Case study of the Dundee Academy of Sport secondary, further and higher education work (2013-17)

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Widening access to Higher Education has been a priority globally in recent years. This has helped shape projects that work with educational establishments in more deprived communities to remove barriers to continued education. One such barrier is often the difficulty that students face in transitioning between educational environments. In Scotland, the Government have made widening access a key initiative and have supported projects that work towards this aim. The Dundee Academy of Sport (DAoS) project was established as a venture between Abertay University and Dundee and Angus College. The project works with schools from an SIMD20 (deprived) background and attempts to remove barriers to Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). The project works throughout the educational continuum and supports students at each stage of transition. This study focused specifically on the work within secondary schools, FE, HE, as well as the role of DAoS in supporting transition across sectors. Six practitioners from three partner schools, two partner colleges and one lecturer at the university were interviewed to give their evaluation on how DAoS worked with their institution. At secondary level, work with senior pupils was highlighted as being useful in preparing students for FE and HE. Changes in attitude and mind-set for the pupils were noted among those who previously may not have considered continued education. Financial support and skills of DAoS staff were identified as being beneficial to schools. This suggests that a contextualised approach in schools can be useful for engaging pupils. This also suggests that by offering access to FE and HE establishments can make pupils consider these as viable options moving forward. Areas for improvement identified included further embedding of the project into FE and HE courses, further integration of staff, as well as the project being focussed more towards the senior phases of secondary schools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2018


  • Higher education
  • Transition
  • Widening access
  • Further education
  • Secondary education


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