09 July 2020

Call to extend Scotland's care experienced students bursary to provide financial stability

Bursary boost would benefit over 2,500 students in Scotland

CELCIS has joined some of Scotland’s leading care experience organisations in writing to the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science Richard Lochhead, calling on the Care Experienced Students Bursary to be increased so that it is paid year-round – a change that would benefit over 2,500 students in Scotland.

The Care Experienced Bursary is a non-repayable grant made to care experienced students regardless of age in full-time further and higher education to incentivise and support them to continue their education. As with other forms of student support it is paid during term-time.

The letter welcomes the package of support recently announced for students who face hardship this summer as a result of the pandemic. Many students have been unable to rely on summer jobs as a result of COVID-19 but for care experienced students financial precarity is a reality that will exist beyond the current crisis, requiring a longer term solution.

Commenting on the letter Staf (the Scottish Througcare and Aftercare Forum) CEO Jo Derrick said:

“We are calling on the Scottish Government to increase the Care Experienced Bursary so that it is paid throughout the year, to ensure no care experienced student faces holiday hardship.

 “While we very much welcome the package of support for students made available this summer, we believe that a longer term solution is required to provide financial stability to over 2,500 care experienced students.

 “Care experienced young people are less likely to have the family support network of their peers or have a ‘bank of mum and dad’ to rely on – this does not end when the holiday break starts.

 “We look forward to working positively with the Scottish Government and other Corporate Parents to deliver a long-term solution to this issue and ensure we live up to our collective ambition to be a good parent.”