Somali Sunday Schools
The overall aim of this project is to identify best practice in this approach to widening participation, and to suggest how the approach could be adapted to other ‘hard to reach’ groups in society. This will involve discussions/interviews with a range of stakeholders (outlined below) and research into the attitudes of participants towards HE at different stages of the project.
Our approach to this project is informed by the experiences of Generating Genius, which is a charity that aims to raise aspiration and attainment of Afro-Caribbean boys through their engagement with a sustained programme of university based enrichment opportunities. A report based on some of the work of this charity, titled ‘Perceptions of Year 13 Afro-Caribbean A/A* students to read STEM subjects at the Russell/1994 Group of universities', details the methodology used in probing the views of 16 Afro-Caribbean boys in Year 13.
In the case of this project, we will be examining a programme of interventions which are being implemented in the Somalian community in London by Abdinuur Guushaa. At the core of this are weekly workshops which run on Sundays, with sessions tutored by individuals from a similar background, who have experience of going through the UK education system successfully and are keen to ensure a new generation of youngsters are able to access the opportunities that they benefited from themselves. The workshop sessions prepare the participants academically, and aim to show them that university study is a viable option for them, and that it is something they should aspire to.
Probe the attitudes of participants, their parents and other key stakeholders towards HE.
Identify barriers that exist at the outset, and ascertain which features of the programme help to overcome these barriers. Identify best practice and disseminate through a range of media.
Identify features of the programme which can be improved, and make suggestions for practical improvements that can be implemented.
We will make video recordings of aspects of the Sunday workshop sessions, and will interview a range of individuals including: Participant students. Tutors. The programme leader. Community leaders. Teachers.
With the agreement of the subjects, we will edit these recorded interviews and make them available widely (potentially via You Tube, or another similar outlet). We will use our experience of qualitative research methods to probe the views currently held by the participant students, and will monitor how these views change over the course of the programme. To do this, we will carry out a number of short surveys throughout the programme using electronic voting systems, which we have used extensively in a range of contexts. This will provide us with a broad range of data in an expedient manner. We will produce a report/’Best ’Good Practice Guide’ for wide dissemination at the end of the project, detailing the findings as outlined elsewhere in this proposal.
If appropriate, we will produce a research paper outlining the methods used and the findings from the project.
Abdinuur Guushaa will ensure that the project team are able to undertake the work required to achieve the following:
Interviews with a range of student participants (minimum of 12) on the programme (with interviews carried out at 3 points over the course of the year).
Interviews with a number of families (minimum of 4) of participants at the beginning and end of the programme (if possible).
Interviews with a selection of the tutors at the beginning and end of the programme.
Interview with a community leader (preferably at the start of the programme.
Interview with a teacher from a local school attended by participants.
Appropriate access will be granted to film workshop sessions on three occasions during the year. Appropriate access will be granted to collect data from the whole cohort of participants using electronic voting systems on 3 occasions during the year.
Funds will be released to Abdinuur Guushaa in three tranches, to cover room hire costs and tutor travel expenses, on review of progress throughout the programme. The first tranche will be released after the initial filming and data collection session, the second after the interim filming and data collection session and the final tranche at the end of the programme.