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Check out the latest news from across the sector

If you have any news that you want to share, please contact

Universal Evaluation Framework

The Universal Evaluation Framework has been launched, and is available for free use.

This is an open access and interactive tool for planning evaluations or for gathering evaluative evidence created by Prof Stella Jones-Devitt and Prof Liz Austen and team as part of the QAA Scotland Enhancement Themes.

You can register for a user account and access the resource on:

(added to news September 2023)

UCAS Outreach Connection Service

UCAS is launching a new service in Autumn 2023.  The UCAS Outreach Connection Service will help schools and colleges navigate opportunities offered by HE providers and third-party organisations. Providers and third party providers can showcase their outreach and engagement activities via an online tool, promoting opportunities to support students from underrepresented backgrounds into higher education.

All UCAS registered centres in the UK will have automatic access to this portal.

You can find out more about it here on the UCAS website 


(added to news September 2023)

ICAS Foundation

The ICAS Foundation is a registered Scottish Charity which aims to widen access and increase diversity, creating employment routes into the accountancy sector for talented young people from low-income backgrounds. The Nurturing Talent Programme is their key initiative and provides ongoing support for up to 4 years including bursary funding, individualised mentoring, and help in securing internships and graduate jobs. They also provide practical support in areas including interview skills, CV writing and employer engagement.

Please see the document from ICAS with further information.
You may wish to share the information with your finance and bursary teams, and those advising current or prospective students.

The ICAS Foundation team are actively seeking new university partnerships, particularly in the Glasgow region – although the team welcome all enquiries. For more information or to have an informal discussion about how your institution can work with the ICAS Foundation, please contact Sanjay Singh, Director of the ICAS Foundation, at

(added to news August 2023)

CDN Executive Leadership Series

CDN are offering their Executive Leadership Series to anyone working in the tertiary  sector who has senior leadership ambitions. They can sign up for some or all of the sessions, which have a range of speakers and the opportunity to build a peer network of colleagues from different institutions at a similar stage in their careers. SCAPP members are welcome to participate in these. Details are available on the SCAPP Learning Resources provided by organisations page.

(added to news September 2023)


CDN Launch Trauma-Informed College Programme

CDN are delighted to launch the ambitious new Trauma-Informed College Programme, aimed at facilitating the creation of a trauma-informed culture in every college in Scotland.

The programme will utilise learning from CDN’s recent Pathways from Poverty Research and the expertise of colleagues and partners across the sector to provide training, resources and interventions that will help colleges tackle the challenges faced by learners and their communities in accessing and sustaining their participation in education.

At the heart of the programme is an understanding that colleges are already leading the way in tackling educational disadvantage in our communities and in supporting all learners, including those who have lived experience of poverty and trauma, to succeed. The programme aims to build on existing good practice and to provide a range of support to colleges and college leaders to consider what further steps they need to take to develop and embed a truly trauma-informed culture throughout their organisation.

Read the full programme overview here

(added to news August 2023)

SCAPP Subscription Update

SCAPP Membership Subscription update

From August 2023, SCAPP is introducing annual membership subscriptions.
Paid SCAPP members are eligible for additional benefits, including access to a dedicated Members area of the Fair Access Website.

If you are a SCAPP member and part of an institution with paid SCAPP membership, you will receive an email from SCAPP. This will provide your SCAPP username and a password, giving you access to sections of the website which will be exclusive to paid members.  Please check your junk mail folder as the email may arrive there.

We are currently consulting on membership options for individuals who belong to charities or third sector and voluntary organisations, public sector and private sector organisations, and for individuals who have registered with SCAPP.  At this stage they will be considered as Nonpaid Members while we contact them to explore options.

Please see our Paid Members and partners listed here.

A list of benefits for both Paid, and Nonpaid, members can be found on the SCAPP Website.

We will continue to provide useful, purposeful and impactful activities to serve the widening access and participation community and ensure that we are implementing a system that is fair and enable engagement with SCAPP and the wider community.

