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10

Annual Report andAccounts 2014-2015

StudentAwardsAgency Scotland

Building Organisational Capacity

Having focused on resourcing our front line customer service

during 2013‑2014, this focus on capacity building has continued

into 2014‑2015 but with a greater emphasis on strengthening

our back office functions and reviewing the overall shape

and structure of the Agency.This has required us to run two

significant recruitment campaigns for administrative and entry

level management staff and we’ve strengthened the senior

leadership capability within the Agency with the recruitment

of three new executive posts at SG C2 grade. In doing so,

we have now created four Director posts designed to better

reflect, in particular to our external stakeholders, the scope

and responsibility of these

roles.We

have also strengthened

the Management Board with the recruitment of additional

Non‑Executive Board Members, expanding the breadth of

knowledge and experience operating at the most senior

level within the Agency.

Influencing and Contributing Towards National Policy

We have strong links with our policy colleagues in the Higher

Education Learner Support Division of the Scottish Government

and we meet regularly to discuss policy proposals and the

possible impact on the Agency and our

customers.We

believe

we are uniquely placed to see the impact of student support

arrangements in practice and to feedback our experience

of the practical implementation of student support to

policy colleagues.

We also provide input on a formal

basis.We

have been

involved in the review of postgraduate support which is chaired

independently by Professor Bryan McGregor (Vice‑Principal

University of Aberdeen).The Postgraduate Review Group aims

to identify the underlying causes of the decline in taught

postgraduate study and will make recommendations to the

Cabinet Secretary for

Education.We

also sit on the project

board and the project team for the Review of Nursing Bursary

which is being led by SG Health and Social Care colleagues.

The Reviews are due to report in June 2015 and the outcomes

of both are likely to require the Agency to implement system

and operational changes to the way we currently deliver

student support to these students.

270,000

More than

calls answered