The Kent Academies Network promotes social mobility in the UK through education.



The Kent Academies Network (KAN) aims to encourage highly able students from non-selective schools in Kent to apply to top universities through a uniquely comprehensive four-year programme of mentoring, residential weeks and meet-up days. The programme develops student aspirations, confidence, and academic skills, whilst providing the experiences and support required to secure top university places. The programme has been running since 2013, and has seen four cohorts through, of whom 94% achieved degree or high-level apprenticeship places.

The Buffini Chao Foundation supports the funding of the mentoring aspect, which is at the heart of KAN. The undergraduate mentors are the link between any meet-up day or residential week and student success. By being a consistent point of contact with KAN students the mentor-mentee bond that develops over the four years is fundamental.

Part of KAN’s aim is to develop future leaders in education and social impact who feel part of a wider community and have increased opportunities thanks to the experiences and skills they develop through their commitment to the role.  71% of the mentor alumni, to date, are now working in either education or social impact.

“Participating in KAN has developed my ability to work with young people and given me confidence in teaching and mentoring. The targeted support we’re able to give students during the residential has reaffirmed my desire to work with young people, but has made me think about different ways to do this – for example, I’d previously wanted to teach in the classroom, but I’m now thinking of working in a more university access based role.”

Finn, mentor 2018-2020, currently the Schools Liaison Officer at Emmanuel College in Cambridge.