Five Essex and the University of Essex teamed up to formulate the VI6 (“six six”) partnership. The partnership provides a unique opportunity unlike any other education partnership in the country. Five head teachers, a head of VI6 and the university’s outreach team work closely. The collaboration also includes 18 teachers from all five schools at a range of levels. The schools organise transport to the university for the 180 participating students. Students have access to university facilities and frequently attend academic lectures.
Participating schools have seen a sharp increase in post-A-Level university attendance. Alongside excellent outcomes, the experience enriches the school students in a way that would not usually be possible. They have direct access to academics at the university and are frequently exposed to peer-reviewed research that enhances the legitimacy of their work. The opportunity is so unique that the partner schools agree to fund the collaboration collectively, regardless of the number of students coming from any one school. The University of Essex offers a non-repayable £1000 bursary to any VI6 student that continues their education there.