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The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club

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The Brilliant Club


London, United Kingdom

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The Brilliant Club is a charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds who progress to highly selective universities. We do this by mobilising researchers to share their academic expertise in state schools.

About us

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from low-income backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. To achieve this we run two programmes – the Scholars Programme and Researchers in Schools – which recruit, train and place PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to work in state schools as part-time tutors or full-time classroom teachers respectively.

The Story So Far

The Brilliant Club was founded in 2011 by Jonathan Sobczyk and Simon Coyle, both of whom were working as classroom teachers. They were supported in establishing their organisation by The Sutton Trust, Teach First and Challenge Partners. Within six months we had completed pilot programmes with year 9 and year 11 pupils at a North London school, as well as with year 12 participants on the Higher Education Access Programme for Schools (HEAPS). In each case we received excellent results and feedback: over the course of the year 11 programme, the number of pupils working towards 5 A*-A grades increased from 3/19 at the start to 12/19 at the end, with 15/19 going on to achieve at least 5 A*-As in their GCSE results. In response to the statement ‘I would like to take part in The Brilliant Club again’ we received average results of 10/10 (year 9), 9.5/10 (year 11) and 9.7/10 (year 12). From our first pilot group of 12 pupils who applied to university in in 2012, eight were offered places at highly-selective universities and two were offered places at Oxbridge.
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