Why use Skills and Education Group Access?

Skills and Education Group Access is an Access Validating Agency (AVA), licensed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), to validate and quality assure Access to HE Diplomas.
Our Access to HE Diplomas have been specially developed in partnership with higher
education and further education experts to offer students a second chance towards
obtaining the skills needed to go on to study for a degree at university.

choice …

With Access to HE Diplomas, it’s possible to build specific, academically sound pathways to higher education that take advantage of local university requirements.

flexibility …

At Skills and Education Group Access, we allow Centres to write their own assessments, enabling experienced lecturers to craft accessible yet challenging assignments for students. We also provide support for assignment writing, as well as all aspects of running an Access to HE Diploma course.

… and support

When you’re running the course, our external moderators will be on hand to provide supportive visits and act as critical friends to keep you on the right track. All Access to HE Diplomas are supported by quality moderation, award boards and referrals. We’ll guide you throughout the whole academic year, allowing you to focus on delivering high-quality classroom content.

How can I find out more information?
Please email us with any queries, or give us a call on 0115 854 1620. We would be pleased to help you.

Meet the Team

Julie Knowles

Head of Access to HE
Julie has been working in the education sector for 20 years. As part of the Skills and Education Group Access to HE team, Julie works with colleges and universities to develop and quality-assure Access to HE Diplomas.
"Supporting tutor teams in our centres enables excellent progression opportunities for mature learners."

Contact Julie by email or call 0115 854 1620.

Kaye Jackson

Head of Relationship Management
As the Head of Relationship Management, Kaye is integral to building relationships with both current and new customers across the Access to HE educational sector, offering advice and guidance and becoming a critical friend to all our customers across the wider Skills and Education Group.
"I have worked in educational business development for 15 years and love helping customers to grow their curriculum, to meet the needs of their students. I am your first point of contact and support. Share your ideas with me and I will help you move them forwards. I always put the customer first."

Contact Kaye by email or call 0115 854 1620.

Susanne Penney

Access to HE Officer
Susanne is primarily responsible for registrations and certification for students studying one of the many Access to HE Diplomas and provides administrative support for Access to HE business activities and QAA requirements.
“I have worked here for 11 years and in 2017 I joined the Access to Higher Education team to provide a coherent and efficient service to our Access to HE Centres.”

Contact Susanne by email or call 0115 854 1620.

Aneka Cann

Brand Manager
Aneka works for Skills and Education Group, overseeing all of its brands, including Skills and Education Group Access.
“When Skills and Education Group Access joined Skills and Education Group in 2017, it was a great opportunity for me to review and update the look of the brand and create a new website.”

Contact the communications team by email or call 0115 854 1631.

Meet Some of our External Moderators

Rita Murray, Lead Moderator

With 30 years of experience working in Access to HE provision, 24 of which have been with Skills and Education Group Access, Rita specialises in Maths, Science and Engineering, and supports other curriculum strands such as Psychology and English. Rita values the opportunities her job gives her not only to work with aspiring students and committed tutors, but also to continue to learn for herself.

Noting an apparent increase in women studying STEM subjects, Rita is especially happy when female students pursue and achieve diplomas in these areas. She believes that the Access to HE Diploma builds self-esteem and self-management skills, and credits Skills and Education Group Access for bringing together external moderators from diverse backgrounds and providing them the tools they need to best support learners.

Dave Pickersgill, Moderator

Dave began working with Skills and Education Group Access in 2012, seeking to continue to use and develop his managerial and subject expertise. With a focus on Computing, Health Science and Science Diplomas, he has seen first-hand how the Access to HE Diploma changes people’s lives.

Previously, when working full-time in a large provider, Dave saw Access to HE learners capitalise on study skills expertise and easily customisable diplomas to achieve their employment goals, from the Wolverhampton bus driver who is now a podiatrist in the NHS to the learner who took a psychology degree and went on to coach the Olympic gold medal winning athlete, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill DBE.

Pauline Heywood, Moderator

Prior to joining Skills and Education Group Access in the 1990s, Pauline was teaching courses in a further education college and saw that the awarding body wasn’t meeting the needs of many of the students. At Skills and Education Group Access, specialising in Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, and working with Combined Studies and Education and Training Diplomas, Pauline sees students gaining confidence in themselves and realising just how much they are capable of.

Pauline attributes learners’ success to their hard work and determination, as demonstrated by one student who, having stood outside a classroom window wishing to be inside, took on numerous jobs to help her take an Access to HE Diploma. Over the course of her learner-centred, customised studies, the student’s achievements were outstanding.

John Shephard, Moderator

John joined Skills and Education Group Access in 2007 and specialises in Humanities (esp. History), Social Science, Business and Education. He believes that an Access to HE Diploma is the best means of further education, providing a second chance for adult learners who missed out on opportunities when at school.

John highlights Skills and Education Group Access for its friendly nature and the fact that it is locally based and developed by local practitioners. Recalling a former student who transitioned from being made redundant at a glass bulb factory to becoming a successful primary school teacher, John knows that an Access to HE Diploma gives learners the knowledge and skills that will help them to get to and succeed at university.

We’re all part of something bigger.
Here’s our family.

Skills and Education Group Access is part of Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than one hundred years of collective experience, the Group's strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector. We want all learners to achieve their full potential, no matter what their age, background or ability.

The Group also includes Skills and Education Group Awards, a leading national awarding organisation with a long established reputation for providing high-quality support and services to the education sector. The Group also includes BIIAB, an awarding organisation with specialisation in hospitality and licensed-hospitality.

Through the Skills and Education Group, you can access a range of professional development opportunities and networks. See dates for upcoming events here.

Skills and Education Group

List of Trustees

Andy Birch

Head of HE at RNN Group

Phil Bloor

Head of Admissions at Sheffield Hallam University

Yultan Mellor

Chair and Principal and Chief Executive at Northern College

Robin Webber-Jones

Vice Principal at The Sheffield College