If you would like to discuss membership please contact

SFC Report on Widening Access 2021 - 2022

The SFC Report on Widening Access 2021 – 2022 is now available.

This report presents data relating to the Commission on Widening Access targets, and on Scottish-domiciled entrants to higher and further education in Scotland by socio-economic deprivation, gender, ethnicity, disability, care experience and age.

Read the report here.

(added to news August 2023)

Hayward Review: It's Our Future Report of the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessments

Professor Louise Hayward’s report following her Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment (IRQA) recommends reform of the current senior school phase, including the creation of a new Scottish Diploma of Achievement (SDA).

Key recommendations of the Hayward report include:

  • adopting the SDA (Scottish Diploma of Achievement) as a graduation certificate for all senior phase educational settings
  • the end of exams in S4 and a wider range of assessment methods used in Highers and Advanced Highers
  • a digital profile for all learners which allows them to record personal achievements, identify and plan future learning

Read the report here.

Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Social Security Committee

The Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Social Security Committee are undertaking an inquiry into child Poverty and Parental employment. As part of their evidence SWAP, Universities Scotland, College Scotland  and Skills Development Scotland gave evidence to the Committee on the 15th June. the session can be seen here.

Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Security Committee June 2015.

For those interested, further information on the inquiry and the final report are available here

Scottish Parliament Chamber and Committees 

Fit for the Future: developing a post-school learning system to fuel economic transformation

The report of James Withers’ Independent Review of the Skills Delivery Landscape outlines recommendations to ensure the public sector can meet the level of economic transformation expected in the years ahead.

  • Key recommendations made by Withers include:
    the creation of a new single funding and delivery body, bringing together functions from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and, possibly, the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)
  • Giving the enterprise agencies a clear remit for supporting businesses, with workforce planning as an embedded and integrated part of business development and planning
    ensuring there is a clear remit for the new qualifications body – the successor to the SQA – in overseeing development and accreditation of all publicly funded post-school qualifications
    moving responsibility for national skills planning to the Scottish Government
  • Reform of SDS to create a new body with a singular focus on careers advice and education

Read the report here


RCS - Get Into Programmes

Please share with your relevant students:

Would your students like to Get Into: Musical Theatre, Filmmaking, Guitar, Singing or Production Arts & Technology? Not sure where to begin? The RCS free ‘Get Into’ courses could be the perfect answer. 

RCS are running five separate programmes in these artforms starting Autumn 2023.

These free weekly sessions will be a great opportunity to:

  • Build confidence
  • Develop skills in a chosen artform
  • Meet others who love the same thing

Please note: Fair Access will prioritise those facing barriers to accessing the arts such as those:

  • living in an SIMD20 postcode
    who are care experienced or estranged
    identifying as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour (living at an SIMD20 or SIMD40 postcode)

Find out more and register on the Get Into website.

SCAPP Conference 2023

Thanks to everyone who came along to our conference on 16th May. We welcomed just under 140 delegates on the day who took part and inputted to keynote sessions, a Question Time Panel and 12 different workshops, as well as opportunities to network throughout the day.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who attended, and supported the conference in the various roles and capacities on the day. We hope you found it an ideal may to meet new or existing colleagues after more than 3 years when face-to-face meetings and events were simply impossible or challenging to attend.

Thanks to everyone who has completed the conference evaluation survey so far. The deadline is Tuesday 30th May at 17:00. Your feedback will help us plan future events so if you’ve yet to complete you can find the link to the Conference survey here, which should take no more than 5-7 minutes to complete.

We will be uploading presentations from the workshops and on our Conference page together with photos from the day. See Conference Page for more information

If you have any ideas for future events or conference topics and themes please contact us at


SAAS Stakeholder Toolkit 2023 - 2024

SAAS have provided a toolkit for advisors 2023 – 2024, to help students find the right information, support and funding.

Find it here.

