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Background and History

Aimhigher Northamptonshire was part of a national programme, Aimhigher: Partnerships for Progression (Aimhigher: P4P) a joint initiative by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) whose aim was to address the Government's targets to widen and increase participation in higher education. This Government funded project ended in July 2011. Research from schools colleges and other partners as well as the Aimhigher Steering group encouraged the development of new service ‘to fill the gap’ left by the Aimhigher’s closure.

Aimhigher Northamptonshire Ltd. a not for profit Social Enterprise (the new company formed after the original Aimhigher project ended in July 2011) offers a number of services to schools, colleges and other providers to help them meet their statutory obligation to provide impartial information, advice and guidance to assist students in planning for the future. Aimhigher Ltd is continuing to work with partner schools, colleges and work-based learning providers on a range of activities to widen and increase participation in training, work or higher education (HE). Aimhigher continues to focus on and targets disadvantaged and other hard to reach group to help support their progression journey.

The activities offered by Aimhigher will contribute to the clarity of impartial information, advice and guidance that is required to support young people in their decision making as the statutory age for participation in education, training and or employment rises. In 2013 the participation age will rise to 17 and in 2015 rise to age 18. The focus is on developing a systematic, incremental and progressive programme of activities, with interventions to raise aspirations, awareness and attainment among young people and adults from the age of 13.

The Aimhigher team have a number of years experience working in schools, colleges and other providers. The staff are trained to Levels 3 and 4 in Information Advice and Guidance and are able to provide this service in large and small groups or on an individual basis. Aimhigher’s staff also have a proven record of successfully advising young people about their progression and transition to the next level of learning, training or employment with training and higher level skills at work and ultimately to gain a graduate (HE) qualification where appropriate.

Aimhigher Northamptonshire has been working with partner schools, colleges and work-based learning providers in Northamptonshire on a range of activities to widen and increase participation to the next level of learning, ultimately beyond level 3(A level equivalent) into the range of higher education (HE) opportunities available, endeavouring to enhance the social mobility of disadvantaged groups and individuals.