Under consideration PE1993: Reform the financial support for social work students on work placements

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure social work students have access to adequate financial support during their studies by:

1) Providing bursaries to all third and fourth year undergraduate social work students on work placements.

2) Reforming the assessment criteria and adequately funding the bursaries for postgraduate social work students on work placements.

Previous action taken

I am one of more than 300 social work students who signed a letter to:

- Minister for Higher Education
- Interim Chief Executive, Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)
- Chief Executive, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
- Chief Executive, Scottish Funding Council
- Chief Social Work Adviser

The letter was supported by the Social Workers Union and the Scottish Association of Social Workers.

Background information

Unlike nurses and paramedics, when social work undergraduates spend nine months on placements in their third and fourth years, there are no bursaries to help them.

This means social work students have to work full-time on a placement, study and work shifts or rely on foodbanks to make ends meet.

The Scottish Government should provide bursaries to all third and fourth-year undergraduate social work students in Scotland for the full length of their nine-month placements. These bursaries should be worth as much as bursaries for nurses and paramedics.

We calculate that this would have an annual cost of £7.4 million to the Scottish Government.

Bursaries are available for postgraduate students, however, students argue that the criteria for assessing bursary applications are in desperate need of reform.

  • Created by David Grimm and Lucy Challoner
  • Considered from 3 January 2023
  • Petitions can collect signatures until the petition has been closed

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