Progression Specialists - Access Champions programme

  • Location: Positions available immediately in Essex and East Anglia; we also welcome expressions of interest from other areas in England.
  • Salary: £250 per day
  • Contract: Freelance
  • Hours: Flexible, term-time only, 1-5 days per week
  • Reporting to: Director of School and College Engagement

About us

Causeway Education is a charity that aims to improve the life chances of children and young people in the UK by supporting them through key educational transitions. Our programmes focus on individuals and institutions, ensuring that our work has a long-term impact. Please visit our website for more information about our work

The role

We are working with Higher Education consortia as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme, and are delivering our Access Champions programme in key areas across England to support the most disadvantaged young people to progress from low-income backgrounds to progress to Higher Education. We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated people to help us change student outcomes and find long-term solutions for widening participation in Higher Education.

Role purpose

To deliver an innovative support programme aimed at increasing university applications and acceptances amongst a targeted group of young people in schools and sixth-form colleges. The role involves planning and delivering one-to-one mentoring sessions over a seven-term period and rigorously monitoring student process. 

Main duties

  • Engage with Causeway training and support to develop extensive knowledge of post-18 education options, associated application procedures, and new and existing student support programmes.
  • Build strong relationships with selected young people in schools and colleges across a region and support them throughout the HE application process.
  • Plan and deliver individual mentoring sessions for students, reinforced through regular contact with their parents/carers.
  • Ensure full delivery of the programme, taking proactive steps to overcome any attendance issues (or other).
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with schools, liaising effectively with a range of staff at all levels.
  • Work with key staff in target school to improve application support systems.
  • Track student progress through the programme, taking remedial action where necessary, and keep meticulous records of barriers and strategies.
  • Maintain effective communication with the Director of School and College Engagement at Causeway, including regular updates on student progress as well as broader analysis of the specific challenges and successes of the programme at individual schools.
  • (Optional): Deliver training sessions to staff and students on making successful applications.
  • Undertake any other duties required by the programme or the needs of the organisation.

Person Specification

  • Qualified teacher status or considerable equivalent experience.
  • Experience of mentoring or coaching, preferably with students from low progression backgrounds.
  • Experience of HE application processes.
  • Confident in using data to track student progress.
  • Excellent communicator and relationship builder.
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to develop insights and present evidence-based findings.
  • Ability to manage and prioritise multiple tasks and to meet deadlines.
  • Own transport to travel to schools and colleges across the region.
  • In possession of, or able to secure, an enhanced DBS check.
  • Commitment to the aims of the organisation and the programme.

How to apply

We are always interested in hearing from prospective candidates. Please send your CV and a covering letter of no more than 2 pages explaining how you meet the criteria for this role to

Please specify in your e-mail header which area you are applying to work in. After interview, successful candidates will need to attend a training day before beginning delivery in schools.

Further information

What training and support will I receive?

  • Comprehensive training covering: the Causeway mentoring approach and content of mentoring sessions; logistics of liaising with participating schools; using our online tools; safeguarding considerations when working in a mentoring capacity with young people.
  • Regular phone/Skype briefings with the Director of School and College Engagement.
  • Peer support from other Progression Specialists in the region.
  • Access to our online tools and information on post-18 education options, associated application procedures and existing student support programmes.

How is the programme structured?

  • The mentoring is part of a larger programme of support to schools called “Access Champions”. Each participating school/college receives intensive training and support for one key member of staff (designated the “Access Champion”).
  • The Access Champion, usually a Head of 6th Form or equivalent, is empowered to make strategic improvements to school systems, benefiting the whole student cohort.
  • The mentoring provided by Progression Specialists is an extra element of support, targeted specifically at students who may not make successful applications to university.
  • The Access Champion will identify the target group of students which the Progression Specialist works with, and act as an ongoing contact point within the school.

How many schools and students will I work with?

  • Progression Specialists can choose to work with between 1 and 5 schools/colleges, depending on availability. This will mean supporting 15-75 students.

What does the mentoring involve?

  • The mentoring follows a structured programme, with each session covering specific points and involving a set of key activities.
  • Progression Specialists are provided with a comprehensive handbook including a detailed breakdown of the content for each meeting, as well as any follow-up steps required.