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Getting it right:

Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities

For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8

Information, advice & guidance for Higher Education


Contents Introduction - p3 Targeting the Aimhigher Cohort - p4 A Coherent and Progressive Programme of Aimhigher Activities - p8 Preparation in Schools for Higher Education Activities - p12 How do we know we are making a difference? - p19 Annex A The National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) analytic classes - p20 Annex B Baseline data - A sample Learner Questionnaire - p21

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Introduction Aimhigher and Higher Education outreach in Birmingham and Solihull: Success to date… and into the future Aimhigher and Higher Education outreach works. Since August 2004 Aimhigher has provided over £10 million to secondary schools, Further Education / 6th Form Colleges and Higher Education Institutions in Birmingham and Solihull. This has enabled an incredibly diverse range of activities and support interventions to be delivered to thousands of our Area’s most disadvantaged learners. This funding, combined with the outreach work of our local Higher Education Institutions, enables partners in schools and colleges to change attitudes to learning, increase participation, raise attainment and support progression to Higher Education (HE). More and more local people now aspire to HE, with significant rises in the numbers applying from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and under-represented groups. Our analysis of local HE data reveals that: • 1,314 more local people applied through UCAS in 2006 than did in 2002, an increase of 16%, twice that of the national increase of 8% over the same 5-year period • 75% of these applicants come from the most deprived communities in England, as measured by the Government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation • Over the same period applications by people from non-white ethnic heritage backgrounds increased by 941, or 28%

The government’s recent decision to extend Aimhigher’s funding for a further 3 years to 2011 provides us with a valuable opportunity to build on the good practice that has developed locally and nationally, and to ensure Aimhigher develops to meet new challenges and needs, such as the introduction of diplomas. This toolkit has been produced to assist practitioners in schools and colleges with the design, delivery and evaluation of Aimhigher and HE outreach activities for their learners. Our intention is to provide a flexible and pragmatic framework within which school and college staff can consistently identify and target disadvantaged learners for involvement in progressive programmes to support progression, tailored to their individual needs. The toolkit draws on a review of the use of Aimhigher funding in a sample of schools and colleges in our area, the outcomes of national evaluations and recent guidance on the future of Aimhigher from HEFCE. It is our intention to revise and develop the toolkit over the coming years, and to issue updates and new sections to support school and college practitioners as we move into the next phase of Aimhigher to 2011. Aimhigher is grateful to the toolkit’s author Bob Pugh, and to Gail Rothnie, Head of Outreach at The University of Birmingham, for their support in the production of this valuable resource.

• 131 more people declaring a disability or learning difficulty applied in 2006 than in 2002, an increase of 44%.

www.aimhigherwm.org

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Targeting The Aimhigher Cohort Introduction

How do we target the students?

In May 2007, HEFCE published guidance on targeting outreach activities at young people with the potential to benefit from Higher Education (HE) who come from under-represented communities. (Higher Education outreach: targeting disadvantaged learners, 2007/12).

Targeting guidelines suggest that learners for outreach provision should be targeted using a three-stage process:

The guidance refines the definition of the target group for Aimhigher and HE outreach, in recognition that resources are limited, and therefore must be directed to support students from lower socio-economic groups, and from disadvantaged backgrounds who reside in areas with low HE progression rates.

• Stage Two: learner-level targeting

While acknowledging the autonomy of institutions, the guidance strongly recommends a cross-sector approach to widening participation, with schools/colleges, HE providers and Aimhigher partnerships working in collaboration to raise aspirations and levels of attainment. Furthermore, schools and colleges are encouraged to incorporate Aimhigher and HE outreach into their formal improvement plans. Although there has been an improvement in the overall attainment of learners throughout all the key stages of compulsory education in recent years, a significant gap still remains between the attainment of learners in the upper and lower socio-economic groups. The consequence of this wide divergence is reflected in a similar gap in the HE participation rates of young learners from these two broad socio-economic groups. It is against this background that we are developing this toolkit. Partnership and co-operation between stakeholders is important to enable us to maximise the impact of the available resources. Our aim is to provide support to practitioners in targeting appropriate learners, using the key principles that underpin the HEFCE guidelines. We also seek to offer guidance to schools on what might be appropriate activities for learners and how these might form part of a progressive programme of activity that would support the personalised learning agenda. We are keen to work with schools and colleges to better target appropriate learners and ensure that the activity that they engage in is both appropriate and meaningful, helping to raise aspiration and attainment and providing insights into university study and university life.

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• Stage One: area-level targeting (schools, colleges, communities)

• Stage Three: monitoring the effectiveness of targeting procedures.

