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Scottish Toolkit for Fair Access



Professor Colin McCaig

Partner organisation

CFE Research Ltd Leicester

Project date


The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council on behalf of the Commissioner for Fair Access invited tenders for the development of a Scottish Toolkit for Fair Access. The strategic gap was identified by the Commission on Widening Access (CoWA).

The Commission highlighted the lack of robust evidence on the impact of access activities and the fact it was not possible to identify which interventions were effective and why. This gap is a barrier to successful implementation of CoWA targets such as the scaling up of effective access interventions.

Recommendation Two, therefore, asked that by 2018 the Commissioner for Fair Access, working with experts, should publish a Scottish Framework for Fair Access. This authoritative, evidence-based framework should identify the most impactful forms of access activity at each stage of the learner journey, from early learning through to higher education and provide best practice guidelines on its delivery and evaluation.

The Fair Access Toolkit will consist of two distinct elements:

  • The evidence toolkit: this will summarise evidence on the impact of different interventions and activities across the learner journey and with a full range of target participants.
  • Evaluation and implementation guidance: accessible and brief guidance on evaluation methods, building evaluation into current programmes and planning new initiatives, for example. This section of the toolkit will provide practitioners with practical information for use in their interventions and to build consistent approaches to data collection, tracking and evaluation across the sector.


Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council

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