Kent Academies Network Universities Access Programme (KANUAP)

In 2018/19 Sevenoaks School took over the Kent Academies Network Universities Access Programme (KANUAP) which has been running for five years. This was made possible by the generous support of a number of sponsors and a key donor to Sevenoaks School Foundation, who share our commitment to improve access to university, and social mobility for students from non-selective schools across Kent.

Since its inception in 2013, KANUAP has aimed to encourage highly able students from local non-selective schools to apply to top universities. The programme seeks to develop students’ aspirations, confidence, and academic skills, whilst providing the experiences and support required to secure top university places. The selection criteria gives preference to Free School Meals ‘Ever 6’ qualification and/or first generation to university.

The Kent Academy Network (KAN) comprises five academies and their educational sponsors, who nominate Year 9 students, with two or three selected for the programme. Students stay on the programme throughout their remaining time at school. Currently there are over fifty participants.

Students attend two residential courses and two ‘Meet-Up’ days annually. These are hosted at Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School, Fitzwilliam College and Queens College, Cambridge. Each participant is also assigned an undergraduate mentor currently attending a top UK university. The mentors play a central role in the delivery of the residential programmes, whilst acting as a source of academic support and guidance throughout the year via a secure online learning platform.  

As well as enjoying the enduring friendships and personal growth fostered by the residential format, students experience a wealth of challenging academic workshops, enriching cultural experiences and fun sporting activities throughout the four year programme. Led by their mentors and teachers from Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Benenden schools, the academic element of the programme seeks to introduce students to a range of new and thought-provoking topics beyond the national curriculum. At the same time, every residential student visits a new university campus where they receive advice from the admissions team, a tour, and attend subject masterclasses. Year 11 and 12 students spend their summer residential staying in a Cambridge University College, enabling them to immerse themselves in all that the world-renowned university has to offer.

Alongside the academic provision, inspiring cultural excursions and activities are threaded through each residential timetable; from theatre and museum visits to inspirational evening talks by leaders from a range of professions and backgrounds. As they progress through the programme, each student learns about aspirational university and career options suited to their needs and goals, supplemented with advice on how to prepare for and submit a competitive application.