GCSE Attainment – Against All Odds


NEON is managing and coordinating a successful bid by the University of Leicester for a research project under the HEFCE NNCO project funding. This project aims to understand why certain schools and colleges, despite having large numbers of disadvantaged learners, have a higher level of participation in higher education than predicted by their GCSE attainment. The project runs until December 2016 when a final report will be due.

Investigating school culture
Working with four networks for collaborative outreach (REACH, Greater Manchester Higher, Kent and Medway Collaborative Network, Merseyside Network for Collaborative Outreach) we will look to work with schools and colleges in both a rural and urban context. The project will investigate school culture and the attitudes of governors, teachers and students. It will take into account the views of widening access practitioners and will develop a model of school/HE engagement.

Developing interventions
Through the research findings a number of interventions will be developed. These will be trialled with schools and colleges that have a lower than expected level of participation in higher education. The findings will be disseminated nationally allowing widening access practitioners, and their partner schools/colleges, to implement the model of school and college/HE engagement and to run proven interventions that can increase future participation.

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