(Added to News May 2023)


RCS BEd Music Bridging Programme

RCS are offering students interested in Music Teaching the opportunity to take part in a BEd Bridging Programme, commencing in September 2023.

The Bridging Programme is a great opportunity for students to:

  • explore the skills and qualities of a good teacher
  • learn about educational policy and the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)
  • develop vocal leadership skills
  • be offered optional activities such as piano accompaniment, music technology or composition
  • receive music tuition from the RCS Junior Conservatoire
  • In addition, gain valuable experience before applying for the BEd and meet like-minded peers.


This free course is aimed at those aged 16+, who are either:

  • living in an SIMD1 postcode area
  • black, indigenous or person of colour living in an SIMD1 or SIMD2 postcode
  • care experienced or estranged living in any Scottish postcode

Please see the RCS website for full details, and for students to register their interest. Please do share this opportunity with relevant students.

(Added to News April 2023)


Conversations on the future for arts, education and enterprise in Scottish rural communities - Call for Papers/Short Presentations

Conversations on the future for arts, education and enterprise in Scottish rural communities – Call for Papers/Short Presentations

Deadline for abstracts: 31st August 2023

Venue: University of St Andrews

Organisers: Dr Laurence Lasselle (School of Management, University of St Andrews) and Professor Simon McKerrell (Department of Media and Journalism, Glasgow Caledonian University)

We are interested in hearing from academics and practitioners with an interest in the many possible futures for arts, education, and enterprise in rural Scotland. We have been building a conversation since March 2023 that incorporates both multidisciplinary academics as well as community activists, educators and entrepreneurs focused on rural Scotland. In setting out this agenda, we acknowledge the various pre-existing fora dedicated to discussing rural affairs in Scotland, and much of the previous work, however the purpose of these conversations is to explore the possible innovative and/or future-facing issues and models for policy that are specifically driven by rural concerns and lifestyles.

We acknowledge the transformative effects of the digital turn during the pandemic, and the growth of creative micro-enterprises across the Highlands and Islands, as well as the efforts to devolve decision-making to rural regions. And simultaneously acknowledge the substantive challenges of additional costs resulting from geography, the cost and time of travelling around the vast area, services, suppliers, connectivity, power supply, etc. We hope that the outcome of these conversations might be to provide common cause cross-sectorally, where resource-, people-, or networked-solutions might work across boundaries.

With a recognition that Rural Scotland is not a homogenous place and each place has unique characteristics, participants in this symposium will explore the extent to which the different contexts (social, cultural, educational, geographical, etc.) of rural influence the role of schools, artists, enterprises, communities and local authorities.

We invite contributions for papers on a range of topics including but not limited to:

• Whose rural knowledge is valued in Scotland?
• Where does decision-making power lie in rural Scotland?
• Where are the gaps between urban policy making and rural policy making implementation?
• Should there be a convergence between a national reality and a local specificity in research?
• How does rural research provide insights on the elaboration of inclusive (local and national) policy measures?
• How is local knowledge utilised and embedded in rural schools or in informal education networks?
• How do rural-based organisations promote the participation and engagement of families in their communities?
• What are the most effective ways to support artistic and creative enterprises in the rural economy?
• How do enterprises, in particular micro-enterprises, mediate and convert different forms of capital in their rural communities? How might collectivization offer a means to securing better, and more substantial resources and visibility?

Part 3 will be held in Forres in Spring 2024.

This symposium will bring together academics and practitioners from all career stages for a discussion from across disciplines in arts & humanities and social sciences. We encourage papers and roundtables, and particularly wish to encourage research students to participate in the day.

Please submit your proposal abstract(s) up to 250 words and a short bio by Thursday 31st August to

Please forward to colleagues who may be interested.

Widening access targets reaffirmed in new First Minister’s vision for Scotland

First Minister, Humza Yousaf, has set out the Scottish Government’s priorities and objectives in his first prospectus – Equality, opportunity, community. 

