Evaluation of Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge. Pupil outcomes one year on

Marian Morris, Simon Rutt, Tilaye Yeshanew

23 November 2005

Research report available to download from DFE

Launched by the DfES in 2001 under the name of Excellence Challenge, Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge was initiated for young people, aged 13 to 19, who were in schools and colleges in deprived (primarily urban) areas. The main aim of the policy was to increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who had the qualifications and aspirations to enter higher education. Since its inception, the initiative has been both extended and expanded and, in August 2004, Excellence Challenge was integrated with Partnerships for Progression into one coherent outreach programme: Aimhigher.

This report is one of a series looking at the educational and economic impact of Aimhigher: Excellence Challenge. It draws on qualitative and quantitative data obtained as part of a large-scale longitudinal evaluation, conducted on behalf of the DfES by a consortium led by the NFER and comprising researchers at both LSE and IFS. The data has been collected since the start of the 2001/02 academic year from young people (in compulsory education, in further education, training or work and in higher education), from schools, colleges and higher education institutions and from Excellence Challenge: Aimhigher partnerships. This report focuses particularly on the analysis of the data that was collected, over two academic years (2001/02 and 2002/03), from 19,998 young people in Year 11 and 17,116 in Year 9 (See Chapter 1.2)

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