Reshuffle prompts social work students in Scotland to write to new ministers

Social Workers Union (SWU) Campaign Fund

The Scottish Government reshuffle has seen previous education ministers move on as they were considering a petition to introduce social work student bursaries.

Prior to the election of Humza Yousaf as the new First Minister, a powerful cross-party committee of MSPs agreed to take action to support the need for social work university students to be provided with bursaries during the final years of their courses in Scotland.

The students also now have the backing of Social Work Scotland, alongside the existing support from the Social Workers Union (SWU) and the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW).

Lead petitioners David Grimm and Lucy Challoner, have now written to new Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth MSP and Higher Education Minister Graeme Dey MSP.

The letter sets out the principle of equality with nursing and paramedic students that the campaigners have called for and urges the new ministers to meet with them to discuss a way to implement bursaries for social work students. 

The previous minister, Jamie Hepburn MSP, had told the Press Association that:

“The Scottish Government understands the many impacts that the current cost-of-living crisis is having on students and we have been in dialogue with universities on this issue… we appreciate that this must be kept under review and are working closely with relevant universities and the wider Social Work Education Partnership (SWEP) to explore options for funding practice learning.”