To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 lockdown on the (a) employment and (b) income of (i) full-time and (ii) part-time students.
11 May 2020
The government is working closely with the sector on a wide range of issues and student wellbeing is at the heart of those discussions. It will be a matter for universities to deal with individual students’ situations.
Eligible students studying on full-time and part-time courses will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the current, 2019/20, academic year.
We have engaged closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.
Students with a part-time employment contract should speak to their employer about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been set up to help pay staff wages and keep people in employment. Information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronaviruscovid-19.
As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.
These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.