Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  7 / 20 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 20 Next Page
Page Background

3. Who participates?

RO participants are very able students from backgrounds which make them less likely to progress to higher education

(HE), especially to RIUs. In short, they are the ‘most able and least likely’ to attend HE. As individuals, students that

the RO programme aims to support can be defined using three key characteristics

3

:

l

They come from schools performing below the national

average (at key stages 4 and/or 5) or which have a higher

number of students eligible for free school meals than the

national average.

l

They must have achieved eight A*-C/9-4 GCSE grades

(or equivalent qualifications), including English and Maths,

and have at least five subjects graded A*-B or 9-6.

l

They meet two of the following criteria:

l

Live in a neighbourhood with a low progression rate to

higher education, or with a high level of deprivation

5

l

Come from a home where neither parent attended

university

l

Be entitled to discretionary payments / 16 - 19 bursary /

Pupil Premium at school / college

l

Be entitled to free school meals

l

Alternatively, if students are living in, or have lived in,

local authority care, or are a young carer, then they

are eligible without needing to meet two of the above

criteria.

If students do not meet the prior attainment criteria or at

least two of the widening participation (WP) criteria, but have

experienced difficult family or individual circumstances that

may affect their performance in exams or the likelihood

of them going to university, their application may still be

considered on an individual basis.

To date, over 6,000 students in total have taken part in the

RO Programme. Key statistics about students in the most

recent annual RO cohort, and the total population to date,

are presented in Table 2 below:

3. This shows the criteria for participants up to and including Cohort 9 ie the students discussed in this report. The most recent criteria for recruitment

to RO is on the RO website –

www.realisingopportunities.ac.uk

4. Based on Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) quintile. POLAR is a measure of education disadvantage. For more information see

https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/polar-participation-of-local-areas/

5. Based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation

(https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/english-indices-of-deprivation-2015

)

Table 2 Key characteristics of latest Cohort, and all RO starters

Cohort 9

All cohorts

Starters on the programme

1,013

6,059

Gender breakdown

70% female/30% male

66% female/34% male

Ethnicity breakdown

46% white/54% BME

53% white/47% BME

% from POLAR quintiles 1 and 2

60%

66%

% with parents with no experience of HE

92%

91%

% entitled to free school meals

31%

28%

% in receipt of discretionary payments/EMA

60%

54%

% with a disability or special need

9%

7%

% with 8 or more GCSE passes at A*-C grades

98%

99%

5