Leanne Helps to Reinstate Student Finance After Welsh Government “Dithering”

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The Rhondda AM has successfully fought to reinstate financial support for a local student who had been denied money she is entitled to since the beginning of the academic year.

After pressure from Leanne Wood AM, the Labour Government in Wales promised to resolve the problem affecting student studying ‘end-on’ courses. The Student Loans Company refused to release finance for students for certain students until they received a policy decision from the Welsh Government regarding ‘end-on’ courses.

Following plenary questions and correspondence from Leanne Wood AM, the Education Minister vowed to resolve the issue before Christmas and ensure that students affected by this administrative error would get their money on December 20th.

In a letter to Leanne, the Education Minister – Kirsty Williams AM - said: ‘My officials have been in constant contact with SLC (Student Loans Company) while progressing this issue and have been monitoring the status of affected students, I am not aware of any students who have left their course as a direct result of this issue.

‘Again, I offer my apologies to your constituent, and indeed all those students impacted by this unexpected situation and wish them well in their continued studies.’

Leanne said: “I welcome the resolution of this issue at long last. The constituent who contacted me – who was entitled to extra support due to dyslexia - was unable to pay the rent and cover her bus fare to college as a result of this mess up.

 “While the Welsh Government was dithering on this issue, it has been a stressful time my constituent and her family in the run-up to Christmas.

 “She felt she had no option but to quit her course because of her impoverished situation. She was only persuaded to stay on by her college who offered her financial support to tide her over until Christmas.

 “While I welcome that the matter is now being resolved, it should never have happened in the first place. My concern is that some students gave up on their studies because of a problem not of their own making – this is something the Welsh Government is unable to refute. I only hope that the Welsh Government has learnt its lesson and will ensure this never happens again.”

Leanne added: “In the meantime, I would like to wish my constituent all the very best for her continued studies. I hope the problems over the last few months have not affected her too much and that she is able to go on and fulfil her potential.”

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