Call for rethink of Scots funding cut

The Society’s Scottish Division of Educational Psychologists (SDEP) has called for a rethink of proposals to cut funding for training courses for educational psychologists.

In a letter to Michael Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Scottish Parliament, the SDEP acknowledges the current economic climate and the Government’s aims to save money, however they express significant concern about the proposal to remove future funding bursaries for MSc Educational Psychology courses.   The SDEP is also keen to ensure the continuation of the training courses in a manner which allows for the best candidates to access training rather than leaving it to those who can afford to pay for their own training. 

It is understood that the Scottish Government’s proposal is to remove the bursary of £49,000 currently paid to each Trainee Educational Psychologist over the full two year period of the course, with the implication that each trainee would be responsible for meeting costs of university fees (between £18,000 and £19,000) and living expenses over these two years.

Concerns in relation to the impact of the removal of funding have also been raised by the Association of Scottish Principal Educational Psychologists, The Educational Institute of Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and the Society of Local Government Chief Executives in Scotland  

As a concession the Scottish Government has agreed that Trainee Educational Psychologists can apply for a SAAS loan of £3400 for each of the two years of study.   

Emma Brown, Chair of The Scottish Division of Educational Psychology Training Committee said: “We have significant concerns over the impact of this proposal in regard to equality of access for candidates to courses, quality of future Educational Psychology graduates, and thus the potential impact upon Educational Psychology Services’ ability to fulfil their duties locally and nationally.  We appealed for the Cabinet Secretary to consult with professional bodies about how the model of training for Educational Psychologists in Scotland may be adapted where monetary savings are required”.