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


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).