Key Principles for Targeting Widening Participation Activity The intention here is to focus on Stage Two, the targeting at learner-level, in order to ensure that resources support those who can benefit most from the broad range of interventions designed to raise aspirations and levels of attainment. Clearly, it is the teaching staff in schools and colleges who are best placed to make these judgements and identify the most disadvantaged students, but it is recognised that this can only be achieved if the process is fully supported by the HEI providers and Aimhigher. Indeed it will be by a further strengthening of the relationships within the partnership that a clearer understanding of targeting will emerge, and lead to a more effective use of resources. There are five areas to be considered when identifying suitable members of the target group for the most intensive activities: 1) The nature of the activity 2) Socio-economic background 3) Home location 4) Current membership of specific groups 5) Potential for Higher Education.

Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


1) The nature of the activity

Some activities that schools and colleges undertake may require little or no learner-level targeting because of their scale, nature or duration. They would often involve the whole year group. Examples would be careers fairs; HE conventions; open days; some HE visits; theatre in education performances; Aimhigher roadshows; school/college visits from student ambassadors; and discrete masterclasses. However, in any of these activities where places are limited, priority should be given to the target group.

For the most intensive activities which involve selected groups and relatively small numbers, it will be usual for participants to be chosen from the widening participation cohort, as outlined below. As part of an iterative process, Aimhigher will monitor the appropriateness of the students selected and draw upon these findings to measure the effectiveness of targeting practices.

These intensive activities, involving the selection of participants, would include: a) Student mentoring b) Student tutoring, involving subject-specific support c) Masterclasses, forming part of a programme of more than one class d) Revision classes, forming part of a programme of more than one class e) HEI subject-specific taster events f) Day schools/non-residential summer schools g) Residential summer schools h) Other activity involving participation of learners over a period of time.

Once the target learners have been identified, it will be important to liaise with their parents/carers, given their key role in influencing future educational and career choices. Indeed, as parental/carer consent will be required for many of these activities, this will provide a useful starting point, and an opportunity to confirm the necessary targeting information on socio-economic background, referred to in Section 2, at the same time.

Overall, we are keen to encourage a pragmatic approach in which the diversity of the Aimhigher group is recognised by involving learners in different types of activity that meet their individual needs. This personalisation of learning will aim to engage young people over a period of time. It will require a responsive approach to target setting and a clear intention to negotiate a coherent and progressive programme of activities for each group member.

www.aimhigherwm.org

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2) Socio-economic background

3) Home location

About two-thirds of participants in the most intensive activities should be drawn from the lower socioeconomic groups (i.e. groups 4-8 in the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification, NS-SEC). Details of the Classification are given in Annex A. Where NS-SEC data is difficult to gather it may be that receipt of an Educational Maintenance Allowance (for post-16 learners) and other such proxies could be used.

4) Current membership of specific groups

Minority ethnic groups

Although there may well be a need to take account of the particular needs of specific minority ethnic groups, the HEFCE guidelines suggest that this does not make them a target group in their own right for general widening participation activities.

Disabled people

In the case of disabled people, widening participation activities should be inclusive, and for this group it is their disability, rather than their social position, that should be the primary consideration when targeting.

Looked-after children/care leavers

It will be usual to include looked-after children and care leavers in activities to widen and increase participation, without regard to their original socio-economic background.

Gifted & Talented (G&T)

The HEFCE guidelines encourage practitioners to target resources at those G&T learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who may have limited aspirations and a narrow view of the range of HE institutions to which they could apply.

5) Potential for Higher Education

Assessing the potential of a learner to benefit from Higher Education cannot be undertaken on the basis of test outcomes and predictions alone. It requires an in-depth knowledge of the individual learner, their circumstances, prior educational experiences and any barriers to progress they might encounter. Professionals working to support progression must balance the outcomes of available assessment tools with their own judgement of a learner’s potential. This is especially important when planning for intensive activities that require a significant investment of time and funding on the part of the professionals concerned, and aspirations and hopes for the future on the part of the learner and their family. a) In years 8-11, learners should: • Have achieved, or have the potential to achieve at least level 5/6 in Key Stage 3 English, mathematics and science • Be capable of achieving at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C, usually including English and mathematics, or equivalent. b) In years 12–13, and post-16 settings learners should: • Have achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*-C, usually including English and mathematics, or equivalent • Be capable of achieving 2 or more passes at GCE A-level, or equivalent, as indicated in the UCAS tariff.

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About two-thirds of participants in the most intensive activities should come from areas with the highest levels of deprivation as indicated in the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for super output areas. (The first 13,000 super output areas in the IMD represent the most deprived areas, and contain 40 per cent of the working age population). A ‘user guide’ will be published shortly by HEFCE to assist in the identification process at area level.

The use of management tools to measure gaps between potential and actual performance, e.g. RAISEonline (www.raiseonline.org) with its interactive facilities for analysing student performance data, could provide helpful support for this task.

Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Baseline data For the most intensive activities, described above, we need to gather specific personal data, in order to monitor the effectiveness of the targeting process. This data should include: • Occupation of main wage earner in the learner’s household • Whether parents/carers have an HE background • Age, gender, ethnicity of the learner, and any disability they have • The home postcode of the learner, and the postcode of the school or college. The Higher Education Institutions in Birmingham and Solihull are working towards a common baseline questionnaire for the gathering of such data. An example of such a questionnaire that is currently being used in one Collegiate in Birmingham is given in Annex B. On occasions when this information is not readily available prior to an outreach event, the use of proxies may be appropriate. These could include free school meals and Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMA), which would give an indication that a young person came from a more disadvantaged background. However, it should be remembered that a minority from such backgrounds who are entitled to claim these allowances, do not do so. A flexible approach to selection for participation is therefore to be encouraged. Other resources that may be useful in this context, to provide further insights into the home circumstances of students and to link with performance data include: • Fischer Family Trust – provides a range of analyses to enable more effective use of performance data (www.fischertrust.org); • ACORN – a leading geodemographic tool used to identify and understand the UK population by categorising postcodes (www.caci.co.uk/acorn).

www.aimhigherwm.org

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A Coherent and Progressive Programme of Aimhigher Activities If we are to improve progression rates to Higher Education for designated cohorts of targeted learners, then we need to integrate the discrete activities that have featured strongly in Aimhigher work in the past, into programmes that are more likely to promote long-term impact and sustain interest throughout the final three Key Stages. ‘Going forward, the priority for Aimhigher (and for institutions) is to move progressively beyond isolated WP interventions to a planned programme, integrated with the activities of the wider learning community of schools and colleges.’* We hope, therefore, that schools, colleges and Higher Education Institution (HEI) providers will work closely together in the planning and implementation of a package of activities designed to be sequential, progressive and relevant to the age and ability range of the participants. The aim would be to begin a programme during Key Stage 3, which would allow knowledge and understanding of HE to be consolidated and reinforced over time. This would be in alignment with the drive to personalise the curriculum and involve learners in a broad range of activities tailored to their individual needs. Indeed, it is through this type of work that we will develop sustainable, longer-term, cross-sector relationships that will successfully drive forward the Aimhigher agenda. The ‘Aimhigher Learner Progression Model’ produced in draft form in July 2007 by ‘Action on Access’, the National Co-ordination Team for Widening Participation, suggests eight core principles that can provide a starting point for further discussion:

• A coherent programme of planned activities within a progression to Higher Education framework • Targeted at designated cohorts of groups or individual learners whose programme will be supported, if and as they move between schools, colleges or regions • Partnership focused and drawing on and adding value to activities of others • Responsive, flexible and locally determined • Articulated with models of personalised learning • Enabling synergy with other initiatives and sources of funding • Systematic tracking of designated cohorts • Evaluation of the impact of the programme of activities on progression. Given the scale of Aimhigher and HE outreach in Birmingham and Solihull, the local partnership feels it would not be feasible to adopt a centralised or rigid approach to this. Schools and colleges have developed or adopted a number of models and tools for the delivery of coherent careers and personal development programmes for their learners, and Aimhigher adds value to these. The partnership will consider how future planning and reporting arrangements for schools and colleges can be adjusted to better capture this, to make the relationship between Aimhigher funding and school or college-wide systems more explicit.

* from the Executive Summary, ‘Widening participation: a review’, Report to the Minister of State for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’, November 2006.

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Here we give some idea of what a progressive programme model might look like, but we would expect schools and colleges to develop a programme that would be tailored to the needs of their particular learners. The model proposed covers three categories of activities, though it is accepted that some of the activities are quite broadly focused and could fit into more than one category. They comprise: a) activities designed to raise awareness and aspirations, b) attainment raising activities, and c) information, advice and guidance. While several activities within such a programme will involve visits to HEIs, it is important to emphasise that not all interventions have to be campus-based, and that much valuable preparation, reinforcement and research can take place at school/college or indeed at home. In the final table at the end of this section, an example is given of the types of activity available, from which a coherent and progressive programme could be drawn. This will take account of the particular needs of individual students and will reflect their age, interests and abilities. For those students in the targeted Aimhigher cohort, it will be important to select activities from each of the three categories that will consolidate and build upon previous experiences and engage learners over a period of time. Although the aim is for students to be able to access a broad range of activities across the Key Stages, time constraints and resource issues may not always allow the entire cohort to participate in a full programme. However, we would suggest that there would be a minimum entitlement to which all targeted students have access. Such a basic programme is suggested on this page.

A Suggested Minimum Number and Type of Activities to be Included in a Progressive Programme ACTIVITIES A) Awareness and aspiration raising

KEY STAGE 3

KEY STAGE 4

1

2

B) Attainment raising C) Information, advice and guidance

1

POST-16

1

2

1

1

TO H IG H ER ED U C AT I ON We can see that at the beginning of the programme there is an emphasis on awareness and aspiration raising, with the balance shifting towards student attainment as the programme develops. At each stage, the interventions are underpinned by information, advice and guidance sessions, aimed at supporting progression and transition.

