Leicester and Leicestershire schools and colleges receive 240000 boost

The work of local educators across Leicester and Leicestershire to encourage young people to progress to higher education has received a boost today after it was announced that the local REACH Partnership, based at the University of Leicester, will over the next two years receive £240,000 in government funding after being chosen as one of the new HEFCE National Networks for Collaborative Outreach.

This will expand upon the operating budget of £60,000 currently provided by the University of Leicester, De Montfort University and Loughborough University. This existing investment means that rather than building a collaborative network from scratch, as is the case in many areas in Leicester and Leicestershire, the government funding can be used to further develop the work of the REACH Partnership.

Professor Mark Peel, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Student Experience) at the University of Leicester, said: “The REACH Partnership’s successful application reflects the very high quality of its outreach work with schools and colleges throughout Leicester and Leicestershire. As the base for REACH, our University can be proud of its leadership and its sustained commitment to the goal of widening participation.

"This is also a welcome endorsement of the idea of using regional partnerships to foster greater participation; the most important goal is not competition between universities, but collaboration to ensure that more young people feel that they have a place in higher education.”

The new funding is being provided from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to encourage local higher education providers to work together to enhance the support provided to local schools.

It is also planned that the partnership will expand to provide support for teachers and pupils in local post-16 education and special schools. 

The partnership is governed by a Management Board that brings together educational stakeholders from across Leicestershire and is chaired by the headteachers of a local city and county school.