The AAF seeks to incubate and support a range of programmes that deliver social mobility through education in the United Kingdom.
The AAF’s flagship programme is the Academies Partnership Programme, piloted in the county of Kent.
In October 2012 the Academies Partnership Programme was presented by a group of 6 Kent independent schools to 6 Kent Academy Schools. A decision was taken to run a pilot scheme within the collaboration for four years, with the financial backing of The Sutton Trust (and, latterly, The Garfield Weston Foundation) and the independent schools within the network, and with evaluation of the programme provided by CEM at Durham.
"The involvement of independent schools, academies and leading universities - plus the quality and intensity of the support on offer - means the Academies Partnership Programme is a very special initiative indeed, with the huge potential to change lives. I'm delighted to have helped it get off the ground in Kent during my time at the Sutton Trust, and look forward to the model spreading and developing under the AAF to reach many more talented state school pupils."
Students from five Academies have completed residential courses at Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks School and Fitzwilliam College Cambridge as part of the APP. Here are some of their testimonies.
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, UAP is helping Folkestone Academy to raise aspirations and drive for outstanding achievement.
The most inspirational factors [for our son] Pete have been the input of his mentors at Tonbridge, the trips to places such as Cambridge University and the various guest speakers.
By being given the chance to work alongside mentors from similar schooling backgrounds Pete has been given a wonderful example of what can be achieved if he continues studying hard. Pete is a self motivated student but when the going gets tough the advice given to him by his Tonbridge mentors provides him with that beacon that drives him on further.
Pete has also been greatly motivated by the real life stories described to him by the guest speakers and these people have been great examples to him.
As parents we have been so appreciative of the experiences that our son has been given through the APP. We can see how Pete has developed in the scheme and how his aspirations have continued to grow and inspire him to work hard at his studies. It is very clear that the whole framework of the APP has been brilliantly thought through as our son continues to thrive. Pete always looks forward to his time at Tonbridge and finds the continued contact and support from his mentors invaluable.
The Academies Partnership Programme has enabled me to develop a well-rounded, intropective approach to my studies, through introducing me to the ways of university life and essential written and verbal skills. Since joining the scheme, I feel I have a greater breadth of knowledge towards higher education and am one step closing in effectively achieving this.