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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


The Widening Access and Widening Participation Professional Standards and Accreditation Scheme 2023

The Widening Access and Widening Participation Professional Standards and Accreditation Scheme 2023


Information Events:

Tuesday 30th May and Thursday 1st June

12pm – 1.30pm (online)

These Information Events are for both prospective Scheme Applicants, and prospective Peer Reviewers.

You may register for either date/time.


SCAPP is pleased to announce that Phase Two of the Widening Access and Widening Participation Professional Standards and Accreditation Scheme will launch in 2023.

This Accreditation Scheme provides professional recognition for individuals working in Widening Access and Widening Participation (WA/WP) and has been developed in support of SCAPP’s objectives on Training and Development and Quality Standards. The Scheme will support and promote continuing professional learning and development of staff working across all areas of Widening Access and Widening Participation.


From summer 2023, SCAPP will invite applications to take part in the  Scheme and applications to participate as a Peer Reviewer.

Information Sessions

These Information Sessions are an opportunity to find out more!

Taking part in the Professional Accreditation Scheme offers the following benefits:

  • Provide professional recognition for your work and achievements in Widening Access/Widening Participation (WA/WP)
  • The opportunity to have your WA/WP professional practice endorsed, and enhanced.
  • Reward your commitment to WA/WP and illustrate the impact your work has had to enable those most marginalised in society to reach their potential
  • Provide a vehicle for you to benchmark your practice against national WA/WP standards and evidence quality assured professional practice to employers and other stakeholders such as funding bodies
  • Enhance your Professional Learning/CPD portfolio and provide opportunities that allow you to stand out in a competitive job market by being able to evidence that contribution you have made to the development of WA/WP
  • Provide an opportunity for you to learn and keep up with the latest professional practice
  • Provide an opportunity for you to engage with and contribute to a growing community of WA/WP practitioners in Scotland and beyond.
  • Provide an opportunity to meet and network with other WA/WP professionals undertaking the scheme

The Professional Accreditation Scheme has at its core a Professional Standards Framework which sets out professional practice in WA/WP under three inter-related themes:

  • What we DO
  • What we VALUE
  • What we KNOW and UNDERSTAND


Professional accreditation will be offered at two levels for 2023/2024: Affiliate level; and Practitioner Level.  The Scheme will run from November 2023 – June 2024

We encourage you to find out more by registering to attend one of the Information Sessions on Eventbrite.

(Added to News April 2023)


Sparqs Student Engagement Award Nominations 2023

Sparqs are seeking nominations from across Scotland for our Student Engagement Awards 2023, with the winners announced at a special event on Thursday 5th October that will also celebrate sparqs’ 20th birthday!

Our previous awards in 2021 celebrated the tremendous achievements of our institutions and students’ associations during the challenges of the pandemic, and therefore our 2023 awards will be an opportunity to reflect on developments in student engagement and partnership, not only in the past two years, but also, across the two decades of sparqs’ existence since our creation in 2003.

Seven categories are open for submission in our 2023 awards and we are seeking submissions from across Scotland. To take part, please read through the categories and criteria, then download and complete this submission form. Our judging panel consists of members of sparqs’ Joint Advisory Group.

Read all details, categories and how to apply on the Sparqs Website Here.

Submissions due Friday 30th June at 10am

(Added to News May 2023)


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)


Opportunities for Care Experienced and Estranged Students

Please share with your networks


Summer adventure courses for care experienced children and young people

  • Incredible Outward Bound Summer Adventure courses, for 10 – 22 year olds.
  • A range of 5 – 19 day expedition courses available.
  • Opportunities for 18-22 year olds are limited to the 19 day expeditions.
  • Don’t let cost be a barrier – care experienced children and young people will receive up to 90% funding. All kit is provided.
    For more info contact
  • See Summer Adventure Flyer


Free rent and bills for students with the Unite Foundation Scholarship

  • Up to 3 years funding to stay in Unite student accommodation.
  • Available if you’re
    • 25 or under
    • Care experienced or estranged
    • Starting or already started your first undergraduate degree
    • At or applying to one of the partner universities, includes UOE, ENU, RGU, GCU, Strathclyde and many more in England
    • Students at college who enter from year 2 to a degree at partner universities with Unite would be eligible to apply.

