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Despite having many affluent areas, East Sussex has some of the highest levels of deprivation in the South East, concentrated in coastal towns with Hastings being the most deprived area in the region and one of 12 Opportunity Areas in the Country.

There are poorer outcomes at ages 16 and 19, especially in the HE (Higher Education) cold spot areas. Intensive work is being funded across our partner FECs (Further Education Colleges) who have a population of over 1100+ NCOP learners, many of whom face a range of barriers into progressing onto higher level learning. The rural and coastal demographic of the region with poor transport infrastructure has been known to create physical barriers in accessing further and higher education providers.

‘Go Further’ is a collaborative venture between Sussex Coast College and Sussex Downs with their main campuses covering Hastings, Eastbourne and Lewes. Both colleges have implemented a suite of activities designed to support, encourage and enable their identified cohorts to progress onto higher level learning.

Go Further is providing an intensive programme of CEIAG including one-to-one UCAS support, mentoring and other bespoke activities and interventions identified by the SLN:COP College coordinators to benefit NCOP students.  In addition, the coordinators offer impartial information advice and guidance to feeder secondary schools, particularly around transition for in-coming Y11 NCOP cohorts. A discretionary bursary fund is also available to help students with travel to work placements and university interviews, for example.

Funding for Liaison coaches have helped the programme to provide expert coaching and mentoring as well as tailoring support to meet specific needs for example with care leavers or students with a disability. A new peer mentoring scheme has been established offering an extra layer of study support to college learners – watch the video below to find out more about this successful programme and the positive impact it is having on our young people:


“NCOP funding has enabled Sussex Coast College Hastings to increase the number of students applying for university by 15% (from 252 to 291). We have provided additional coaching to over 100 NCOP eligible students with 60 of these applying through UCAS. A further 44 students who are resitting their GCSE Maths* are benefitting for additional support from funding via NCOP to enable them to gain a higher grade and prepare for university application next year.

Given that Hastings is one of the coldest spots for HE progression in the country we see these initial results as a really positive step in enabling our students see that higher level skills and Higher Education in general is relevant to them and we look forward to further increased levels of engagement in year two”. Dan Shelley, Vice-Principal Sussex Coast College

This short video talks about the support Tom, a young carer has received through the Go Further Programme:

For further information please email our Post 16 Liaison Programme Manager, Lucy Jenks