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Schools' Hub

Dorset Boys' Impact Hub

Dorset Boys' Impact Hub

Welcome to the Dorset branch of Boys' Impact. This is the first in a series of regional networks being established to pilot evidence-based approaches with schools, youth and third sector organisations nationwide with the aim of closing the gap in GCSE outcomes for boys who are eligible for Free School Meals.

Meet our hub members

We welcome new members to join the Dorset Boys' Impact Hub. If you currently work at a school, college or university within the Dorset area and would like to discuss joining the hub on behalf of your institution, drop us an email at Take a look at our current members below.

AUB logo

Arts University Bournemouth

Arts University Bournemouth is a co-founder of the Dorset Boys' Impact Hub. All those with the potential to benefit from higher education, no matter their background, deserve the opportunity to do so. At AUB, we’re committed to making that happen. We value our strong relationships with schools, colleges, and the community in delivering activity to widen access to opportunities in creative education and employment.

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Avonbourne Boys' Academy logo

Avonbourne Boys' Academy

Avonbourne Boys' Academy is a non-selective 11-18 school based in Bournemouth, part of the multi–Academy Trust, United Learning. Avonbourne Academies are also part of the Bournemouth and Poole Cluster, where they work closely, and share good practice with Glenmoor & Winton Academies, Avonwood Primary School and The Cornerstone Academy.

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BCP Council

BCP Council is responsible for all local government services in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. The council provides services to around 400,000 residents from Hamworthy and Broadstone in the west to Highcliffe in the east – the 12th-largest resident population of any council in England.

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Blandford School logo

Blandford School

The Blandford School is a 11-18 secondary school and sixth form with approximately 1,000 students on roll. The vast majority of children join the school in Year 7 and a high proportion remain through to the end of Year 13.

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Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University's vision is to be recognised worldwide as a leading university for inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society through the fusion of education, research and practice. It has more than 17,500 students and is ranked as one of the top 70 young universities in the world.

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The Cornerstone Academy

The Cornerstone Academy is part of the multi-Academy Trust, United Learning. They nurture their students into responsible, articulate, and confident young adults who are fully prepared for the next stage of their lives. Through a broad and varied curriculum, as well as a wide-ranging enrichment programme, the school seeks to give their students every opportunity to hone important skills and gain interesting knowledge.

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Ferndown Upper School logo

Ferndown Upper School

Ferndown Upper School is a co-founder of the Dorset Boys' Impact Hub. Ferndown Upper School believes that children should be curious about their learning. Through their engaging curriculum, they ensure that their students foster a passion for learning that develops high aspirations and a lifetime of memories.

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Glenmoor & Winton Academies logo

Glenmoor & Winton Academies

Glenmoor & Winton Academies are renowned for their inclusivity, embracing the belief that every child matters, and every lesson is of utmost importance. They cater to the needs of all students, ensuring that their most capable learners are academically challenged while providing expert support to those with special educational needs and disabilities.

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Longspee Academy

Longspee is a family of schools arranged over three separate sites across BCP. Each provision has its unique identity and provides an outstanding education for children and young people with autism, a range of social, emotional and mental health difficulties and other complex learning profiles.

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Poole Grammar School

Poole Grammar School has been providing a education for the Borough of Poole since 1904 and the close ties it enjoys with the local community are evident in the number of alumni who play a leading role in the life of the town today and who return to the staff room. The school aims to give boys many opportunities to grow into politely self-confident able young men who are equipped in a world where critical thinking, teamwork and independence of thought are essential for success.

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Shaftesbury School logo

Shaftesbury School

Shaftesbury School encourages all students to take an active role in school life through their house system. On entry to the school students are assigned to one of four houses, with older students acting as mentors for younger students, encouraging and guiding them. The house system provides for a more personalised approach to the academic and pastoral support of their students and they use it to promote the celebration of the gifts and talents of their students.

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Southern Universities Network (SUN) logo

Southern Universities Network (SUN)

SUN is a collaborative partnership comprising HE providers in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. The SUN provides outreach activities for schools and colleges as part of Uni Connect – a project funded by the Office for Students (OfS). This free, government-funded service works with state-funded secondary schools, academies and colleges across 29 Uni Connect hubs, working with almost 300 universities and colleges as well as local authorities, charities and enterprise partnerships.

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What is Dorset Boys' Impact Hub

One of the most pressing challenges we face in education in Dorset, is the educational attainment and progression of young men who are eligible for Free School Meals. Before the pandemic, only 17% of young men in Dorset who were eligible for Free School Meals achieved a grade 9-5 in GCSE Maths and English. For boys who weren't eligible, that number more than doubles to 42%.

Although it's an issue that's widely known, until now there have been few successful evidence-based approaches to closing this gap.

Co-chaired by Dr Alex Blower, Access and Participation Manager at AUB, and Deenen Kenchington, Deputy Headteacher at Ferndown Upper School, Dorset Boys' Impact Hub seeks to address this.

It's part of a network dedicated to addressing the gap in GCSE outcomes for boys who are eligible to receive Free School Meals across the UK.​ The Hub celebrates the richness and diversity of young men’s experiences, working to support them on their journey toward a happy, healthy future of their choosing.  

Our aims

  • Provide a platform for the voices of young men who may be at the sharp end of inequality to be heard, listened, and responded to through our practice.
  • Continue to collate, build and mobilise an evidence base surrounding effective, strengths-based practice in work with young men in educational settings.
  • Champion the experiences of young men. In our contexts, we'll advocate for those in power to create an environment for equitable engagement for those experiencing marginalisation. 
  • Contribute to a national network of practitioners taking strategic action to support the educational outcomes of young men .
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Taking Boys Seriously

The approach taken by the Dorset Boys Impact Hub is founded in a relational educational approach developed by the Taking Boys Seriously (TBS) research team at Ulster University.

Originally funded by the departments of Education and Justice in Northern Ireland (2006–12), Taking Boys Seriously was subsequently re-invested in by the Widening Access and Participation department at Ulster University. Having developed a set of key principles to inform engagement with young men in settings of formal and informal education, TBS adopts a strengths-based approach. The principles support affirmative work with boys and educators, working to address multi-faceted issues behind the statistics on low educational attainment and progression for young men who are eligible for Free School Meals.

Explore the TSB principles

Upcoming meetings

Find information below about our upcoming meetings. If you have any questions about attending a meeting, drop us an email at

Date: Wednesday 3 July 2024

Time: 17.00-19.00

Location: TBC

CPD opportunities

Find information below about our upcoming CPD opportunities. If you have any questions about attending one of these training and CPD sessions, drop us an email at

Student opportunities

Yellow banner with text 'Being a Boy' in the centre. The 'o' in 'Boy' has been replaced by a male gender symbol.

Being a Boy

Pre-16 flagship programme exploring the themes of masculinity and identity...

The Southern Universities Network

As an institution, Arts University Bournemouth is a member of the Southern Universities Network (SUN)

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We know that inspiring your students, whatever their ambition, is at the heart of what we do in creative education.

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On-campus activities

We run a range of on-campus activities so that your students can experience life at an arts university first-hand.

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In-school activities

Our in-school activities have been designed to support your students in discovering more about Higher Education and creative pathways

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Lesson resources

We have a range of learning resources at AUB that can support your teaching either in the classroom or online.

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Helping your students apply

We appreciate that navigating the process of applying to university can be a daunting time for students – we're here to help.

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Widening access to AUB

Those with the potential to benefit from higher education, deserve the opportunity to do so. At AUB, we’re committed to making that happen.

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Global Schools

AUB offers workshops, talks and presentations to global schools. Get in touch with our team to find out more