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Widening Participation

We have the strong belief that any student with the potential should be able to progress to, and succeed in, higher education irrespective of their background. Point Blank are therefore committed to working with underrepresented students to support them through their journey. Point Blank also believes that music, and the arts and society in general, benefit positively from having an inclusive and diverse student body.

In support of this Point Blank has an Access and Participation Plan (APP) for our Higher Education programmes, as approved by the Office for Students (OfS). This sets out how we will work with specific groups of students to improve the equality of opportunity for all. The OfS identify the following as underrepresented groups: Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities; students from lower-income backgrounds and areas of low participation in higher education; students with disabilities; care-leavers; and mature students.

In addition to supporting all these groups Point Blank is particularly encouraging and supporting applications from, students from areas of low participation in higher education; female students from lower-income backgrounds; students with disabilities; and students from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities.

While the APP identifies targets for specific groups Point Blank has an overarching Widening Participation (WP) strategy that sets out to remove inequalities and improve diversity and inclusivity for all our prospective and current students.

Activities and Programmes

Point Blank has in place a number of strategies, activities and programmes, to support both the APP and the WP strategy. These include:

  • Outreach programmes, including work with schools, colleges, community groups etc.
  • Summer schools and short courses
  • Admissions processes – interviews, alternative entry
  • Programmes design to support different delivery schedules and entry points – accelerated/traditional, foundation year
  • Teaching, learning and assessment strategy – to support wide range of approaches to learning and assessment including online resources, practical assessments etc.
  • Financial support – including bursaries, hardship funds and scholarships targeted for underrepresented groups
  • Academic tutorials, wellbeing support
  • Workshops, masterclasses and guest lectures

Team to support delivery of APP, and WP strategy

Point Blank has a Widening Participation Working Group (WPWG) in place to oversee the programmes of activity. The WPWG, which includes staff from across various departments, meets on a regular basis to manage delivery of activities, and the frameworks to support monitoring of progress. The Working Group reports to an Access and Participation Steering Group (APSG) which meets on a termly basis, and considers progress on meeting targets, and overall strategy and planning.

How can students get involved

Student involvement is a key aspect of the WP strategy in particular to assess the suitability of approaches, and to assist with the design of WP programmes. There is student representation on the Steering Group, and the Working Group liaises with groups of students to help consideration operational aspects of WP programmes. Point Blank is very keen to work with students, and in particular those from underrepresented groups, to ensure the suitability and effectiveness of the WP programmes.

How can staff get involved

Staff involvement is a key aspect of the WP strategy in particular to assess the suitability of approaches, and to assist with the design of WP programmes. There is staff representation on the Steering Group, and the Working Group liaises with staff, through the Departmental Heads, to help consider operational aspects of WP programmes. 

Point Blank is keen to ensure that staff, and in particular those that work closely with students from underrepresented groups, and are from underrepresented groups themselves, have the opportunity to engage in the WP strategy.

Information for Schools, Colleges and Community Groups

Point Blank can provide support for activities for young people up to Year 13 as well as mature learners and community groups to support development of aspirations including understanding of creativity, business, and entrepreneurship, and attainment. We can also provide advice on resources to support delivery, and provide information, advice and guidance related to higher education pathways. We currently work with a number of schools and organisations to support widening participation, both locally and nationally, through provision of a range of resources, including online material, webinars, and school visits to support you and your students.

Our website has further details on Outreach Activities if you would like to learn more. Alternatively, you can contact our outreach and engagement team using admissions[@]pointblankmusicschool.com