Access and Participation Statement

Grafton College is committed to meeting local and regional needs to widen participation in Higher Education (HE) by under-represented groups. We acknowledge that increasing access to HE is particularly important given that the percentage of the population with higher level qualifications (Level 4 or above) low and this contributes to skills gaps within the local and regional economies.

The College’s strategies and policies set out clearly our commitment to fair access, including the minimising of barriers for applicants. In addition to setting transparent criteria for entry to programmes, the College welcomes applications from students with non-traditional backgrounds and values work related experience as long as the admission criteria of Pearson (our awarding partner organization) is not compromised. As part of the admissions process, the College provides comprehensive information, advice and guidance (IAG). Grafton College is also approved by MATRIX STANDARD for provision of excellent IAG. The admissions process is overseen by the Head of Operations who manages a team of centralised and qualified IAG workers. The Head of HR and Student Welfare manages Career and Progression team, along with the  Head of Academics to ensure a cohesive approach to admissions through consideration of students’ prior achievement and experience, career aspirations, and individual learning and welfare needs.

The majority of prospective HE students are interviewed to assess their suitability for higher level studies and the chosen programme of study as well as to identify students’ support needs, including study skills support. The College actively encourages applications from disadvantaged groups and closely monitors recruitment and enrolment from these groups as well as success rates. Data on performance for equality and diversity indicators are reported to the College’s Academic Board and Senior Management Team. Grafton College engages in outreach work to engage disadvantaged and under- represented groups in education and training, including participation in Higher Education (HE).

We will also focus on developing our existing and prospective students’ study skills to provide the firm grounding needed for success. We work with community groups and employers to raise awareness of the benefits of HE to individuals, industry and the local economy. Examples of activities undertaken by the College to widen access to HE include:

  1.  Promoting progression to HE for the College’s Level 3 and Level 5 students through targeted careers sessions;
  2. An annual College based HE Fair;
  3. Visits to and talks by universities and support with University applications; 
  4. Providing study skills support on Level 3 and HE programmes through online resources, tutorials, and specific sessions;
  5. Well established Access to HE programmes which provide opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and levels of education to progress to university level study;
  6. Learning and development programmes which provides support to teachers on developing teaching and learning strategies that meet the needs of individual students;
  7. Working closely with schools and colleges to raise aspirations and promote lifelong learning; targeting progression to HE courses and attending school careers events to promote advice and guidance on progression opportunities and offer careers advice;


Grafton College is committed to developing, maintaining and funding a comprehensive, effective and impartial programme of Careers Education, Employability, Information, Advice and Guidance which meets the individual needs of the students and alumni. Grafton College provides employability support through its framework known as Grafton employability Framework which runs with the help of employers and industry experts.


The Careers Service is run by HR Professionals and is dedicated to providing a practical, contextual and tailored careers service. The primary function of Careers and Employability provision at Grafton College is to provide all students and alumni with the support necessary to make the transition from the classroom to their chosen profession. All current full-time students have access to this service as part of embedded learning, the VLE, arranged activities or via drop in or appointment times. 



Recent events

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    Madeira Fashion Weekend

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    Tina Patel Delivers a Workshop on Lead Generation

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    Grafton English School visit to the National Portrait Gallery

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    Grafton College meets RAF Chief at Royal United Services Institute

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    Student’s trip to London School of Economics and Political Science

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