There is a clear link between educational attainment in schools and colleges and access to and success in higher education.
By establishing stronger partnerships with schools and colleges, higher education providers play an important role in supporting the educational attainment of young people from underrepresented groups and reducing the gaps between these students and their more advantaged peers.
- Evidence suggests that the gaps in educational outcomes between underrepresented students and their peers start very early in a child’s life and increase over time.
- Research shows that when students from underrepresented groups achieve the same levels of attainment as their advantaged peers at age 16, in many cases they are similarly likely to go on to higher education.
- However, research shows that students who are underrepresented in higher education are far less likely to get the GCSE grades they need to enter higher education.
- Long-term, strategic partnerships between schools and higher education providers can support those from underrepresented groups to develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed. This can include skills sought by specialist providers, such as in art, music or agriculture.
- Analysis also shows that entry grades are directly linked with continuation and degree outcomes, indicating that there are clear benefits to providers engaging with schools and colleges to support learners from an early age.
Strategic relationships with schools are relationships between higher education providers and schools that look at governance, the curriculum, teaching methods and extra curricula activities.
Attainment means academic outcomes achieved by young people in schools.