POLAR and Gaps postcode look-up

This search allows users to look up quintiles for young participation, adult HE qualification and gaps in participation by postcode.


  • The postcodes that were unclassified under POLAR3 have also had POLAR4 quintiles removed. We will shortly be analysing these postcodes in order to re-instate those that are safe for measurement.
  • A postcode may be unclassified because:

    • it is unsafe for measurement
    • it is a non-geographic postcode
    • it has no link to census geography
    • in the case of NCOP and Gaps quintiles, it is outside England.
  • POLAR4 is HEFCE’s latest measure of young participation in higher education (HE). It measures the proportion of young people who enter HE aged 18 or 19 between the years 2009-10 and 2014-15. Quintile 1 indicates the lowest participating areas; quintile 5 indicates the highest participation. Find out more information on POLAR.
  • POLAR3 is the previous iteration of HEFCE’s measure of young participation in HE. This data is shown as a reference for existing projects that continue to use POLAR3 classifications. Note that HEFCE does not recommend attempting to analyse differences between POLAR3 and POLAR4 by postcode. For more information please see the POLAR4 classification report.
  • National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) target wards are those wards in England that have low levels of young participation and where participation is lower than expected based on KS4 (GCSE level) attainment. NCOP target wards are defined as areas which are POLAR3 Q1 and Gaps (accounting for KS4 attainment only) Q1 and Q2, or POLAR3 Q1 and Gaps (accounting for KS4 attainment and ethnicity) Q1 and Q2. There are 997 target wards.

Describe your experience of using this website

Improve experience feedback
* *

Thank you for your feedback