Higher education activities and the NCOP programme Survey

Information for parents Higher education activities and the NCOP programme

Higher education outreach activities are aimed at showing students the higher education opportunities available at college and university, and how completing a higher education course can benefit their job prospects. The activities may also improve students' attainment. The activities are being run by HeppSY+, Hepp, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and other approved partners.

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme's (NCOP) aim is to increase the number of young people progressing to university and higher education by 2020. The HeppSY+ team and their partners1 are being funded by the Office for Students (OfS) to undertake outreach activities with some young people at your child's school to let them know about the benefits of going into higher education. Your child may have the opportunity to take part in activities such as university campus visits, summer schools, finance workshops and other higher education opportunities.

1 Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), the University of Sheffield (TUoS) and the Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP).

Why do we need to collect data and evaluate higher education activities?

To make sure the activities we provide are useful and effective for young people, we need to gather certain information which we use purely for research and evaluation purposes. Under data protection law we are able to process this data because the activities are a task carried out are in the public interest. It is also important to prove that what we do is working. We must:

1. ensure that the activities we offer are appropriate

2. identify the most effective activities and best practice

3. measure the impact of our activities

Collecting individual information

We will ask your child's school/college to provide information about all of the young people in the school. We collect this information to identify participants for outreach activities, monitor and evaluate, and enable us to track individual young people over time to find out whether or not they eventually apply to any form of higher education. If your child has not taken part in any activity from members of the partnership, their data will be securely deleted at the end of the academic year. The types of data we collect are outlined below: Full Name


Looked after child/ Care leaver status

Date of Birth

Free school meals status

Estranged status (if available)


Attainment data (if relevant)

If first generation of Higher Education (if available)


Pupil premium


Young Carer status


Secure storage of the student data will be done using the Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT). The HEAT service and database is a national database which is used to record the students attending outreach activities, with the aim of following their potential progression towards higher education. The data protection and storage processes set in place by HEAT ensure that the data is stored securely and not shared without your permission. For research purposes only, HEAT might share the student data with educational organisations such as government departments or agencies (e.g. UCAS or the Higher Education Statistics Agency).

Data protection

Data will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, 2018) and Data Protection Act 2018, as well as all legislation enacted in the UK in respect of the protection of personal data. As the NCOP is a collaborative programme, this information will be shared between HeppSY+, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), The University of Sheffield (TUoS) and the Higher Education Progression Partnership (Hepp). HeppSY+ and its partners will not release individual information to anyone who is unauthorised. More details about this can be found on Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield websites:

All data will be stored securely and any reporting will be done so through collated data, meaning that individual students will not be identifiable.

Data retention

Students engaging in outreach activity whilst under the age of 21 will have their data retained by the Universities on the HEAT database for 15 years after their graduation, or until they reach 30 years of age (whichever period is greater). After this point, data will be anonymised in bulk at the beginning of the next academic year.


As part of the NCOP evaluation, we will ask a selection of students in Years 10-13 to complete a short questionnaire in the autumn term. The questionnaire is designed to collect information about each student’s knowledge and attitudes towards university/higher education. We will run the survey once a year so that we can capture any changes over time. Your child's participation is entirely voluntary.

Your rights

You have a number of rights under data protection law, including the 'right to object' or request for your child's data to be removed from our system. If you have a query, complaint or request about the use of your child's data please contact Lucy Clague (details below).

You are also entitled to request copies of all the personal data that the Partnership holds about you, this is called a Subject Access Request. If you would like to make a request for any information held about you please get in touch with the universities using the link above.

Contact HeppSY+:

Lucy Clague Evaluation and Data Manager HeppSY+ 0114 225 3052