Abdul was an able student but was very anxious, so much so that he had an EHCP (education and healthcare plan). He was keen to become a teacher, but his anxiety had been holding him back – and he didn’t respond to our initial invitations to Future Quest. However, Abdul’s tutor referred him when she heard about the programme through our regular updates to staff at the school.

Initially, our mentor talked to Abdul about what would help him achieve his goals, including attending a university summer school. But Abdul was worried about travelling and overnight stays. Gradually, we helped to build his confidence. We put in place one-to-one support, particularly at times of high anxiety; a trial train journey accompanied by our mentor; a buddy for the summer school and extra support from the university including a designated student ambassador.

After attending the summer school, Abdul applied to a number of universities. He received three offers including one from his local university, and commented:

 I am absolutely delighted, thank you to you all for all of your hard work in the run up to this interview. I really do appreciate everything. 

An unexpected outcome was that his final predictions are above his target grade in two of his three subjects.

In September 2019, Abdul enrolled at the University of Bristol as a Bristol Scholar. The Bristol Scholars scheme is designed for learners with adverse or more challenging circumstances.