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One possible example of this minimum programme is illustrated below. It comprises a series of progressive activities spread over a six-year period, with a fairly even balance between activities that are school-based, and those held at the provider’s institution. The intensive activities, referred to in the previous section, are underlined in the Tables below. ACTIVITIES

KEY STAGE 3

KEY STAGE 4

A) Awareness and aspiration raising

Tasters at local HEIs

1) HEI residential summer schools; 2) Student mentoring

b) Attainment raising

C) Information, advice and guidance

T O

Aimhigher support for Key Stage 4 option planning

H I G H E R

POST-16

Revision classes/ study skills workshops

1) HEI subject-specific tasters; 2) Masterclasses

Aimhigher support for post-16 planning

UCAS preparation and support

E D U C A T I O N

Ideally, we would hope that most of the target cohort would be able to access a more extensive range of activities during the Key Stages. A suggested progression route, featuring interventions drawn from the table on page 11, is outlined below. Clearly many other variations are possible and will be influenced by individual needs. ACTIVITIES

KEY STAGE 3

KEY STAGE 4

A) Awareness and aspiration raising

1) Tasters at local HEIs; 2) National Aimhigher roadshow

1) HEI residential summer schools; 2) Student mentoring; 3) Visits to HEIs outside the locality

b) Attainment raising

C) Information, advice and guidance

T O

Aimhigher support for Key Stage 4 option planning

H I G H E R

POST-16

Revision classes/ study skills workshops

1) HEI subject-specific tasters; 2) Masterclasses; 3) Subject-related tutoring

1) Aimhigher support for post16 planning; 2) Aimhigher support at parents’ evenings

1) Sessions for students and parents at the HEIs; 2) UCAS preparation and support

E D U C A T I O N

The activities suggested in this section are designed to promote collaborative working and will help to achieve several of the standards set out by the DCSF in their October 2007 publication, ‘Quality Standards for Young People’s Information, Advice and Guidance’. Further information is available from www.cegnet.co.uk.

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Some Aimhigher activities from which a coherent and progressive package could be drawn YEAR 7

YEAR 8

YEAR 9

YEAR 10

YEAR 11

POST-16

Tasters at local HEIs

HEI residentials

HEI day schools

HEI residential summer schools

HEI residential summer schools

National Aimhigher roadshow

HEI residential summer schools

Student mentoring

Student mentoring

Aimhigher support for Key Stage 4 option planning

Student mentoring

Revision classes/ study skills workshops

HEI subjectspecific tasters

Aimhigher support at parents’ evenings

Undergraduate student shadowing

Subject-related tutoring

Masterclasses

Visits to HEIs outside the locality

Aimhigher support for post-16 planning

Subject-related tutoring

HEI subjectspecific tasters

Aimhigher support at parents’ evening

Sessions for students and parents at the HEIs

Subject-related tutoring

Talks on student finance UCAS preparation and support

T O

H I G H E R

E D U C A T I O N

Key A) Awareness and aspiration raising activities are in italics B) Attainment raising activities are in bold C) Information, advice and guidance are in a lightweight font D) The intensive activities, referred to in the previous section, are underlined

www.aimhigherwm.org

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Preparation In Schools For Higher Education Activities Prior to engaging in activity with Higher Education Institutions, we would encourage schools and colleges to explore some of the relevant issues and to provide opportunities to develop knowledge beforehand. In the Tables at the end of this section, there are suggestions and recommendations for appropriate resource materials and sets of activities that could form part of a programme to raise awareness, strengthen knowledge and develop understanding of what it would mean to be a student in Higher Education. As there is a considerable amount of resource material available for teachers to support this preparatory work, we have selected about twenty websites that we feel are particularly suitable, in terms of the overall quality and ease of use of the published materials. The Tables are subdivided into sections for both Key Stage 3/4 and post-16 students, in addition to further subdivisions for resources related to (i) aspiration raising; (ii) Higher Education preparation, and (iii) careers. Given the Government’s recent statement that greater flexibility is to be introduced into the secondary school curriculum, there is additional opportunity to engage in these activities, and thereby reinforce support of the Aimhigher agenda. In the Tables we have highlighted four resources, in particular. Two are related to preparatory activities for Key Stage 3/4 students, and two are those considered to be of most value to those in post-16 education. These are highly recommended resources that include activities that will prove to be most beneficial to students as they consider the range of Higher Education opportunities available, and prepare for their campus visits. A summary of these activities is provided below to give teachers an insight into the range of topics covered, so that they can decide what is most appropriate for their particular groups, in terms of their current knowledge and understanding of Higher Education issues. We have included cross-curricular links to PSHE, Citizenship and the Careers Education and Guidance framework, which we hope will be helpful, and allow the proposed activities to become embedded in revised plans for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and beyond.

