POLAR and Gaps postcode look-up

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

Notes and downloads

The entire postcode lookup tool is available for download in the following formats:

This version was published in October 2018. See notes on updates since the previous published version.

A postcode may be unclassified because:

  • A: it is unsafe for measurement
  • B: it is a non-geographic postcode
  • C: it has no link to census geography
  • N: in the case of NCOP and Gaps quintiles, there is no population data available
  • U: in the case of NCOP and Gaps quintiles, it is outside England.

POLAR4 is our latest measure of young participation in higher education. It measures the proportion of young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 between the years 2009-10 and 2014-15.

Quintile 1 (Q1) indicates the lowest participating areas; quintile 5 (Q5) indicates the highest participation. Find out more information on POLAR.

POLAR3 is the previous iteration of our measure of young participation in higher education. This data is shown as a reference for existing projects that continue to use POLAR3 classifications. Note that we do 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 key stage 4 (GCSE level) attainment. NCOP target wards are defined as areas which are POLAR3 Q1 and Gaps (accounting for key stage 4 attainment only) Q1 and Q2, or POLAR3 Q1 and Gaps (accounting for key stage 4 attainment and ethnicity) Q1 and Q2. There are 997 target wards.

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