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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

 From 2006 to 2019, Carole was the Urban Scholars Programme Director within the Brunel University, London Department of Education.  In this role she designed, researched, and delivered a unique sustained intervention programme for gifted secondary school students drawn from thirty London schools across nine Local Authorities. Since stepping down from this role, Carole has continued to maintain links to the programme, working part-time, alongside the two new Co-Directors. Many of the Urban Scholars come from areas where their talents may not have resulted in them achieving successful examination results and having high expectations. The evidence - based programme aims to promote social mobility by raising the expectations 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 within Universities, schools and 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 to tackle underachievement. Her passion for Science was sparked during her early career as a Clinical Biochemist and she continues to promote STEM subjects within the Urban Scholars programme. She has worked within schools as a Head of Science, Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) for Science with a Chemistry specialism, an examiner for OCR 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 Widening Access and Science programmes nationally at KS2, 3 and 4. She has also helped to introduce 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.