Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP sought assurances that measures are in place to ensure safe learning at our universities

Press Release from

Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA

7 September 2020

RT HON DAME CHERYL GILLAN MP SEEKS ASSURANCES THAT MEASURES ARE IN PLACE TO ENSURE SAFE LEARNING AT OUR UNIVERSITIES

Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP sought assurances today that measures are in place to ensure safe learning at our universities.

Dame Cheryl asked Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, MP, the Secretary of State:

“ Over the course of the pandemic we’ve seen an increase in people experiencing poor mental health, and the new report from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has warned of the serious implications of worsening mental health among students if education continues to be disrupted and universities do not open. Can the Secretary of State reassure students and their families that universities are safe to open on the basis of blended learning and confirm that clear strategies and additional support have been put in place to support the mental health of students when they embark on learning.”

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP replied:

“ My Rt Hon Friend raises the important point of young people and the benefits they get from going back to school, college and university. This is why we’ve worked incredibly closely, not on with the school sectors but also with the university sector to ensure that the return is done in a safe, cautious and planned way; and I’d like to thank all the work in the higher education sector that has been done. But we do recognise that covid has presented some quite challenging mental health problems for many young people as well as on staff and that is why we have announced the £9 million fund to support additional enhancement of mental health work to support those who work and those who benefit from being in the education sector, students included.”

Dame Cheryl commented, “ Going on to higher education for the first time can be the cause of anxiety, but this year many things will have changed for second and third years as well. It’s important that students and teaching staff have the support they need.”