Student Parent and Carer Toolkit

We know at the School of Education we have some of the highest numbers of student parents and carers within the University of Glasgow and this is a very difficult time for all you.

With this toolkit, we have tried to compile a resource that provides some support to you, and your family while you juggle employment, study, and your parental or caring responsibilities.

If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, please reach out to your advisor of study, the Student Support Officer, or your programme team to ask about support for your circumstances.

If you have any suggestions for items for inclusion or additional resources, get in touch via education-studentsupport@glasgow.ac.uk.


 

Integrating study with care responsibilities

Balancing caring or parenting responsibilities as well as your studies and possibly even employment isn't easy at the best of times. Trying to juggle everything can take a toll, so here are some suggestions to try and help you balance things.

 

  • It is challenging to find time during the day for study alongside supporting your children with home learning or caring responsibilities. Study can be postponed or left until evenings. It can help if you can develop a study plan at the start of the week and consider if it is possible to build in some routines to enable you to create spaces for study.
  • As part of trying to take a more planned approach to study, you might find it helpful to use techniques such as the pomodoro technique. to help make study tasks manageable and so more achievable.
  • When you plan your schedule are there other tasks that can be set aside temporarily rather than setting aside your study? For example, can you be more flexible with routine household activities ( this can be how often and when you do these tasks)?

 

Remember:

 

Lockdown restrictions are not easy- don’t hold yourself to unreasonable standards or feel tempted to compare your efforts to others. Everyone has their own challenges or responsibilities, that doesn’t devalue yours.

Ask for help if you start to feel overwhelmed- don’t be worried about approaching your adviser, supervisor or Student Support Officer.

Home-schooling resources

Below are some suggestions to help support home learning during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

Scotland Learns - National Improvement Hub

Scotland Learns is an online resource with range of ideas and suggestions of activities to help parents, carers and practitioners support learning at home and during the recovery year. The activities included are aimed at a variety of ages, however the year groups next to the activities are a general guide only.

Learn at BBC Scotland

A new collection of BBC Scotland Learning resources to support learners, teachers and parents. There are resources to support literacy and numeracy from primary to secondary school

The Open University

The OU’s free learning platform OpenLearn hosts more than 1,000 courses and over 15,000 articles, videos, features, features, interactive games and posters for children aged 13 and over. These have been collated into a school study section.

For older pupils there are three new content hubs have been created for S6 pupils covering advanced resources linked for the subject areas arts and social sciencesbusiness and law, and wellbeing, education and languages.

Scottish Book Trust

The Scottish Book Trust has set up a Home Activities Hub with a range of literacy-based resources for a range of ages. Content includes videos, online events and activities devised especially for home learning.

Screenskills UK

These guides, lesson plans and maps are for students, and teachers and include lessons on how to make animation, produce scripts or short games.

Home-schooling resources (neurodiverse learners)

Education Scotland: Supporting learners with complex additional support needs.

Education Scotland staff and Head Teachers from across Scotland have collaborated to collate ‘parent friendly’ resources for pupils who may have complex needs and these resources and guides are available via their website

This site also includes helpful guides for parents who may lack confidence in approaching their children’s learning.

Dyslexia Scotland

Dyslexia Scotland has created a Youtube playlist with information and advice to help people with dyslexia at home during Covid-19 and social distancing measures. Additional resources are available on their website.

Scottish Autism

This resource is intended for parents and carers to support learning at home, and help direction for those who are managing home learning along with templates for how to approach developing a routine while supporting your own wellbeing and that of your child’s.

Parent Club

This page has signposting for additional help, resources or guides on how to support your family or child with additional support needs while helping with home learning.  

Supporting you and your dependent’s mental health

It’s important to remember to talk to others about how you are feeling during this time. This can be family members, friends, your School’s Peer Support Network, or relevant support helplines.

