Parent FAQs

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Parent FAQs

We currently work with 59 schools throughout South East Scotland, supporting pupils who match LEAPS eligibility criteria.

Please take a look at our eligibility criteria here to see if your child is eligible to receive support from LEAPS.

(Please note, although LEAPS staff come into schools to see students from S3 (for Group 1 schools) and S5 (for Group 2 schools), there is no formal registration process for LEAPS until pupils are in S6. Students will be invited to attend events as directed by their school or sign up for them individually.)

If your child attends a Group 1 School:

Schools in this category typically have rates of progression to higher education that are some way below the national average. For this reason, these schools are entitled to participate in the LEAPS programme from S3 to S6, including the LEAPS Summer School.

If your child attends a Group 2 School:

These schools have an established tradition of students progressing directly to higher education. Students in these schools who match any of the LEAPS eligibility criteria are entitled to individualised support during S5 and S6, as well as the LEAPS Summer School.


To see which LEAPS activities are available in a particular school, please see our activities selector.

Although LEAPS staff come into schools to see students from S3 (for Group 1 schools) and S5 (for Group 2 schools), there is no formal registration process for LEAPS until pupils are in S6. Students will be invited to attend events as directed by their school or sign up for them individually.

When pupils are in S6, a LEAPS member of staff will come into school to conduct an interview with students who might be LEAPS eligible. At this interview, LEAPS eligibility is confirmed and your child will then be formally registered. Thereafter guidance teachers make universities aware of this via each pupil’s individual UCAS application form. It is vital that LEAPS eligibility is confirmed at this point so that it can be highlighted to universities at the point of application.

The LEAPS interview is arranged via school guidance teachers following a LEAPS talk given in school to S6 pupils, which outlines LEAPS eligibility criteria and the support offered by LEAPS. If your child is unsure if they will be receiving an interview, they should speak to their guidance teacher in the first instance. If they are unsure who their guidance teacher is, they are welcome to contact the LEAPS office directly.

UCAS stands for the University and Colleges Admissions Service. It is the online system by which applications for degree level study are submitted for those applying to higher education institutions in the UK. Students apply through UCAS, which in turn forwards applications to the appropriate universities using the UCAS online system.

Despite having the word ‘colleges’ in its title, UCAS does not cover applications to colleges. Students apply directly to each college through the relevant college website. Students can apply to college at the same time as they apply to universities via UCAS and this does not use up any of their UCAS choices.

Each university has their own admissions policies – the grades and requirements that students need to meet to gain entry to their courses – and they will look at LEAPS eligibility differently based on their widening access agreements. We are unique in that we have the LEAPS Admissions Pledge.

In practice, the LEAPS Admissions Pledge means that our partner universities, and some others, will make offers based on their minimum entry requirements rather than the typical entry requirements (the typical can often be higher than the minimum). All applicants do need to meet the minimum requirements, however, and this can include National 5s as well as Highers.

UCAS have more information on their website about contextualised admissions, including a factsheet. The resource is primarily aimed at teachers/advisers, but might useful reading for anyone trying to better understand contextualised admissions.

If you have any more queries about this, please contact us.

There are lots of places you can turn to for advice about higher education entry requirements and course choices, including:

  • University and college admissions departments – they are well used to taking queries, that’s why they are there!
  • The LEAPS Team
  • School Guidance Staff
  • Skills Development Scotland Staff – careers guidance in school and My World of Work

The higher education institution members of the LEAPS partnership are committed to a policy that encourages suitably talented LEAPS-eligible students to make an application to the university or college.

Find the full LEAPS Admissions Pledge here.

The LEAPS Summer School is a seven-week programme designed to support entry and smooth transition to university at a key transitional point. It provides LEAPS-eligible students who are holding one or more UCAS offers with an additional opportunity to demonstrate to university admissions staff that they have ‘what it takes’ to cope with degree-level work.

The LEAPS Summer School takes place across June and July. If your child is considering Summer School, we suggest that they try to make holiday plans for August so that they can commit to the programme. For further information please see here.

Please click here to find out more about which universities accept the LEAPS Summer School reports.