The Progression Framework is a requirement of all Uni Connect partnerships, and is in line with the Office for Students increased emphasis on the need for sustained outreach interventions that build upon one another. This is also supported by our own research and evaluation, which was found that ‘helping underrepresented communities progress to higher education is most effective through engaging multiple interventions’. This move away from one off interventions is not new, but what we hope the progression framework will do, is to help us make sure that the activity we deliver is logical, structured, and meets the needs of the individual wherever they are on their journey to higher education.
The phases of the framework are structured around key decision points on the student journey. The journey starts with preparing for Level 2 (especially GCSE options), moves on to preparing for Level 3 (whether that’s, A Levels, T Levels, BTEC or Access), and finally progresses to preparing for HE (a degree or higher level apprenticeship). Of course, it doesn’t end there – throughout the framework, longer term ambitions and career goals are explored and linked to relevant courses, qualifications and pathways. The end point for each phase is the decision about the next step. To inform these important decisions, the outcomes for each stage on the journey are based on the four D’s that we think learners need to go higher: Dream, Discover, Debate, and Do.
We’ve also suggested some activities and resources to support the outcomes at each stage of the journey. The activities are intended as a guide – there’s more than one way to achieve each outcome, and we want the framework to be flexible enough to accommodate innovation. However, we also want the framework to be accessible, affordable and sustainable, and most of the suggested activities are relatively low cost. To support schools and colleges, all activities are also mapped against Gatsby benchmarks.
The Progression Framework is available below for reference.