Welcome to Hello Future’s first Partnership Newsletter. This newsletter was created so that we can provide you with updates of what we have been doing/ what is happening at Hello Future in between meetings. We have included spotlights on certain programmes and trips, a summary of learner engagement, and relevant news. If there is something you are interested in that hasn’t been covered, please let us know and we will endeavour to include it next time!

Click on the button below to meet our team and find out a bit more about who we are, what our roles are and what we can help you with. The links in the contents will take you to the relevant sections of the newsletter, and at the end of each item there is an opportunity to jump back to the top of the page.

We have tried to make this page as user-friendly as possible, but if you find any issues or have any suggestions, please let us know at

We hope you enjoy the newsletter,

The Hello Future Team


A Hello Future and University of Cumbria Project

The Year 7 reading project is aimed at working with small groups of Year 7 students who’s reading ability is below expectations. Prior to the interventions each group undertook a YARC assessment to shows where students strengths and areas of development are, for example, single word recognition, comprehension etc. This enabled the team to tailor interventions to address common weaknesses to support weaknesses in reading.  Due to the excellent work of the team, feedback from schools suggested that learners had increased their enjoyment of reading. 

Following the 12-session intervention, learners received a Waterstones gift voucher and planned visit to their local Waterstones store where they can spend their voucher and engage with books in a different environment outside of school. 
The Hello Future team have recently completed a second group of interventions with Furness Academy and Richard Rose Central Academy, as part of the evaluation of the project and where initial findings are positive (see below for key facts from the report). 
One of the main challenges with reading interventions involves the single word recognition and use of phonics in school.  Schools use their own systematic methods, that needed to be followed. The professionalism and passion for reading from the team ensured that this was not a barrier and the team encouraged students to use the rules they had learned throughout school and practice them during the interventions. 

During the summer term the Hello Future team will be delivering the reading intervention to Solway and Beacon Hill schools. Attainment schools within each of our three areas by which time, will have received this intervention. 

Year 7 Reading Evaluation Report  

After an initial pilot of the year 7 reading scheme in 2022-23, forming part of Hello Future’s attainment raising programme, the Hello Future team made further adaptations to the intervention for 2023-24 delivery.  This project was ran in partnership with the University of Cumbria. 

As mentioned above, the intervention programme ran in two schools in Cumbria with the following structure: 

The six students selected for each group all had a lower than chronological age reading level. The students were also in receipt of Pupil Premium and/ or had another measure of disadvantage. The York Assessment of Reading Comprehension (YARC) was used to assess reading age. 

The sessions were facilitated by Hello Future outreach practitioners and the sessions were based on the Connector series of books published by Scholastic. Hello Future liaised with the schools to identify participant learners. 

The Hello Future Year 7 reading evaluation was conducted by Cosmos Engagement Ltd during the Autumn term of 2023-24 with the two participating Cumbrian schools.  We commissioned Cosmos to evaluate this project using a small n evaluation methodology, consisting of the following elements:  pre/post interviews with students and staff; pre/post YARC assessments, selected validated scales from the new TASO Access and Success Questionnaire (ASQ), and post-intervention interviews with the Hello Future team. A control group of students in each school was used in order to gain a clearer read on progress made by the intervention group.  

Hello Future and the University of Cumbria are delighted by the outcomes of the evaluation, as it shows that the intervention has the potential to positively impact reading levels. This was evidenced by: 

Feedback from the bookshop trip

Although the evaluation has demonstrated positive impact, the evaluation has also provided useful recommendations for further improvement and development of the intervention.

Below are some data insights into the learners the team and partners have worked with since project launch in 2017 and to this point in the 2023-24 academic year, as well as a few key milestones we’d like to celebrate! 

Figure 1 above depicts the total number of unique learners that we have engaged with, since the launch of the programme in 2017. It shows this at separate points within each of the 4 most recent Uni Connect monitoring periods (the final academic year being the current and on-going period). The graph depicts the sustained delivery to existing learners within the programme, across their academic school careers and across the 6 operational years of Hello Future. This therefore includes the incremental inclusion of new learners to the programme and those that leave school/ college each academic year. 

The current monitoring period (2023-24) to date:  

* Please note these figures represent only the full student data that Hello Future have received from schools and colleges to date and that are included on HEAT. Actual delivery statistics are higher. 

** As above these figures only represent data recorded on HEAT, we expect these percentages to be higher. Overall, we expect it to be nearer to the original 20% uni connect learner target, previously set by the Office for Students. 

Raising Attainment Programme:  Data Review 

From September 1st, 2023, until March 1st, 2024, Hello Future has had: 

* Please note these figures represents only the full student data that Hello Future have received from schools and colleges to date and that are included on HEAT. Actual delivery statistics are higher. 

Read our full Attainment School report here. 

Targeted Outreach Programme:  Data Review 

From September 1st 2023 until March 1st 2024, Hello Future has had 1198 student encounters with our learners across years 11-13 in our existing target schools.  This has resulted from the delivery of workshops, trips and assemblies. As before, this does not mean there have been 1198 individual students reached, as some students have been engaged within this programme on more than one occasion. 

