January 30th, 2018

The Brilliant Club will scale up its work with game-changing investment worth £800,000

Thousands more under-represented pupils will get help to progress to highly-selective universities thanks to new support for The Brilliant Club from Social Business Trust (SBT) announced today.

The Brilliant Club mobilises the PhD community to share its academic expertise with non-selective state schools, raising attainment and aspirations.

It is already one of the largest university access organisations for secondary schools in the UK, working with more than 11,000 pupils a year.  With SBT’s help it plans to grow that total to 16,000 by 2021.

The support package, worth £800,000, will be delivered by SBT’s world-class corporate partners, including EY, Permira and Thomson Reuters. Bain & Company will provide in-depth strategy assistance; Clifford Chance will contribute specialist legal input; and IBM will give IT project management oversight.

In addition to comprehensive in-kind business support, the package includes a £65,000 grant for The Brilliant Club to improve and integrate IT systems to enable further growth.

Dr Chris Wilson, CEO of The Brilliant Club said: “The Brilliant Club is proud to have been selected by Social Business Trust to join their portfolio of social enterprises. We are excited about working closely with SBT to realise the potential of their investment to grow the charity and deepen our impact.

“We plan to support 6,500 pupils from under-represented backgrounds to progress to highly-selective universities by 2021. It is an ambitious goal and we welcome SBT’s expertise in achieving this aim.”

Adele Blakebrough MBE, CEO of SBT said: “It is unacceptable for so many  teenagers from less advantaged backgrounds to miss out on going to highly-selective universities because they lack the support.  The Brilliant Club have an excellent, proven model to widen university access. We’re excited to be supporting them to help thousands more young people benefit from their life-changing work.”

Delivery will be overseen by The Brilliant Club’s SBT Investment Director, Sophie Horrocks, Partner, Bain & Company who supported the social enterprise through the pre-investment SBT Design programme.  She worked closely with, Hayley Hand, Senior Manager at EY who led due diligence on the investment whilst on secondment to SBT.

A recent evaluation by UCAS found 58% of Brilliant Club pupils eligible for free school meals secured a place at a top university compared to a national average of 11%.