Students’ anger at social work bursary confusion

Angry social work students have criticised the General Social
Care Council for confusion over bursary entitlements which resulted
in them being told they would receive no financial help and would
have to return payments already made, writes Sally

Just a day before the second instalment of the bursary was due
to be paid into the students’ accounts they were contacted by the
GSCC which said they were not entitled to it.

Some of the 62 students affected, who were either doing a top-up
year for the DipSW or another course that was not the new degree,
were told they would have to pay back the first instalment of

Pauline Pearson, a student at Northampton College, said she was
angry about uncertainty caused by the GSCC’s lack of clarity over
who was eligible for the cash.

She was in her second year of her course and had decided to
conclude her studies and get the DipSW award when the GSCC told her
she would be entitled to a bursary. She decided to take up the
offer and work towards a degree but last month was informed by
telephone there had been a mistake and she would no longer receive
financial help.

Last week, the GSCC, which received clarification from the
Department of Health in December, wrote to students saying it would
honour its commitment to paying the bursary, but has asked them to
sign a declaration that they are not eligible for it. 

But 21 students who applied after December have been told they
are not entitled to the money.

Pearson said: “The GSCC is supposed to be responsible for
registering social workers and maintaining the code of practice.
It’s a bit rich when they can’t get their administrative system

Director of corporate resources at the GSCC Chris Pottinger
said: “We’ve taken action to resolve any issues as soon as they
arise and have reviewed our forms and processes so they don’t
recur. We have made every effort to ensure that students who have
been relying on the bursary don’t suffer as a result of any
confusion on this issue.”

For more information on the bursaries available to students click here

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