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Secondary schools can sign-up to take part in a new trial, launched by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) today, that will find out if undergraduate mentors can help boost GCSE science results. 

Ascents 121 aims to improve Year 11 pupils’ science attainment by training undergraduate students to deliver weekly, one-to-one mentoring sessions to pupils in the lead up to their GCSE science exam. The EEF is looking for secondary schools in London, the Southwest, East Midlands, and North of England to take part in the trial, which will be independently evaluated by NatCen.

The EEF previously funded a trial of Ascents 121 in 2019, but disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent changes in GCSE grading meant that it was not possible to complete an impact assessment. However, the programme was very well received by school leaders and mentees, who reported that the programme appeared to lead to increased understanding and enjoyment of science subjects

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