Eligibility >

The Widening Participation team works with pupils from state secondary schools across Scotland who meet one or more of following criteria:

  • live in a priority postcode area
  • are care experienced 
  • are a young carer
  • are estranged from their family
  • are a refugee or seeking asylum
  • are Black, Asian or from another minority ethnic group
  • are eligible for FOCUS West support

Additionally, we welcome registrations from interested pupils from very rural and island communities across Scotland.

Those wishing to participate can check if they live in a priority postcode area using our checker tool. Your postcode is checked against the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). SIMD classifies postcodes into one of five groups called 'quintiles'. Priority postcodes are those which are quintile 1 and 2. 

Care experienced young people are those who have been looked after by a local authority for any length of time, including:

  • adoption
  • foster care
  • residential or secure care
  • formal kinship care (i.e., living with someone other than either of your parents)
  • looked after at home with support from social work 

Young carers are those who care for someone, who due to illness, disability, mental health issues, or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Estranged students are young people who are studying without the support of a family network, either through an irreconcilable breakdown in relationships or through being disowned by their family. Young people in this position often have no verbal or written contact at all with both of their parents for a significant period of time and this would be very unlikely to change. Estranged students may have had to remove themselves from a dysfunctional situation for their own safety or wellbeing.

A refugee is someone who is forced out of their country to escape war, indiscriminate violence or persecution. A person who is seeking asylum has also fled their country for their own safety but is still awaiting the outcome of their application to be recognised as having refugee status by the Government.

We know that experiences of being in care, a young carer or estranged from family can take many different forms and are often not clear cut. Young people who would like to get involved can contact the team at wp@gsa.ac.uk to find out if they qualify for our programme under any of the above categories. Alternatively, pupils can contact a member of the team in confidence, by emailing one of our Widening Participation Development Officers Leeanne McKenna or Rickie McNeill directly.

Please note, we may ask for proof of address or circumstance to verify eligibility.