Kantar Public, working in partnership with The Institute for Policy Studies in Education, recently completed an evaluation of school and college-level strategies to raise the aspirations of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to pursue Higher Education. The findings will be presented alongside IPSE on Tuesday 11th March.

The evaluation comprised various strands including a telephone survey of c.560 staff leading school and college-level strategies within their institution. The survey was used to measure the prevalence of aspiration-raising strategies, the types of work schools and colleges were involved in, and examples of good or innovative practice. It also examined how schools and colleges defined ‘disadvantage’ in their setting and whether or not they encouraged students to apply specifically for leading or selective universities (including the Russell Group). The survey included a boost sample of schools and colleges that were known to send a high proportion of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to Higher Education.

Detailed cases studies were also carried out with eight schools and two FE colleges that were identified as sending a high proportion of high-achieving disadvantaged pupils to Higher Education and had well-developed strategies to support this. Each case study involved a full day’s visit to each school or college and comprised a series of depth interviews with staff, focus groups with students and analysis of institutional data.

The report is published on the Department for Education website.