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Urban Scholars Team

Welcome to our Urban Scholars team page. Below are our team members:

Urban Scholars Programme Director. Biography, March 2018

Carole Portman-Smith

Carole is the Urban Scholars Programme Director within the Brunel University Department of Education.  In this role she designs, researches and delivers a unique sustained intervention programme for gifted secondary school students drawn from thirty London schools across nine Local Authorities. Many of the Urban Scholars come from socially deprived areas where their talents may not have resulted in them achieving successful examination results and having high aspirations. The evidence based programme aims to promote social mobility by raising the aspirations and achievements of the students attending and enhancing their life chances. Carole has published research on the impact of this programme and disseminated her findings at conferences nationally.

In addition to promoting social mobility, Carole's interests include, working with practitioners to raise the level of challenge delivered within classrooms and tackling underachievement. She has worked within schools as a Head of Science, Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) and a Gifted and Talented Coordinator. She has also been a Lead Practitioner, and Lead Practitioner Coordinator within the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. In these roles she has designed materials and supported the delivery of a range of thinking skills programmes in schools across the country, including Critical Thinking courses for KS2 and KS3.

Antoine websitepic

Dr Antoine Rogers joined the Urban Scholars team in June 2017 and brings a wide range of experience in the areas of research and teaching and learning.  Over 10 years first as a lecturer and eventually as an Associate Professor in Sociology, Dr Rogers delivered a range of modules at the Undergraduate and Post graduate level in politics, sociology, criminology, international social policy and qualitative research methods. As head of Outreach,  Dr Rogers gained extensive experience of work with young people in schools (Key Stage 3) and colleges (Key Stage 4 and 5) having designed and delivered a wide range of educational activities to promote widening participation engagement and retention.  He is trained Social Worker with considerable professional experience of work with Look After Children both in the UK and previously in his native Chicago. His inclusive teaching practice and student engagement reflects an understanding of a variety of learning styles. As a Higher Education Academy (HEA) Senior Fellow, his pedagogical approach has been recognised as an effective in raising the aspirations of all students and particularly those from underrepresented groups. Dr Rogers’ research and writing portfolio includes peer reviewed journal articles; book chapters; and edited collections focusing on charity finance management and governance and the broader role played by charities and none government organisations in a civil society. He currently serves on the Board of Trustee for the Campaign for Better Transport.