Riddell's and Blackburn's remarks in News Statesman

Press/Media: Expert Comment


The News Statesman (12th April 2016) quoted remarks of Riddell and Blackburn on the failure of free university tuition in Scotland to narrow the attainment gap between advantaged and less advantaged Scottish children and to widen access to higher education for the latter.

The paper raised research evidence by Lucy Hunter Blackburn to underline that the free fee policy has led to cuts to student grants, a transfer of £20 million from disadvantaged to middle-class students and a decline in the success rates for the most disadvantaged Scots applying to university. Meanwhile, Professor Sheila Riddell was also quoted by saying that the policy was "a conscious political decision" to force extra cuts in schools and colleges spending. She also pointed out that a lack of data to highlight failings in schools implied a lack of accountability.

Period12 Apr 2016

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleThe SNP has failed Scotland's children
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletThe News Statesman
    Producer/AuthorTim Wigmore
    PersonsSheila Riddell


  • free tuition
  • widening access
  • Higher education