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Suffolk summit hears of success in helping deprived young people access higher education

PUBLISHED: 08:13 22 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:13 22 September 2018

Delegates at the neaco summit netowking lunch Picture: PAULA SHELDON

Delegates at the neaco summit netowking lunch Picture: PAULA SHELDON

Paula Sheldon

Education leaders gathered for a summit which heard how Suffolk is establishing itself at the forefront of a campaign to help disadvantage young people further their learning.

Sonia Ilie gives a speech at the neaco summit Picture: PAULA SHELDONSonia Ilie gives a speech at the neaco summit Picture: PAULA SHELDON

The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco) held its recent event at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds to hear about areas of success and best practice to help schools during a time of “stretched resources and ambitious targets”.

The neaco partnership works to help young people from deprived areas access higher education through its Take Your Place programme, delivered in schools and colleges by “higher education champions”.

Tom Levinson, neaco project manager at the University of Cambridge, said: “Our event kick starts an important year for our project and the schools and the young people we work with. neaco has performed strongly in the first year of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme, placing East Anglia at the forefront of research and development in the Widening Participation field – a position we will continue to advance on. We’ve demonstrated some of the ambitious goals and programmes we’ll be implementing this year with our schools. We have also looked at the economic and societal importance of all young people having the opportunity to progress to the right higher education programme for them, regardless of their background or where they live. “

Key speakers included Phanuel Mutumburi from the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) who discussed recent research on supporting communities to engage in their children’s education.

Sonia Ilie, lead researcher for neaco, showed attendees how their school is performing, based on a 2017 survey, which was said to have provided the most comprehensive data on young people’s ambitions for their future and higher education.

Anne-Marie Canning, director of social mobility and student success at King’s College London and independent chair of the Bradford Opportunity Area, was said to have given a passionate speech about the moral imperative for higher education institutions to increase opportunities for disadvantaged young people, and the impact it can achieve for society as a whole.

Visit for more about neaco.

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