Apply by 1 June here

Jessie Crawford from Hub for Success is available for any support required to complete the application.

(added to SCAPP news May 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)

CR&DALL Higher Education Reform Conference - Registrations and Call for Submissions

21 – 23 June 2023

University of Glasgow

Registration and the Call for Submissions is now open for Higher Education Reform 2023 hosted by CR&DALL at the University of Glasgow from 21-23 June 2023. Please visit this website for more details

The theme of the conference is the “Sustainable Development Goals: Their potential and relevance for higher education policy and reform”, and organisers are delighted to welcome five world-leading keynote speakers: Dr. Hilligje Van’t Land, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU), Professor Sir Peter Scott, UCL, Professor Charles Nherera, University of Zimbabwe, Professor Michele Schweisfurth, University of Glasgow and Professor Nematollah Azizi, University of Kurdistan.

Full details of the speakers and fee schedules are available on the website, as well as details of how to submit an abstract with a deadline of 6 March 2023.

(Added to News February 2023)

FACE Conference - Registrations and Call for Submissions

28-30 June 2023

University of Derby

Registration is now open for the FACE conference at the University of Derby from 28-30 June 2023. Please visit this website for more details

This year’s conference focus is co-constructing education for all. FACE want to open up opportunities for delegates to share research and best practice where co-production and co-creation have been key facets of the construction of programmes, activities and research aimed at widening access and participation onto, through and beyond post-16 and post-18 learning.

As such the three conference themes are:

  • Student/youth voice
  • Teacher voice
  • Employer voice

Full details of the event, fee schedules are available on the website, as well as details of how to submit a paper with a first all closing date of 24 February 2023, and second call closing date of 21 April 2023.

(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)

Unite Scholarships available for Underrepresented and Care Experienced and Estranged students

UNITE SCHOLARSHIP – up to 3 years rent and bills in Unite student accommodation

  • 25 or under
  • Care experienced or estranged
  • Starting or studying your first undergraduate degree
  • New and existing students at a Unite partner university (includes Robert Gordon, Napier, Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian in Scotland, and many others in England).

Apply by 1 June 2023

More info and to apply go here:  Unite Foundation Scholarship = Unite Foundation (


Contact the HUB for Success   for further information of if there is anyone you support who would like some help to apply.


(Added to News January 2023)

CDN #LoveScotlandsColleges Campaign

To celebrate the outstanding innovation, hard work and best practice that takes place across the sector every day, organised by the CDN Marketing and Communications Network, our collaborative #LoveScotlandsColleges campaign will launch on
Monday 13 February 2023.

The week-long digital campaign highlights the importance and strength of Scotland’s colleges, promoting examples, both national and local, of how colleges support students, the economy, businesses, communities and staff.

Read more on the CDN Webpage.

(Added to News January 2023)

SCAPP's New Practitioner Network

Are you a practitioner new to a role in Widening Access and Participation in Scotland within the last 18months?

Join SCAPP’s New Practitioner Network!

This network is intended to be a supportive peer environment to build the knowledge, confidence, and connections of staff who are new to the sector.

SCAPP will host five meetings for the New Practitioners Network between January and June 2023:

Wednesday 18th January 2023, 2pm – 3:30pm (online)
Tuesday 21st February, 10am – 11am (format TBC)
Thursday 23rd March, 2pm – 3pm (format TBC)
Wednesday 19th April, 10am – 11am (format TBC)
Tuesday 20th June, 2pm – 3pm (format TBC)

Content of the sessions will be directed by the needs of the group and may involve guests or introductory workshops on specific areas of Widening Access & Participation which they would like to explore.

