Learning to ‘Level-Up’? supporting working class boys’ progression to higher education

Year 9 students on campus

Submit an abstract for our HE practitioners conference

  • 10 June 2022
  • 3 min read

For the last decade, debate on the rate of progression to higher education for working class boys has been a persistent focus of politicians, educators, and those with an interest in fair access to education. However, gaps in GCSE attainment remain significant, and rates of progression to higher education remain low.

In 2019, a review by the Office for Students of Access and Participation Plans suggested that of the 838 targets set relating to university access, success and progression by providers, only 11 gave specific mention to working class males.

Widening participation conference

As such, the University of Portsmouth, Arts University Bournemouth and the University of Winchester are convening a joint conference on 8 September 2022.

The conference, for widening participation, outreach and access practitioners, will aim to explore what can be done, and how, to better support working class boys’ educational attainment and progression to higher education.

Call for submissions – deadline 1 July 2022

The one-day conference will bring together HE practitioners and researchers conducting activity to support working class boys’ educational progression; a space to share research and learn from evidence-based practice.

We’re seeking abstracts from practitioners and researchers who would be willing to deliver a presentation or workshop at the conference in September (or who would like their work to be shared as part of the conference). We welcome abstract submissions from the following areas:

  • Closing the gap in working class boys’ educational attainment
  • Supporting working class boys’ progression to higher education
  • Addressing barriers to working class boys’ attainment and higher education participation
  • Understanding the implications of socio-economic inequality, poor mental health and/or peer pressure for boys’ educational engagement

2 session formats

Sessions at the conference will follow 2 formats; abstract submissions can be for either a research paper or a workshop presentation:

Make your submission

1. Research papers

Format: 20 minute presentation

Abstract: 300 words

Reviewing criteria:

  • Clarity of the focus of the research
  • Originality and rigour of the research
  • Significance of the research for education practice, policy or theory relating to working class boys’ progression to higher education
 

2. Workshop presentation

Format: 5 minute interactive workshop (these should be participatory session that place audience learning at their heart)

Abstract: 300 words

Reviewing criteria:

  • Clarity and relevance of the participant learning outcomes
  • Suitability of the session format
  • Rigour of the research informing the workshop
  • Significance of the proposal for practice and policy relating to working class boys’ progression to higher education

How to submit your paper or workshop

Submit an abstract for either a research paper or workshop presentation through the link below. 

Deadline for submissions is 1 July 2022. Abstracts will be reviewed and invitations to present at the conference for successful submissions, will be sent by the end of July.

Make your submission


For any questions about making your submission or the conference, please email Tian Barratt, WP Outreach Manager at the University of Portsmouth, at kristian.barratt@port.ac.uk.