Wessex Inspiration Network

What is the WIN 

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council) has produced data about progression to HE from all wards in the country. They have identified wards where students have the capacity, based on GCSE results, to go into HE but there is a lower than expected subsequent take up of HE. HEFCE has termed them as GAP wards and GAP students.

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) a high profile government initiative to address this aspect of social mobility. It is funded through HEFCE with the single aim of improving the progression rate, with consortia working directly with students in years 9-13 from the GAP wards. It is important to note that HE is not just three year degrees at traditional Universities; it is Foundation degrees, Higher and Degree Apprenticeships and Higher National Diplomas much of which is also College based.

The NCOP programme is being delivered locally by University led consortia with 29 across the country. The WIN is designed to foster a partnership between the Universities of Bath and Bath Spa and Bath, Weston and Wiltshire Colleges and local schools. The area covered is BANES, North Somerset and Wiltshire (excluding Swindon). The consortium will be measured by its success in improving progression rates to HE; it is not about improving progression to a single institution.


Benefits of engaging with the WIN:

Should the partnership be successful the benefits to the schools are several:

  • Extra funding to support delivering careers advice for identified students
  • Closer links with local HE providers for the whole school activities
  • Improved staying on rates post 16
  • Increased motivation leading to improved results
  • Positive and proactive approach to destination outcomes as expected by OFSTED
  • More support for dealing with whole family issues

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