The network may continue to meet after these dates subject to demand and interest.

To register for the New Practitioners Network please click here.

You can also contact Laura Kwiatkowski to find out more

(Added to News November 2022)

New Sparqs projects

Please see below for recent updates and projects from Sparqs (Student partnerships in quality Scotland) at December 2022


Buddying Scheme for Student Engagement Staff across Scotland

Find out details of how professionals can be matched with a buddy, share challenges and ideas, collaborate and learn across institutions, here.


Introducing the Tertiary Enhancement Topic

Sparqs have published a briefing on the newly introduced Tertiary Enhancement Topic, which the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) proposed as an additional project to be developed by sector agencies over the next two academic years (2022-23 and 2023-24) with the aim of developing a joint approach to quality in colleges and universities. Read more, here.


New Jobs board for Student Engagement Roles:

Sparqs now have a jobs board specifically for Student Engagement roles across the sector. Find out more, here.


Contribute to Sparqs new project on College Learner outcomes:

Sparqs is keen to hear from colleges and students’ associations willing to participate in a project to explore student engagement in enhancing college learner outcomes. Read more and get involved, here.


TASO Guide

Guidance for measuring impact of raising attainment (added December 2022)

With raising attainment high on the agenda, TASO have provided guidance on measuring whether outreach activities for attainment are having the desired impact.

Read full details here

(Added December 2022)

Actions required to maintain momentum towards the 2030 access targets in Scotland

Actions required to maintain momentum towards 2030 access targets in Scotland

Dr Kirsty Conlon, Head of Learning and Teaching and Widening Access Policy at Universities Scotland, shares her thoughts on what the sector may expect to see as priorities when the soon to be announced Commissioner for Fair Access takes up position.

Read more on the Universities Scotland website

(Added December 2022)

Research on the experiences of estranged students in Scotland

In March 2022, the Scottish Government commissioned ScotCen Social Research to undertake research on the experiences of estranged students in Further (FE) and Higher Education (HE) in Scotland.

The research findings and associated literature review were published by the Scottish Government on the 1 November 2022, and can be accessed at the following links:


Research report – Estranged students in Further (FE) and Higher Education (HE) – experiences: research – (

Literature review –  Estranged students in Further (FE) and Higher Education (HE) – experiences: literature review – (


Publication of experimental statistics from the secondary analysis of the HESA data on estranged students in Scotland, 2020/21 – These data tables provide initial insights on the numbers of estranged students at university in Scotland, their demographic characteristics, the institutions and courses of study, as well as on their term-time accommodation.  Please note these are experimental statistics, which come with caveats and limitations. The Scottish Government hopes that by publishing this analysis that this will facilitate dialogue by allowing users and stakeholders to see, consider and provide feedback on these data. This feedback will be valuable in helping analysts better understand the HESA data and will help drive forward future work in this area.

If you would like to access this secondary data analysis, please see Estranged students: university data 2020-21 – (


(Added to News November 2022)

College Development Network - Launch of Mini Bites Training

The College Development Network have launched a series of short training videos and resources, to help college lecturers and support staff.

Topics for these training videos were selected from responses to the CDN Workforce Survey. These are free to access.


You can access the CDN Mini Bites here.

And you can read more about the Mini Bites project here.

(Added to News November 2022)

Call for papers / short presentations

Conversations on the future for arts, education and enterprise in Scottish rural communities

Symposium on Thursday 23rd March 2023

Venue: Glasgow Caledonian University

Part 2 will be held in St Andrews in Autumn 2023


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

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

The organisers would like to hear from academics and practitioners with an interest in the many possible futures for arts, education, and enterprise in rural Scotland. The event hopes to build a conversation across 2023 that incorporates both multidisciplinary academics as well as community activists, educators and entrepreneurs focused on rural Scotland. 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.

