Gillian Martin MSP has called on the First Minister to offer updated guidance for students stranded in halls and accommodation today as anxiety amongst parents rises as the summer term ends.
It comes after Ms Martin wrote to the Deputy First Minister last month urging the Scottish Government to ease restrictions to enable young people to move home in a bid to avoid poor mental health and financial difficulties which surround the issue.
Now, the Aberdeenshire East MSP has received assurances from the First Minister that new guidance is currently being created to get young people back to their families and moved out of their college or university accommodation.
With thousands of student leases coming to an end this month the North-East politician has argued that arrangements should be flexible enough to allow parents to assist their children in moving home.
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on students across Scotland who are facing disruption to their studies and their lives. But I know for many parents this is also causing a great deal of anxiety and stress as they cannot bring their children home yet.
Whether it’s the loss of income due to summer job opportunities being removed, 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 students find themselves in. Many parents have also expressed concerns that communal living increases the risk of COVID-19 infection, and I understand that concern.
While it is hugely welcome that provisions have been put in place to allow students to stay on in halls of residence and prohibit private landlords from evicting tenants, I’ve asked the government to go further to protect students- I see this as a welfare issue.
I have today raised the matter with the First Minister who has offered assurances that producing guidance to enable students to move home is a top priority.