Innovation Fund Round #1

SLN:COP Innovation Funding was a new approach to encourage partnerships between university academics, community organisations and a wider network of further education stakeholders to develop a series of  outreach programmes based in community and alternative settings that seek to address and tackle barriers of progression into higher level learning.

The first funding stream invited applications to address ways for partnerships to bring together community knowledge with academic perspectives to support targeted young people to explore and address:

  • their aspirations for the future
  • their views of post 18 study programmes and,
  • the challenges and barriers associated with engaging with these

We were looking for projects to develop activities in two main strands:

  1. New Evidence – gather new insights, evidence and information
  2. New Approaches – activities and interventions that put new ideas about supporting young people with their aspirations and barriers into practice.

The following partnership projects were awarded funds to deliver activity between February 2018 to September 2018:

Beyond the school gates – Mentoring support for excluded students and their families

University of Sussex, University of Portsmouth and West Sussex Parent Carer Forum

Care Leavers reaching university – Shaping best practice through strategy and reform

University of Brighton, The Bridge and Brighton & Hove City Council

Graffiti – a new approach for year 12 learners – Exploring visual culture in a HE setting

University of Chichester and Outside In

Growing STEM – Community outreach for parents and toddlers

University of Chichester and West Sussex County Council

LGBTQ Youth and access to HE – Addressing challenges, empowering voices

University of Brighton, University of Sussex and Allsorts Youth Project

Refugee Background Students moving through HE – Understanding challenges through action research

University of Sussex, Sanctuary on Sea and Hummingbird Project

Bounce Down: Music Production – Blending creative skills with soft outreach

GB MET College, Audioactive and University of Brighton

Sussex Writes – Creative writing as a powerful outreach tool

University of Sussex, Little Green Pig and Beacon Academy

Innovation Fund Round #2

Owing to the successful outcomes and impact from the first round of the innovation fund, SLN:COP invited collaborative bids from educational providers and community groups to deliver outreach activity targeted at some of our more vulnerable learners across Sussex. The fund helps to explore and understand some of the barriers these young people might be facing in their educational journey by harnessing local, and more specialised community knowledge.

We were pleased to award the following projects which are running until June 2019:

Me to You – LGBTQ and Best Practice in Schools

AllSorts Youth Project and St Catherine’s College

Tackling Poor Attendance – Understanding issues through parental engagement

Joff Centre and Peacehaven Community School

Young Carers Research Project – Influencing University Policy

The Carers Centre and University of Sussex

Supporting Children in Care and Care Leavers – Alternative Pathways to HE through a Forest School Approach

Brighton & Hove City Council and Plumpton College

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers – Exploring cultural voice and learner choice

Families, Friends and Travellers, Hailsham Community College and University of Sussex

Young people in supported accommodation – Understanding barriers to HE

Brighton & Hove Foyer and GB Met College

Community and family based counselling – A new approach to improving attendance

Varndean School, Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, Person centred counselling and psychotherapy#


Disseminating any research findings and sharing best practice is a key output of our innovation fund strand. More recently, the OfS cited some of our research carried out by our Refugee Background Status programme that was funded last year.

For further information about any of these initiatives, please email our Innovations Fund Project Manager Debra Vice-Holt