Please see full details of the event and call for contributions, here.

Deadline for abstracts: 12th January 2023

(Added to News November 2022)

Save the date & Call for Papers

7th International Biennial Access, Participation and Success Conference

The Open University

26th & 27th April (Online)

The Open University are very pleased to invite you to ‘Save the Date’ and submit an abstract(s) for presentation at their 7th International Biennial Access, Participation and Success Conference taking place Online on 26th and 27th April 2023.  Full details and links to the abstracts submission form and the conference website are provided below.

Save the Date poster

Call for Papers giving additional abstracts information for anyone needing to view in an Accessible format.

Please feel free to share this with colleagues who might not be on our current distribution lists.

(Added to News November 2022)

University of Strathclyde Widening Participation from School to Higher Education Module

The University of Strathclyde are offering a Level 11 Widening Access Module, in semester 2 this year.

A reminder to colleagues that the WA/P module offered by Strathclyde is semester 2 is open for applications until December 21st 2022.

Application to the module must be made by applying to the MEd or MSc and can be done as part of one of those Masters qualifications, however the 20 credit module can also be completed as a stand-alone class. The module cost is £811. Please note that this is higher than originally advertised.

Final sessions TBC however the course will cover the following areas:
• Policy and Policy Making
• Parental Engagement and Transition Support to promote Inclusion
• What works? Joining up approaches to widening participation across sectors and through the learner journey
• Role of widening participation and mentoring in developing attainment
• Articulation in support of Widening Access
• Thinking Intersectionally in Widening Participation: From Subjects to Structures

X9650 – Widening Participation from School to Higher Education

Mode of Delivery: On campus and online
Day class is taught: 2 x Saturday (on campus) and 5 x Thursday evenings (online)
Time class starts: Saturday 10.00 – 16.00/ Thursday 18.00 – 20.00
Start Date: January, 2023
End Date: March, 2023
Assignment hand-in date: April, 2023
Marks returns to students: May, 2023


Widening access/participation to higher education is a priority of the Scottish Government and must be supported at all points at which barriers to access can manifest. This module offers practitioners, who are working to support access for school pupils of all ages either in-school or as a substantive part of their role in the wider education sector, with an opportunity to gain a solid grounding in policy context and practice and to be better positioned to ensure their own school/institutional approach to access is effective.

Participants will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of theory, debate, policy and social inequality. With a focus on children and young people, learners will examine a range of barriers, including socio-economic disadvantage, care-experience, gender and LGBT and will gain an understanding of the way in which access might be supported throughout the learner journey, both within school and into HN and Undergraduate courses. They will look closely at practitioner enquiry techniques and critically evaluate an existing access programme or activity, presenting their own work for scrutiny and recognition.

Critical evaluation of Widening Access policy

• Write a critical discussion and analysis of an appropriate aspect of Widening Access within the school or schools outreach context, developing and presenting an individual case study based on an analysis of policy in relation to your practitioner experience (max 4,000 words).
• A formative session will take place during the final seminar in March, when students will have an opportunity to present their case study. Please note that this is not part of the formal assessment.
• Assessment for the module is completed by the end of April.

Please direct informal enquiries to or to

(Updated November 2022)

Universities of Sanctuary Status

Congratulations to Dundee University and the University of Glasgow on achieving the Universities of Sanctuary status, joining a network across the UK of institutions working to develop support for those displaced by humanitarian crisis.

You can read more about the University of Dundee Dundee award ceremony, here.

