Bit of campaigning anyone? ESA and students?

Our friends at NAWRA have asked us to circulate the following to see if anyone is interested.

Ellie Martin is the Advice and Campaigns Coordinator at Christ Church Students’ Union. She had been contacted by a 2nd year student in receipt of Employment & Support Allowance and also in receipt of SFE student finance. DWP reduced ESA entitlement because of SFE (Student Finance England) funding. DWP informed him that the reason his payments were reduced was because SFE is classed as an income and not a loan.

ESA went down from approx. £170 a week to 75p a week when he became a student. After a tribunal he managed to secure £75 a week.

He went to the Canterbury Citizens Advice Bureau and spoke to the manager. During discussions she mentioned that she feels SFE funding should be classed as a loan and not an income; as students pay interest just like anyone would with a bank loan. She advised that he should start a national campaign to encourage the Government and DWP to change their views and agree that this is a loan and not a source of income.

Do you have any experience with anything like this? Any current campaign or research undertaken that could help please?

Really looking for some other cases that could build up a national picture of the issue.

If you are able to help then please contact Ellie directly.

41 St Georges Place, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1UT

01227 782272