National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that helps young people build skills for work and life while taking on new challenges, meeting new friends and contributing to their community. It is open to all 16 and 17 year olds across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, regardless of academic ability or achievement.
NCS is a unique part-residential experience where teenagers take part in a spectrum of adventurous activities, build confidence and independence, and develop skills such as teamwork, decision-making and leadership. NCS also helps teenagers connect to their local community through social action projects designed and delivered by the young people themselves in teams of up to 15. NCS graduates have dedicated more than three million hours to their communities, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities. Over 200,000 teenagers have already benefited from taking part in NCS.
There is no cost to your school.
Government backing ensures that each participant pays no more than £50 for the programme. Bursaries are available on a case by case basis and support is provided for young people with additional needs.
There is no work involved for your school to support NCS.
Standard NCS programmes are delivered outside term-time during the summer break and October half-term holiday by a network of quality-assured youth and community organisations so there is no disruption to your timetable. All activities are comprehensively risk-assessed and overseen by carefully selected trained instructors and team leaders/mentors who all undergo enhanced DBS checks and full safeguarding training.
NCS develops practical skills for work and life.
On NCS, students will experience four phases that focus on developing their independence, personal and social development, and teamwork and communication skills. They will meet local businesses, charities and social leaders to discover more about their local area and community, before learning how to plan and implement a social action project. Depending on the provider, they may explore skills like first aid, budgeting, cooking, planning and critical thinking.
NCS helps job and college applications stand out and is recognised by UCAS.
NCS gives your students a differentiator on their personal statement and also gives a positive framework to showcase their skills on applications and at interview. NCS complements other youth and volunteering programmes your school may be offering, while the focus on social mixing and regular guided reflection makes NCS a unique and rewarding experience.
To find out more about how to get your school involved in NCS, please contact your local recruitment team:
Become a Champion School/College
An increasing number of schools and colleges are taking NCS to the next level by becoming Champion Schools/Colleges. They have integrated NCS into the culture of their school/college by making it an expectation that their year 11 and 12 pupils will sign up to take part.
Becoming a Champion School is about ensuring that as many of your students as possible get the chance to benefit from the skills and experiences that NCS offers.
Our NCS recruitment team can provide you with all the support and resources that you need to become an NCS Champion School or College.
Contact our recruitment team: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting Ofsted requirements
Referencing engagement with NCS in your Ofsted self-evaluation form (SEF) is a good way to talk about how you’re focusing on your students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare.
Harwich and Dovercourt High is one of our Champion Schools. They recently went from being rated ‘Requires Improvement’ to ‘Good’ by Ofsted, and guess what? NCS was cited in their Ofsted report as good practice in the personal development, behaviour and welfare section:
“Leaders have ensured that a huge range of external providers are available to provide support to pupils with different needs. For example, the school is a National Citizen Service Champion School.”
NCS was referenced again under the section on 16 to 19 study programmes:
“Enrichment activities are developing to improve students’ confidence. They include the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, enterprise activities, including stalls within the community market and a radio station (Harwich Waves). Thirteen students have committed to local citizenship-based projects in Summer 2016 as a result of the school’s Champion School status for the National Citizen Service.”
Read the full Ofsted report here.
Tendring Technology College is another of our NCS Champion Schools. They too have had a positive mention of the impact NCS has on students in their recent Ofsted report.
“Sixth formers enjoy a wide range of opportunities to enrich and further their learning. Large numbers of pupils undertake the extended project qualification, the Young Enterprise scheme, or participate in the National Citizen Service. A good programme of trips and visits enhances learners’ understanding of the wider world and different communities.”
Read their Ofsted report here.
Download the latest materials to help you promote NCS in your school or college. Please note, you will need a password to access these materials – contact our school recruitment team for more information.