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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 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.
    The programme will start with a half-day launch event in the spring term to which parents/carers and teaches are invited also. After that there will be three full-day (10.00am – 3.30pm) sessions at the University held on a Saturday in the spring and summer term with the last one including a Showcase Session for parents/carers to join in. The young people will explore different academic subjects through taster lectures and workshops and work in small non-school groups to complete projects. Students will have the opportunity to make lots of new friends and experience new things.
    The programme continues in Year 9 and sessions will continue on Saturdays at the University. Throughout the Campus Days students will be working on a group research project. The Year 9 programme has a strong focus on developing strong team working and other core academic skills, including writing, independent research, critical thinking and public speaking. The programme usually also includes a Residential which is at the start of the second year. It’s a great opportunity for the young people to bond more and it has a focus on developing team, leadership, communication skills, resilience and confidence necessary for the rest of the project and beyond.
    ‘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. Our 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 the Showcase 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 the team know.
              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 summer 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 our Team 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. We aim to avoid your child will being taken out of lessons during school time to attend the programme, but we may ask for a day of release from school for one day in year 9 as part of the Residential.
                  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 (students who have completed degrees and are now conducting research at the University) or Departmental Ambassador Students.
                  Academic taster sessions will be led by Warwick Academic Staff or PhD Students.
                    What does the programme involve?
                    Our campus days consist of a full and varied programme. The different 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. We will also include a non-academic team building activity at each on campus event and have University societies lead taster sessions where the young people get to try out something new, from dance, different sports and drama we aim to have a broad range of activities.
                      How will it benefit my child?
                        • Raise their confidence and self-esteem
                        • Develop teamworking and communication skills
                        • 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, notebook, 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?
                            During year 8, students will work on a short assignment over the course of the campus days and will receive feedback from their mentors to help continuously 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). In year 9, the young people will be guided by mentors through the research project, which includes written assignments, creative work and designing solutions together as a group.
                            Completed homework will need to be sent in before the next event – (a date will be given).
                            Sutton Scholars is led by Maria Kehr (Outreach Coordinator) and Catherine McNicholl (Outreach Officer) and is supported by our team of Outreach Assistants and Warwick Student Mentors. Find out more about our Team here


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                            Sutton Scholars Team

                            Sutton Scholars is led by Maria Kehr (Outreach Coordinator) and Catherine McNicholl (Outreach Officer) and is supported by our team of Outreach Assistants and Warwick Student Mentors. Find out more about our Team here.