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The College of Podiatry joins leading health organisations in letter to Education Secretary

The College of Podiatry joins leading health organisations in letter to Education Secretary

The College of Podiatry was one of nine leading health membership organisations, including the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives, who signed an open letter to Education Secretary Damian Hinds, urging him to intervene to ensure students at 20 universities affected by student loan overpayments would receive the loans they had budgeted for next term. 

More than 800 people, studying allied healthcare subjects at 20 universities, who received overpayments of between £600 and £6,000 from the Student Loans Company (SLC) in error, had been informed that subsequent payments would be reduced or halted to recover the overpayments.

The story received significant media coverage in:

  • The Mirror
  • The Guardian 
  • The Independent 
  • Daily Star
  • Daily Express
  • Western Morning News
  • Yorkshire Post
  • East Anglican Daily Times

 

Steve Jamieson, College of Podiatry CEO said: 

“At a time when health and care staff recruitment and retention is more critical than ever, with rising demand from an increasing and ageing population, it is vital that no student is put in a position of financial hardship because of administrative error. Healthcare students shouldn’t pay the price for this mistake”. 

The full list of signatories were the Royal College of Nursing, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the National Union of Students, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the Society of Radiographers and Unison.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: 

“We have been working with the Student Loans Company to ensure students have the support they need and will shortly provide details on specific initiatives to help them.”

Latest updates suggest that short-term measures have been put in place by the government to help the affected students. 

Although currently, overpayments will not be written off and affected students will not receive April payments, a new hardship fund is planned by the SLC. Students who are struggling as a result of the SLC’s error can apply to this fund for a non-refundable grant payment of up to £1,000 for the rest of this academic year. Affected students will still be eligible for normal support in the next academic year, and will be expected to repay the overpayments when they have finished their courses and can afford to. 



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