Brilliant Club

Our Year of Impact 2022/23

12 Feb 2024

In our newly published Year of Impact report for the 2022/23 academic year, we share the wonderful work our Brilliant Club community has done in the pursuit of educational equality in the UK. You can find the report here.

In 2022/23, we mobilised 541 researchers to support 21,416 students in 961 schools across the UK, working alongside our 78 higher education partners. We’ve also worked with over 300 parents through Parent Power, and 53 student ambassadors from our alumni community. The 2022/23 academic year also saw the launch of our Join the Dots pilot, our Sanctuary Scholars programme, the development of our Brilliant Consulting unit, and exciting new digital innovations.

This year, Key Stage 2 students across the country contemplated whether we can prevent dementia and wrote assignments on the human ability to trust robots, while Key Stage 4 students debated censorship, and decoded hidden messages in works of art. Parent leaders have proposed better work experience opportunities, and more accessible transport options in their local areas. As well as this, our ambassadors shared their own stories with schools and the university sector, and inspired others to join our club.

But this year has not been without its challenges for less advantaged students and their families. This year we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of students eligible for free school meals, which now stands at almost 1 in 4 young people in our schools. This is especially worrying when we consider that less advantaged students, including students eligible for free school meals, are now 18.8 months behind their most advantaged peers by the time they reach their GCSEs. What this means, concretely, is that students from the least advantaged backgrounds are not able to access the same opportunities as their peers: less advantaged students are 14 times more likely to miss out on competitive university study than their most advantaged peers.

In the face of these new challenges, The Brilliant Club continues its efforts to improve access routes to higher education and support for students when they get there. This year, we have had exciting news about our impact, and have published evidence showing that our flagship Scholars Programme not only improves access to competitive universities, but also has a real and positive impact on the GCSE scores of students who take our courses. This is an incredibly important finding in the current climate, not only because it demonstrates the incredible work our PhD tutors do in designing academically rigorous courses, but because it tells us that The Brilliant Club is making a real difference in schools.

If you want to read more about our programmes and impact, you can find the full report here.