SWU Campaign Fund supports Scottish Students to campaign on bursaries

Social Workers Union (SWU) Campaign Fund

SWU and SASW support this member-led campaign calling for better bursary support for social work students in Scotland.

Last week, a joint letter signed by over 300 students and 20 social work lecturers was sent to the Scottish Government, Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

The letter highlighted the problems with the current funding model, branding the situation “untenable”.

“Many social work students come from deprived backgrounds. Yet, 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.”

It calls for bursaries to be introduced for undergraduate students on placements and an application process based on objective assessment criteria for postgraduate students.

“Without reform we risk not having enough social workers in the future to meet the statutory roles they play, let alone enabling social workers to help “keep The Promise” to those in need and play a full role in ensuring Scotland is a fairer, safer place to live.

“Indeed, with 20% of the social work workforce approaching retirement age and 25% leaving the profession within their first six years of starting, Scotland faces recruitment and retention challenges which this proposal will help address.”

Read the the full letter here.

Students leading this campaign have submitted the “Provide bursaries for social work students on work placements” petition to the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee today, and we will keep you updated on the petition’s progress.

Follow the campaign’s Twitter account @SWstudentsunite to keep informed of developments. 

Get involved by contacting Simon Francis at the Campaign Collective on simon.francis@campaigncollective.org

Campaign update: The “Reform the financial support for social work students on work placements” petition to the Scottish Parliament has now launched and will be collecting signatures until 3 January 2023.

Please sign the petition: https://petitions.parliament.scot/petitions/PE1993

The SWU Campaign Fund supports our activist members by providing them with access to professional support for issues and causes they’re passionate about, and is managed by Campaign Collective. Any SWU member who would like to run their own campaign is encouraged to submit ideas for funding by filling out the SWU Campaign Fund Application Form and returning it via email.