The Upper Age limit is to be removed on applications for bursaries for care experienced students. Currently the limit is 26 – that will not longer exist by Autumn 2020.
The Care-Experienced Bursary was first introduced in 2017 and extended the following year. It is worth £8,100 a year.
Kevin Browne-MacLeod, Director at Who Cares? Scotland said:
“Many of our members, especially those over the age of 26, have told us that the challenges they faced during their time in care have had a lasting impact. This can mean that they focus on their immediate needs and can only think about returning to education later in life.
“It is really encouraging that the Scottish Government listened to our call and implemented this change. We believe that there is a need for systemic change and a radical shift in how we care for young people. We are encouraged that the Scottish Government have not waited to implement change for those Care Experienced people who need it, today. “
In 2017/18 545 care experienced students successfully applied for the bursary. When it was extended to include further as well as higher education the uptake went up – estimated at 1000 students.
Richard Lochhead, Further and Higher Education Minister in the Scottish Government said:
“People with experience of care often do not feel ready to start further or higher education immediately after leaving school.
“We want to support them into either further or higher education at whatever point in life they feel they are ready, no matter what age they are.
“Supporting care-experienced people is a key aim and our analysis shows the removal of the age cap will benefit hundreds of prospective students from next year.”