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Implementing a 'Blueprint for Fairness' - A report on progress with recommendations of the Commission on Widening Access

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The Recommendations

The Commission set out 34 recommendations (Annex A) which it believed would support Scotland to achieve the goal of equal access for people from deprived backgrounds or with a care experience. Recommendations were made for schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, the Scottish Government and its agencies, as well as for a new Commissioner for Fair Access. Annex B shows which parts of the system the Commission envisaged should lead on the delivery of each recommendation.

The Commission noted the importance of all its recommendations; however, it chose to highlight a small number of foundational recommendations which reflected the bold action it believed would be necessary to deliver a step change in progress. These were:

  • The appointment of a Commissioner for Fair Access (Recommendation 1);
  • The development of a Framework for Fair Access to provide Scotland with an authoritative, evidence based framework to guide future access work and set the benchmark for access interventions going forward. (Recommendations 2 and 3);
  • The introduction of access thresholds for all degree programmes, and more transparency and promotion of these and wider contextual admissions policies (Recommendations 11 and 12);
  • A guaranteed offer of a place and a full bursary for students with a care experience who meet the minimum entry requirements (Recommendations 21 and 22);
  • Implementation of targets to drive forward equal access to higher education in Scotland (Recommendation 32).