Our Annual Report 2019 Is Now Available


During 2019, the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco) partnership grew in terms of both our impact and our success. The continuing passion and commitment of our fantastic collaborative teams is enhancing the support and guidance we deliver to our region’s schools, colleges and young people through the Take Your Place programme.

Over the last year, we have remained focused on raising the aspirations and engagement of our target students throughout East Anglian schools, sixth forms and further education colleges (FECs). Meanwhile we continue to work with teachers, parents and local communities to ensure that young people receive the best support and information with which to make an informed decision on the wide variety of pathways into higher education they can access.

Looking ahead to our fourth year, our partners continue to work hard to deliver a wide range of impartial activities to local students across five universities, nine FECs and through local visits to schools and sixth forms. In 2019 alone, neaco delivered 3,437 activities to 32,436 students - an astonishing achievement made possible through the enthusiasm and determination of all staff working on the project.

We have refreshed our progression framework to better complement schools and colleges’ priorities, aligning with the Gatsby Foundation’s eight benchmarks for Good Career Guidance, and added capacity for engaging with staff and parents. Delivered by our Higher Education Champions across the region, alongside teachers and tutors within our schools and colleges, this has contributed to a fantastic 14% increase in the number of target students engaged throughout the three counties, up to 13,025 from 10,878 in 2018.

The project remains committed to robust evaluation. We saw a 20% increase in the number of follow-up surveys completed by students (up to 27,743) in 2019. As well as helping us to understand ‘what works’ in the region, the evidence gathered from this huge volume of surveys will contribute significantly to the national evaluation. Our relationships with local businesses, public and third sector organisations in East Anglia have continued to develop in 2019.

We have explored new ways to collaborate with the Opportunity Areas in Norwich, Ipswich and Fenland & East Cambridgeshire, including building on new relationships with parents, through our Higher Education Parent Champions, who help to address misconceptions and concerns around their children’s progression into higher education. We have also increased guidance on alternative options, including higher and degree apprenticeships. 

2020 brings new challenges and a greater than ever imperative to use this opportunity to positively change the landscape of higher education outreach in the region. Working closely with schools, colleges, other Uni Connect partnerships and a wide range of organisations and agencies in the region, our partnership remains committed to helping realise the ambitions of young people across East Anglia, both now and for years to come.