Same sex couples lose out on grants

post-graduate social work student has accused the General Social
Care Council of discrimination against lesbian and gay couples

She is
angry that students who live with their partners do not have the
same access to funding as their married counterparts.

married student is entitled to an allowance of £2,175 if their
husband or wife’s net income does not exceed £2,825, whereas a
cohabiting student is not eligible.

28-year-old student, who attends Leeds Metropolitan University but
has asked not to be named, has a same-sex partner. She believes
that the system discriminates against homosexual couples, as they
cannot get married.

“It’s a
little ironic that through the course of our training we are
required to prove that we are fighting and challenging
discrimination, while being funded by an organisation that openly
discriminates against us,” she said.

said that it does not decide the criterion on which grants are
allocated. These are set out in the Education Mandatory Awards
Regulations 2001.

Department for Education and Skills said that the GSCC should be
basing their awards on the student support regulations under which
post-graduate students cohabiting with a partner from the opposite
sex have their partner’s income assessed in deciding what student
support is available.

this does not apply to same-sex partners and there are no plans to
change the regulations.

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