The current round of SHEP funding comes to an end in July 13. All the indications are positive and we are confident that the programme will continue. As part of the review of the first two years of SHEP, we have been asked to provide an evaluation of the programme to SFC with our annual report that is due in January 2013.

As you will be aware, the LIFT OFF programme has evolved and developed significantly since its inception in 2005. We are using the evaluation as an opportunity to take a critical look at our programme and reflect on whether it continues to meets its aims and objectives and how we might continue to improve it.

Over the next 9 months we will be looking at a number of development areas as follows:

Evaluation of activity in schools – an evaluation questionnaire has been posted out to each of our schools. This will help us assess the relevance of each part of the programme and also help us prioritise resources in the new funding period.

Development of LIFT OFF Learning Skills – the evaluation of the pilot year (2011/12) is complete and the report has been circulated. We have now appointed a development worker to look at how we can build on this and develop an S6 programme that will build closer links with HE institutions and assist the application process and transition to higher education.

The role of students in supporting LIFT OFF – as you know, students are fundamental to our programme. We will be working with NUS Scotland for the next 6 months to produce a report and recommendations on how we can better utilise and train students to support widening access activities.

All the above are designed to continue to improve the programme and we greatly appreciate your support in the process.

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