School and college-level strategies to raise aspirations of high-achieving, disadvantaged pupils to pursue higher education
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Professor Carole Leathwood et al

This report examines findings from research among secondary schools, and sixth-form and FE colleges that aimed to investigate the strategies used by schools and colleges to support high-achieving but disadvantaged pupils in pursuing Higher Education and, in particular, applying to Russell Group universities. It was also tasked to assess whether the Pupil Premium was being used by schools and colleges to support these activities.

The research covers a range of activities and interventions for high achieving, disadvantaged pupils, including whole school and targeted approaches, best practice and a range of guidance initiatives.

The researchers conclude that more could be done to support schools and colleges in helping such pupils, and suggest that free school meals may not be the most appropriate indicator of disadvantage; that more needs to be done to incentivise schools and colleges to monitor and evaluate the success of their aspiration raising strategies and pupils’ destination data; that there needs to be a central point of information/network to support and coordinate aspiration-raising work (such as that provided by AimHigher).

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Professor Carole Leathwood et al

Published by:
Department for Education (DfE)

Date of publication:
January 2014

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This report provides evidence on the extent to which high-achieving, disadvantaged pupils are being supported for HE entry by their schools and colleges. It identifies examples of best practice and may be of particular use to teachers in schools with a high percentage of FSM pupils. 


Record ID:
R268 / 372
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