25 Universities sign up to Warwick’s Taskmaster programme for disadvantaged schools

Twenty-five universities have signed up to a programme led by the University of Warwick which uses -Taskmaster- style activities to teach law to less advantaged school children.

Using the format of the BAFTA and National Comedy Award-winning TV show -Taskmaster-, the University of Warwick has given young people across Coventry, Warwickshire, and beyond the opportunity to learn about interesting aspects of the law through fun and interactive tasks.

With the success of last year’s competition, 25 universities across the country have signed up to roll-out the programme nationally, including Oxford, Edinburgh and Leeds universities.

These universities will oversee the Taskmaster School Tasking programme delivered to over 6000 children at up to 125 schools, particularly in low-income areas.

Warwick Law School began the national rollout of School Tasking last year by working with primary school children in Year 5 from a diverse range of backgrounds, aiming to widen access to university for under-represented pupils.

Children from Year 5 classes are split into teams of five or six, to compete against each other and other local schools in a bid to be crowned the year’s School Tasking Champions.

The project was founded and led by Warwick Associate Professor, Dr Ali Struthers, who sought special permission from the creator and star of the show Taskmaster, Alex Horne who has become a great supporter of the scheme,

describing the work of Ali and the University of Warwick as -remarkable-

During the in-school sessions, classes are introduced to some of the most interesting areas of the law and given a chance to practice key skills from communication to lateral thinking. Just as in the TV show, School Tasking provides the opportunity for all children to shine based on individual talent and skills.

Taskmaster’s Alex Horne said: -The work that Ali has been doing with Taskmaster and children has been remarkable. It was never meant to be watched by kids, let alone played, but now there’s no stopping them! I’ve hosted task sessions in schools myself, and it’s both fun and exhausting.

-So, I’m pleased and relieved that Ali and her co-conspirators are taking on the challenge with so much energy and enthusiasm. Thanks to them, with a bit of luck and a lot of work, our nonsense show might just inspire some young people to have fun, work as a team, and be very, very silly.-

Associate Professor and Creator of School Tasking Ali Struthers said: -

I am thrilled to welcome 25 university partners to the School Tasking national rollout from September 2023. From Aberdeen to Kent, and from Newcastle to Swansea, children across the country will be able to enjoy the creativity, collaboration and competition that are all part and parcel of the School Tasking sessions.

-The scale of the inter-university collaboration is unprecedented for an outreach project, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the benefits of universities working together on this important but fundamentally joyful initiative. -

Click here to watch Alex Horne’s feedback on the project.