NCOP Case Studies

Working with NCOPs to meet their objectives

MADE Training Ltd (MADE) works with a number of NCOP consortia to deliver outstanding outreach events. These consortia include: Higher Horizons+; Go Higher West Yorkshire; Greater Manchester Higher; Study Higher; GROWS; Next Steps South West; Make Happen Essex; LincHigher and Hello Future. We work on a consultative basis, helping each consortia select the most relevant workshops to meet the needs of their targeted learners and to help them make informed decisions with regard to progressing through to Higher Education. To date, MADE has worked with over 35,000 NCOP targeted learners. Below you will find case studies highlighting how MADE works on a bespoke basis with different consortia to achieve great results within their overall strategic plan.

Higher Horizons +

Higher Horizons+

Higher Horizons+ is a collaborative network of ten Universities and Colleges; Keele University , University of Chester, University of Derby, Harper Adams University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Sommerville College University of Oxford, Staffordshire University and Reaseheath College. They work together to engage and support schools with outreach activities as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE have supported Higher Horizons+ since May 2017, with the hosting and delivery of student-focused events held at both Keele and Staffordshire Universities. Local schools are invited to bring their target students on-site to experience campus tours and MADE workshops (focused on raising aspiration, motivation and attainment). Many schools who come and take part in the events have requested that MADE comes in to their individual schools to deliver further sessions across the student cohort.



“MADE were as fantastic as ever delivering high energy, inspirational, content rich sessions. They left the students with tangible ways to improve their studies, revision and general outlook on the future. A great way to start the new term.”

Heather Dowler. NCOP Hub Officer. Higher Horizons+

“Students from our school, The Cheadle Academy, attended two MADE Training workshops held at Staffordshire University on the 11th October 2017. The students involved included our most disengaged and least motivated students. The workshop was considered to be an excellent vehicle for them to not only improve their grades but also their confidence. Most of our weaker academic performance comes from lack of confidence not lack of intelligence. The ‘Self MADE Motivation’ workshop proved to be an excellent means of delivering that extra confidence and self belief. Students genuinely felt better about themselves after the event and felt they could achieve more, in fact just being able to recognise they could was a big step for some. They also felt a sense of entitlement to success, i.e. it was for them too. The ‘Exams MADE Easy’ workshop was equally effective in delivering a set of skills and demonstrating how what seems impossible can be achieved in a very short time, meaning that over the coming months, if the same set of skills were applied to their GCSEs then they should achieve a lot more than they think they can. Again, this linked to a belief that they could do something rather than they cant … or at least cant yet.”

Adrian Harding, Key Stage 4 Leader – The Cheadle Academy

Next Steps South West

Next Steps South West

Next Steps South West brings together a variety of higher and further education providers, and its membership includes:

  • Devon – University of Plymouth, University of Exeter, University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth College of Art, South Devon College, City College Plymouth, Exeter College, Petroc
  • Cornwall – Cornwall College Group, University of Exeter Penryn Campus, Falmouth University, Truro and Penwith College
  • Somerset – Strode College, Bridgwater & Taunton College

It draws on the experience and expertise of existing consortia, such as the Devon Collaborative Outreach Network and Next Steps Cornwall, establishing fresh approaches to outreach activities that foster new relationships with target schools at a local level.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE began working with Next steps South West (NSSW) in June 2017, delivering workshops on goal-setting, planning and future-orientation.  The workshops are being delivered both at Exeter College and in local schools. The workshops have been selected to help the targeted students make informed decisions about their potential progression through KS5 and HE/FE. MADE are currently in the process of co-designing a workshop with one of the NSSW hubs, aimed at helping each student to plan the route to their dream career. We are rather excited with regard to the outcomes.



“We asked MADE to deliver the lighthouse activity to group of year 12 students in one of our target schools. The feedback was very positive from students with statements stating that they now felt they would be able to plan and set targets for a whole range of challenges within and outside school. We felt the activities were engaging, thought-provoking and enjoyable for students in this particular age range.”
Peter Reeves, Outreach Officer – Next Steps South West NCOP

Study Higher

Study Higher

Study Higher is a collaborative network of higher education (HE) providers who work together to deliver outreach activities to young people to inform them about future educational opportunities. Work is specifically delivered across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Swindon with an overall aim to increase participation in HE by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Study Higher is based at Oxford Brookes University.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE has been working in partnership with Study Higher since 2015 in a variety of capacities. Firstly, we have we worked with students from years 9 through to year 13, supporting them in becoming motivated and independent learners. Our workshops often form part of university taster days. These often combine campus tours, taster sessions and seminar groups alongside our workshops to create a truly immersive event. Secondly, we have worked with the outreach officers and ambassadors, training them in effective workshop design and delivery.  The Study Higher outreach events are very well coordinated, giving their students an excellent learning experience.

