Announcing our Partnerships for Change conference

Julie Randles, our CEO, writes about the thought behind our first ever Causeway conference, titled Partnerships for Change, as we open general registration.

It’s no great revelation to say that schools and colleges are key agents in improving access to Higher Education. But how best to do this is a much harder question entirely.


We’ve been looking at existing models of engaging with schools: typically one-off events or resources and Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG). 

We’ve also been looking at the evidence, which suggests that these kind of activity- and event-based interventions are not successful (Teacher Development Trust, 2015), and that Information, Advice and Guidance can be routinely missed or misinterpreted (“Making a Statement”, HEAN & Steven Jones, 2016).

Add in the fact that current government priorities suggest there will be a new focus on universities and HE providers supporting schools and colleges, particularly in raising attainment, and it becomes clear that partnerships – between schools, universities, and the third sector – are becoming increasingly important to successful widening participation and to making a real difference to young people’s lives.


So our conference will focus on one central question: how can universities, schools and third sector organisations work together to ensure the best outcomes for students and their teachers?

We’ll look at the best strategies for engaging with schools to improve progression to Higher Education and discuss the latest thinking about how to support schools and colleges to make strategic system-based changes in the ways they support students. 

And we’ll present new models for supporting exactly this kind of system-change in schools and colleges, including findings from our Access Champions programme, which we’re developing as part of HEFCE’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme with universities and schools in Bristol, Hampshire, East Anglia, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and with the Sutton Trust in the West Midlands and Hertfordshire.

The day will include keynote speeches from Professor Lord Winston and MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis, both great supporters of fair access to education for all.


We’ll also be joined by Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students, and Natalie Perera, one of our Trustees and Head of Research at the Education Policy Institute, who will be chairing our panel discussion on “Working in partnership in the field”. 

Confirmed panellists include:

In the afternoon there’s the opportunity to join our participatory workshops, where we hope you’ll gain insight and knowledge from colleagues from across the widening participation sector.

It’s a fascinating topic and a hugely exciting line-up.

How to register

Tickets are free but registration is necessary to secure a place. Places are limited, so we encourage you to register to secure your place as soon as possible.

Essential Information

Date and Time: Tuesday April 24th 2018, 10:00-16:45
Venue: Auditorium, Allen & Overy, Bishops Square, E1 6AD

You can read more about the conference, including more details of the programme as we announce it, at

We’re very grateful to Allen and Overy for their support in hosting the conference.

Allen & Overy logo.png

We hope to see you there!

Introducing Causeway Education


HE Access Network (HEAN) announces that today, 8th January 2017, it’s changing its name to Causeway Education.

Founders Michael Englard and Sam Holmes set HEAN up in 2012 because, having worked in university admissions and teaching, they were frustrated that bright state-educated applicants were disadvantaged each year due to poor preparation.

Five years on there’s compelling evidence that HEAN’s work has made a measurable difference to the life chances of young people, including well-evidenced programmes developed in conjunction with the Sutton Trust.

Causeway Education’s new charitable status will allow it to extend its reach and improve the life chances of many more young people through the key educational transitions in their lives.

Julie Randles, Causeway Education’s CEO, said, “we believe it’s important that our work is free for end-users. This is true both for the young people who are expertly mentored through our programmes and for the state schools we support to provide the best possible outcomes for their students. As a charity we will develop partnerships with a broader range of individuals and organisations to enable us to do this.

“Our name change reflects this broader ambition. We want to make sure that every young person gets the best support they can through the key transitions in their education – whether that’s choosing A-levels, apprenticeships, or graduate employment.”

Causeway Education will be guided by its board of trustees, who between them have an extraordinary wealth of expertise in the education and charitable sectors.

Rob McMenemy, Chair of Trustees, said, “it’s a privilege to be involved with Causeway Education, and to be able to help young people reach their full potential. As the higher education landscape becomes ever more complicated and competitive, it’s increasingly important that students get the very best support they can, and the innovative work that Causeway Education does helps with exactly that. I’m really looking forward to working with the team to make a difference to young people.”


For more information, please contact Dave Sandford, Director of Communications, at, or 020 3808 5140.

Causeway Education is a charity that aims to improve the life chances of disadvantaged young people in the UK by supporting them through key educational transitions. You can find out more about our background at

Causeway Education’s Academic Apprenticeship programme was found to increase a student’s chances of getting an offer from a Russell Group University in a study by the Sutton Trust in 2016

Full details about our Board of Trustees can be found at