Labour pushed for answers on social work student bursaries

Social Workers Union (SWU) Campaign Fund

Labour shadow ministers have been pushed to reply to repeated calls for help from social work students.

Two previous letters went unanswered by Labour shadow ministers and now social work leaders have called for the new shadow minister for social care, Andrew Gywnne MP, to examine options to reform bursaries across England and to meet with social work students.

A previous “open letter” to the UK Secretaries of State for Health and Education set out arguments for an end to the unique nature of hardships social work students face. Ministers replied expressing sympathy with the important role social work students play, but failing to agree to look at options for bursary reform.

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union, commented:

“Given the vital role that social work students play and the increasing social work recruitment crisis, you would have thought that Labour would have wanted to explore the suggestions put forward by students.

“Sadly the Labour front bench have not even had the common courtesy to reply. We are now working up alternative proposals for social work bursaries with our colleagues at the British Association of Social Workers and will present these to MPs during the forthcoming General Election campaign.”