Policy Library

SNP Students is a proud champion of policies which aim to make our nation a better place for people to live, work and study. Read some of our policies below.

Education

Many young, financially disadvantaged people in Scotland are forced to give up their dreams of pursuing a career in the arts because they cannot afford the cost of materials – this is Creative Poverty. SNP Students will push for the Scottish Government to recognise Creative Poverty as a type of poverty affecting young Scottish students. We will also campaign for the creation of a Creative Arts Grant to provide support to young Scots who wish to pursue a career in the arts, but cannot afford the cost of the materials required to study arts subjects in school.

SNP Students was proud to support the #SummerSAAS campaign along with the Scottish Young Greens and other organisations. Extending financial support for students throughout the summer months has been our policy since 2017. We believed this was of particular importance during the Covid-19 pandemic, as many students were left with little or no support throughout. We firmly believe that funding for students should cover the summer months, and we will continue to campaign for this.

We co-authored a statement with the Scottish Young Greens and Scottish Young Liberals calling for all Scottish universities and colleges to implement a No Detriment Policy for all courses. This would ensure that no students were disadvantaged by the disruption to their courses of the Covid-19 pandemic, and allow all students to progress with confidence. We were delighted that many of Scotland’s universities took our call seriously, and implemented a No Detriment Policy.

SNP Students proposed a motion to the SNP’s National Conference in October 2019 calling on all of Scotland’s higher and further education institutions to abolish graduation fees and to renew Scotland’s principle of free higher education based on ability, not wealth. Many students were being charged up to £225 to simply attend their graduation – which is simply unacceptable. We were delighted that this motion was passed by acclaim, and is now SNP policy.

We note with concern that estranged students are not entitled to the same level of support as their care experienced counterparts even though they have experienced similar trauma and should be deserving of the same support. Estranged Students have limited access to bursaries such as The Care Experience bursary which would help finance their studies. Furthermore, Estranged students in many cases may have no access to guarantors for accommodation. This leaves Estranged students in a disadvantage and unstable situation that isolates them from their peers. We will campaign for the Scottish Government to work with Universities to ensure that all Scottish Universities have guarantor schemes open to Estranged students and others. We will also call for the Scottish Government to review funding for Estranged Students to ensure they are entitled to the same bursary as care experienced students to support them adequately throughout their studies.

SNP Students commends the Scottish Parliament’s introduction of BSL interpreters, and acknowledges the success of the current Curriculum for Excellence system. We greatly support languages being taught to young people to increase their knowledge of the world, and other cultures. Deaf people in Scotland have a diverse range of needs and require a wide range of services to support them in their everyday life. The deaf community is large in Scotland, as it is throughout the world. Because of the silence the language is spoken in, it can go unnoticed. We believe that, to further widen young people’s understanding of community, and to truly work towards equality in Scotland, BSL should be part of the teaching curriculum. 

Equality

SNP Students welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to equality for the LGBTQ+ community though the implementation of the Time For Inclusive Education working group proposals and Gender Recognition Act. No one should be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. We reject homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in any capacity. They have no place in modern society, including our institutions of learning. We fully endorse the aims of the Equality Network and the Scottish Trans Alliance – and believe that public funding should be protected and encouraged to reach those aims. In addition, we are firm in our belief that the advancement or establishment of transgender recognition does not regress rights for any other group protected under the Equality Act 2010. LGBTQ+ rights and history are essential criteria for combating phobias that adversely affect the LGBTQ+ community. We also believe that both governments – Westminster and Holyrood – should include in the Gender Recognition Act the right of self-identification. 

We welcome the decisions of student associations and societies across Scotland taking a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and assault. Further, we welcome universities implementing reformed procedural frameworks in the reporting and investigation of sexual harassment. We are however disappointed that street harassment is not illegal in Scotland or the rest of the UK; and we support making street harassment a criminal offence – which will be a positive action to prevent people from suffering casual harassment and provide a real deterrent to dissuade
harassers. 

For many of us, in order to access a number of essential services it is necessary to have access to a full range of banking services. However, many vulnerable people, including refugees and homeless, are barred from accessing banking services due to arbitrary rules surrounding proof of identity and address applied by the banking sector. SNP Students supports legislation making access to a bank account an inalienable right for all.  

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Employment Rights

Mental illnesses can have a direct impact on an individual in a workspace; and the situation with Borderline Personality Disorder is that many are left to cope on their own, without backing or understanding from peers, colleagues or managers. We believe that it is time we break the stigma around discussing, and indeed dealing with BPD at work and in educational establishments, and help ensure people with BPD are treated with dignity and respect in their working environment. We will push for the Scottish Government to raise awareness of mental illnesses - in particular Borderline Personality Disorder; which will enable employers and lecturers to ensure that necessary adjustments are in place to support those diagnosed with BPD, and to assure them that they are respected and supported in their workspace. 

We condemn the Tories’ failure to adequately support and protect unemployed people here in Scotland. Periods of unemployment can cause harm to an individual’s mental and physical health, leading to further strains on our National Health Service. Unemployment also has a disproportionate effect on women, ethnic minorities and young people. We support a voluntary Job Guarantee programme that includes other roles in society which are not currently prioritised and empowers local communities to allocate resources to best reflect their needs. This programme would offer new alternative routes to positive destinations and ensure no one is left unemployed as we move from a fossil fuel economy to a green economy

For many people, especially students and graduates, the process of searching and applying for work can be stressful and difficult. This can be exasperated by many of the practices of employers in the application process which can often be exploitative towards candidates; such as unpaid trial shifts, not responding to applications, unclear application processes and not providing feedback to applicants. We applaud the work of SNP MPs such as Stewart McDonald who have been campaigning on banning unpaid trial shifts which are often a mandatory and unethical part of the hospitality industry. We will continue to fight for the UK Government to legislate in order to make the experience of applying for jobs and employment processes easier, fairer and transparent; by banning unpaid trial shifts, requiring employers reply to applications and offer feedback as well as making application processes transparent.

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Animal Rights

SNP Students recognises the growing popularity of meat-free and plant-based diets. We commend Glasgow University for being the first University in the world to be accredited by the Vegan Society, putting Scotland on the map yet again. However, we note that Vegetarian and Vegan meal options in Universities across Scotland tend to be carbohydrate based and ‘fast-foody’ with no crucial vitamins and minerals which are found in fruit, vegetables and nuts. We therefore will continue to push for teaching establishments across Scotland to reconsider and add to their Vegetarian and Vegan meal options, so that all students can maintain their healthy diet on campus. 

We are saddened by the shocking fact that each year, thousands of animals are injured and killed either directly, or indirectly as unwanted cast offs, in the animal racing industries. Over 1,000 racing greyhounds die or are killed each year, according to new figures. It has also been revealed that racing dogs suffer almost 5,000 injuries a year, meaning one in every three racing dogs is injured. This us utterly abhorrent. We support the work of The League Against Cruel Sports in their current calling for a phasing out of greyhound racing, and will campaign to end the exploitation of animals in situations where they are commercially raced

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Address

SNP Students
c/o The SNP
Gordon Lamb House
3 Jackson's Entry
Edinburgh

Contacts

Email: info@snpstudents.com

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