Gillian Martin MSP is calling on the Scottish Government to allow parents to collect students left stranded as their term comes to an end.
The Aberdeenshire East MSP is particularly concerned about the mental health of young people as thousands of students remain alone in their halls of residence and flats unable to be collected by their parents because of current lockdown restrictions on travel.
New guidance must be drawn up urgently allowing parents to collect their adult children, the SNP MSP said.
As term-time comes to an end, most students don’t have access to a car while at college or university and given the number of items they are likely to have when moving out of their accommodation it would not be possible to travel using public transport. With students unable to see their parents, and not being able to get work, the toll on their mental health and on their finances, maybe too much to bear.
Commenting Gillian Martin MSP said
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on students across Scotland who are facing untold disruption to their studies and their lives.
Whether it’s the loss of work and pay which has made the cost of accommodation enviable or the impact on mental health from being stuck alone, enabling parents to collect students from their halls and flats would go a long way to easing the difficult situation many of our most vulnerable students find themselves in.
I believe this could be done safely whilst social distancing and taking isolation precautions once back in the family home.
While it is welcome that provisions have been put in place to allow students to stay on in halls of residence and private landlords can’t evict tenants, the government must go further to protect students- I see this as a welfare issue.
I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for education to raise these concerns and encouraged the Scottish Government to look into supporting students to move home as a top priority.
A copy of the letter to the Cabinet Secretary can be read below