This month sees the launch of the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO). The Networks, managed by HEFCE and funded by BIS, will deliver a nationally co-ordinated approach to working with schools, universities and colleges to help people access higher education. Funding of £22 million is provided for the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16. The remaining £3 million from the £25 million allocated will fund the rolling-out of the Higher Education Access Tracker, a sector-owned service which enables institutions to track learners through the education system and measure the success of their interventions.
Thirty-five local networks will cover the whole of England. Each network will appoint a single point of contact to help teachers and advisers find out about higher education outreach activity in their area and to provide general advice about progression into higher education. The local networks will host web-sites with information about outreach activity, and signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for higher education. Three more networks will offer advice and support to specific groups of students at national level, including older learners wishing to continue or return to study and care leavers. HEFCE has launched a web page which will enable schools and colleges to find their local network. Go to http://www.hefce.ac.uk/whatwedo/wp/current/nnco/netinfo/