Image courtesy of the University of Kent


This section provides a list of research reports and infographics published by the HEAT Service to date (see list at the bottom of this page). All research is based on HEAT’s aggregate dataset of outreach participants who have been tracked longitudinally. Where member-level reports are available, this is indicated under the description (click the + sign to the right to expand each title).

HEAT’s research can be divided into three broad categories:

1) Evaluation reports

These aim to show the impact of outreach on participants’ educational outcomes. Three reports are available for three levels of education:

  • Attainment at Key Stage 4 (Level 2)
  • Transition to and attainment in post-16 education (Level 3)
  • Progression to Higher Education (Level 4+)

HEAT tracking jigsaw

These reports are updated annually once the most recent year of tracking data is available. To see how these three reports align with HEAT’s tracking model, please refer to the jigsaw diagram shown above. All reports are also available at member level once sufficient sample sizes have been reached.

2) Thematic reports

These take a particular research theme (for example outreach delivered in rural and coastal areas) and explore trends in outreach participation under this lens. These are one-off reports based on aggregate data only (and therefore not available at member level).

3) Coverage reports

These examine spatial patterns in national outreach delivery. This is an area of research that has become possible following HEAT’s growth in membership.

A summary of each of HEAT’s publications can be found by clicking the + sign to the right of each title below. Please note that only HEAT subscribers can access these reports, infographics and presentations from within the Member’s Area.


Evaluation reports

HEAT Aggregate UCAS Tracking Report and Infographic (Progression to Higher Education)

This report and its accompanying infographic provide aggregate tables linking HEAT member data with Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) main scheme data in order to gain insight into the way that outreach participants progress through the UCAS process. Where available, the report provides national comparator data so that differences between the outreach participant cohort and national averages can be made. Matching HEAT data with UCAS data was an experimental exercise and we continue to welcome comments on how we might take any future matching forward.


Member-specific version available.

All HEAT Outreach Participants KS4 Performance with School Comparison (Attainment at KS4)

This annual infographic compares the KS4 attainment of outreach participants with their school average.


Member-specific version available.

HEAT Participant Tracking into Level 3 - Results from the HEAT Aggregate Dataset (Transition to and attainment in post-16 education)

This annual infographic (new in 2018) explores: the transition of outreach participants to post-16 education; their trajectories in terms of where and what they study; and their attainment in the qualifications they enter.


Member-specific version available.

HEAT Aggregate HESA Tracking Report (Progression to Higher Education)

This annual report and accompanying infographic presents the Higher Education (HE) destinations of outreach participants. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) also allows monitoring of outcomes once in HE, including student retention, achievement and success, and employment outcomes.


Member-specific version available.

Thematic reports

Outreach Participation and Progression Outcomes of Disadvantaged White Males

This infographic draws on HEAT’s tracking data to increase our understanding of why disadvantaged white males are underrepresented in Higher Education (HE). The range of educational outcomes collated by HEAT is compared for disadvantaged white males with those for other disadvantaged groups.


Member-specific version not available.


These slides provide a summary of key outcome data for disadvantaged white males. This formed part of a presentation that was delivered at the 2017 HEAT Symposium.


Member-specific version not available

Progression to Higher Education in Rural and Coastal Communities

This report aims to improve our understanding of the influence of place on access to Higher Education. With a focus on young people living in isolated rural and coastal areas, the analysis explores whether remoteness may be a barrier to participation in outreach.


Member-specific version not available. 

Exploring the Relationship between Outreach Engagement, KS4 Performance and HE Progression

One of our first reports that drew on HEAT’s full range of tracking data, linking participants’ outcomes from KS4 and KS5 attainment datasets (Department for Education), the Individual Learner Record for the FE sector (Education Skills Funding Agency) and Higher Education data (Higher Education Statistics Agency). In this report, we begin to characterise our HEAT collective outreach cohort in terms of both socioeconomic disadvantage and prior attainment at age 16.


Member-specific version not available. 


An infographic that summarises the key findings from the above report.


Member-specific version not available. 

Key Stage 4 (KS4) Attainment Raising Impact Assessment

This analysis followed recommendations from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) Standards of Evaluation report to conduct a quasi-experimental research design that meets the highest level (Level 3) of evidence quality. Using this method, the analysis provides some evidence that universities are working with schools to raise attainment at KS4.


Member-specific version not available. 

Student Tracking through the ILR – Initial Findings for Consultation

This report presents findings from HEAT’s first phase of tracking into Further Education (FE) using the Individualised Learner Report (ILR) dataset. Students are tracked into Level 3 and Level 4+ study in a FE provider.


Member-specific version not available. 

The HEAT Groups Thematic Paper (updated March 2019)

This thematic paper examines attainment and progression outcomes for HEAT’s student groups (the HEAT Groups). This paper has been updated (in March 2019) with Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) data to provide insight into application and acceptance in Higher Education (HE) for widening participation (WP) outreach participants. Classifying students by both their socioeconomic background and prior attainment allows us to compare outcomes for students who are similar in their likelihood of progressing to HE. The paper identifies critical points in the educational pathways of certain groups, providing insight on when outreach interventions might be needed most.


Member-specific version not available. 

Coverage reports

National Delivery of University Widening Participation Outreach Activities Report

Whilst recognising that we will not have captured everything, the National Delivery of University Widening Participation Outreach Activities Report – involving the HEAT Service, East Midlands Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Partnership (EMWPREP) and Aimhigher West Midlands (AHWM) – gives a basic picture of coverage using snapshot data and provides a good basis for further research including a more detailed picture of hot and cold spots and an isolation of individual schools and colleges that may benefit from more or different outreach.


Member-specific version not available. 

Coverage of Pre-16 Outreach Delivery by HEAT Members in the South East of England 2014/15 and 2015/16

This report shows the coverage of pre-16 outreach delivery by HEAT members at schools in the South East of England in the academic years 2014/15 and 2015/16.


Member-specific version not available. 

HEAT Annual Report

These reports provide a summary of statistics for the HEAT collective including service engagement, delivery and evidence.


Member-specific version not available.