22.In our 21st Report of this Session, we drew to the House’s attention the Education (Student Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/136), which provided that eligible full-time students starting postgraduate pre-registration courses in nursing, midwifery, and the allied health professions from 1 August 2018 onwards would be funded through the standard student support system, rather than through an NHS Bursary.
23.In our 25th Report of this Session we commented adversely when the original instrument was revoked by the Education (Student Support) (Revocation, Amendment and Saving Provision) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/434) and restated by Education (Student Support) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/443) in exactly the same terms, as a device to enable a debate in the Commons to take place. Our particular concern was the effect that this extended period of uncertainty would have on Universities and on potential applicants, who may well have been dissuaded from applying for such courses. We therefore wrote to Lord O’Shaughnessy at the Department for Health and Social Care outlining those concerns.
24.The reply from Mr Steve Barclay, MP, Minister of State for Health, says that his Department has liaised with the Student Loans Company and with other key stakeholders to ensure that students are provided with the necessary clarity: because the policy intention has not changed, he anticipates the impact on students to be minimal. His letter also states that the Government are using the additional time to engage with colleagues and key stakeholders and he hopes to be able to update the House on this when the debate is eventually scheduled.
25.We have published this correspondence at Appendix 3 of this report.
6 , Session 2017-19 (HL Paper 88).
7 , Session 2017-19 (HL Paper 120).