Evaluation of Make the Grade

Make the Grade was for several years the flagship education programme of the Leeds-based Ahead Partnership.

Funded by the Big Lottery, it brought employers and education partners together to create focused employability activities to build the confidence, resilience and aspirations of young people.

Our evaluation of Make the Grade provided an independent assessment of the delivery, impact and value for money of the programme. The evaluation was based largely around primary research activities with school staff, young people and employers. These included in-depth, face-to-face consultations, facilitated focus groups and workshops, and e-surveys. More than 150 individuals contributed to the evaluation.

Feedback from our clients

  • "It’s a great report, and I’ve submitted it to the Ofsted inspection team." – Strategic Commissioner, local authority

  • “Thanks for such a thoughtful report. It will be very useful to us and other organisations. Another great job from York Consulting!” Local Authority Director

  • “Thank you for this very helpful evaluation. I have only received positive feedback on it. It has been great working with you.” Local Authority Head of Service

  • “Your report was extremely thorough, and I appreciate how responsive you were to our additional requests for analysis.” Government department

  • “The team at York Consulting were professional and a delight to work with. I am very grateful for their input.” Government department

  • "Well done – a lot of work in a short space of time and at such high quality.” Sector Skills Council

  • "Your workshop was extremely well received and enabled managers to gain detailed insight, drawing on your expertise and knowledge.” Senior manager, not-for-profit organisation

  • "It [YCL’s final report] is one of the most impressive evaluation reports I’ve had the pleasure to read.” Principal, Further Education College

  • “YCL staff understand our organisation…I have developed a great relationship with them and I hope to work with them again.” Housing Association

  • “I’ve enjoyed working with you on this project. Thanks for your co-operation and flexibility.” Government department