Self-isolating students should get extra mental health support, says Keir Starmer

He says the government ‘don’t really have a plan’ for the return of students

Students self-isolating in halls should get extra mental health support, Keir Starmer has said.

Speaking on a Zoom call with students, the Labour leader said students have been put in an “especially difficult” position, and that the government “don’t really have a plan”.

One student on the call spoke of this year’s cohort not just being subjected to social distancing, but to “emotional distancing.”

This week, The Tab reported on how lonely students locked down in halls are getting, with one Leeds fresher seeing only two people in real life since moving in to halls a fortnight ago.

Labour is calling on the government to “outline an emergency package of measures that will support the mental health of students, particularly those who are self-isolating.”

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said: “Students across the country are in an extremely difficult position, and many are now self-isolating with a group of people who are practically strangers.

“The challenges in returning to universities were predictable and predicted, and it was an act of shocking complacency for the government to fail to ensure that students would all get the support they need.

“Gavin Williamson must end his serial incompetence and urgently outline his plans to support the mental health of young people.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Are you self-isolating in halls? Tell us your story

Keir Starmer lived in the poshest Leeds Uni halls, Charles Morris, as a fresher

Every deeply cringe thing Gavin Williamson has done in his political career