A programme at the University of Glamorgan to help underachieving school pupils could be a model for a national campaign to raise educational attainment, according to dep- uty vice chancellor John Flavell.
Professor Flavell is chair of Mid Glamorgan Education Forum which has helped plan the Pounds 300,000 two-year programme of homework clubs combined with an Easter week of concentrated tuition in English, maths and science by 50 specially recruited teachers. The programme this Easter will cater for about 1,000 pupils heading for D or E GCSE grades this summer.
All 44 of Mid Glamorgan's secondary schools have signed up for the programme, which provides Pounds 2,000 per school for the homework clubs and 880 places at the University of Glamorgan.
Half the funding comes from a Welsh valleys-based television rental company, Just Rentals, which provides mainly coin-operated television rentals for the less affluent. The balance this year comes from Mid Glamorgan Training and Enterprise Council and the Education Business Partnership. Next year Gwent Training and Enterprise Council joins the scheme.
The scheme is modelled on a pilot study at Penydre High School in mid Glamorgan. John Williams, the headteacher, said: "We have improved the figure for five A to C GCSE grades from 13 per cent to 32 per cent and average A-level scores from 9 to 13 points."
Professor Flavell said: "I want to see a substantial research study of a pupil cohort to see if we can measure the success of the (county wide) programme at GCSE and A levels later on, and then into the work place.
"Many of these pupils will not even have considered going on to university and if by letting them sample the atmosphere of the place it encourages just half a dozen of them to go into higher education who might not otherwise I believe it will be justified."