A big step has been taken to help our members achieve their educational ambitions

Press release: 09 June 2018

A grant for every care experienced young person at university or college, up to £8,100, has been announced

SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced her intention to take forward recommendations made in the Independent Review of Student Financial Support (the Review) in Scotland applicable to care experienced students.  This means there will be a grant for every care experienced young person at university or college up to £8,100.

The Chair of the Review, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, acknowledged the specific financial consideration care experienced young people need as they begin and continue their further and higher education journey.

Duncan Dunlop, CEO, says:

This announcement will go a long way in helping our members, up to the age of 26, achieve their education ambitions.  Our members have dreams and ability to realise them.  Reducing the level of all too real anxiety they have, too often, about how they will meet the cost of living, whilst studying, is always the right thing to do.

We therefore, whole-heartedly welcome this positive step, and that care experienced students were specifically considered as part of the overall review of student financial support.  This is continued testimony to the commitment the First Minister has shown to our members and Scotland’s care experienced community as she continues to listen to their views on what would improve their lives.

Members of Who Cares? Scotland know too well the negative impact complex financial support systems have.  This complexity, coupled with the impact of a care experience which means our members can change primary and secondary schools too often, creates a level of education disruption and inequality of opportunity within the further and higher education sector which is not acceptable.

This announcement was made by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the SNP Conference on 9th June in Aberdeen.  As part of her announcement, she also praised Who Cares? Scotland’s award win for U.K. Charity of the Year at the U.K. Charity Awards in London on 7th June.

Their campaigning work inspired this (independent care) review, and they have just been named U.K. Charity of the Year in recognition of that success.

The remit of the Review was to assess the effectiveness of the current system of student support for all students engaged in further and higher education in Scotland, and to make recommendations for change.  The Review did not have the remit to consider tuition fees; funding for postgraduate studies; nursing and midwifery students; bursaries for training and industry or specific discretionary bursaries and scholarships for individual institutions. 

With the grant specifically focused on young people with care experience, Duncan Dunlop, said,

We realise that our members who are over 26 won’t benefit from this announcement.  We know that many of our members go onto further and higher education later in their adulthoods.  This is often because of their care experience.  We will continue to work on their behalf to help their further and higher ambitions be realised.

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Who Cares? Scotland Funding Partners