Student Carers

Student Carers

Back to “Student Support”

Last Updated: October 7th 2021

This page aims to guide Student Carers about what is available to support their studies at Newman University.  Scroll down to answer the questions: Who is a carer? What do the Carers Trust highlight? What support is available at Newman University? What support is available outside of Newman University? Who is eligible to claim Carers Allowance?

  1. Who is a Student Carer?

Carer definition: ‘A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.’ (Carer Trust Report, 2015)

The Carer’s Trust Report

2. What do the Carer’s Trust highlight?

a. Students with Caring responsibilities may hit ‘bumps in the road’ which they had not planned for, due to the support they give.

b. Students with caring responsibilities do not always ask for help in time as they do not realise it is available.

c. Students with caring responsibilities need to know who to contact to apply for the relevant advice.

3. What support is available at Newman University?

a.  We have an extensions system in place.  Any student can apply for an extension to the deadline of their assignment, if they know, in advance of the deadline, that they cannot submit.  If you are a Student Carer, you can apply and give an explanation of the extra commitment your caring responsibilities bring.  For your evidence, you can attach anything relevant regarding the person you care for (their medication, their hospital admission information or, if you are a formal carer, a letter to show you are recognised as such – if you are not sure of what to show, just ask the Academic Support Adviser team on: asa@newman.ac.uk).  To apply for an extension, all students follow the same Extensions Application link.

b. Our Academic Support Advisers (ASAs) can advise you on any appropriate procedures for example how to apply to move your deadlines, or how to apply to put a halt on your studies for a while. Email a member of our Academic Support Advisers team on asa@newman.ac.uk , even if you have missed a deadline.  They can explain our Mitigating Circumstances and Appeals processes.  They will be happy to offer a Zoom or telephone conversation if you prefer to discuss your situation, rather than email.

c. We can organise a ‘RAP by Proxy’ if you care for someone with a recognised medical condition or long term illness.  A Reasonable Adjustment Plan (RAP) is a plan to adjust your assignment submission dates to allow for a little more flexibility in case some unexpected caring duties arise (the person you care for may need medical attention or you may need to attend to their needs more than you had anticipated).  This RAP is a RAP ‘by proxy’ as it is due to the support they need, rather than support you may need, if you were ill.  To organise a RAP by Proxy, you can contact our Inclusion Coordinator who will discuss the  evidence you will need to supply to move your assignment dates on: studentsupport@newman.ac.uk

4. What support is available outside Newman University?

External support

The Birmingham Carers Hub offers a wide range of services to local carers.

Carers Trust are a national charity providing support for carers. On their website they provide help and advice, they have an online community for carers, and a list of local services.

Carers UK are also a national charity providing a range of support to carers. There is a range of help and advice available on their website, from financial and practical support to information about useful equipment and technology. Their advice line can be accessed on: 0808 808 7777.

Barefoot Birmingham Offer free Yoga for family Carers registered with Birmingham Carers Hub, both online and in person at their studios. You don’t need to be a full-time Carer, or be in receipt of Carer benefits, to take up this offer.

Sandwell Crossroads  offer advice and guidance to carers living in Sandwell, including access to their free Carers Assistance Line

Walsall Carers offers a wide range of services to local carers.

Forward Carers provides a range of support and advice including carer’s assessments and information about breaks for carers.

Grants and discounts – If you, or the person you care for, need extra help to pay for something there are many grants, funds, and charities that may be able to help.

5. Who is eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance? 

Full-time students are not eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance. If you are claiming Carer’s Allowance prior to starting your university course, your eligibility for this benefit will cease when you enrol at university.

It is important that you notify the Benefits Agency that you have started full-time study to make sure you do not accrue subsequent overpayment.

Our Welfare Adviser can advise you about other sources of funding.

Was this article helpful?