Read our full Target School report here. 

These data reviews only represent delivery that has already been completed and uploaded to HEAT. We have a lot of upcoming delivery booked in that does not fall under these reviews and have included a booking tracker below so that you know how many workshops and trips we have booked in. This is constantly increasing and we are looking forward to continuing our conversations with our contacts in each area for more delivery bookings.

Breaking the mould

‘Breaking the Mould’ is a sustained programme of activity for 30 Year 8 boys. A key focus of the project is to support the boys in the exploration of education and career paths that are stereotypically perceived to be ‘female’. The boys have been selected from 3 schools across Cumbria– St Joseph’s Catholic High School (Workington), St John Henry Newman Catholic High School (Carlisle) and Furness Academy (Barrow). These students have engaged or are due to engage with several partners including NHS, BAE, their local college (e.g. Lakes College, Carlisle College, Furness College), Myerscough College and the University of Cumbria.  

The programme hoped to achieve a number of intended outcomes including an increased knowledge of labour market information, increased understanding of academic and career related progression routes, increased awareness of working life, increased understanding of the links between education and employment, increased intention to reject gender stereotypes in their future routes and an increased intention to progress into Higher Education.  

The programme combines a number of partner onsite visits and in school sessions with partners as well as the Hello Future team to expose the students to a wide range of opportunities they can consider for their future progression route. Subjects are set to include some or all of the following: Healthcare Careers such as Midwifery, Nursing, Mental Health, Occupational Therapy; Business Administration and Procurement; Fine Art and Sound Engineering; Animal Care, Equine Studies and Veterinary Nursing.  

We created resources specifically for this project including a Humanities workshop to promote boys studying humanities-based subjects but also a booklet for each student to complete throughout the project that links their own personal journey and thoughts in with their post 16, post 18 and longer-term career opportunities. The booklet has spaces for students to pursue information themselves, allowing them to learn how and where they can find information about HE, future progression pathways and career opportunities. The booklet holds space for students to explore the skills they need and those they already have, including those that they form within the scope of this programme.  

The rationale for this programme relates to the understanding in research in Cumbria that the least likely demographic to enter higher education are boys from widening participation backgrounds. As well as this, wider research shows that the age range targeted is within a period in which young people are still open to rejecting gender stereotypes. Therefore, the students are selected by schools as students who have at least one characteristic relating to widening participation or live in a Uni Connect target postcode. As a note to the gender stereotypes, the decision to have this as one focus of the programme is to ensure the students are exposed to a wider range of routes, than those they will likely have exposure from a number of influencers, including: peers, family, friends, etc. Hello Future staff experience shows that boys in our delivery areas are heavily influenced toward stereotypically male routes through their social circles. 

The programme launched at the beginning of March 2024 and has been positively received by school staff and students alike. Students have already taken part in a NHS 350 Careers Day, with a follow up session in school. This was met with huge enthusiasm from the students. This enthusiasm is also directed towards future delivery and Hello Future staff are excited to see the rest of the programme unfold. A Theory of Change for the project has been developed and evaluation is being carried out via Hello Future pre- and post-surveys and the outcomes will be measured through this and can be reported on afterwards. 

Campus & Employer visits for Year 10-12 learners

On the 8th May 2024, Year 12 students from across the county will be heading out for a day at the University of Central Lancashire. Students will be having sessions on campus covering Student Finance & Academic Referencing as well as a comprehensive campus tour. 

At the end of April, 90 Year 10 students will be travelling to Myerscough College to spend a day exploring a range of Post-16 and Post-18 options on the Preston Campus. Students will be involved in some immersive workshops from Arboriculture to Small Animal Care. 

In May & June, learners from Furness Academy and Walney School will be spending the day with the NHS MBHT Outreach Team at Furness General Hospital. Exploring a range of careers within the NHS, that are not just health related! 

Maths and English Subject Tutoring Launch

Year 9 students from Furness Academy travelled to Edge Hill University Campus in January 2024 to explore the campus as part of their English Tutoring Launch. Students experiences a thoroughly engaging session with Steph Rimmer, that focussed on accents, as well as a great campus tour from their Student Ambassadors! 

In February, Year 9 students from Richard Rose Morton Academy, Beacon Hill School and Solway Community School headed off to UCLan to spend the day with Anna Graham and her team of tutors to launch the Mathematics Tutoring Programme. This also included a comprehensive campus tour.  Learners were then introduced to their subject tutors and had their first session in person  on campus. 

Industry policy/regional knowledge news

OfS published a review carried out by Public First of collaborative outreach work, as well as an analysis of the economic benefits of Uni Connect:

A review of collaborative support for improving equality of opportunity in access to higher education: Uni Connect – Office for Students 

Research by the Higher Education Statistics Agency found that areas with lowest HE participation also have the lowest productivity levels – researchers say the data could support policymakers in determining education investment:

Inclusive growth: Can data support policymakers and the higher education sector meet this objective? | HESA 

Funding news

We have recently been notified that the national Uni Connect funding has been reduced from £30 million to £20 million for the academic year 2024/25. We have received our indicative funding for Hello Future and we will be liaising with partners soon regarding this.