Amongst other commitments, it pledges a recommitment  to meet the interim target of 18 per cent of full-time first degree entrants to universities coming from the most deprived communities in Scotland by 2026 and moving to a final target of 20% by 2030. There is also a commitment to focus on closing the poverty related attainment gap, whilst raising attainment for all, and keep the Promise made to the care community by 2030

You can read the publication further here 

HE Innovate Let's Talk: ChatGPT

HE Innovate Let’s Talk: ChatGPT.

Pearson hosted a webinar recently about ChatGPT, an Artificial Intelligence powered language Chatbot which is affecting many aspects of life not least education. The webinar covers the pros and cons of ChatGPT  with examples of how it is being used in HE. and its impact on HE. If you would like to listen to the recording it is available as a YouTube webinar here.


Military Skills Discovery Tool Launch - SCQF

Service personnel, service leavers, and veterans have been given a boost by the launch of a skills discovery tool designed to support their career pathways beyond military service.

Although service personnel can bring a wealth of valuable skills, experience, and qualifications to the workplace, these can often be difficult for employers outside of the armed forces to recognise.

This unique tool helps by recognising and translating the skills, experience and qualifications gained during service into language more easily understood by learning institutions and employers outside the armed forces, so will support ex-military personnel to gain employment or move into further learning. It also allows serving personnel to better understand the skills and qualifications they are gaining in order to plan their careers both within and outwith the armed forces.

The easy-to-use tool allows a veteran or service leaver to select their role, rank, cap badge or trade from a range of armed forces roles and select those most relevant to them. They are then given a pre-filtered list of qualifications that they can use to select those they have completed. The results will highlight the range of transferable skills that they have gained and will use these to provide suggested job roles that they would be suited to.

Read more on the SCQF website here

(added to News March 2023)

CDN College Awards 2023 - Open for Entries

The CDN college awards are now open for entries!
The Awards recognise the talent, skills and achievements of colleges, their staff and their learners.

Deadline for entries is 30 June 2023

You can find details in the CDN College Awards Prospectus, here.

(added to News March 2023)

Each and Every Child launch new podcast

Over the last two years Each and Every Child have been working across Scotland to share the research and our robustly tested Framing Care Experience toolkit, with so many of you joining us on our journey to use the framing recommendations to shift public attitudes around care experience and challenge the stigma and discrimination that impacts on people with experience of care. The Each and Every Child team is delighted to launch a podcast series that will focus on hearing from people with lived experience who have been exploring the framing recommendations. 

The aim with the podcast series is to share conversations that will help us understand the impact that speaking about personal experiences of care can have, challenge how individual stories are used by others and inform how we can all make sure stories are told in safe, supportive environments. On our first episode we are joined by Voices of Experience members Roseanna Campbell and James Docherty to discuss what it is like to tell your story, when has this not felt safe, and what considerations should be made to support people who are speaking about their experience.  

Read more and listen here

(added to News March 2023)

CDN appoint new Chief Executive

College Development Network (CDN) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Marie Hendry.

Marie is currently Depute Director (External Engagement and Partnerships) at the Open University (OU) in Scotland. She has strategic oversight for the university’s work with external stakeholders and partners across Scotland. This includes partnerships with employers to design innovative workforce development and upskilling solutions, including the OU in Scotland’s skills-based response to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Marie oversees Scotland-wide strategic partnerships with all of Scotland’s colleges, schools, union learning, community learning and development, employability and knowledge exchange.

You can read more about Marie and her role on the CDN News page.

(Added to News February 2023)

New Commissioner for Fair Access is appointed

Professor John McKendrick from Glasgow Caledonian University, has been appointed as the new Commissioner for Fair Access, succeeding Sir Peter Scott who held this role until June 2022.

Professor McKendrick is co-director of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit and is Professor of Social Justice at GCU.

