FOCUS West Pupil Selection Criteria (For Guidance/ Pastoral Care staff)

Pupils are selected by guidance teachers to participate in the programme based on their potential to progress to Higher Education following completion of secondary school (ability to achieve at least 2 Highers or SCQF equivalent by the end of S6, i.e. HNC or above), aligning with FOCUS West’s core aim. MIDYIS/CAT scores can be used to determine a pupils’ academic ability. Additional factors will then be considered to determine whether a pupil is eligible to receive additional support. These include:

  • SIMD (principally SIMD 1 postcode)
  • FSM (free school meals registered)
  • LAC (looked after child)
  • ASN (child with additional support needs)

All the above are quantifiable indicators held on the schools SEEMIS system (or equivalent).

In conjunction with the above, to be eligible to take part in activity that widens access to HE, pupils would ordinarily have experience of any of the following (prioritising in the order below and those with multiple markers):

Living in Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Quintile 1 postcode, i.e. most deprived postcode areas (see


Free School Meal eligibility and absolute need, evidenced by uptake


Care-experienced (with evidence)


Living in Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation Quintile 2 postcode, i.e. 2nd most deprived postcode areas (see


Family in receipt of social security benefits (outwith Child Benefit), i.e. families in receipt of Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance – Income Related, or Working Tax Credit (WTC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC)


Low-income family, as measured by Scottish Government data – see (Chapter 5, Table 1) and


Young carer (with evidence)


Asylum seekers/ refugees


Rural isolation


The following indicators – that are less straightforward to provide evidence of – could also be taken into account, with school guidance staff making appropriate judgements and using school discretion:


Long-term parental unemployment


Other adverse family or domestic circumstances (e.g. alcoholism/domestic violence)


Subject to negative peer and/or community influence


Little or no family experience of higher education