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Warwick Sutton Scholars

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About the programme

Warwick Sutton Scholars is a two year programme for highly able Year 8 and 9 students who come from backgrounds that are under-represented in higher education. The programme is open to schools from across the West Midlands. The programme is managed by Maria Kehr from the Widening Participation and Outreach Team in partnership with the Sutton Trust. The programme is designed to stretch and challenge students academically and inspire them to consider university in the future.

Acknowledgement of donors to the programme
The University of Warwick and the Sutton Trust are grateful for the generous support we receive from donors to the Sutton Scholars programme, including the Kusuma and Dulverton Trusts, Tim Bunting, Peter Selman, and those who wish to remain anonymous.


If you would like to know more about the recruitment process or would like to take part please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!

Key Facts

The key information is contained within this menu. Open each section to find out more.

Warwick Sutton Scholars works with highly able students from state schools within the West Midlands.
If you are interested in the programme and want to know how you and your school can get involved please email
    To be eligible for a place on the programme students must meet several academic and social criteria. For further information, please contact us.
    Over the course of six months there will be six full day (10.00am – 3.00pm) sessions at the University held on a Saturday.
    Students will be assigned a project at the beginning of the programme and will be expected to work in small non-school groups to complete the task.
    They will explore the theme of the project through taster lectures, workshops, debates and guest speakers.
    They will also have the opportunity to make lots of new friends and experience new things.
    Our aim is to support our students as they progress through years 8-9, helping to build upon their curiosity for learning and to develop the skills required for them to succeed at school and university.
    The programme continues in Year 9 and sessions will continue on Saturdays at the University.
    Each session will cover a variety of subjects that will feed into a new project.
    The Year 9 programme has a strong focus on developing core academic skills, including writing, independent research, critical thinking and public speaking. The programme will end with a three-day residential in the Easter holidays that will complement the work students have completed over the whole programme and students will be directed as to how to continue their academic journey.
    ‘I think Warwick Sutton Scholars is probably the best thing that has happened to me. I love ALL the staff and I think it’s the best Saturday of my life!’
      ‘An amazing opportunity to meet new people and build up my confidence, can’t wait for next year!’
        ‘It went well, I learnt new things about political parties and made new friends. Everything is nice. I was able to be myself without being judged by other people.’
          'Really fun and an enjoyable time even though it’s on a Saturday. It is worth getting up early for. Good job guys! P.S. I wish I could do this is Year 10 as well.’
          Parents and carers are a vital part of the Warwick Sutton Scholars programme which aims to support not only your young people but you too. It is important for the team who deliver the programme to build positive relationships with Parents and Carers; we enjoy getting to know you. Maria Kehr, the coordinator for Warwick Sutton Scholars, or a member of the team aim to be available via the phone, email or at the end of each event to discuss any aspect of the programme with you or answer any questions you may have. Parents will be invited to spend time with us on campus for the launch event and celebration event and we welcome you to take part in the activities provided.
            Places on the programme are free of charge. The only cost associated will be travelling to and from the University of Warwick campus. If you are experiencing difficulty with transport, which is impacting on your child's participation with the programme please let Maria Kehr, the coordinator for Warwick Sutton Scholars, know. The programme will focus on non-traditional subjects that are not studied as part of the curriculum in school.
              Parent testimonials
                ‘Fantastic to think that these children are the future! The future looks bright!’
                ‘The program is exquisite, it is fun to watch and I’m proud of every one that took part.’
                ‘Preconceived idea was an academic based course, but very impressed by the emphasis on confidence, interpersonal skills and growing as an individual.'
                What is the time commitment?
                The programme runs from the Spring term in Year 8 to the Spring term of Year 9.
                We ask for 100% attendance and commitment to the programme. We appreciate some dates may be difficult for you, please discuss with Maria Kehr, the coordinator for Warwick Sutton Scholars,, the Programme Manager in advance if you are unable to attend.
                If your child is absent for two or more sessions we may withdraw their place on the programme
                The activities and work your child will be undertaking as part of the programme will not affect their current school work.
                Your child will not be taken out of lessons during school time to attend the programme.
                  Who will my child be working with?
                  Sessions will be supported by our Student Mentors (they're easy to spot as they wear yellow t-shirts) who are all current Warwick Students all of which have a current DBS check.
                  Academic taster sessions will be led by Warwick Academic Staff or PhD Students.
                    What does the programme involve?
                    The programme will be a mix of project work based around a particular project theme. For current Year 8 students the theme is 'The Election' In groups of 5/6 students are asked to design their own political party and design a campaign linked to their school or community.
                    Academic sessions give students the exposure to a variety of new subject areas. The idea behind the programme is to fuel and nurture students interest in learning, to expand on their skills and for them to push themselves in a supportive environment.
                    Where possible we also like to include a non-academic team building activity at each on campus event from dance, drama, and sport to debating and public speaking.
                      How will it benefit my child?
                        • Increased confidence in their academic ability
                        • Raise their confidence and self-esteem
                        • Increased educational resilience
                        • Building on their current skills and attributes
                        • Raising aspirations
                        • Providing them with the tools to be able to make an informed decision about their future, GCSE’S, A Levels etc
                        • Make new friends
                        • Experience unique opportunities not available to other students at their school
                          What will my child need to bring?
                          Food and refreshments will be provided.
                          Each student will be given their own bag, personalised folder, water bottle and name lanyard to wear. All items will need to be bought to every event.
                          Any resources needed for the sessions or project will be provided.
                          Should your child be required to bring anything else with them, we will let you know beforehand.
                          Please let us know if your child has any additional requirements.
                            How much homework will my child be given?
                            A short written assignment of approximately 500 words, for example a short piece of creative writing or an essay about a topic from the day will be set at the end of every event.
                            Students will receive feedback on their written assignments from their mentors to help develop writing skills.
                            Prizes will be awarded for the best homework assignments.
                            Completed homework will need to be sent in before the next event – (a date will be given).

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