Further information about this role and Professor McKendrick can be found here

SCAPP would like to congratulate Professor McKendrick on his appointment and look forward to engaging with him as part of the Framework for Fair Access


(Added to News January 2023)


ADVANCE Project is an innovative approach to reduce the Digital divide in Vocational Education and Training.

It was launched to develop and implement digital upskilling tools, deliver quality and inclusive training/education for the most underrepresented in our society. It consists of six partners from the Republic of North Macedonia, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands and Scotland.

The project is contributing to the upskilling and empowering of low-skilled citizens by:

  • Creating an overview of practices in place in Europe to self-assess digital competences in low-skilled citizens;
  • Employing digital self-assessment tools adapted to the target group to the DigComp framework;
  • Applying qualitative and quantitative indicators of our target groups’ ability to access educational/training resources;
  • Preparing a digital skills training package and testing it on our target groups; and finally
  • Developing and delivering a digital training app and learning resource to facilitate upskilling and access to opportunities.

By doing so, partners have produced the following results:

  • IO1 – Digital Competence Mapping and Learner Survey;
  • IO2 – Digital Upskilling Tools Package;
  • With the final Intellectual Outcome to produce tools to assist in training and education,
    IO3 – Learning to Learn in the Digital Environment;

The ADVANCE project will enhance the digital and learning-to-learn competences of low-skilled citizens, enabling them to confidently engage in further training/education and employment. The output of IO2, Digital Upskilling Tools Package will shortly be available as a free App for learners to use,  to make the resources as accessible to the target group as possible.

SCAPP Members are invited to ‘like’ the ADVANCE Project Facebook page to find out more and to be updated on developments.

You can read more detail about the ADVANCE project in the document here.

(Added to News October 2022)

UCAS - New Self Declared Widening Participation Questions

UCAS – New Self Declared Widening Participation Questions

The  UCAS application cycle from 2023 (applications open from 3 May 2022) will include new self declared Widening Participation questions which will include the opportunity for applicants to indicate the following:

  • if they have caring responsibilities
  • If they have refugee status or are seeking asylum
  • if they are estranged
  • if they are from Armed Forces family or a service leaver or veteran
  • if they are in receipt of free school meals
  • if they have participated in an activity to prepare for Higher Education
  • if they have a physical or mental health condition or long term illness
  • Enhanced Gender Questions
  • More information can be found here or contact the Widening Participation Department/SHEP office/Admissions Department at college or university for further details

    These questions will enable institutions to ensure that they can provide the right level of support for individual students

SCAPP Directory of Networking and Expertise

As part of SCAPP’s ongoing activities to connect professionals engaged in widening participation research, evaluation and practice, we are working to develop a knowledge exchange of information and activity. This is designed to improve communication, sharing of practice and to develop a hub to enable collaboration, promote availability of research and evaluation or project funding, and to connect individuals or organisations where supply and demand of practice can be met.

We have developed a SCAPP Directory of Expertise and Networking  to do this and colleagues across the sector are invited to input to this.   The Directory collates and publicises information about professionals engaged in the practice, research and evaluation of widening access and widening participation work within Further and Higher Education and the charity/voluntary and other public and private sector organisations.

The aim is to improve engagement across the roles and encourage collaboration and best practice sharing which can be disseminated and shared across the SCAPP network. This may enable us to, for example,  connect those who are looking for research or evaluation work to be undertaken with those who are available to undertake that work.  We also hope to have best practice, networking and knowledge exchange events to which widening participation colleagues engaged in a range of activities can meet and disseminate work.

This information will be available ultimately on the Fair Access website

If you are interested in inputting to this Directory,  we look forward to receiving information via the attached link below. There is no deadline to input to this Directory.

I would be grateful if you could share this with colleagues within your network who you think would be interested in being part of this Directory.

SCAPP Directory of Networking and Expertise

You can also find this on the Connect page of the Fair Access website


If you require any further information at this stage, please contact Muriel Alexander at

We hope that this is a resource that you will be interested in being part of and we look forward to hearing from you.