(Added to News November 2022)

SCAPP Congratulates our Accredited members

SCAPP are delighted to announce the following members have been successful in achieving accreditation in the Pilot of the Scottish Widening Access and Participation Professional Standards Framework and Accreditation Scheme:

Amy McDermott, University of Glasgow (formerly at University of Stirling  – Practitioner
Ann Playford, Fife College – Practitioner
Daniella Gash, FOCUS West – Affiliate
Jackie Smith, ASPIRENorth – Practitioner
Lidia Dancu, Open University in Scotland – Practitioner
Lorna Lamont, FOCUS West – Affiliate
Morag Anderson, The Royal Conservatoire  of Scotland- Affiliate
Nicola Kennedy, Edinburgh Napier University – Practitioner
Paula Christie, College Development Network (formerly at SWAP West) – Practitioner

This is a brilliant achievement, and is credit to the hard work and dedication of these professionals. We know you’ll join us in congratulating our colleagues!

Many thanks to our Peer Reviewers: Amanda Baldwin, Alice Smith, Andrew Comrie, Gill Ryan and Peter Tormey for their work reviewing and providing feedback. And thank you to the Support Managers, for supporting these members to work towards Accreditation.

Discussions are underway for Phase 2 of the Accreditation Scheme, and we will share this news with our SCAPP members once finalised.

(Added to News October 2022)


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)

SCAPP Welcomes new member of staff to the Team



SCAPP welcomes new team member

We are delighted to welcome our new Learning and Development Coordinator, Laura Kwiatkowski, to the SCAPP team.

Laura will be on secondment from LEAPS, a Widening Participation programme in South East Scotland. Laura has previously worked in Higher Education in Australia and the UK in roles in Student Recruitment and Events, Widening Participation, Student Support, and Programme Coordination.

Outside of work she can usually be found attending gigs and performances, hiking up hills, seeking out good coffee, or riding and maintaining her 80’s motorcycle.

In the coming months she will be reaching out to hear your ideas on how SCAPP can support the continuing professional development of our Widening Access & Participation community, running the next iteration of SCAPP’s MAPS (Mentoring for Access Practitioners Scheme), and supporting SCAPP’s Accreditation Scheme.

She will be developing new training and learning opportunities for the community and practitioners, and collaborating with our Working Groups so that our Widening Access & Participation professionals in Scotland are best equipped to support the students that we work with.

You can reach Laura on

Pathways from Poverty - Colleges for Communities - CDN report

CDN have published a new report Pathways from Poverty – Colleges for Communities which was prepared by Dr Paula Christie and Dr Erica O’Neill for CDN’s Research and Enhancement Centre.

Building on CDN’s Pathways from Poverty in March 2022, which published evidence from a two-year national sector inquiry into the role of colleges in addressing the poverty crisis in Scotland, this most recent report aims to promote and encourage the work of colleges in tackling poverty with case studies which highlight best practice in the college sector.

The report highlights five key themes as potential areas for the development of future practice in colleges:

• Creating safe spaces
• Working in partnership
• Direct action on poverty
• Supporting Transitions
• Sustainability

Find out more and access the report here

Contributions to research invited!


Mapping policy and practice around university access for forced migrants with language support needs 

Eva Hanna, ESRC-funded PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow.

I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and under the supervision of Prof Alison Phipps and Dr Lavinia Hirsu. I expect to complete my PhD in autumn 2023.

I am researching language barriers to higher education for underrepresented groups in Scotland, with an emphasis on forced migrants. My ethnographic research involves qualitative interviews or discussions, observation, and document analysis.

I have two main research aims: the first is to collect up-to-date information on structural language-related barriers, while also exploring the perceptions and ideas we each hold about language(s) with regard to integration of newcomers, entrance to and success at university. The second is to map the partnerships between various networks of practitioners from higher education institutions and individuals from third/voluntary sector organisations working around access to university, especially around language education, and to describe these partnerships as part of a growing community of practice and grassroots-level policy work. I expect that my findings will have implications for several policy areas: the Scottish Government’s New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy and its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) policy; university-based policy and practice areas: admissions, Widening Access, language requirements and language support; intra-sectorial collaboration and partnership generally.


