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ERIC Number: EJ928088
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1359-6748
Raising Aspirations and Widening Participation: An Evaluation of Aimhigher in Herefordshire and Worcestershire
Miller, Judy; Smith, Catherine
Research in Post-Compulsory Education, v16 n2 p231-248 2011
Set in the context of a falling budget, the purpose of this study was to investigate how the impact of Aimhigher funds could be maximised in Herefordshire and Worcestershire schools. A case study approach using phenomenological methods was used to examine three key areas: How are funds distributed and utilised by schools and colleges? How are learners identified and targeted? Which interventions are most valued? Quantitative data was supplied by Aimhigher Area and Local offices. Qualitative data was collected using interviews with professionals based either in schools and colleges, or in Aimhigher offices. This data was analysed using a simplified Stevick-Colassi-Keen method to identify key themes that exemplified the experience of Aimhigher users and managers. Two clusters of ideas emerged, the first focusing on experience of interventions and the second on more general management issues. There was a consensus that Aimhigher interventions and budgets were well managed by knowledgeable and supportive staff. However, schools believed that targeting needed to be refined so that white boys from lower socio-economic status backgrounds, with parents who did not have a level 4 qualification but who lived in a "good area", were included. This was particularly true for intensive interventions. Schools were most enthusiastic about low intensity, and low cost, activities that could be offered to all pupils. These activities were beginning to be embedded in the school year. Figures from HEFCE indicate that there is an increase in the number of low socio-economic status pupils accessing Higher Education. This may indicate that the work of Aimhigher is worthwhile and should be continued in the future.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A