The main focus of NCOP is to provide targeted higher education outreach to young people in years 9 to 13 living in particular geographic areas.
There are 29 local partnerships of universities, colleges, local authorities, LEPs, employers and others who work together to develop and deliver NCOP locally. Where appropriate they work closely with related programmes and initiatives, such as the Department for Education opportunity areas.
During 2017-18 NCOP partnerships worked with around 1,500 schools and colleges to deliver sustained and progressive programmes of targeted higher education outreach with 121,520 young people.
The programme is intended to complement and add value to the work that higher education providers undertake through their access and participation plans, in particular work that is best delivered in collaboration.
NCOP phase two
There are two elements of NCOP phase two:
- targeted outreach
- outreach hubs.
The level of participation of young people aged 18 and 19 in higher education in England varies across the country. NCOP uses research on areas with an unexplained gap in participation to determine where investment can be targeted to boost the numbers of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going into higher education.
This process led to the identification of the 997 wards which are the focus of the NCOP. These wards have:
- low levels of young participation (POLAR3 Q1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment and ethnicity (Q1 or Q2), or
- low levels of young participation (POLAR3 Q1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment only (Q1 or Q2).
More information is available on the POLAR3 and Gaps classifications used to identify the target wards, including methodologies.
During the second phase of the programme, the 29 local partnerships, supported by the OfS, will establish outreach hubs that will cover every local authority in England.
The outreach hubs will deliver outreach activity and offer a range of support to schools, colleges and other organisations.
|What outreach hubs will do
||How they will do it
|Help teachers and advisers find out about the outreach activity available in the area
- act as a point of contact and information for all secondary schools and colleges in their geographic remit
- host a website with details of the local outreach offer and other information to support schools and colleges.
|Support schools and colleges in areas of low participation to access higher education outreach
- engage with schools and colleges to understand their outreach needs
- facilitate access to existing outreach provision, either locally or nationally
- work collaboratively to help develop new or expanded outreach provision to meet identified needs, using the combined resources of the providers in the area and drawing on the investment set out in their access and participation plans where appropriate.
|Provide a platform for other local collaborative activity
- engage strategically with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, employers and others to understand the landscape of educational disadvantage, high level skills needs and joined up careers advice in the area
- develop innovative and locally tailored approaches to address the challenges identified through the above engagement, drawing in additional funding to support this.
How is the programme funded?
Funding of £60 million per year has been provided for academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Indicative funding for 2020-21 is £60 million.
Download the phase one funding allocations