Parents & Carers

We recognise that Parents and Carers may require assistance in supporting their child/dependant as they explore Higher Education.

Why do we want to work with you?

We would like to engage Parents and Carers in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire as influencers in the decisions young people make about their future education.

Whether you have some, or no personal experience of University, you will be a source of support for your child as they begin to research the educational options available to them.

As you help to guide these decisions, we can provide useful information to support you.
We would also like to let you know a bit more about activities and events we are delivering in your child’s school, so that you can understand why they might benefit from them and to answer any queries that you might have.

You can explore some of the information, advice and guidance available in our Resources section.

Who is an NCOP student/pupil?

NCOP focuses on 13-18 year olds living in particular geographic areas. The level of participation of young people aged 18 and 19 in Higher Education in England varies across the country.

Our emphasis is on working with young people who choose not to go into Higher Education despite achieving or being on track to achieve the entry requirements.

NCOP targets areas (wards) that have:

  • low levels of young participation (POLAR3 Q1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment and ethnicity (Q1 or Q2), or
  • low levels of young participation (POLAR3 Q1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment only (Q1 or Q2).

Our activities are open to all pupils in the year group individual activities are aimed at, but, if an event is oversubscribed, priority is given to those who fulfil one or more of the following:

  • Live in an area identified as a Pathways or NCOP wards (determined by home postcode)

You can check individual postcodes by using the Office for Students’ POLAR and Gaps postcode look-up, or by contacting us.

  • Be the first in their family to consider attending university
  • Be in receipt of free school meals
  • Be in or have spent time in local authority care
  • Are a young carer
  • Have a disability including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD

More information about how NCOP works can be found on the Office for Students’ site.

Why should I be interested in Pathways’ activities?

We run a varied activity programme for young people aged 13 to 18. These activities give young people further opportunities to experience life at University, develop new skills and explore future careers; above and beyond what they would normally have access to.

Some activities are also aimed at the Parents, Carers and Teachers of 13 to 18 year olds. These are designed to give you more information about Higher Education yourself, so that you feel confident to support your child as they make decisions about their education.

There is no charge to attend any of our activities for young people attending, their school or their family.

Most of our activities are advertised through schools via Teachers, however, some accept direct bookings from young people or their Parents. You can explore these in more detail and book places by visiting our Activities page.

We also offer events specifically for Parents and Carers. Further details can be found in Activities.


Our activities are an ideal opportunity for students to explore their post-18 options. Take a look to see if there are any that might assist you in supporting someone exploring their Higher Education options.

Find out more


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Pathways works with specific areas and demographics in England and would like to know who is visiting the site, to see if it is reaching the correct people. All personal information you provide via the Website will be treated as private and confidential. The data may be shared amongst the Pathways partner Higher Education institutions for the operational functioning of the Pathways consortia. Pathways may compile data in aggregate form so that Pathways may better understand users that visit the Website and share this aggregated data to report to its funders and governance and in reports for public viewing. Aggregate data is anonymous and does not contain any personal information that identifies users. Pathways will process and store data for a maximum of 12 months. Anonymised aggregate data will be kept indefinitely by Pathways. Data is collected and stored by the Zoho Corporation Pvt. Ltd. form. Find out more at

Thank you

If you don’t mind us asking one more question, which of the options below best describes you?