I am including SCAPP in my mapping of networks around HE access. With permission, I am conducting ethnographic observations of The Sanctuary Group, an online Community of Practice using the Slack platform that some SCAPP members may already be part of. This will entail describing its structure, function, aims, and the general roles of individuals using the platform.


I will NOT include names of individuals or their organizations in my data collection, and I will NOT extract quotes from individuals. I will also describe my own interaction with the platform (auto-ethnographically). If I identify a person of interest for my study, I may contact them privately with a request an interview or discussion, to which there is no obligation to accept.


If you feel that you would like to contribute to my study in some manner, e.g. to be interviewed, or to direct me to relevant documents, projects, etc., or if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, ideally by late December 2022, at the following email address:


Or reach out to me at LinkedIn, or on Twitter


If you would like to become a member of the Sanctuary Group please contact


Eva Hanna

SQA Exam Results for 2022 published

SQA Exam Results 2022 published

2,110 young people from the 20 % most deprived areas of Scotland (SIMD20) have accepted a place to go to university in 2022, an increase of 25% from 2019

Read more here at Universities Scotland

Higher Education Provision in Scotland's Colleges - new report

A new research report entitled Higher Education Provision in Scotland’s Colleges: A future shaped by new levels of cross-institutional collaboration?  written by CDN Research Associate Patrick O’Donnell, Perth College, UHI has been published which looks at the development of higher education delivery in the colleges in the UK and in Scotland specifically.

In a detailed survey of the college landscape and its historical development, Patrick identifies the main drivers of higher education provision and how they are continuing to evolve. This is a valuable report for anyone interested in how our colleges have developed their unique provision and what will influence the next stage of their development.

You can read the report here 

Maintaining the Momentum towards Fair Access - Sir Peter Scott, Scotland's Commissioner for Fair Access

The fifth, and final, annual report from Sir Peter Scott, Scotland’s Commissioner for Fair Access. “Maintaining the Momentum towards Fair Access”  was published in May 2022.

See here for report 

This highlights continuing progress towards meeting the Government’s targets for  new entrants to full-time first-degree courses but that work and momentum must be maintained and could be challenging following the pandemic. Recognition is given to the significant work of institutional and organisational commitment to achieving this and specifically those involved in wider access and participation practice. Specifically SCAPP and the Framework for Fair Access are mentioned.

SCAPP would like to thank Sir Peter for his continued support and interest in the development and activities of the network and would like to convey their very best wishes as he steps down from his role. SCAPP looks forward to working with the new Commissioner when they are appointed.

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 Accreditation Scheme Update


SCAPP Accreditation Scheme Update

Our pilot participants have just submitted their individual portfolios of evidence to SCAPP. A significant amount of work has gone into undertaking this work and it is a testament to their commitment and resilience that everyone has managed to complete their portfolio on top of their busy jobs and various responsibilities.Work is now under way by our Peer Reviewers to consider the portfolios and decisions will be made and communicated by early July.

The Peer Reviewers met in May for an induction workshop which provided the opportunity for some of us to see each other for the first time or to catch up on news  – as well as working hard! Thanks to the Peer Reviewers for taking time out of your busy lives to attend the workshop.

Peer Reviewers Below

L-R: Gill Ryan, Open University in Scotland, Andrew Comrie, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Alice Smith, LEAPS, Amanda Baldwin, FOCUS West.

Also attending by missing from photo is Peter Tormey, Edinburgh Napier University

Behind the lens – Muriel Alexander, SCAPP

SFC Widening Access Annual Report 2020-21

SFC Report on Widening Access 2020-21

The SFC annual report on Widening Access 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.

You can read the report here 

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.

The Robertson Trust: Mentoring and Tutoring Research - video of event


DonnaMarie Steel and Hazel Robertson from The Robertson Trust hosted an event on 2 December about mentoring and tutoring activity across Scotland and shared their thinking and findings about tutoring provision across the College and University sector and how the Robertson Trust might support any gaps in provision.


You can watch the first part of this event here