Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Councils are facing serious problems with student loans in the wake of a centralised system imposed by the Departme...
Councils are facing serious problems with student loans in the wake of a centralised system imposed by the Department for Education and Employment.

The software is overloaded with detail, say councils, because the government wants codes for every course at every college to be fed into it.

Edward Lister, Tory leader of Wandsworth LBC, where 2,000 students are applying for loans, said the DfEE was at fault.

'More than 150 councils up and down the country have been forced to change their systems to suit the new centralised arrangements. The task has been further complicated by the excessive red tape the DfEE has insisted on,' he said.

Wandsworth said: 'Local authorities are in it together, but whether the DfEE is too is another matter.'

Liverpool City Council, where another 2,000 students could be affected, said: 'We do still have outstanding technical problems and are in serious negotiations with software people.

'We can't say at the moment if there will be delays but we are working very hard to make sure there won't be and looking at back-up arrangements.'

Manchester City Council has hired extra staff to cope with the crisis. It said: 'We have a dedicated team working extremely hard and every effort will be made to clear the backlog by September.'

Others were less concerned. Brighton and Hove Council said: 'Work to ensure a smooth transition for students has gone well. Student support staff are up to date and expect to start sending out financial notifications to new students this week.'

The DfEE would not comment on whether contingency plans were being made.

It said: 'It's our firm expectation that students will get paid on time. We have no reason to believe any authority will be unable to deal with student applications.'

Councils used to assess and pay out on loan applications. Now they only make the assessment while payments are made by the central Student Loan Company.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.