“On behalf of Head of 6th Form and me, we would like to thank you again for you support on Friday with the 6th form students at Sir Herbert Leon Academy. I know from speaking to some of the students, they found the day informative, useful and fun.”
Gabriella Gabriel, Higher Education Liaison Officer – Study Higher, Milton Keynes

“Thank you for sharing this feedback with us! Without fail, every time, Sander delivers a fantastic session with every single students laughing and enjoying themselves. I will be sharing this feedback with all staff members who attended. Best wishes.”
Hannah Rose-Ford, Study Higher Liaison Officer – Oxford Brookes

Make Happen

Make Happen

Make Happen is the name of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) for Essex and is dedicated to inspire young people, raise their ambitions and promote interest in higher education (HE) as a route to achieving their ambitions.

Make Happen represent a group of education providers and interested parties brought together with a common aim to widen participation and help young people Make Happen.

Based at the University of Essex, the Make Happen team lead on the development and implementation of outreach activity and the marketing of a range of events, activities and initiatives to achieve the stated objectives

Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE began working with Make Happen in 2016 and have delivered workshops right across the area. We have worked on our own in schools and colleges, and have also worked collaboratively with other external providers at University open days or taster sessions.



“I feel much more confident in helping & supporting my son through his revision. I’m glad I can talk to him about the session he had during the day.”

Shona, year 11 parent – Mark Hall Academy


“Convinced me to try harder, motivated me and helped me to set clear targets.”

Logan, year 10 student – Sweyne Park School



GROWS are a network of six Gloucestershire based universities and colleges led by the University of Gloucestershire in partnership with: Royal Agricultural University (RAU), Gloucestershire College, Cirencester College, Hartpury College  and South Gloucestershire & Stroud College (SGS). GROWS work together with Gloucestershire schools and colleges to encourage young people to raise their aspirations supporting them to:

  • Become motivated and confident about their learning and progression;
  • Explore the world of higher education and what it might mean for them;
  • Make informed decisions about their future.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE have partnered with GROWS in delivering a carefully planned and targeted series of outreach activities throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, focusing on students within years 11 and 12. The project begins in September with all year 11 students taking part in ‘The Lighthouse’. This workshop is aimed at raising and clarifying the students’ aspirations. The second phase of the project is scheduled for January 2018 and will see all year 11s taking part in ‘Exams MADE Easy’ and year 12s taking part in ‘Stepping Up’. These workshops will give the students the necessary skills to study independently and raise their attainment. GROWS have done an amazing job on the logistics with our trainers often visiting two schools on each day (one AM / one PM).



“This has helped me to visualise the good things in the future and put me in a positive mood. It made me realise what I can achieve if I work hard.”
Jack, year 11 student – St Peter’s RC High School

“Our Lighthouse workshop was delivered to a very high standard. MADE arrived well in advance of the session start and were fully equipped with resources and ready to begin on time. The students were engaged and responded very positively to the tasks. The session itself was broken down into manageable tasks that came together to form a ‘big picture’ with clear pathways and next steps. The different areas/topics that had been considered as part of the theme were varied and interesting and gave the students real food for thought. I have received a number of positive comments from students and staff about the experience and would not hesitate to invite MADE back to our school. Many thanks.”
Ellie O’Regan, Teacher of Music & Head of Careers – The Dean Academy

“It allowed me to see the steps I need to take to ensure I receive the best grades I can get. It was helpful and it will help me make my next steps manageable.”
Becca, year 11 student – All Saints Academy

Go Higher West Yorkshire

Go Higher West Yorkshire

Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) provides a single point of contact for information on their 12 Higher Education Provider partners, to help with access and preparation for studying. GHWY is a partnership of 12 Higher Education Providers, including Bradford College, University of Bradford, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City College, Leeds Arts University, Leeds College of Building, University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity University, Wakefield College, University of Huddersfield, Kirklees College and Calderdale College. GHWY provision includes a diverse offer of progression opportunities for people of all ages to access Higher Education. Part of their innovative programme of delivery is to work with cohorts of pupils to encourage them to think positively about their progression options and opportunities. Go Higher West Yorkshire was formerly known as the HEART partnership.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE has worked with GHWY in helping students to understand the benefits of successful academic progression and to build their confidence in achieving it. MADE has delivered a number of sessions within schools across the target wards and looks forward to working closely together in 2018.



