Social work education in the 2022 to 2023 academic year

Social work education in the 2022 to 2023 academic year

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Social work education in the 2022 to 2023 academic year
Updated 17 May 2022
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reforming-social-work-bursary-information-packs/social-work-education-in-the-2020-academic-year
Overview
In the 2022 to 2023 academic year, the Department of Health and Social Care ( DHSC ) is supporting social work education through funding the Social Work Bursary ( SWB ) and the Education Support Grant ( ESG ).
This funding contributes to maintaining and improving the quality of social work education and creating a future workforce of skilled and qualified social workers. Our funding investment also provides support to social work students and practitioners.
Funding objectives include:
financial awards for social work students to qualify as social workers
higher education institute ( HEIs ) and local authority placement provider deliverables including practice placements, skills development days and the HEI administration fee
service user and carer involvement in the development and delivery of the social work degree
There is finite funding for both the SWB and ESG .
The SWB is capped at a total of 4,000 bursaries for eligible social work students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in England. SWB is distributed to 2,500 undergraduate students and 1,500 postgraduate students.
ESG is a demand-led budget from a limited fund. The NHS Business Services Authority ( NHSBSA ) Student Services administer the SWB and ESG application process and payment awards on our behalf.
The information herewith applies to the academic year 2022 to 2023 only and supersedes all published information pack guidance in previous years.
Student eligibility and how to apply
Eligibility criteria and application form are set out in the NHSBSA ’s guide to social work bursaries 2022 to 2023, which is available from the NHSBSA Student Services website .
There are also rules about the types of retainer that are eligible. Please see the NHSBSA Student Services website for full details.
New and continuing students
Students must not assume that an award will be granted until they receive confirmation from NHSBSA Student Services. There is no guarantee that all students who commenced study in the 2021 to 2022 academic year or are continuing study in the 2022 to 2023 academic year will receive an SWB .
Students already in receipt of an SWB award will normally receive it for a maximum of 2 years, subject to a change of circumstances. All changes must be reported in a timely manner, as it may result in an over or underpayment. Any overpayments to students will be recovered in full by NHSBSA Student Services.
Student Finance England
Loans or grants may be available for eligible undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Postgraduate masters students may be eligible if they only receive Placement Travel Allowance ( PTA ).
Read further information and eligibility details on funding for undergraduate study and funding for postgraduate study .
SWB rates for the 2022 to 2023 academic year
The postgraduate SWB is available in both years of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) and comprises the following elements:
Table 1: the postgraduate SWB in the 2022 to 2023 academic year
Element
Full time student, up to
London: £3,762.50
Part time student, up to
Pro rata of full-time rate
Tuition fee contribution
Income-assessed SWB (if the student qualifies)
Full time student, up to
London: £4,201
Income-assessed SWB (if the student qualifies)
Part time student, up to
Pro rata of full-time rate
Income-assessed allowances (if the student qualifies)
Adult dependant allowance
Income-assessed allowances (if the student qualifies)
Parent learning allowance
Income-assessed allowances (if the student qualifies)
Childcare (1 child)
Income-assessed allowances (if the student qualifies)
Childcare (2 children or more)
weekly £266.15
Disabled student allowances (if the student qualifies)
Specialist equipment
Disabled student allowances (if the student qualifies)
Non-medical helper
Disabled student allowances (if the student qualifies)
General allowance
PTA for a non- SWB recipient
-
£862.50
The SWB is available in the final 2 years of undergraduate study (usually years 2 and 3 of full-time study, or part-time equivalent) when most students undertake placements.
Table 2: the undergraduate SWB in the 2022 to 2023 academic year
Element
PTA for a non- SWB recipient
£862.50
£862.50
Non- SWB recipients may be eligible (subject to criteria set out in the application form) to receive PTA .
PTA is automatically included in the basic bursary for those students in receipt of an SWB . This is:
intended to help students meet the costs of travel to and from their home to the placement provider’s place of work
not intended to replace or supplement the placement provider’s expenses policy for students travelling to individual assignments
Postgraduate non- SWB recipients will not be eligible for any other allowances listed above.
The HEI application process
1,500 whole-time equivalent ( WTE ) postgraduate SWBs are available for students who start their postgraduate study in the 2022 to 2023 academic year.
2,500 WTE undergraduate SWBs will be available for students who start their penultimate year of undergraduate study in the 2022 academic year.
Non- SWB recipients will be eligible (subject to criteria) for PTA .
The following process applies:
HEIs will publish their inclusion criteria.
Students will need to be shortlisted by the HEI (using the inclusion criteria below).
HEIs will notify NHSBSA Student Services of the shortlisted students.
Students will apply to NHSBSA Student Services for the SWB or PTA. They can apply prior to finding out whether they have been nominated for an SWB.
NHSBSA Student Services will assess eligibility for the SWB and pay students appropriately.
Inclusion criteria for postgraduate students
Students included on the SWB selection list should be prioritised for an SWB based on a ranking during the admissions process. HEIs should consider other factors such as their obligations for widening participation and under the Equality Act 2010 .
Inclusion criteria for undergraduate students
Students included on the SWB selection list should be prioritised for an SWB based on a ranking during the admissions process. The ranking can be adjusted during year one based on attendance and passing the ‘readiness to practice’ and year one exams. HEIs should consider other factors such as their obligations for widening participation and under the Equality Act 2010 .
HEIs will want to assure themselves of the overall fairness and consistency of decision making (including consideration of the public sector equality duty) to shortlist students. Therefore, it is recommended that HEIs keep a record of why students were shortlisted for the SWB . For each of the students that HEIs shortlist, the following details need to be provided to NHSBSA Student Services:
name of the student ranked in order of eligibility (that is, the student who most met the criteria would be the first choice, and so on. HEIs may decide to apply a scoring system)
a list of reserves ranked in order of their eligibility
title of course
full time or part time
proposed duration of study
NHSBSA Student Services will supply a template spreadsheet for HEIs to complete with the above information.
If a student shortlisted by a HEI is not eligible for a SWB under the eligibility rules applied by NHSBSA Student Services, the first named eligible student on the reserve list will assume the bursary funded place. This process will continue in the order reserves are listed until the HEI ’s total number of SWB recipients is utilised. If a student has queries with the shortlisting process, these should be taken up with their HEI .
Undergraduate students may also be eligible for a loan from the Student Loans Company, subject to the usual criteria.
SWB allocation methodology
The number of bursaries awarded to each HEI is based on data provided by HEIs to DHSC . It considers:
the number of students at a HEI over a 5-year period
the number of students eligible for a bursary in the allocation year
the total number of bursaries available
The data collection took place between November 2021 and January 2022.
In simple terms, the total number of students at all HEIs over the 5-year period is added together and divided by the national number of bursaries available to create a quota. The national number of new bursaries is 1,500 postgraduate bursaries and 2,500 undergraduate bursaries.
The calculation of the quota for postgraduate ( PG ) and undergraduate ( UG ) bursaries from the 2019 academic year onwards is shown below:
Table 3: calculation of postgraduate quota
Calculation of PG quota
5.931
-
The total number of students at an individual HEI over the 5-year period is divided by this quota to calculate the number of bursaries awarded to an institution. Validation checks are then undertaken to ensure that no institution receives more bursaries than it has eligible students – if this condition is violated, these bursaries are distributed between remaining HEIs .
Reasons for changes in allocations
It is common for the number of bursaries awarded to individual HEIs to change even if there is no change to the overall number of bursaries. This is because the methodology used to allocate bursaries considers actual and planned student intakes over a 5-year period at all HEIs .
A change in bursary numbers is dynamic and depends on both changes at the HEI and national level. The precise reasons for a change will vary from HEI to HEI . There are several reasons why the number of awards might change from year to year including:
A change in the overall number of students in England
As shown in examples 1 and 2 under ‘Worked examples’ below, any change in the total number of students changes the quota required to produce a bursary.
Between 2017 and 2018, the total number of postgraduate students increased by around 320 which increased the quota from 6.4 to 6.6 students per bursary. Because of this, HEIs who reported the same number of students in 2017 and 2018 may have seen a slight reduction in the number of bursaries received.
Similarly, a reduction in the total number of undergraduates may result in a slight increase, depending on the individual data provided.
Changes at HEI level
The allocation formula considers the number of students over a 5-year period. Therefore, if there are changes in intakes for any HEI then that will have an impact on bursaries.
The data in a 5-year period used in calculating the 2022 allocation differs from that for calculating the 2021 allocations by moving the 5-year period forward by a year, creating a new 5-year period comprising actual intake numbers for 2019, 2020 and 2021, and planned intake numbers for 2022 and 2023 by:
no longer considering the actual intake number for 2018
changing the 2021 number from ‘plan’ to ‘actual’
adding on a new year’s planned intake number for 2023
New courses and closed courses
As the formula is based on a full 5 years of students, there is an impact for new courses and those which are closing. In both instances, these courses will have ‘0’ students for some years (either because they have not been open for long enough or because there is no planned intake) and so they are likely to receive a lower number of awards in those years.
This can also lead to large changes in the number of awards from year to year as those courses get a full 5 years of student numbers or drop out of the system entirely
Capping out
The formula ensures that no institution can receive more bursaries than it has eligible students. In 2022, this means that no HEI can receive more bursaries than its reported UG intake in 2021 (for 3-year UG courses) or 2020 (for 4-year UG courses), and its planned PG intake for 2022.
If an institution has a dip in recruitment in any year, then this can come into effect and can result in a seemingly large decline in allocations.
Worked examples
To illustrate this point, here are some fictional scenarios. In each case the number of bursaries to be awarded is 1,000 and in year one there were 10,000 students in England. The quota to receive one bursary was therefore 10 (10,000 divided by 1,000).
Example 1: ‘business as usual’
In year one, HEI A had an intake of 50 students per year over each of 5 years. This meant that it received a total of 25 bursaries (250 divided by 10).
Year 1
Total students equals 200. Total bursaries equals 20 (200 divided by 10).
SWB guidance for HEIs by NHSBSA
Following feedback from several HEIs , NHSBSA Student Services has provided the following guidance to clarify and reinforce the action to take with various scenarios relating to the allocation of capped places to social work bursary students.
The aim of this guidance is to maximise the use of available capped places allocated to each HEI . As detailed below, if a student does not complete their course within the ‘normal period’ they will in most cases lose their entitlement to the capped place if they return to training.
We need support from all HEIs to effectively meet the objective of maximising the use of available capped places under the current arrangements. This includes a requirement to provide us with timely information about every change in a student’s attendance. This means NHSBSA Student Services will require HEIs to download, complete and forward to them the relevant SWB02, SWB03 or SWB04 form from their website as soon as HEIs become aware of such a change. This is particularly important at the start and end of each academic year, as once a payment has been made to a student with a capped place who subsequently withdraws, it cannot be reallocated to another student for that academic year.
Withdrawals
If a student withdraws from training, their capped place may be reallocated to another student, if the withdrawn student has not received a payment and the place is reallocated prior to the end of the financial year in which the academic year commences.
Once a payment has been made, the capped place cannot then be reallocated to another student and any further funding, for that capped place, will be lost in that academic year.
Postgraduate student deferrals
If a postgraduate student has been allocated a capped place but informs their HEI that they wish to defer starting their course until a later academic year, their place can be reallocated to another student. Again, they must not have received a bursary payment or the place is lost.
If the place is not reallocated to another student, the place will also be lost. A new capped place will then need to be allocated to the deferred student, when they commence training, from the allocation of capped places for the academic year they are joining. They cannot retain a previous academic year’s capped place even if the place was not reallocated to another student.
Resuming postgraduate students
Students who attended in their first academic year and were nominated for a capped place but had a period of non-attendance for a full academic year and are now resuming training, will have lost the capped place initially allocated to them. These capped places cannot be retained if a student withdraws from training for any reason, even if the place is not reallocated to another student.
If HEIs wish to allocate a capped place to a postgraduate returning student, this can only be done if there are exceptional circumstances that instigated the deferral and the student’s capped place must either:
be allocated from the postgraduate year cohort the student is returning to (this could only happen if someone else had withdrawn from the course without receiving any payments for the academic year), or
be taken from the total allocation of students for the new academic year. In this case the next year of funding for the capped place would also be lost and could not separately be allocated to another student the following year
Undergraduate student deferrals
If an undergraduate student has been allocated a capped place but informs their HEI they wish to defer starting the second or third year until a later academic year, their place can be reallocated to another student. They must not have received a bursary payment, or the capped place is lost. If the place is not reallocated to another student, the place will also be lost.
Resuming undergraduate students
Students who attended in their first academic year and were nominated for a capped place but had a period of non-attendance and are now resuming training will have lost the capped place initially allocated to them for the rest of the duration of the course.
Undergraduate students who withdraw or defer and resume training at any point during the course, including the first year, may not occupy a capped place when they resume training.
Maternity leave – all social work students
HEIs must follow the process outlined below for all students who are taking a period of maternity leave regardless of when they commence their maternity leave (including if it is during a ‘holiday period’) and regardless of whether they are enrolled on a capped place.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students who are nominated for a capped place may continue to receive bursary payments for up to a maximum of 12 months from the agreed date of the start of the maternity leave period or from the day after the date of birth.
Students must provide the HEI with medical evidence of the pregnancy prior to commencing maternity leave (usually form MATB1). The start date of the maternity leave must be agreed with the HEI prior to commencement of the leave.
HEIs must forward the form SWB02 to NHSBSA Student Services annotated to confirm the student has provided relevant evidence including the:
expected date of confinement
last date of attendance
date of return, if the student is expected to return to complete the course
Undergraduate and postgraduate students who resume training after a period of maternity leave will retain their capped place for the duration of the course. HEIs cannot reallocate or transfer a capped place from a student on maternity leave to another student.
In addition, students who have taken a period of maternity leave may receive an extension of funding for up to a maximum of 12 months to complete the course (this may be extended in exceptional circumstances if the student also must repeat part of the course).
HEIs must forward the form SWB03 to the NHSBSA Student Services annotated to confirm the student has returned to training, including:
the date they returned
the cohort they have joined
the new expected ‘end date’ of the course
any other information that will help clarify the student’s personal circumstances
Students who are not nominated for a capped place (those in receipt of PTA only, or EU Fees only postgraduate students) are not eligible to receive PTA or payment of fees during a period of maternity leave.
They may be eligible to receive PTA or payment of fees if relevant when they resume training.
SWB timeline
The following section and tables describe activity throughout the year, and it is expected that information will be provided by the specified target date.
For each intake group, different activities have been highlighted and identified as A to E.
A – student applications to NHSBSA Student Services
Students should submit their application to NHSBSA Student Services, with all supporting evidence, by the specified cohort deadline as shown in Tables 5b1, 5b2, 5b3 and 5b4.
B – submission of capping nominations with reserves
Each HEI should submit the template issued by NHSBSA Student Services completed in full, including all students nominated for capped bursary funded places and any reserves. Reserve students should be listed in order, with reserve 1 being the first student eligible for an unused capped place, reserve 2 the next and so on.
C – submission of final college place notification ( FCPN )
Each HEI should submit the template issued by NHSBSA Student Services listing those students who have enrolled. This must be a complete list of enrolees as this information will be used to release payments to those individuals who are named by their HEI as having formally enrolled on to the course
Any enrolment confirmation received after the deadline will not be considered.
D – completion of capping or FCPN process and movement of reserves onto capped places
NHSBSA Student Services will issue any remaining unused capped places to nominated reserves in the order described at point B, above.
E – close
This date signifies the end of all activity relating to the intake. This exercise will close on the specified deadline and no other reserves will be considered beyond this date for that particular intake. Any bursary funded places that are unallocated at this point will be forfeited – see ‘Unused allocations and COVID-19 extension’ below for details.
Table 5a: general activity
28 April 2023
Tuition fee invoices
HEIs should submit invoices to NHSBSA Student Services after 1 December 2022 for September starters and 1 March 2023 for January starters.
Payment dates for students
The SWB is paid to eligible students in 3 instalments as below. Each instalment will also include the PTA :
the first instalment will be paid no later than 10 working days from the date NHSBSA Student Services receive confirmation of course enrolment, attendance and place on capping list, or 10 working days from the date the SWB notification letter is issued, whichever is later
instalments 2 and 3 will be made in synchronisation with the start of each term for all students. Details on dates will be published on the NHSBSA Student Services website
Placement travel allowance ( PTA )
Students not included on the HEI capped shortlist, will be paid PTA when and if their application has been assessed as eligible.
This will normally be no later than 10 working days from the date NHSBSA Student Services receives confirmation of student enrolment and attendance, or 10 working days from the date of the notification letter, whichever is the latter.
Childcare allowance
NHSBSA Student Services will pay a childcare allowance to students in receipt of a postgraduate SWB in 3 instalments, one for each term of the academic year. These will be paid separately to the postgraduate SWB instalments.
The first instalment will be paid no later than 10 working days from the date on the notification of entitlement or no later than 10 working days from the date NHSBSA Student Services receive confirmation of course enrolment, attendance and place on the HEI shortlist, whichever is the latter.
NHSBSA Student Services will only pay the second and third instalments when they have verified the amount paid to the childcare provider for the preceding term. ( NHSBSA Student Services will contact the childcare provider directly to confirm these costs.)
Unused allocations and COVID-19 extension
For the 2022 to 2023 academic year, we expect placement disruptions to subside as the country learns to live with the virus. Therefore, we will no longer fund COVID-19 (coronavirus)-related extensions except on a case-by-case basis in accordance with other requests for an extension.
In the 2019 to 2020 academic year, DHSC and NHSBSA introduced for the first time a system for in-year reallocation of unused bursaries. We will no longer proceed with in-year allocations of unused bursaries.
Education Support Grant
This section sets out the Education Support Grant ( ESG ) rates and timescales for the 2022 to 2023 academic year.
ESG rates
Table 6: ESG rates for the 2022 to 2023 academic year
Item

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