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SPoC Funding Guidance


About SUN & Uni Connect

The Southern Universities Network (SUN) has been established to support the Government’s ambitions to make faster progress nationally to widen access to Higher Education through the Uni Connect Programme –

The SUN partnership comprises Higher Education Institutions, Further Education Colleges, Schools and Local Authorities within Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

Uni Connect is currently focused on providing targeted higher education outreach to young people in years 9 to 14 living in particular geographic areas where higher education participation is lower than might be expected given the GCSE results of the young people who live there.

Uni Connect aims to:

SUN provides funding to schools and colleges to meet the aims and objectives of Uni Connect. This document provides guidance on how to use funding provided by SUN to schools and colleges. Please note the changes to SUN funding allocation for the academic year 2019-20

SUN Funding Allocation

In the academic year 2019-20 all identified schools and a select number of colleges will receive SUN funding on the following basis:

Note: there is a maximum of £20,000 SUN funding per school / college per academic year.

Use of SUN Funding – SPoC Role

To enable young people in schools and colleges to engage with the SUN during the Uni Connect Programme, schools and colleges should allocate a proportion of the SUN funding to nominate a member of staff to act as the ‘SUN Single Point of Contact (SUN SPoC)’.

SUN funding should be used to release staff from their regular duties to act as their institution’s SPoC. The SPoC requirements are listed below, SUN suggest a minimum allowance of six full days to complete the tasks below, this may vary dependent on the number of target students within an institution. Your school / college SUN Project Leader will offer more advice if required. Additionally, SPoC funding can be used to release other staff who may provide additional support to the SPoC.

SPoC Role Requirements

Point of Contact

Data, Tracking, Evaluation & Reporting

Facilitate Activity

Use of SUN Funding – Activities & Interventions

SUN funding should be used to organise or facilitate activities/interventions that meet the overall aims and objectives of Uni Connect for eligible students, their key influencers, and/or school/college staff.

Please note

  1. Any activity or intervention needs to be targeted at a minimum of 80% of the available target learner population for that cohort (e.g. if within a class of 30 students, 10 are ‘target learners’, at least 8 target learners must take part)
  2. If it is less than 80% of the target learner population for that cohort, then funding can be spent proportionally
  3. High intensity / high cost interventions (such as mentoring) should be solely targeted at target students
  4. All activity should be linked to the SUN Progression Framework (see Appendix 1)
  5. High cost/high intensity activity should be evaluated using the SUN Evaluation Framework. SUN will provide advice and support to schools and colleges to ensure evaluation is conducted as per the guidance offered by the Office for Students.

The list below provides an overview of the type of activities that may be funded by SPoC funding, including some examples of how schools and colleges spent their funding in previous years. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list; schools and colleges are encouraged to explore new and innovative ideas.

School / College Reporting Requirements

Funding Restrictions