“Inspired me to become more motivated by working on my attitude and self-talk. Helped me to focus on the things I want and to think about the ways in which I get them.”
Ciaran, year 12 student – Hanson Academy


“We had three trainers from MADE working with year 11, 12 and 13 over two days this week. It was the first or second day back for most students and a few were new to St Wilfrid’s sixth form. The sixth form students really seemed to enjoy the creativity tests and the games used to start off the session which woke them up and got them ready for some more serious work. The ‘Active Reading’ methods will be very useful for their upcoming revision and assignments; one of the teachers in Joe’s session commented ‘I wish I had been taught this in sixth form’. Both trainers were really enthusiastic and connected well with the students. A staff member who was observing James’s session commented on how well he engaged his audience and maintained their interest. On the second day the trainers Danny and James worked with year 11 students on ‘Goals and Aspirations’. I think this was a really good session to start students off at the beginning of their GCSE year as it really made them think about what they want to achieve and how they might do it in a realistic way. The students seemed to find the section about ‘visualisation’ really interesting. I was in Danny’s sessions most of the day and it was really good that he went round the groups and spoke to students individually about their own goals and interests. We hope to build on the work done in these sessions over the next academic year. Thank you MADE!”

Lucy Holehan, NCOP Higher Education Progression Officer – Go Higher West Yorkshire


“A wake up call to get motivated. It helped me to commit to things and be confident, and believe in myself.”

Jonathon, Year 11 Student – St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School

Greater Manchester Higher

Greater Manchester Higher

Greater Manchester Higher is a collaboration of universities and further education colleges from across Greater Manchester, who are working together to provide high quality outreach activities for local schools and colleges. GM Higher aims to improve the provision of information, advice and guidance about progression routes to higher education (HE) and improved information about the variety of HE options for learners and their key influencers.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE began working with GM Higher in December 2017. In the weeks before Christmas, MADE visited five schools and colleges across the region, delivering a variety of workshops. GM Higher are testing a range of delivery options including full-days of delivery at their FE colleges and half-day workshops at their participating schools.



“Clearer understanding of the future and careers. I now know what actions I have to take to complete my short-term goals and get my aspirations.”

Caleb, year 10 student – Manchester Enterprise Academy


“In one of GM Higher’s target schools we had both the Power Hour: Marginal Gains and the Power Hour: Goals and Aspirations. After observing both these workshops, I thought they were very insightful and can really help develop students to become better learners and find out what they want from their future. I would definitely recommend them to any school and I will be using them further as they are very effective workshops that students can gain a lot from, I even came away learning a few things myself! Can’t wait to try out some of the other workshops in the future.”

Owen Calderbank, Graduate Advisor – Greater Manchester Higher


“I have learnt about effective revision techniques that will help me with my A Levels. It will help me to focus and not waste time.”

Sian, Year 11 Student – Loreto College

Hello Future

Hello Future

Hello Future is a partnership of local universities, colleges and employers who are committed to improving access to higher education young people in Cumbria.

They offer guidance and practical support to help young people with future decision making and choices. The Hello Future programme offers a range of workshops and events that enable young people to explore the different routes and options into higher education, whilst focusing on the practical skills and experience needed. As an organisation, we also provide advice, guidance and support to teachers and advisors, as well as to parents, guardians and carers with the higher education process.


Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE began working with Hello Future in December 2017. We have supported many schools and colleges across the region, with our delivery focused on short, one hour workshops covering revision skills and goal setting.



“Showed me a different perspective on how to learn. It was a very enjoyable experience.”

Chantelle, year 10 student – St Josephs Catholic High School


“I liked the practical’s – helped to enforce the ideas. More of the same please!”

John, Tutor – Furness College


“Helps me understand myself more. Also helps me understand what to do to get better. It has also motivated me.”

Peter, Year 11 Student – Beacon Hill Community School



LINCHigher is a partnership of 11 education providers and organisations across Lincolnshire. Their aim is to help Lincolnshire’s students and education professionals to find the opportunities, resources and events available to them.

Our logistical and delivery relationship:

MADE began working with LINCHigher in October 2018. We have supported a number of schools across the area and have delivered CPD training to 200+ teachers, tutors and support staff.



“Encouraged me to push myself even further and explore different techniques which are effective. Absolutely brilliant!”

Anne, year 11 student – Thomas Middlecott Academy


“Very enjoyable with many tips on motivating learners in a straight forward way. Many thanks.”

Charles, Senior Tutor – Boston College

If you would like further information on how we support NCOP consortia across England then call us on 0800 2707660

Our clients include


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