Key Stage 3/4 preparation activities included in the ‘Aimhigher day packs’ (See www.aimhighernotts.co.uk for further details.) 1. Key words 2. What is Higher Education? 3. Routes into Higher Education 4. Misconceptions or prejudices about Higher Education 5. What kind of decision-maker are you? 6. Making decisions.

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Key Stage 3/4 preparation activities included in the ‘Get into Higher Education’ teaching materials pack (See www.teachernet.gov.uk/aimhigher/teachers for further details.)

CITIZENSHIP LINK

CAREERS EDUCATION AND GUIDANCE FRAMEWORK LINK

ACTIVITY

AIM

PSHE LINK

What is Higher Education?

For students to understand what Higher Education is about

KS3-4d

KS3-4, 11

KS4-1f

KS4-5

What does HE mean to me?

For students to talk about how they feel about Higher Education

KS3-4d

KS3-11, 14

KS4-1f

KS4-9

Typical student!

To address stereotypes that students might have of university students

KS3-3a

KS3-1b

KS3-4, 5

KS4-3a

KS4-1b

KS4-5

Routes into Higher Education

To show there are more ways to get into Higher Education than just A-levels

KS3-1f

KS3-11

KS4-1f, 1g

KS4-9, 11, 13

Routes to a career

To consider how qualifications impact on getting a job

KS3-4d

KS3-11

KS4-1f

KS4-9

A to Z of courses

To give students an understanding of the variety of courses available

KS3-4d

KS3-11

KS4- 1f

KS4-9

How much do you know?

To familiarise students with some of the jargon related to Higher Education

KS3-4d

KS3-11

KS4-1f

KS4-9

Making the most of HE

To inspire students to think positively about Higher Education

KS3-1e

KS3-3a

KS3-2, 14

KS4-1f

KS4-3a

KS4-11

Why do it?

To get students to identify the benefits of Higher Education

KS3-4d

KS3-2a, 2b

KS3-11, 14

KS4-1f, 1g, 4d

KS4-2a, 2b

KS4-11

Where will I be in 10 years’ time?

To get students to think about the future, and how this may affect the choices they make at this stage

KS3-1e, 4d

KS3-14, 15

KS4-1f, 4d

KS4-12, 13

T O

H I G H E R

E D U C A T I O N

www.aimhigherwm.org

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Post-16 preparation activities included in the ‘Get into Higher Education’ tutors’ resource pack

Post-16 preparation activities included in the ‘Getting In Getting On’ guide*

(See www.teachernet.gov.uk/aimhigher/ tutors for further details.)

1. Setting the scene.

1. What is Higher Education all about? As a whole group students are asked to brainstorm their ideas about Higher Education. 2. Jargon buster. A quick quiz to introduce and explain some of the terms used in Higher Education. 3. Help! The students are asked to suggest three types of people who could help with Higher Education planning, and in addition to research three sources of information. 4. Why do people go on to Higher Education? Students are challenged to give reasons why people might go on to Higher Education, and what may act as a barrier to their progression. 5. Reasons to be cheerful. This activity enables students to explore the social and non-academic benefits of Higher Education. 6. A day in the life… Students compare how they spend a typical college day with descriptions of how typical undergraduates spend their days. 7. What happens in Higher Education? Students are challenged to imagine they’re creating a new Hollyoaks-style soap based in a university or Higher Education college.

2. Recognition/Certification of Higher Education research – includes evidencing and recording Higher Education research. 3. Planning the UCAS education convention – includes: (i) guidance for staff in preparing for the visit; (ii) Convention practicalities; (iii) a suggested lesson plan for use prior to the Convention visit; (iv) suggestions for integrating HEI visits into a guidance programme. 4. Exploring the issues, lifestyle and choices – (i) skills used during Convention-centred research; (ii) getting to know Higher Education: the quiz; (iii) resources available before and after the Convention; (iv) things current undergraduates wish they’d known; (v) Open Days and other visits to HEIs; (vi) Summer schools and tasters. In addition to a series of activities in preparation for HEI visits, we would also encourage schools to provide opportunities to reinforce and consolidate the learning experiences from the visits, through further structured classroom-based work. The resources suggested in the Tables provide some valuable information and guidance for teachers when planning these follow-up sessions. Such activities will help place the visits in context, and allow students to examine and assess their knowledge and understanding of the key issues raised.

8. Where will I be in ten years’ time? Student draw up two scenarios – one ideal and one more realistic. 9. How I got where I am today. Students match the advice from people in Higher Education to the people listed. 10. Where do I want to be? Students draw upon their lists from Activity 8, to design their own route map of how they will get from where they are now, to their ideal choice and to their realistic goal. 11. Routes to a career. Students explore how much of a difference Higher Education would make, in terms of salary and career progression, when aiming to pursue a broad range of careers.

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* from BROWN, R. and CHANT, M. (2007) Getting In Getting On, Cheltenham, UCAS.

Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


The following resources are particularly recommended when planning and delivering these sessions: -

Acknowledgements

For Key Stages 3/4

We gratefully acknowledge the use of and reference to materials in this section from:

From ‘Get into Higher Education’ – Teaching materials for Years 9-11. (See website reference in the Table on page 16.)

1. Aimhigher Nottinghamshire.

‘What’s it really like?’ – the section examines the many benefits of Higher Education and touches on some of the financial aspects.

‘Next Steps’ – this section focuses on the way forward, and provides a chance to recap, reflect and explore further issues related to Higher Education planning. ‘Projects’ – the section provides three longer projects that reinforce and complement the previous two sections. The projects include: a magazine, an exhibition and a play. They lend themselves to group, pair or individual work.

2. Teachernet.gov.uk/aimhigher/teachers. 3. Teachernet.gov.uk/aimhigher/tutors. 4. ‘Getting In Getting On’ by Rob Brown and Mike Chant, published by UCAS in 2007. 5. ‘Careers Express’ (www.highflyerspublishing.co.uk). 6. The ‘Ladders Project’ (www.theladdersproject.org.uk).

For post-16 (See full references in the Tables below.) 1. ‘Getting In Getting On’ – Section D, ‘Exploring the issues, lifestyle, and choices’. 2. ‘Careers Express’ – ‘Higher Education visits’, in the Year 12, term 3 section. 3. ‘Get into Higher Education’ – Tutors’ resource material.

‘What next?’ – the section aims to consolidate knowledge and understanding, and points students in the right direction for further advice. There is also a useful checklist that highlights the next steps students need to take to gain a place in Higher Education.

‘ Factsheets’ – this section includes facts, figures and further information to support progression. The sheets provide signposting to additional resources, and can be used as handouts as students begin to prepare their applications. 4. ‘Developing transition skills – the Ladders Project’.

Unit 4: Research and decision-making skills for choosing a Higher Education course.

Unit 6: Confident speaking, effective listening and personal presentational skills in an interview setting.

Unit 7: Skills for university life - Time management; Skills for university life - Critical analysis and essay writing.

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THEME OR PUBLICATION TITLE

KEY STAGE

Aspiration raising

Pre-16

‘Moving on up’

WEBSITE

DETAILS

KS3/4

www.highflyerspublishing.co.uk

A highly recommended source of ideas for raising aspirations and levels of attainment

Aspiration raising

KS3/4

www.aimhigher.ac.uk/dontstop

The site is designed to raise aspirations, and demonstrates how young people can pursue their present interests into HE, and then into future careers. It includes case studies of current HE students and is carefully matched to popular interests among the age group

‘Exercises for Unrealistic Ambition’

KS3/4

www.chalkface.com

Provides opportunities to redefine goals both for students who are over-ambitious and for those who lack aspirations

HE preparation

Mainly for Pre-16

Starting point for HE research

KS3/4/5

www.uni4me.com

A useful website for beginning basic research into HE opportunities. Questions answered in a clear and straightforward way

‘The Aimhigher Day Packs’

KS3/4

www.aimhighernotts.co.uk

Suggested activities and lesson plans, both in preparation for, and in the follow-up to, an HEI visit. Separate packs for Key Stages 3 and 4

‘Get into Higher Education’ - Teaching materials for Years 9-11

KS3/4

Follow the link: Practitioners – Resources – Publications – Aimhigher Day Pack www.teachernet.gov.uk/ aimhigher/teachers

Series of activities related to answering such questions as ‘What is Higher Education?’ and ‘Is it for me?’ Materials are user-friendly and link with PSHE, Citizenship, and the Careers Education and Guidance frameworks

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Lesson plans on HE opportunities

KS3/4

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ teachers/ks3/aimhigher

An extensive and detailed pack of lesson plans that include a focus on opportunities in HE, self-awareness and emotional literacy

Aimhigher packs

KS3/4

www.teachernet.gov. uk/aimhigher

The site gives access to all the Aimhigher packs, including teacher notes and photocopiable sheets

Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


THEME OR PUBLICATION TITLE

KEY STAGE

WEBSITE

DETAILS

Careers

General interest

Careers - website links

KS3/4/5

www.careers-gateway.co.uk

This links relevant websites, and is recommended as an effective point from which to begin a search

Careers information database

KS3/4/5

www.careersoft.co.uk

Provides a comprehensive database of careers information, with the facility for a more local focus. It also includes job-seeking advice, and support for HE applicants

Information and advice on education and careers

KS3/4/5

www.connexions-direct.com

An extensive site that includes details of local Connexions partnerships. It is stylish in design and can assist young people to make informed decisions about progression routes, and in writing CVs. It also allows registration for a Connexions card

Career choices

KS3/4/5

www.connexions.gov. uk/whichwaynow

Focuses on the key issues that need to be considered when choosing a career. It includes many case studies, and a section providing information for parents and carers

National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth

KS3/4/5

www.nagty.ac.uk

Provides careers information and materials for motivated students to work independently

