The National Outreach Coverage Project is a collaborative research project, co-funded by the Office for Students, to examine the coverage of outreach delivery across England.
The project used data collected by three Tracker Services: East Midlands Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Partnership (EMWPREP), Aimhigher West Midlands, and Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT), and data from large Third Sector organisations not currently using a Tracking Service.
The project took place between June 2020 and July 2021 with the aim of making available to the Sector an Outreach Coverage Dataset providing details of outreach activities delivered per School or Further Education (FE) College in England between 2017/18 and 2019/20.
The following resources provide the outputs from this project and can be downloaded using the links below:
The resources can be used to:
- Identify schools and colleges in England which have received relatively little outreach delivery over the last three academic years.
Outreach Providers may wish to use this information to inform which schools and FE colleges they choose to target in the future, ensuring coverage of outreach is maximised within their operational area. Please Note: The latest delivery year (2019/20) includes outreach delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus delivery is likely to differ from previous years.
- Identify schools and colleges in England which have or have not received certain types of activities over the last three academic years.
- Outreach Providers may wish to use this information to inform the nature of the outreach offer they target towards these schools/colleges in the future, ensuring coverage of outreach is optimal within their operational area.
- Identify schools and colleges in England which appear to have received disproportionately high volumes of outreach delivery over the last three academic years.
- Outreach Providers may wish to use this information to inform which schools and FE colleges they choose to target in the future, although we must be careful not to reduce outreach delivery too far. It is also important to take into account the overall school/college population in a region, detailed at school/college level in the Number of Pupils column and the profile of those students, indicated in the % eligible Free School Meals (FSM) column, when identifying over-served schools/colleges.
- Determine how many other Providers are working in schools/colleges in your operational area.
- This information can help provide additional information about the engagement of the school or college with Outreach Providers. Where your organisation may be struggling to engage with the school/college, it may be useful to know whether the school/college is engaging with other Providers.
- Facilitate collaboration between Providers working in nearby areas.
- The dataset provides activity counts by Type of Activity and Type of Outreach Provider (Higher Education Institutions (HEI), Uni Connect Partnerships and Third Sector Organisations). Where Providers are not currently sharing data, this dataset may help Providers work together to ensure coverage of outreach is maximised and activities offered by different Providers complement each other. The dataset may also help Uni Connect Partnerships ensure there is minimal overlap with HEI-delivered outreach in their area.
- Identify ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ spots nationally, as well as the contribution of different Types of Outreach Provider to all outreach delivered nationally.
- However, a note of caution here: as discussed in more detail in the Limitations section, there are likely to be regional differences in the extent of the original data capture of outreach delivery. Therefore, comparisons of outreach delivery between regions are not advised, as in some regions outreach delivery has been relatively under-recorded.