We believe that success is what your pupils say it is.

Whether it’s passing exams, going to university, or being welcomed onto an apprenticeship, we’re here to help them unleash their full potential.


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Future Forward is a FREE and innovative mentoring scheme aimed at young people from Year 10 – Year 13. It provides tailored, one-to-one support over a period of two or four years. Our main aim is guide young people with academic potential from widening participation backgrounds to achieve their goals, unlock their full potential and to open-up opportunities for their later lives.

(Previously the scheme was known as the ‘Norfolk Scholar’s Programme’, we have since relaunched this programme with an upgraded offering).

To achieve this, we work on a framework of 10 meta-skills related to their:

Personal development: confidence, organisation/planning skills, problem solving

Academic development: independent learning, research skills, reflective and critical thinking

Developing their aspirations for the future: motivation, exploring their options for the future and accessing higher education networks.

and more!

The programme achieves Gatsby Benchmark 7: Encounters with further and higher education

Download our leaflet here to share with your students. If you'd like to request a printed copy, simply drop us an email and we'll get back to you.

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Benefits for your young people


In addition to developing a wide range of skills, young people will also benefit from:

  1. Personalised ongoing one-to-one support over two or four years
  2. The chance to meet like-minded young people from across Norfolk
  3. A one grade reduction, or equivalent, in entry requirements for UEA degrees* if they complete two or more years of the scheme i.e. Years 10-13 or 12-13 (2022 entry onwards). For example, a typical course A-level offer of AAA would be reduced to AAB.

*With the exception of Medicine (including Gateway Year) and Social Work. All specific subject, GCSE and language requirements will still apply.

What does the programme involve?


Mentoring and Coaching

Our experienced Student Learning Mentors meet on a one-to-one or group mentoring/coaching basis every three weeks during term time. Mentoring will be offered predominately online but group mentoring and occasional 121 mentoring will be delivered in-person, where possible.

During their session, young people work with their Learning Mentor on a particular goal(s) to achieve success. The Learning Mentor will take a coaching or mentoring approach (depending upon whether the young person has a clear goal already in mind) to support young people to work towards their goal(s) and the meta-skills which underpin our work. All sessions are bespoke and tailored to the needs of the young people.


Students joining the programme or continuing on the programme (Year 12s) will be invited to information events in September 2021.

Students will have the chance to attend a number of other events depending upon their year group including a summer residential in 2022 for students in Year 10 and 12.

Events provide young people with the opportunity to meet new, like-minded students from their school and others, and experience exciting new opportunities e.g. visit other universities (when possible) and to showcase their work on the programme.

Skill Grants 

Year 12 students can apply for up to £500 per individual towards the cost of participating in a activity helping to build their skills e.g. online or face-to-face course or work experience opportunity. This enables young people to cultivate their skills and meet other similar-minded individuals from across the country.

Future Forward Award

Young people can plan, develop and deliver a project of interest led by them for their wider school community, e.g. science club. This fantastic opportunity equips young people with a multitude of skills and experiences, as well as the chance to develop their confidence and subject-specific knowledge. Their project will be awarded based on the number of hours recorded.

Young people could complete a Youth STEMM Awards, Arts Award or Future Forward Award and receive certification for their achievements which can contribute to their future applications in education or employment.

Bespoke projects

Our programme is tailored to the needs of young people, so we have a range of smaller bespoke projects to support them in their areas of interest. For example, our early entry project offers young people with aspirations to apply for Oxbridge and/or Medicine-related degrees support with writing their personal statement and interview preparation.

Who is eligible for our programme?


Nine local Norfolk-based schools are currently signed up to the programme, with the aim of having 40 young people from each of the year groups participating in the programme. We are in talks for a number of other schools who we hope will be able to join our programme.

Applications to the programme from Year 12/level 3 Year 1 students from Open Academy, Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form and The Thetford Academy are now open for 2021-22 academic year.

Deadline is 30th September. Successful students will be invited to an information day at UEA on 13th October. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 8th October.

How to contact us

Want to find out further information or have a question?
We’re a friendly bunch, so feel free to email the team future.forward@uea.ac.uk or call Laura Anderson at 07788 415787.




Our Team