About the Accelerate and Access Foundation

The Accelerate and Access Foundation promotes social mobility in UK maintained schools through educational partnerships.

Operational since 2013, the Foundation manages the ‘Academies Partnership Programme’ underway in Kent. From 2017, a second programme entitled ‘United Access’ is managed in the South of England in conjunction with United Learning.  It is intended for the AAF model to be adopted by further networks of schools in the UK.

Enabling Social Mobility Through Educational Partnerships

The Accelerate and Access Foundation supports programmes that improve access to the UK’s leading universities for under-resourced students attending maintained schools.  By improving the percentage of lower-income pupils achieving a high quality university degree, we expect this will significantly improve employment and further education opportunities, and inspire others around them.

The following data support the work of the AAF (taken from Sutton Trust research):

  • Five elite schools sent more pupils to Oxford and Cambridge universities over the last three years than nearly 2,000 schools (comprising two thirds of the entire state sector)
  • Private school-educated students occupy over 50% of the country’s top jobs, despite making up only 7% of the student population in the UK
  • A young person from the wealthiest quintile by location is 10 times more likely to go to a Russell Group (top 24 in the UK) university than a pupil from the poorest quintile by location.


Latest News

Accelerate and Access Foundation to work with Pro-Bono Economics

Read More

United Access Easter Residential

Read More

KAN APP Easter Residential

Read More

Latest Tweets

  • We are delighted to announce a new partnership with @ProBonoEcon to examine the impact of our flagship programme,… https://t.co/z3OogAXJ29
    11 May 2018
  • Our second programme United Learning, in partnership with @UnitedLearning, just hosted its second residential event… https://t.co/23iK6Znvhj
    25 April 2018
  • Not forgetting our amazing partner schools who contributed an amazing 35+ teachers who volunteered their time to te… https://t.co/Ex1d6ZvWP1
    25 April 2018

Video Diary


Caterham School

Caterham School is an independent co-educational day and boarding school located in Caterham, Surrey. Caterham is providing the base for the second AAF programme, United Access in association with United Learning.

Read More

Queens’ College, Cambridge

Queens’ College, Cambridge supports world-leading teaching and research in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

Read More
Sutton Trust

Sutton Trust

The Sutton Trust is an educational charity in the United Kingdom which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. The charity was set up by the educational philanphropist Sir Peter Lampl in 1997.

Read More

United Learning Academies

United Access, the second AAF programme, is being delivered in association with United Learning and six United Learning Academies.

Read More
Garfield Weston Foundation

Garfield Weston Foundation

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a grant-giving charity, based in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1958 by Canadian businessman W. Garfield Weston (1898-1978).

Read More

Tonbridge School

Tonbridge School is an independent day and boarding school for boys in Tonbridge, Kent, England, founded in 1553 by Sir Andrew Judd.

Read More

Sevenoaks School

Sevenoaks School is a selective co-educational independent school in Sevenoaks, Kent. It is the second oldest non-denominational school in the United Kingdom, dating back to 1432.

Read More

Benenden School

Founded in 1923 and situated in 240 acres of attractive parkland in Kent, Benenden School has been one of the leading boarding schools in Britain for the last 90 years. There are currently 551 girls in the school, aged 11-18, with approximately 180 of those in the Sixth Form.


Read More

Fitzwilliam College

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge is one of 31 colleges which alongside academic departments constitutes the University of Cambridge. Fitzwilliam was originally founded in 1869 as the non-collegiate Fitzwilliam Hall, to provide accommodation to those who could not afford to belong to a college.

Read More

Balliol College

Founded in the 1260s by John de Balliol and Dervorguilla of Gallway, the parents of John I of Scotland, Balliol College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford and most likely the oldest educational institution co-founded by a woman in the world.

Read More

Kent Academies

The Kent Academies Network (‘KAN’) is a collaboration of independent schools and maintained academies that have been working together since 2007, and emerged out of the co-sponsorship of 6 academies by 5 independent schools and one grammar school in Kent.

Read More

"The Academies Partnership Programme in Kent has had a clear and measurable positive impact on the participants since 2013. I have enjoyed getting to know the students on the programme and watching them grow in confidence and aspire to previously unimaginable goals.”

Debbie Hannam, AAF Trustee and Co-Founder


Students, Parents and Schools on the programme are happy to share their experiences below.

The APP has helped to raise the aspirations of students at The Folkestone Academy by giving them belief and confidence to aim for their highest possible goals.
It has also provided consistency and emotional support for students going through particularly challenging times.
Overall, APP is helping Folkestone Academy to raise aspirations and drive for outstanding achievement.

Folkestone Academy

We think the scheme has been a fantastic opportunity for our son and, as a family, we realise that these opportunities don’t come along every day. Our son has gained plenty already in many ways and we are delighted to support both him and the scheme.

Parents of a participating student

I can honestly say that without enrolling on the Access programme, I don’t know if I would be in the same place I am today. I couldn’t be happier with my results and where I am going to university.

Ella, Student

Trustees and Staff

Here are some of the people making a difference at the AAF.