Warwick Law School News
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Dr Ali Struthers wins WAPCE Award for Outstanding Public Engagement
WLS's Dr Ali Struthers has been awarded the WAPCE Award for Outstanding Public Engagement for her work on the School Tasking project.
The Warwick Awards for Public and Community Engagement (WAPCE), seek to recognise the vital contributions Warwick staff and students make in engaging the public – on an international and national level as well as crucially within our region and local communities – in our learning and discovery, with the goals of sharing and co-producing knowledge, strengthening the role we play in the region and showcasing the role Warwick plays nationally and internationally in making the world a better place.
Ali (@DrAliStruthers), Associate Professor at Warwick Law School, is also Director of Widening Participation for the department. She had the ingenious idea to use the format of the TV show ‘Taskmaster’ to make Law inspiring and engaging for younger audiences. School Tasking (@SchoolTasking) involves informative and engaging sessions on simple legal concepts with Year 5 classes in Widening Participation schools.
In 2021-22, these sessions were piloted at Warwick Law School by a small staff team, led by Ali, with the aim of inspiring pupils from less advantaged backgrounds to think about attending university, and ideally to consider Law as an option for their future study. In the sessions, they learned a little bit about Law, engaged in some activities where they could put legal skills to good use, and then completed a Taskmaster-style task based around their learning.
In 2022-23, the sessions were run by a team of LLB student volunteers across six local schools. Most sessions took place in schools with an on-campus School Tasking Final that was covered by both BBC and Sky media teams.
From September 2023, School Tasking is being rolled out as a national competition with 26 universities across the UK.
When asked about winning the award Ali told us, "School Tasking has been a labour of love from day one and it's wonderful to be recognised for outstanding community engagement in the Warwick Awards for Public and Community Engagement. We're harnessing the absolute joy of Taskmaster and using it to engage widening participation schools across the country in a fun and interactive outreach competition which, we hope, can make a real difference to widening access to higher education".