Aimhigher provides discrete activities as well as progressive programmes to target groups of learners who are under-represented in higher education. In 2014-15, 6% of disabled students and 7% of LAC progressed to University; 18% of participants in the Core AHLS programme were Looked After while 16% declared they had a disability.

Aimhigher is committed to widening the opportunities for these cohorts and works with specialist staff  (Virtual Schools and SENCOs) and University Outreach departments  to support these learners and key adults around them to understand the benefits of University and raise awareness of the generic and specific support available to them.

Due to the comparative small numbers we are able to track their progress and evaluate the effectiveness of their involvement in the programme.

Looked After Children (LAC)

Learners in the Care of the Local Authority 

The programme has been running since 2008.  In that time 38% of students attending the programme went on to study at University. 80% of those students went onto study at one of the 3 participating Universities.

In providing a continuous and consistent experience of a series of distinct but linked activities with familiar staff and Undergraduates (Student Ambassadors) we aim to provide an opportunity to explore the idea of university within a structured and identifiable programme.


‘Into HE’ programme aims to achieve the following:

  • better prepare students to engage with the idea of ‘University’ as a realistic option
  • increase the level of knowledge and understanding of Higher Education
  • raise awareness of the support available at University
  • engage foster carers and care workers in the process

Look to the Future programme II

28 young people and 18 adults (10 staff and 8 foster carers) attended the launch of the Look to the Future programme at SOAS on 10th April. This was a lively launch where young people debated their position on whether and to what extent they thought a University education was beneficial and all were able to experience a subject taster in the form of a music session run by one of SOAS’ student ambassadors. Learners were also introduced to their HE passport which they will take with them and add to over the course of the programme. See the programme here.

The programme Aim The overarching aim of the programme is to enable young people and their foster carers to consider HE when thinking about post-18 options through a progressive and structured programme informed by the learner outcomes identified through the network. These objectives and embedded within the context of a range of experiences of a range of different universities.

Target group Young people in year 8-year 12 in the care of the local authority and the key adults who support them.

Structure This programme was originally run in 2014-15 and the content developed through our LAC network consisting of 9 LAs and 7 HEIs. The current programme runs from April 2017-July 2018 and consists of a series of 7 visits to each of our partner HEIs that includes subject tasters and activities that support the learner objectives previously identified. See the programme.

Launch – 10th April – SOAS                                                                       

visit 1  –   12th April – St Mary’s University

visit 2 – 1st June – Kingston University

visit 3 – 31at July – University of Roehampton

visit 4 – 23rd October – Goldsmith’s University

visit 5 – tbc- St George’s University London

visit 6 -tbc – Royal Veterinary College

Celebration -tbc – SOAS

Recent programmes (2015-16) LAC Coaching: Higher Education Champions programme

14 university undergraduates were matched with 16 learners across 7 local authorities to support their progression to University (interim report). . PDF

LAC Coaching: Higher Education Champions programme 2015-16

14 university undergraduates were matched with 16 learners across 7 local authorities to support their progression to University (interim report). PDF 

I’m glad I came to all of them because I’ve learnt something different in each one.

Yr 9 Student

Into HE, Merton

They are more motivated because they have a higher expectation of themselves and so do we.

KS4 Curriculum Manager


Disabled students

Preparing to Progress conference (conference for learners, staff and parents) 

Monday 27th March 2017,  10-3pm

50 delegates (learners, staff and parents) attended the Preparing to Progress conference at London South Bank University.

The aim of the conference was to provides delegates with:

  • An experience of some of the latest software to support learning pre and on-course at University
  • An understanding of the support available at University and how to access it
  • An appreciation of the importance of identifying yourself early and the assessment process

The programme included a series of workshops/presentations:

  • Identifying your own strengths and needs
  • The Diagnostic assessment – what you need to know?
  • Mind mapping – use the latest Assistive Technology software
  • How to research the support available at different HEIs

Click here for Preparing to Progress programme and presentations’.

If you would like further information, please contact Suzanne Marchment,, tel: 0208-417 7563

CPD Conference – Participation to support SEND progression: Collaboration in practice

Thursday 17th November 2016 St Mary’s University, Twickenham



Participation to support SEND progression:Collaboration in practice 

Thursday 17th November 2016 St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Aimhigher London South ran its first SEN CPD conference in November to support the understanding of what is available within and across institutions to support progression for learners with disabilities. This was an opportunity for attendees to participate in cross-sector discussions to identify good practice in supporting the transition from school to college, college to University and school to university.

55 practitioners (a combination of college and school staff and charitable organisations) met to share their experiences and fins out about Aimhigher London South’s newly-formed Disability Support Group and the Disability Support Services Directory

Comments: ‘Great opportunity to get the perspectives of all stakeholders’  ‘Good diverse group of delegates’   ‘There is a need for collaboration in this sector – understanding the needs for coordination to demonstrate inclusion.’

 Conference Programme17th November, 2016

I thought that with his difficulties (although being bright) university would be blocked off for him. Now I wont dissuade him from an academic route. 


Yr 12 SpLD Transitions conference

‘There have been so many occasions when students have said they are not going to university, then having been to the Aimhigher conference, they have decided to apply and have been very successful on their degree courses.’


Yr 12 SpLD conference

It takes so long to find out what each University is doing – this brings it all into one place.


Yr 12 SpLD Conference


For further information contact:

Suzanne Marchment, Director


Telephone: 020 8417 7563