NCOP was established as a four-year programme with a break point midway to review progress. The OfS recently reviewed its approach to access and participation, including the future of the NCOP.
Following this review the OfS board has approved the continuation of the programme. Phase two will commence on 1 August 2019, running for two academic years: 2019-20 and 2020-21. Building on phase one, it will support two main strands of activity as follows:
- Targeted higher education outreach within the current NCOP wards
- Establishing outreach hubs within the 29 local partnerships (known as 'consortia' in NCOP phase one) with cross-England coverage to help schools and colleges access the higher education outreach they need and provide a platform for wider collaboration.
Together these elements of the programme will enable:
- the provision of impartial, sustained and progressive higher education outreach by a range of institutions tailored to the needs of young people within target areas
- open, transparent and impartial routes for schools and colleges to access outreach activity from a range of higher education providers avoiding duplication and eliminating gaps in outreach provision
- support for a local partnership infrastructure now and in the future which can act as a vehicle for activity on a range of agendas relating to access and participation, including activity set out in institutional access and participation plans
- robust evaluation at both a local and national level, including capacity building support.
Full details of phase two of the programme will be available soon.