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SIMD20 and Target Schools


  • SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) is the Scottish Government’s official measurement for identifying areas of deprivation through various indicators (income, employment, education, housing, health, crime and geographical areas)
  • SIMD is a relative measure which shows whether one area is more deprived than another, but it does not say how much more deprived.
  • Data zones are ranked from 1 being most deprived to 6,505 being least deprived. Each of the seven domain ranks are then combined to form the overall SIMD. This provides a measure of relative deprivation at data zone level, so it tells you that one data zone is relatively more deprived than another but not how much more deprived.  People from the most deprived backgrounds are defined as those from SIMD20 areas.
  • SIMD identifies deprived areas, not people. A weakness of using SIMD is that it does not describe individual characteristics so that there will be less disadvantaged individuals who live in deprived areas, and conversely, disadvantaged individuals wo live in less deprived areas.
  • SIMD…
    … shows where Scotland’s most deprived areas are, so organisations know where their work can have the biggest impact.
    … is a relative measure of deprivation across small areas in Scotland.
    … looks at multiple deprivation. ‘Deprived’ does not just mean ‘poor’ or ‘low income’. It can also mean people have fewer resources and opportunities, for example in health and education. So communities can use SIMD to identify the things that matter to them. See  Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation  for further information
  • SIMD can be used to target policies in specific areas and local authorities
  • Students living in SIMD20 areas or areas of low progression to higher education may be eligible for access courses according to their region. This can also provide contextualised admissions when applying to university and result in an adjusted offer being made

Useful Contacts


FOCUS West covers  Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, the West
Contact details
• 0141 574 5367
Level 8, Graham Hills Building
The University of Strathclyde,
40 George Street, Glasgow
G1 1QE

LIFT OFF – covers Dundee and Angus, Fife, Perthshire Lift Off
Contact details
• 01592223250

Room 1.5B
Burness Building
Fife College
Stenton Campus

ASPIRENorth  – Aberdeenshire, Highlands, Moray, Orkney and Shetland
Contact details
• Anne Haggart (Regional Coordinator – Grampian)
• 01224274695
• Anne

Contact details
• Elsbeth Neil (Regional Coordinator – Highlands and Islands)

LEAPS –  covers Borders, Edinburgh, Forth Valley, the Lothians, Stirling & Clackmannanshire
Contact details
• 07774336265
Room 1/06
Old Moray House
Holyrood Road