Media and policy

We influence policy and decision makers to ensure that a young person’s future is not determined by their background. Our media and policy work is informed by our programmes and spotlights the diverse perspectives of our Brilliant Club community.

Our policy priorities

Evaluating the attainment gap

The attainment gap between the most and least advantaged students is too large and, since 2020, has expanded.

We need to conduct robust evaluations of our widening participation activities, so our strategies to raise attainment are targeted and effective.

Learning beyond the curriculum

Core curriculum is important, but it is not the only form of learning that will support disadvantaged students to access the most competitive universities.

It is important that students can still access beyond-the-curriculum learning during the cost-of-living crisis, when schools have significant budgetary constrictions.

Building success and belonging at university

Disadvantage does not disappear when students begin their course.

A good transition process is essential to establish the academic confidence needed for success at university.

Parents and carers matter

Education interventions should empower parents and carers to tackle barriers to education in their local areas. Parents and carers are the most influential people in a young person’s life, and yet are underrepresented in discussions about education.

Both parents and their children will benefit from a long-term, cross-sector commitment to understanding and addressing localised barriers to education.

We have spokespeople available to comment on these priorities and a range of other topics including, but not limited to:

  • The Office for Students and the regulation of higher education
  • Attainment and educational inequality
  • University access and widening participation
  • Success in higher education
  • Community organising to make educational change
  • The importance of the parent voice
  • Measurement and impact in widening participation
  • The impact of the pandemic on less advantaged students

For any policy enquiries or speaking opportunities, please contact Charlotte Hallahan, our Senior Policy and Communications Officer, at

Our policy networks

The Brilliant Club is part of the Fair Education Alliance (FEA), a group of over 250 organisations who have joined together to drive action at a local and national level to make education and life chances fair for all young people. We are also a member of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), an organisation which supports universities to widen access to higher education.

We work with several educational organisations to understand the current state of educational inequality in the UK, including the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), and engage with government, local authorities, and political parties.