The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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Government opens consultation on changes to funding for physio students in England

12 April 2016 - 9:51am

The CSP is encouraging members to respond to a consultation on government plans to introduce tuition fees for physiotherapy students in England.

CSP policy aims to increase student places

CSP members are urged to complete the government consultation by 30 June

Complete the consultation

Under the proposals, nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students will no longer have their university fees paid or receive an NHS bursary – instead, they will have access to student loans.

The new system, which will apply to new physiotherapy students on both undergraduate and postgraduate pre-registration courses, is due to come into effect from 1 August 2017.

It means physiotherapy students who take out student loans will be required to make repayments after they have graduated and begin to receive a salary above a certain level. At present the repayments would begin once a graduate started earning £21,000.

The proposed changes will also mean that universities providing physiotherapy education will receive funding via the mainstream tuition fee arrangements, rather than NHS funding.

Meanwhile, service providers will continue to receive funding to take students on placement via the practice education tariff, allowing students to have access to mainstream support arrangements for placement costs.

Contribute to the consultation

The Department of Health has launched a consultation on the proposals, seeking views on how the reforms can be successfully implemented.

The CSP aims to influence the plans, in line with its Council-agreed position. This includes to secure more student places, while ensuring entry to the profession from all parts of society and upholding education quality.

Sally Gosling, CSP assistant director of practice and development, told Frontline that the society would be announcing details for members to respond, through the society, in the next week.

‘Responding to the consultation provides the opportunity to influence how the planned changes are enacted.

‘Areas of priority include widening participation to the profession and ensuring fair support for all students, maintaining supportive arrangements for practice education – including to maximise placement capacity – and expanding student numbers to address the shortfalls in current physiotherapy workforce supply.’

The proposed changes only apply to England. However the society is working with members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to keep education and workforce supply issues under review in each country, as well as to take stock of cross-border issues.

The consultation is open until 30 June.

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