Personality questionnaires

KS3/4/5

Transferring to the CfBT Education Trust at http://ygt.dcsf.gov.uk/ www.channel4.com/life/ microsites/B/brilliantcareers

An impressive interactive site with case studies of graduate jobs, selfawareness questionnaires and videos linked with careers information

www.aimhigherwm.org

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THEME OR PUBLICATION TITLE

KEY STAGE

WEBSITE

DETAILS

HE preparation

Mainly for Post-16

‘Get into Higher Education’ – Tutors’ resource material

KS5

www.teachernet.gov. uk/aimhigher/tutors

Engaging programme of activities that looks at what HE is all about, and why people decide to go. There is a focus on finance, possible barriers to HE, and vocational progression routes to HE

‘Getting In Getting On’ by Rob Brown and Mike Chant

KS5

UCAS publications

A highly recommended publication for Years 12 and 13, with a comprehensive coverage of HE issues, including preparation for visits to open days/HE fairs

UK universities’ official website

KS4/5

www.ucas.ac.uk

Includes the definitive list of all degrees and HNDs offered by the HEIs, complete with a searchable course database and entry details

Higher Education Institution links

KS5

www.HERO.ac.uk

The site provides links to all Higher Education institutions, a course search facility, and a section on contemporary issues in Higher Education

Foundation degrees

KS4/5

www.fdf.ac.uk

Provides comprehensive information on all foundation degrees, including their entry requirements

Developing transition skills

KS4/5

www.theladdersproject.org.uk

Promotes research and decision-making skills for choosing a vocational course at 16+, and for choosing a HE course in Year 13 from a variety of educational backgrounds. Also focuses on skills for university life

Self-awareness questionnaire

KS4/5

www.ukcoursefinder.co.uk

A questionnaire designed by Morrisby to promote self-awareness, find a suitable degree course, and to suggest appropriate career options

‘Careers Express’

KS5

www.highflyerspublishing.co.uk

An entire Careers Education and Guidance course, designed for post-16 students. It includes highly accessible and user-friendly materials

www.ucas.com

Careers

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


How do we know we are making a difference? A key part of our work in the future will focus on an evaluation of the impact of Aimhigher and widening participation interventions. We shall need to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the effectiveness of the programmes, and will be keen to work with schools and colleges to address these issues. Clearly, we need to determine whether Aimhigher has increased aspirations to Higher Education, what impact it has had on levels of attainment at each of the Key Stages, and how both post-16 and post-18 progression rates have been affected. Through our partnership work we can explore which interventions work best, and which groups are most influenced by the Aimhigher programmes. We can also support schools and colleges in eliciting more detailed and personal responses from participants, in order to assess attitudinal shift, and engage students more widely in the evaluation process. In this way, the students will have more opportunity to reflect upon the benefits of the activities, while the partnership will gain from a clearer understanding of the intervention’s impact through more affective, qualitative responses. From these types of evaluation, our aim is to provide a broader evidence base from which to answer the fundamental question – Is Aimhigher continuing to close the gap in Higher Education participation between learners from higher and lower social classes? Clearly, if the new targeting arrangements are fully supported by schools and colleges, then the proportion of Aimhigher participants from the lower socio-economic groups will increase with, it is hoped, a corresponding rise in progression rates.

There is also a clear association between Aimhigher and stronger performance in external examinations. Indeed, Aimhigher cohorts are closely linked with higher attainment at GCSE, particularly among those who under-performed at Key Stage 3. In terms of specific interventions, recent research shows that mentoring, attendance at day and residential summer schools are found to be statistically associated with greater attainment at Key Stage 4 and beyond. However, we fully recognise that Aimhigher does not operate in isolation, and is part of a raft of current reforms designed to increase participation from under-represented groups. These include fundamental changes to both the 14-19 curriculum, and to careers education and guidance provision, in addition to the reform of vocational pathways, and the development of a more equitable system of student support. In conclusion, we hope that in addition to the evaluation of the contribution that Aimhigher makes to the widening participation agenda, a further key outcome is a significant increase in the sharing of information across the partnership, in order to identify good practice and provide a rich evidence base for all who have a responsibility for operational or strategic planning.

At present it is clear that Aimhigher is changing perceptions of HE for the better, and there is evidence to show that there is a greater confidence among a wider range of young people that HE may be within their grasp.

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Annex A The National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) analytic classes CLASS OCCUPATION 1

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EXAMPLES

Higher managerial and professional occupations 1.1 Large employers and higher managerial occupations

Directors; Senior managers; Senior police officers; Officers in the armed forces; Senior officials in government.

1.2 Higher professional occupations

Doctors; Dentists; Vets; Solicitors; Architects; Researchers; Professional engineers; Pilots; Pharmacists; Clergy.

2

Lower managerial and professional occupations

School teachers; Office managers; Social workers; Nurses; Journalists; Estate agents; Quantity surveyors; Musicians.

