Support for Nursing and Midwifery Students in Scotland 2011/12

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INTRODUCTION

This leaflet provides information for students on pre-registration nursing and midwifery courses in Scotland. It describes the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary ( NMSB) Scheme in Scotland, who is eligible for it, what it is (including current rates) and how you can apply for it. This booklet is for guidance only. It cannot cover all individual circumstances. The scheme is administered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS).

ELIGIBILITY

Students undertaking courses in pre-registration nursing and midwifery leading to the award of a degree or Diploma in Higher Education may be eligible for a bursary under the NMSB scheme. Eligibility for support depends on TWO criteria - that your course is eligible and that you meet the residence requirements.

Course eligibility

Bursaries are for eligible students attending courses which:

  • lead to registration on the Professional Register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council ( NMC); and
  • are partly or wholly funded by the Scottish Government Health Directorates ( SGHD).

Residence eligibility

If you began your course after 31 July 2002 you must satisfy the same prior residence rules as apply to undergraduate students in the general higher education system. You must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man for the three years immediately before the relevant date (the first day of the first academic year of the course). There will be two relevant dates; to reflect the two start dates for nursing and midwifery courses. These dates will be 1 January and 1 August. If you are not a UK national you must also have settled status in the UK within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971 on the same relevant dates. To find out about getting settled status, you can visit the Home Office website or phone their helpline on 0870 6067766. If you have not been living in the UK you may still qualify, depending on your circumstances.

You must also be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course. Ordinarily resident has been defined in the courts as 'habitual and normal residence in one place'. It means that you, your parents or your husband or wife live in a country year after year by choice throughout a set period, apart from temporary or occasional absences such as holidays or business trips.

We will not treat you as ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom if your main purpose in coming here was for education and you would have otherwise have been living elsewhere.

Students from abroad

If you do not meet the conditions set out above, support may still be available to:

  • UK nationals and family members of such nationals returning from other member states of the European Union ( EU) or from elsewhere in the European Economic Area ( EEA) and Switzerland;
  • UK nationals who were born in and have spent the greater part of their life in the UK;
  • UK nationals returning from employment or study outside the EEA or Switzerland;
  • nationals of EEA countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) who have been granted permanent residence in the UK, and their husbands, wives or civil partners and children or stepchildren;
  • nationals and family members of nationals of other EU member states, and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, who have migrant worker or self-employed status in the UK;
  • nationals, and family members of nationals, of other EU member states, and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, who have frontier worker or frontier self-employed status in the UK;
  • people recognised as refugees by the British Government, and their husbands, wives or civil partners and children or stepchildren;
  • people who have been granted 'exceptional leave to enter or remain'; 'humanitarian protection' or 'discretionary leave' in the UK and their husbands, wives or civil partners and children or stepchildren;
  • anyone who is under the age of 18 and has been granted temporary protection;
  • anyone who is the child of a Swiss national; and
  • anyone who is the child of a Turkish worker.

Students from the European Union

European Union students applying for fees and living-cost support must meet the residence conditions for UK nationals in the UK (as set out in the Immigration Act 1971).

You may qualify for support with your tuition fees if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are an EU national, or a family member of an EU national;
  • You have been ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU or elsewhere in the EEA or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the relevant date; and
  • You are taking a full-time course in pre-registration nursing or midwifery leading to entry in the Register of nurses maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

SUPPORT FOR NHS EMPLOYEES WHO ENTER NURSING AND MIDWIFERY EDUCATION

Healthcare assistants who have undertaken an HNC in Healthcare and are entering year 2 of a pre-registration nursing or midwifery course.

Healthcare assistants entering year 2 of the pre-registration programme after successfullycompleting an HNC in Healthcare may be offered the option of secondment from their NHS employers or they may apply for bursary support.

You may not receive your salary and a bursary at the same time. If you opt to take your salary, and subsequently wish to apply for a bursary, you may not do so until the next year of the course. You may not change your support arrangements during the year.

Secondment

NHS employers may allow staff a period of secondment to undertake a nursing or midwifery course on the basis of their existing pay and conditions. In these cases, you will not be able to apply for bursary support. Your employer must decide whether to allow a secondment and employees do not have a right to secondment on these terms. If your employer is unable to agree to secondment, you may choose to resign in order to undertake the course. In this case, you will be eligible for a bursary. These arrangements and conditions also apply to existing enrolled nurses who wish to convert to Part 1 of the Register (enrolled nurse conversion).

