The Robertson Trust
Founded in 1961, The Robertson Trust is the largest independent grant-making trust in Scotland, giving around £21 million to organisations and individuals in Scotland annually. The Trust’s aim is to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of Scotland’s people and communities, focusing in particular on the health, social, and educational inequalities prevalent in Scotland.
Since the early 1990s the Trust has supported young people who face barriers to success to undertake university courses, and today the Journey to Success programme invests £1.8 million a year in up to 650 students at any one time providing bursaries, self-development training, and career support.
In recent years, the Trust has extended this work into supporting projects that aim to raise attainment and support the learner journey. This includes working with the University of St Andrews and Fife College to support the First Chances Fife programme, which is not only developing its knowledge of what works in raising attainment and widening access to university, but also providing a route for students to access the Journey to Success programme. First Chances is one of the Trust’s major partnerships and a key part of its work in widening access to education.
University of St Andrews
Going to university is a highly rewarding experience and one that everyone should have the opportunity to do. St Andrews has a diverse and vibrant student community, and students come from a range of backgrounds having achieved a variety of qualifications.
The University of St Andrews has long been proud of its diverse student body, enjoying a vibrant and hugely international community. It acknowledges that diversity is not just about nationality, it is also about diversity of socio-economic experiences and backgrounds. In order to achieve such diversity, it is essential to understand, reduce, and eliminate the barriers that stop people from all such backgrounds going to a competitive university like St Andrews.
The University works with a wide range of individuals, from a variety of different educational backgrounds aged from 10 to 80 years old, whether they are going to Higher Education from school, college, or returning after a break from education, and are able to support their transition into university study. The effects of its programmes go far beyond entrants to St Andrews: it has contributed to the successful placement of young people into many other positive Higher Education destinations. St Andrews considers these programmes to be part of its success and contribution, and is proud to support students in the local community and beyond to reach their full potential.
Fife College is the single regional college dedicated to transforming lives in Fife by delivering high quality, sector leading programmes that are designed to respond to socio-economic needs. The College delivers excellent opportunities for its students and works with them to develop their full potential with life enhancing skills, knowledge, experience, and resilience that will shape their future success.
Working in partnership with schools and others, the College is committed to supporting the young people of Fife to meet their full potential.
The College offers a dynamic and relevant portfolio of courses, including degree programmes which supports close collaboration and seamless pathways between schools, colleges, universities, and employers. Its aim is to develop stronger, deeper, and added-value relationships with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to create regional approaches to widen participation and equity of access to Higher Education.
Fife Education and Children’s Service Directorate is the second largest in Scotland. It provides high quality education and social work services. Its stated vision is to improve life chances for all.
- The Education and Children’s Services Directorate plays a key role in taking forward the wider aims of the Council by:
- Raising attainment and achievement
- Ensuring inclusion and making a positive difference in our communities
- Improving the learning environment
Through pupil equity funding First Chances Fife is able to employ teachers to support pupils with their work throughout the year. Teachers will attend activity days, residential experiences, support pupils in school with work as well as give them feedback and update parents and carers on their progress. The teachers also ensure that the work of the programme is aligned to the Curriculum and is adding value to the pupils learning experiences in school.
Scottish Funding Council (SFC)
The SFC wants Scotland to be the best place in the world to learn, educate, research, and innovate, so that the entire nation can flourish. Its purpose is to create and sustain a world-leading system of tertiary (FE and HE courses at Scotland’s colleges, universities, and specialist institutions) education, research, and innovation that changes lives for the better, enriches society, and supports sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The SFC’s first core objective is to invest in education that is accessible to learners from all backgrounds, gives them a high-quality learning experience, supports them to succeed in their studies, and equips them to flourish in employment, further study and fulfilling lives.
Its second is to ensure colleges, universities, and specialist institutions form part of a successful, world-leading, coherent, and sustainable system of education that responds effectively to the future needs of learners and the skills needs of the economy and society.
Through the SFC funded Access to High Demand Professions programme (REACH), First Chances Fife is able to offer an expanded range of workshops and deliver this provision to an extended number of pupils within Fife. This will ensure that pupils have the tools and knowledge from the outset to be considering studying subjects such as medicine after school.