Looking after yourself 

  • Don’t feel you need to compare yourself to others; we all have different learning styles and have different responsibilities to manage, and we don’t all reach a finish line at once.
  • Where possible it can help to have a dedicated space for study. This may not be possible, particularly if you have young children, but even in a shared space you could think about packing your study things away after you have finished studying so that you get some sense of distance from study. This is particularly important if you are having to study in a space that is used for family activities and relaxing and you need to try and have clear boundaries between the different aspects of your life. 
  • Take time away from screens- we now have to spend more time than ever on electronic devices to access our work or study materials and this can take a toll on our ability to rest. Try and avoid screen time before bed and take regular breaks.
  • Get regular outside time and exercise. Getting time to exercise, even as a family can be vital for maintaining your wellbeing.
  • Take time to give yourself a break, your time is at a premium with all the demands on you with work, study, and being a parent or carer. Have a set time each day set aside for you, even a short period of time to yourself can help you “switch off”. This can be a mindfulness session, a walk, listen to a podcast watching a favourite film or TV programme or listening to music.

General Links

Looking after your family

Parent Club

This page offers guidance on how to cope with the stress of parenting and how to manage your families relationships during lockdown.  

The Charlie Waller Trust

This page offers guidance for parents who may be worried that that their child’s mental health is suffering. The site includes resources for how to approach talking about mental health and wellbeing with your child across a range of ages from primary, secondary and to early adulthood.

Young Minds

This national charity has compiled guides on how to look after your own wellbeing as a parent, while also caring for your children’s wellbeing and your relationship during the pandemic as part of its Parents Survival Guide.

Carers Scotland

This page is intended to provide information and help for unpaid carers in Scotland during the pandemic. Advice includes practical help for young carers as well as contact information for local groups and your local authority.


National Wellbeing Hub

NWB hub has excellent resources for those working in health or social care or who have caring responsibilities. These range from guides on self-care to guidance on practical support for unpaid carers during the pandemic.  



Peer support from other parents & carers at UofG

GUSRC Student Parents Page

The SRC set up a Facebook group to help student parents network, share advice or organise meet-ups. This network is open to all University of Glasgow students whether full-time, part-time or distance learners and are closed groups for privacy.

GUSRC Student Carers Page

The Student Carers' Network is for UofG students who provide emotional or practical support to a relative, friend, or someone else who is unable to manage alone. This network is open to all University of Glasgow students whether full-time, part-time or distance learners and are closed groups for privacy.


International Family Network.

The International Student Support team provide support to international students and their families through the International Family Network.

Glasgow University Mature Students’ Association

The Mature Students’ Association is open to all students 21+ when they start their studies.


Glasgow City Parents Group

This peer developed website has made a digital resource site for parents, carers and guardians.

Undergraduate funding - SAAS

Full time students in an undergraduate programme of study who meet the application criteria (including PGDE students) have access to the following support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS):

  • tuition fees;
  • student loan;

 Through SAAS and depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for the following: 

  • care-experienced students’ bursary.

Students of all ages who have previously been looked after by a local authority in the UK are eligible for a care-experienced students’ bursary. This is a non-income-assessed grant of £8,100 in 2020/21 and is paid instead of the student loan/bursary package.

  • young students’ bursary.

You are eligible for a young students’ bursary if you are under 25 on the first day of the first academic year of your course (for an autumn start course, this is 1 August) and from a family with an income of less than £34,000 a year. The amount of the bursary depends on your and your family’s income. In 2020/21, a maximum of £2,000 is paid if your and your family’s combined income is under £21,000 a year. It is paid on top of the maximum loan of £5,750. 

  • independent students’ bursary.

The independent students’ bursary is paid in addition to the maximum loan of £6,750. Students classed as independent are eligible for £1,000 if their household income is below £21,000 a year.

  • lone parents’ grant.

If you are a lone parent, you can get the lone parents’ grant, worth £1,305 in 2020/21, if you have at least one dependent child. Your income is assessed and the grant is not repayable and if the amount awarded does not cover childcare costs, students can also apply to the discretionary fund administered by the University of Glasgow.

  • disabled students’ allowance (DSA).

If you have a disability or learning difficulty, you can claim for extra expenses that arise because you are on the course. Your income is not assessed and the allowance is not repayable. You can also apply for travel costs if you cannot use public transport because of your disability.

The University of Glasgow’s Disability Services team would assist you with applications for DSA.

Postgraduate Funding - SAAS

 Below is information on some of the support available to postgraduate students.

  • Tuition fee loan

 

Eligible full-time and part-time students, undertaking an eligible postgraduate course, can apply for a tuition fee loan up to a maximum of £5,500 towards their course. The amount of tuition fee loan does not depend on your household income.

