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NCS is a programme that successfully reaches young people from all backgrounds. We have made no specific assessment of the relevance and effectiveness of NCS in meeting the needs of vulnerable young people in disadvantaged communities, but we do know that participants from vulnerable and minority groups are overrepresented on the programme. In 2018, 16% of participants were eligible for Free School Meals, 31% were from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds and 5% had Special Educational Needs* compared to 12%, 25% and 2% of the comparative population respectively.
Work is ongoing to reach the most marginalised young people. The NCS Trust has established strong links with Local Authorities to support the hardest to reach young people in accessing the programme; provide specialist support during the programme; and help young people access opportunities after NCS. The NCS Trust has also introduced a central inclusion fund, so that its network partners can apply for funding to support young people with additional needs to access the NCS programme.
* The final 2018 participation figures are still subject to ongoing compliance checks.