By | information

Scottish Learning Festival 2018 – call for seminars now open

The Scottish Learning Festival 2018 takes place on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September in the SEC, Glasgow. Education Scotland organises the event and is now accepting seminar proposals for the 2018 conference programme.

Is there a project you have been working on that could be showcased? Or perhaps you are aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice? We would encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and networks and submit relevant proposals for consideration before midday on Monday 19 February, more information is available on the Education Scotland website.

We look forward to receiving seminar proposals from you and your networks.


Commissioner for Fair Access – 2017 Annual Report – Laying the Foundations for Fair Access

By | Higher Education

Please find below a link to the Commissioner for Fair Access’ first annual report which was published this morning at 9.30. The Commissioner would like you to have sight of this along with the accompanying press release, also below.

Fair Access Commissioner sets a challenge to all: be bolder to achieve fair access

In his first annual report as Commissioner for Fair Access, Peter Scott has called on the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council and universities to do more to achieve truly fair access to higher education by the end of the next decade. He says that the Government’s targets for fair access to higher education are among the most ambitious in the world, reflecting Scotland’s historic commitment to social justice and building on the commitment to free higher education for Scottish students. But to meet those targets, a revolution in practices, priorities and mind-sets is required.

The Scottish Government should consider providing extra funded places in higher education to make faster progress towards fairer access and also to dispel fears that other students will be displaced.

The Scottish Funding Council could play a more proactive role in shaping a national strategy for further and higher education in Scotland and should make fuller use of its powers to promote fair access.

And finally the Commissioner challenges universities to be bolder in lowering offers to applicants: ‘contextual admissions are the most powerful instrument available to universities to promote fairer access but more radical action is required in terms of grade adjustments, and more consistent and transparent processes are needed’.

He calls for the ancient universities to take on leadership responsibility for fair access and asks that universities commit to substantially increasing the proportion and number of students transferring from college, arguing that such students should be given full credit for their previous qualifications as standard.


In its final report, A Blueprint for Fairness, the Commission on Widening Access made a recommendation for the appointment of a Commissioner for Fair Access to lead cohesive and system wide efforts to drive fair access in Scotland.  Part of the Commissioner’s remit is to: Publish annually a report to Ministers outlining the Commissioner’s views on progress towards equal access in Scotland and to inform the development of effective policy at national, regional and institutional level.

Professor Sir Peter Scott was appointed Scotland’s first Commissioner for Fair Access in December 2016.  Peter is Professor of Higher Education studies at University College London. Before that he was Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University and Pro Vice-Chancellor for external affairs at the University of Leeds. He was a member of the board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England where he chaired its widening participation strategic committee. His earlier career was spent in journalism and he was Editor of the Times Higher Education. He was knighted in 2007 for services to education and is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees. He has published widely on education, including widening access issues.

2017 NIF Evidence Report

By | National Improvement Framework

Please see the web links to the 2017 NIF Evidence Report and the 2018 National Improvement Framework (NIF) and Improvement Plan, which have both been published today.

The 2017 NIF Evidence Report provides an overview of what we know about Scottish education and the context in which our children and young people learn.  It brings together available current evidence on achievement, attainment, health and wellbeing, and the wider education system, with a specific focus on differences between children living in the most deprived and least deprived areas.

The 2018 NIF and Improvement Plan replaces last year’s NIF and Improvement Plan and brings together what we know about how Scotland’s education system is performing and sets out the improvement activity the Scottish Government and partners will be taking forward in the year ahead.