If you are eligible to receive a tuition fee loan, SAAS will pay this directly to the university on your behalf. If you are studying your course over more than one academic session, we will split your tuition fee loan equally across each year of your studies.

  • Living cost loan:

If you are studying a postgraduate programme, you can apply for a living cost loan via SAAS for up to up to £4,500.

You must:  Be studying an eligible full-time course, and the residence eligibility criteria; and be under 60 years of age on the first day of the first academic year of your course (the relevant date). The living-cost loan is not available to part-time postgraduate students or EU nationals coming to Scotland to study.

  • disabled students’ allowance (DSA).

If you have a disability or learning difficulty, you can claim for extra expenses that arise because you are on the course. Your income is not assessed and the allowance is not repayable. You can also apply for travel costs if you cannot use public transport because of your disability.

The University of Glasgow’s Disability Services team would be assist you with applications for DSA.

UofG Student Financial Aid

You can apply for these funds via the University of Glasgow’s student finance team. Details of eligibility and how to apply are available on the University’s website

  • HE discretionary fund;

HE discretionary fund payments are made on a case-by-case basis by the University. Not all eligible students will get help as the fund is limited, but priority is usually given to priority groups such as estranged, care-experienced or other students without additional support. 

  • childcare fund, including lone parents’ childcare grant.

Childcare Fund payments are made on a case-by-case basis by the University. Not all eligible students will get help as the fund is limited, but priority is usually given to lone parents.

You can apply for a Childcare Fund payment if you’re:

  • a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • getting the maximum student loan available
  • eligible to have your tuition fees paid by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).


  • UofG Hardship Fund 

The Hardship Fund is emergency fund for students experiencing unforeseen short-term financial difficulty.  It's focus is to assist students who are in immediate unexpected hardship and not in anticipated hardship.  Full details of eligibility criteria are on the University of Glasgow's website 

Social Security and other financial support

This section has details of benefits that families may be able to access to help support themselves at this time. 

The Scottish Welfare Fund helps families and people in Scotland who are on low incomes. Not all students will be able to apply to some of the support available and it will depend on certain criteria to apply.

  • Crisis Grant– if you're in crisis because of a disaster (like a fire or flood), or an emergency (like losing your money or job, or an unexpected expense)
  • Self-Isolation Support Grant- if you've been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will lose income as a result
  • Community Care Grant– to help you or someone you care for to start to live, or to carry on living life in the community

The Scottish Government has additional information for families who may be experiencing financial hardship, on their website. 

S
upport includes: 

  • Scottish Child payment
  • Covid Winter Hardship Payment
  • Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods

 

Covid vaccination for unpaid carers

Advert for the unpaid carer vaccination scheme

 

Unpaid carers can register for a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination when you are invited to by NHS Scotland through their online self-referral service.

You will need to be registered with a GP or other NHS Scotland service.

How to register with a GP practice.

The process will ask you to share your date of birth, name, address, and gender identity, so you can be matched against national NHS Scotland records

Full details on the unpaid carer vaccination scheme are available from the Scottish Government

University of Glasgow Policy and general links

University's Student Parents Policy

The University has Student Parents Policy, which was created in partnership with the Students’ Representative Council. This policy provides guidance for students who are parents or guardians of children under the age of 18, and for staff who support those students. The policy supports the University’s commitment to ensuring that responsibility for a child is not a barrier to any student starting, succeeding in or completing a programme of study.

You can find out more about the policy via the following link https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_644041_en.pdf

University’s Student Carers Policy

The University has Student Carers Policy, this policy is intended to support students who at any point during their studies at the University, either short or long term, provide emotional or practical support to a relative, close friend, or neighbour, who is unable to manage alone. The scope of this policy does not include parental responsibilities, unless for a disabled child, or any caring responsibilities as part of a voluntary placement or where payment is received.

You can find out more about the policy via the following link: https://www.gla.ac.uk/media/Media_199270_smxx.pdf


Scottish Government advice for parents and carers

The Scottish Government has detailed advice on support and help available for families with children or those who have unpaid caring responsibilities. This ranges on support from your local authority, the third sector (charities) or community groups.

Advice for Parents

Advice for unpaid carers