

Your criteria could be based on age, gender, region, ethnicity, subjects studied, type of school attended, academic potential, socio-economic group, parental income or first generation HE.

Only ask for information that the person filling out the application will have.

The fewer criteria you use the better, provided you get enough information to show that you are reaching your targeted group.

What we do at Villiers Park

We have different criteria for different activities. The more resources we are investing in an individual, the more certain we have to be that he or she is in our target group.


Online extension activities Five-day residential courses Villiers Park Scholars Programme

Target group

Young people with high academic potential 16-18 year olds with high academic potential including those who are less advantaged Less advantaged 14-18 year olds with high academic potential in selected regions
Criteria None 16-18
Studying key subject
Capable of A or A*
List school or collegePreference given to
Family income <£25,000
Neither parent attended university
Attend a school in the programme
In Y10 (age 14)
High academic potential

Eligible for Free School Meals

Or two of:
Family income <£25,000
Neither parent attended university
Neither parent continued into non-compulsory education
Neither parent in professional occupation