3

Intermediate occupations

Counter clerks; Graphic designers; Medical technicians; Travel agents; Photographers; Secretaries; Nursery nurses.

4

Small employers and own account workers

Catering managers; Hairdressing managers; Childminders; Carpenters; Taxi drivers; Bricklayers; Plasterers; Farmers.

5

Lower supervisory and technical occupations

Train drivers; Motor mechanics; Printers; Bakers; Gardeners; TV engineers; Plumbers; Electricians.

6

Semi-routine occupations

Receptionists; Caretakers; Chefs; Care assistants; Tyre fitters; Sales assistants; Postal workers; Shelf fillers.

7

Routine occupations

Bus drivers; Hairdressers; Labourers; Waiters; Porters; Cleaners; Bar staff; Butchers; Florists; Welders; Van drivers.

8

Never worked and long-term unemployed

Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


Annex B Baseline data - A sample Learner Questionnaire 1. Personal details: 1.1 Name: 1.2 Date of birth: Day

/ Month

/ Year

1.3 Address 1: 1.4 Address 2: 1.5 Address 3:

1.12 Your family and their jobs: Please state the job of the highest wage earner. If unemployed please state this, and then say what their usual job is, if you can:

1.13 Your family and university: Did either parent / guardian go to university?

1.6 Postcode:

Yes

1.7 Email:

No

1.14 Did any other family member go to university?

1.8 School:

Yes

1.9 Form: 1.10 Gender: (please tick a box) Male

Female

No

1.15 Are you eligible for free school meals? Yes

No

1.11 Ethnicity: (please tick a box) Bangladeshi

Indian

Pakistani

Asian (other)

Black African

Black Caribbean

Black (other)

Chinese

White

Any other group

1.16 Do you consider yourself to have a disability? Yes

No

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2. Personal strengths and interests:

3.3 If ‘Yes’, is this because of: (please tick as many boxes as apply) The qualification I hope to achieve The attraction of student life The opportunity to learn more about the subject The opportunity to avoid getting a job Another reason If ‘Another reason’ please state:

2.1 At school, name up to THREE subjects that you really enjoy:

1:

2:

3:

2.2 At school, name up to THREE subjects that you are good at:

1:

2:

3:

2.3 Outside school, name any activities that you do which you think may help you in your future job/career:

3. Choices beyond 16:

3.4 If ‘No’, is this because of: (please tick as many boxes as apply) My interest in getting a job The level of qualifications needed for entry to university The expense involved The feeling that people like me don’t go to university Another reason If ‘Another reason’ please state:

3.5 I know the qualifications that I will need to be able to go to university:

3.1 After I leave Year 11, I am most likely to: (please tick ONE of the following boxes) Move into the sixth-form at my own school Move into the sixth-form at another school/college Start an apprenticeship Start employment Become self-employed I do not know yet 3.2 At the moment, I intend to go to university before I am thirty-years-old: Yes

No

Agree completely

Agree mostly

Disagree mostly

Disagree completely

3.6 Have you ever visited a university? Yes

No

3.7 If ‘Yes’, which one(s) have you visited?

I don’t know

If ‘Yes’, go to the next question; if ‘No’, go to question 3.4

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Getting it right: Guidance on targeting, delivering and evaluating Aimhigher, widening participation and Higher Education related activities. For School, College & other practitioners 2007/8


4. Job/career plans

5. Results in Key Stage 2 SATs

4.1 At the moment, do you know what job/career you want to go into?

5.1 Please state the level that you achieved in your Key Stage 2 SATs, in the boxes below:

Yes

English Maths Science

No

4.2 If ‘Yes’, then what is the job/career you want to go into?

5.2 Future results Please state the level that you expect to achieve in your Key Stage 3 SATs, in the boxes below: English Maths Science

4.3 I know the qualifications that I will need to move into this job/career:

Agree completely Disagree mostly

Agree mostly Disagree completely

4.4 Have you discussed your job/career plans with any of the following? (please tick as many boxes as apply)

Your parent(s)/guardians(s) Your brother/sister Another family member Your friends Your teacher Another person(s) If ‘Another person(s)’ please state how you know them:

6. Thank you for completing this questionnaire 6.1 Data protection. All the information you provide will be treated in strict confidence and will only be used for the purposes of this project which is to assist institutions in providing appropriate courses, to track individual needs and assist us in following your progress. It will only be retained for the duration of the project. I consent to the above information being held for these purposes.

Signed:

Date:

4.5 Do you know anyone else who does this job/career?

Yes

No

4.6 If ‘Yes’, who?

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Birmingham and Solihull Tel: 0121 414 2670 Email: aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk

www.aimhigherwm.org Copies can also be downloaded from www.aimhigherwm.org Alternative formats can be made available on request. The contents of this publication may be photocopied for use with learners and practitioners.


Getting it right: