News Article

Talking to parliament about the struggles student parents face

Becky went to the House of Commons to raise issues that Christ Church students are facing including childcare support and student finance.

President (Development) Becky Thomson was invited to represent Christ Church students in the House of Commons on Monday 2 March 2020  in an All Party Parliamentary meeting. She travelled up to London to raise issues that Christ Church students are facing including childcare support and its incompatible with universal credit and the lack of student finance supporting parents at postgraduate level.

APPG for Students

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students comprised of 30 individuals including NUS representatives and MP attendees, including Paul Blomfield, ex- CEO of Sheffield Students’ Union, and Wes Streeting, NUS President in 2008. 

Praise from Canterbury's MP

Upon hearing about Becky’s visit, Rosie Duffield, Canterbury's MP, spoke out on Twitter saying she is “really proud of my amazing constituent, Becky Thomson, who has made a real difference to many in our community. So sorry I couldn't be there today but well done!”

The next steps

What are the next steps? Becky will be meeting with Rosie Duffield soon to discuss ways in which parliament can make immediate and life-changing decisions around universal credit and the way student finance is assessed. Christ Church SU has submitted a motion to NUS around these very same issues. This is the national platform for students to have their voices heard. This motion will be voted on at the the NUS National Conference from Tuesday 31st March to Thursday 22nd April. If enough delegates vote for this issue, it will become a policy which will then be lobbied to the government.

Following support from Rosie Duffield, CCSU will also be featured as a case study on the BBC, showcasing its campaign for equity within higher education in regards to childcare on a national platform. Though the lack of childcare facilities is an issue that affects students at Christ Church, it is also a national issue for all student parents, particularly postgraduates students who are not entitled to any form of support. In particular, this disproportionately affects women and marginalised groups, in turn impacting on their ability to achieve the same standards as their peers without children.

A word from Becky

Becky Thomson saidstudent parents are the forgotten group. We come into education with the hope of achieving the same as everyone else around us, however have to work three times harder to stay on the same level- and this is not including systemic issues around childcare at universities. 

Postgraduate students must be recognised and receive the same financial support as undergraduates students or we will lose our voices in academic and in leadership positions in our future careers”.

Follow Becky’s progress on changing student finance policies at @CCSUPresidentDevelopment on Facebook and @CCSUPresDev on Twitter

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