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Recent evidence, including the recommendations of the National Council for Educational Excellence, highlighted the need for the higher education sector to work with schools and academies. School-HE links are widely regarded as critical to the success of national strategies designed to raise the attainment of learners, widen participation and promote learner progression to the full range of higher education available.

In response, HEFCE funded a grant programme to research, develop and evaluate institutional practice relating to these links. A total of 11 institutions have been funded to explore and disseminate this information. Reports from the projects can be downloaded below.

The projects looked to evaluate links focused on one or all of: support for learners; curriculum development; and shared governance and strategic planning arrangements. The projects provide substantial description of the key elements and approaches taken and in some cases the critical success factors to enabling strategic partnerships. 'Grant programme relating to links between higher education institutions, schools, colleges and academies' (HEFCE Circular letter 01/2009) gives more information about the grant programme. 

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Date: 1 March 2010

Ref: Independent research