Widening Participation parent information evening
Dear Parent/Carer
When new students arrive at Varndean College, we ask them to complete a Widening Participation (WP) Survey as part of their enrolment. 
The purpose of the survey is to enable the college to identify students who may be eligible for joining local university WP schemes.
If a student takes part in a WP scheme at either of our local universities, it does not mean they are expected to apply there when they leave Varndean. 
WP schemes are not about recruitment. They have been running for years to give students studying level 3 courses information about university courses and what it is like to be a university student. At the end of the two years at college, if a student decides to apply to (any) university, that's fantastic. If they decide university is not for them, this is also seen as a positive outcome as the decision will be based on knowledge rather than just dismissing university because they don't know enough about it.
The universities set their own eligibility criteria. Students who are likely to be eligible for WP include those who meet one or more of the following:-
  • ever had free school meals at secondary school
  • have parents/carers who have not completed a UK university degree
  • have been in care
  • are a carer themselves
  • have a disability or special educational need
  • will receive the college Discretionary Learning Grant (DLG)
  • who are asylum seekers or refugees
If you think your son or daughter might be eligible and you want to find out more about the Widening Participation schemes Varndean College run with University of Brighton and University of Sussex, please keep Tuesday 16th October 5:30 - 7:30 free in your diary
I will be asking new students to complete the survey over the next two weeks. I will then email you to let you know if your son or daughter is eligible to apply for our local WP schemes and invite you to the WP Parent Information Evening on October 16th.
Kind regards,

Cordelia Dobbie
Careers Coordinator and Compact Plus Coordinator
Varndean College
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