Topic briefing

Strategic relationships with schools and raising attainment

Published 27 July 2020


Guidance, reports and toolkits

  • Department for Education: Guidance on setting up school and university partnerships (updated October 2022)
    Information for schools and universities on sharing expertise and resources through collaboration.
  • Causeway Education: Attainment raising: A toolkit (September 2022)
    This toolkit was produced by Causeway Education and provides information on and support with planning activities and interventions to raise attainment in students from Years 7 to 11. The toolkit was commissioned by the OfS to support Uni Connect partnerships but other higher education providers or organisations may benefit from the advice and information within the toolkit when planning attainment raising activity.
  • OfS Insight brief: Schools, attainment and the role of higher education (April 2022)
    This Insight brief explores how universities and colleges are working with schools and other organisations to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and improve their chances of going on to higher education, a good degree and a graduate-level job.
  • OfS Insight event: Raising attainment, improving access, securing success (April 2022)
    We held an insight event where we were joined by experts across the higher education sector to explore the shared challenges and opportunities faced by schools, colleges, universities and third sector organisations as they work together to raise attainment and improve opportunities. Providers considering their approach to attainment raising can watch the event on our events page.
  • Universities UK: Raising attainment through university-school partnerships (November 2017)
    Case studies, information, and evidence of impact from the range of ways in which universities and schools are already working collaboratively to raise standards and attainment.
  • Department for Education: Supporting the attainment of disadvantaged pupils (2015)
    Research into how schools are raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
  • School-university partnerships: Fulfilling the potential (October 2014)
    A report of a project commissioned to learn from existing work on schools university partnerships, and to explore the potential for an ongoing programme of work aimed at enhancing the quality and impact of school-university partnerships.
  • School-University Partnerships Initiative
    Developed by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, this initiative saw the creation of 12 projects which focused on schools and universities working together to bring research into the classroom. The NCCPE has published details of all the projects and the resources and lessons they produced.


  • Uni Connect
    The Uni Connect programme is a national initiative helping teachers and advisers to encourage young people to take advantage of the opportunities in higher education. The Uni Connect partnerships can signpost schools towards local sources of higher education information, advice and guidance and outreach.
  • Governors for Schools
    An organisation that finds and places volunteers on school and academy governing boards across England. School governance gives university staff and alumni the chance to support lifelong learning for children and young people.
  • National Governance Association
    A membership organisation that provides guidance for school governors and trustees.
  • Confederation of School Trusts
    A sector body for schools that provides guidance on school governance.
  • The Careers and Enterprise Company
    The national body for careers education in England, whose mission is to help every young person to find their best next step.
  • Uni Taster Days
    Resources for teaching staff, students, and universities, such as a database of helpful university events, and subject guide videos.

Evaluating your activities

Published 27 July 2020
Last updated 06 April 2022
09 November 2023
Fixed broken link to Confederation of School Trusts
12 April 2023
Expanded the list of resources.
06 April 2022
Expanded the list of resources.

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