If you are a full-time employee seconded by an NHS Board you should:

  • receive the basic pay for the post held immediately before start of training, and qualify for increments;
  • keep your existing liability for tax and National Insurance;
  • be eligible to join or remain in the NHS Superannuation and Injury Benefits Schemes;
  • keep your existing rights under Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions of Services, with modifications to reflect your student status, e.g. annual leave; and
  • be expected to undergo exactly the same educational programmes as other students. (You will not be expected to provide a higher rostered service contribution.)

You and your employer should also have a clear agreement about:

  • whether or not you will be expected to work, or be given the opportunity to work, for your employer as a qualified nurse or midwife on completion of the course;
  • how long you will be expected to do such work; and
  • what will happen if you fail to complete the course.

Your employer must meet your travel and subsistence expenditure during practice placements.

Part-time employees seconded by an NHS Board

Part-time employees seconded to nursing courses should not suffer financially. Again, it is for your employer to decide whether you should be seconded on your existing part-time salary, or an enhanced salary, to take account of the fact that the nursing and midwifery courses are full time.

Enrolled nurse conversion programmes

The Scottish Government Health Directorates fund tuition fees for a limited number of places on enrolled nurse conversion programmes. If you do not obtain a funded place on the course, you may be asked to pay your own fees, even though you may receive a bursary. Before you begin one of these courses, you should ask the Institution to confirm

THE BURSARY FOR NEW STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMMENCED SINCE 2007/08

The bursary is for the normal duration of the course that you are undertaking. If you are taking the four-year honours degree course and you are eligible for a bursary, you will receive the full bursary rate for years 1-3 and a 75% bursary for year 4.

The bursary covers the whole year and is made up of two elements.

A non-income-assessed personal allowance

For 2011/12, the rate is:

  • £6,578 for students at the start of the course.

An income-assessed Dependant's Allowance, where appropriate

The maximum amounts you can receive through this allowance are:

  • £2,640 for a spouse or cohabiting partner or, if you are single, one adult you have a legal responsibility for with little or no income from any sources.
  • £2,640 for the first child where there is no dependent husband or wife, or other dependent adult.
  • £557 for each other dependent child.

You may claim this allowance for your spouse or cohabiting partner, dependent children and any younger brothers or sisters for whom you have a legal responsibility. If any of these dependants have income of their own, the total amount will be taken into account, but £1,160 will be allowed against the income your dependants have.

For example, if you are married with 2 children and your spouse has income, 3 x £1,160 = £3,480 will be deducted from your spouse's income when calculating the Dependant's Allowance you should receive. What is left of your spouse's income following the deduction of £3,480 will reduce the amount payable pound for pound.

Dependant's Allowance is paid provisionally and SAAS will reassess your allowance at the end of your year of study when they receive confirmation of the actual income that your dependants received. If SAAS reduce the Dependant's Allowance as a result, you will have to repay the amount you received over your entitlement. The Dependant's Allowance will be paid with your bursary.

Dependant's Allowance - Continuing Students

Income assessments will include the income of cohabiting partners.

If you notice a reduction in the level of your Dependant's Allowance for 2011/12, because of these arrangements, then the arrangements detailed below will be applied. This will maintain your funding at its current level while you complete your degree or diploma.

  • Once you apply for support in 2011/12, you will receive your award notice as normal. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS) will compare your 2010/11 award with your 2010/11 award and contact you if you are eligible for the additional support;
  • If SAAS calculate that you are eligible for the additional support then they will arrange for this sum to be paid monthly along with your original award.

Other allowances you may be eligible for are:

  • £60 Initial Expenses Allowance. This will be included in the first instalment of the bursary.
  • £1,303 Lone Parent allowance.
  • Up to £1,216 for formal childcare costs.

This grant is available to students who have children and have expenses for registered or formal childcare, you can receive up to £1,216 a year, depending on the cost of childcare. 'Formal' childcare includes childminders, after-school clubs and providers of day-care and education. If you are getting your full childcare costs paid from other sources (for example, your institution) you should not apply for this grant. You should contact SAAS first for help with your childcare costs before you ask for help from any other source. When you fill in your application form you should tell SAAS if you think you may be entitled to this support. They will ask you for details about your childcare provider and confirmation of the amounts you will pay.

  • Disabled Students Allowance

If you have a disability you may apply to SAAS for certain extra expenses which arise because you are on the course. They will consider paying the following amounts:

  • Up to £1,725 for any qualifying cost during the academic year.
  • Up to £20,520 a year for non-medical personal help.
  • Up to £5,160 for major items of specialist equipment (this is a total amount for the course, not for each year of the course).
  • A Maternity Allowance is available if a student wishes to withdraw from her course, temporarily, because of pregnancy and/or childbirth. The student will continue to receive her bursary support during the absence. In order to do so, the student must discuss her circumstances with the course leader at the HEI and agree start and end dates for the period of absence. The earliest date for maternity leave to begin would normally be 11 weeks before the expected date of confinement. It is for students and HEIs to agree when the student will return, but this continued support will only be available for a maximum of 45 weeks. HEIs will advise the Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS) of the agreed leave start and return dates. When a student begins her period of approved absence, she will then continue to receive the support that she would have received if she had continued on the course. However, childcare allowance will normally cease once the authorised absence formally starts, unless the student is contractually committed beyond that date.

THE BURSARY FOR PROGRESSING STUDENTS WHO COMMENCED BEFORE 2007/08

The bursary is for the normal duration of the course that you are undertaking. If you are taking the four-year honours degree course and you are eligible for a bursary, you will receive the full bursary rate for years 1-3 and a 75% bursary for year 4.

The bursary covers the whole year and is made up of two elements.

A non-income-assessed personal allowance

There are two levels of the personal allowance. For 2011/12, the rates are:

  • £6,458 for students aged under 26 at the start of the course; and
  • £7,272 for students aged 26 or over at the start of the course or graduates who have been accepted for a shortened programme.

An income-assessed Dependant's Allowance, where appropriate

The maximum amounts you can receive through this allowance are:

  • £2,640 for a spouse or cohabiting partner or, if you are single, one adult you have a legal responsibility for with little or no income from any sources.
  • £2,640 for the first child where there is no dependent husband or wife, or other dependent adult.
  • £2,125 for children 18 or over (at 1 August 2011).
  • £1,477 for children 16 or over but under 18 (at 1 August 2011).
  • £1,099 for children 11 or over (at 1 August 2011).
  • £557 for children under 11 (at 1 August 2011).

You may claim this allowance for your spouse or cohabiting partner, dependent children and any younger brothers or sisters for whom you have a legal responsibility. If any of your dependants have income of their own, the total amount will be taken into account but £1,160 will be allowed against the income your dependants have. For example, if you are married with 2 children and your spouse has income,3 x £1,104 = £3,480 will be deducted from your husband's income when calculating the Dependant's Allowance you should receive. What is left of your husband's income following the deduction of £3,480 will reduce the amount payable pound for pound.

Dependant's allowance is paid provisionally and SAAS will reassess your allowance at the end of your year of study when they receive confirmation of the actual income that your dependants received. If SAAS reduce the Dependant's Allowance as a result, you will have to repay the amount you received over your entitlement. The Dependant's Allowance will be paid with your bursary.

Dependant's Allowance - Continuing Students

Income assessment arrangements will include the income of cohabiting partners.

If you notice a reduction in the level of your Dependants' Allowance for 2011/12 solely because of these arrangements, then the transitional arrangements detailed below will be applied. This will maintain your funding at its current level while you complete your degree or diploma.

Once you apply for support in 2011/12, you will receive your award notice as normal. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland ( SAAS) will compare your 2010/11 award with your 2011/12 award and contact you if you are eligible for the additional support;

If SAAS calculate that you are eligible for the additional support then they will arrange for this sum to be paid monthly along with your original award.

Other allowances you may be eligible for are the same as for new students.

APPLYING FOR THE BURSARY AND ALLOWANCES

You can apply for student support at www.saas.gov.uk. by completing an online application form.

Once they have processed your application, SAAS will send you an Award Notice telling you what you will receive. All first instalments for each year will be paid into your bank. You must supply valid bank account details at the time of applying, and advise SAAS of any changes to these details.

EXPENSES FOR CLINICAL PLACEMENT

Clinical placement is the part of the course that consists of supervised practice in clinical areas. You can claim expenses for some extra travel and reasonable accommodation costs. Educational or observational visits that are part of the general academic costs of the course should be paid for by your institution. You must meet the cost of daily travel to and from your institution and your normal day-to-day living expenses from the personal allowance of bursary.

Travel

The amount of your normal daily travelling costs to your institution (but no more than £5 a day) will be deducted from the costs of placement travel, and the approved difference may be paid.

Travel costs are paid on the basis of the cheapest route and class available for the cheapest journeys concerned. You should take advantage of season tickets, zonecards, and student railcards wherever possible.If you claim more than the cheapest fare available, your claim will be restricted to the cheapest fare. If public transport is available but you choose to use your own car, expenses will be restricted to the actual cost of the journey by public transport.

If public transport is unavailable or unsuitable (eg for placements in rural areas or where the placement takes place late in the evening), your institution can agree the use of private transport at the current motor mileage rate.

Airfares can be paid where your institution is satisfied they are justified. You should always seek your institution's agreement in advance if you want to use your own car or to have airfares paid.

You will not be reimbursed for taxi fares, tips, sleeper berths, carriage of luggage or bicycles, parking costs and any travel not directly related to the practice placement.

Accommodation

You can claim for reasonable extra accommodation costs during clinical placements if you have to keep on your base accommodation at your own expense. You may only claim costs in excess of the normal full rent. The cost of all meals, food, etc. during placement that are not included in accommodation costs (i.e. bed & breakfast) must be met from your personal allowance.

If you live in the family home (instead of lodgings or normal term time accommodation) during clinical placement, you may, at the institution's discretion, claim up to a maximum of £25 per night. You will be asked to provide receipts or written confirmation that you are being charged for the accommodation.

Applying for clinical placement expenses

You should apply for placement expenses quarterly in arrears except:

  • where you will have a large outlay for travelling expenses, e.g. flights or ferries, a claim can be paid in advance;
  • where the costs of travel and accomodation for the clinical placement will cause you undue financial hardship, your institution may allow you to apply in advance, or part way through the placement.

Give your completed application form to your institution. They will assess each claim on its merits, deciding the most appropriate method and costs of travel, before passing the approved claim to SAAS who will arrange for payment to your bank account within three weeks of receiving the approved claim.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Previous assistance from public funds

You can receive a bursary for courses under the NMSB scheme even if you have previously received support from public funds for further or higher education. However, if you receive an NMSB scheme bursary and subsequently apply for assistance for further or higher education, you may not be entitled to further support. You should seek advice from SAAS about what support, if any, might be available.

Study after qualification

The NMSB scheme does not provide support for nurses who have completed their course and have been entered in the Professional Register to top up their qualification to degree or honours degree level.

Studying abroad - Erasmus-Socrates in nursing studies

Some students may be allowed by their institution to undertake part (one module) of their course abroad. Where this period abroad is an integral part of the course, contributing to qualification as a nurse or midwife, and is included in the normal three year bursary period (four years for honours degree students), the bursary will continue to be paid for the period abroad. No additional funding will be available and no travel costs will be paid.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Once you are offered a place on your course, you can apply to SAAS for funding. You will be able to apply online in the spring for courses starting in Autumn 2010. The quickest and easiest way to apply is to use the SAAS online application service. If you are unable to apply online then please contact SAAS who keep a small supply of paper applications. You must apply for bursary each year.

For enquiries about your bursary contact:

Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary Section
SAAS
Gyleview House
3 Redheughs Rigg
Edinburgh EH12 9YR

tel: 0300 555 0505
e-mail:www.saas.gov.uk/contact.htm

Students are recruited and processed by the UCAS application system.

UCAS
PO Box 21
Cheltenham
GL52 3CZ

tel: 0871 4680468
e-mail:enquiries@ucas.ac.uk

Further copies of this booklet may be obtained from:

Scottish Government Health Directorates
Chief Nursing Officer Directorate
St Andrew's House
GE:19
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG

e-mail:john.petrie@scotland.gsi.gov.uk