A Whole System Approach to Delivery
The Commission recognised that socioeconomic inequality in higher education is a problem which spans the whole education system and beyond. Not all recommendations were for the Scottish Government to lead on; however this Government accepted them in full and is committed to supporting delivery of them all.
As this report highlights, there are now a range of work streams and groups established to take forward implementation. It is right and proper that different parts of the education system, the Scottish Government, its agencies and the Commissioner have all had space to establish their thinking on how best to implement the recommendations. That said, the Commission made clear that a system wide effort is needed to deliver progress and that duplication and lack of coordination are genuine issues that need to be tackled as part of the implementation effort.
The Government is therefore bringing together a Delivery Group to coordinate and monitor progress with implementation across all parts of the system. The group will provide a forum to discuss challenges with implementation and will facilitate the coordination of efforts. It will also provide a mechanism through which implementation can be monitored and reported to the Commissioner for Fair Access and Government Ministers. All those with a responsibility for implementation will be invited to attend the group which will also include the Commissioner and Conor Ryan within its membership. Additionally, key stakeholders such as NUS Scotland and those from the wider education system will be invited to attend. This will ensure that those who have a stake in implementation continue to have a voice in the delivery of fair access going forward.
In recognition of the importance that the Scottish Government places on this work, the Delivery Group will be chaired by the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science.