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The University of Warwick to award Taskmaster’s Alex Horne with honorary doctorate for pioneering widening participation initiative

The University of Warwick will award Alex Horne, the celebrated comedian, writer, and creator of the hit television show "Taskmaster," with an Honorary Doctorate next year in recognition of his efforts and commitment to fostering inclusive education. This is as a result of his instrumental support in growing the "School Tasking" initiative.

"School Tasking" is a widening participation initiative designed to encourage young minds, especially those from less advantaged privileged backgrounds, to explore and connect with the world of law. Through workshops, interactive sessions, and challenges inspired by the format of "Taskmaster," children are introduced to the most interesting aspects of law and compete for a place in the School Tasking Final.

Alex Horne’s passion for education and belief in equal opportunities have led him to collaborate with the University of Warwick's Law School to support the ground-breaking "School Tasking" program and in doing so, inspire a new generation of aspiring legal professionals.

Alex Horne said: "I'm so pleased about the doctorate for several reasons; it has made my parents proud, it has made my children embarrassed, and it has made all the comedians who haven't been awarded this sort of thing incredibly jealous. But mainly, I'm thrilled that the project - which I am just a very little (Alex Horne) cog in - is getting recognition. All the people who work on it, so much more than me, have made something creative that benefits widening access to higher education in a fun way and that can only be a good thing."

School Tasking Creator, Dr Ali Struthers, Associate Professor at Warwick Law School, said: ““School Tasking has grown from a tiny seed of an idea to make outreach more fun and engaging for primary school children local to Warwick Law School to a national competition involving 27 universities (and counting) across the UK and Ireland. Undoubtedly, much of that success is down to Alex’s support for the project from its inception. He goes above and beyond to support School Tasking activities and to make the project that little bit more special for the children involved. They love him, we love him, and we hope that the Taskmaster will be delighted that Alex is finally getting the recognition he deserves”.

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About School tasking
Using the format of the hit TV show, Taskmaster, this exciting outreach project enables young people to learn about interesting aspects of the law through fun and interactive tasks set in the style of Taskmaster.

We work with Year 5 classes who are split into teams of 5-6 to compete against each other and other local schools in a bid to be crowned that year’s School Tasking Champions! During the in-school sessions, classes are introduced to some of the most interesting areas of law and are given a chance to practise key skills, such as teamwork, communication, and lateral thinking. Just as in the TV show, Taskmaster, School Tasking provides the opportunity for all children to shine based on their particular talents and skills.

We work with children from a diverse range of backgrounds, and our projects aim to widen access to university for under-represented pupils. Priority is given to non-selective state schools which serve less advantaged communities (using widening participation data such as the proportion of free school meal students and school progress scores).

25 UK Universities sign up to run their own school tasking projects