LIFT OFF works with selected S3 to S6 pupils in secondary schools throughout Fife, Dundee and Angus as part of the School for Higher Programme (SHEP) which is funded by the SFC.

As a LIFT OFF contact teacher, you act as our first point of contact with your school. We really appreciate all the work you do in supporting the programme.

The contact teacher in each of our schools is displayed on our map and each has been added to a virtual LIFT OFF staff room hosted on Microsoft Teams. The staff room can be used as a LIFT OFF community – essentially a platform to share practice and ideas –  as well as a place to keep in touch with the LIFT OFF team

Teacher Information

Since AY2019/20, as part of a SHEP national expansion, LIFT OFF has provided support to its schools on a tiered basis with the level of support offered to each school being dependent on its tier. The allocation of schools to tiers is based on several measures including progression rate data and attainment figures.

Table indicating school tiers in Dundee, Angus & Fife

In order to ensure LIFT OFF support is targeted to those that most need it within each school, a robust pupil selection tool has been developed. This has been designed to align with HE widening access criteria, with additional consideration being given to barriers to learning.

  • Pupils must have the potential to achieve at least two Highers by the end of S6. 
  • Meet at least one of the following contextual markers

Schools and/or applicants will be asked to confirm which markers have been met.

Pupils who meet the academic criteria and two or more of the markers listed above, may be entitled to additional LIFT OFF support. This will be assessed on an individual case basis.
Pupil Selection Criteria

We couldn’t do the work we do in schools without the support of our contact teachers; they are the link between LIFT OFF and the pupils. We try our best to make the role of a LIFT OFF contact teacher as easy as possible as we know we are just one more thing in your already packed remits.

Once a year (generally in June) we meet to plan the following year’s LIFT OFF engagements in your school. LIFT OFF will then add these to our electronic calendar and will send you a note of everything we discussed.

You’ll receive a reminder email prior to each scheduled engagement detailing who it is for, when, and any further requirements. It is your job to make sure the pupils know about our engagements and are in the right place at the right time.

You’ll also be responsible for ensuring the right pupils have the opportunity to apply to join LIFT OFF – as well helping to select pupils for engagements with limited spaces. This will mean using our pupil selection criteria and often working with the guidance/pastoral support team within your school.


LIFT OFF have a range of CPD materials available at the request of our school partners throughout the year. These can be delivered virtually or in school during in-service days or after school. As well as our pre-existing suite of CPD workshops listed below, LIFT OFF Teacher CPD can be designed around the needs of the schools.

Who are LIFT OFF? – This covers the support available to your school from the LIFT OFF Programme, including the pupils we work with and why, contextual information considerations, and the responsibilities of school contacts. This session also highlights the local partners that we work with to ensure an all-encompassing, holistic and comprehensive approach to pupil support.

UCAS Teacher reference writing –References are a way for admission staff to gain an insight from an education professional about an applicant’s suitability for a course. This CPD session will focus on supporting school staff to write a reference for a Higher Education applicant ensuring contextual information is included. The session will also highlight ways to streamline the process of receiving references from subject teachers, ensuring comments are both subject specific and honest.

Teacher FAQs

LIFT OFF was originally funded to work with schools who reported below average progression rates to Higher Education. As part of the national expansion of the Schools for Higher Education Programme, LIFT OFF has shifted from a schools targeted approached to a pupil targeted approach, offering support to more schools within our Fife and Tayside region. By clustering our schools into tiered levels of support, and using a robust pupil selection criteria, we are able to target LIFT OFF support to those most in need.

LIFT OFF is fully funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) through the Schools for Higher Education Programme

LIFT OFF has created a “learner journey” of activities for its engaged pupils, as well offering teacher CPD. We would be more than happy to talk you through these activities and even to explore creating some bespoke engagements should our current programme elements not meet your needs.

If your school is within Fife, Dundee, Angus or Perth and Kinross, and is publicly funded, please get in touch to discuss your options. If you’re outwith these regions, one of our SHEP partners will be able to help:

                           Aspire North Logo                                  Focus West Logo                                        

Aspire NORTH- Grampian and Highlands & Islands;                                     LEAPS- Edinburgh and Lothians;                                   Focus West Glasgow and the West of Scotland

Just get in touch! We would be more than happy to talk you through the process.  Information can also be found on the Teacher Information section above.

Teachers' Perspectives