Thousands of students are stranded in university accommodation across the country, or are at home with their possessions stuck in rented accommodation.

Now Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham has written to the secretary of state for education and put down parliamentary questions asking for assurances that arrangements can be made so students can retrieve their belongings or return home if they wish.

Current government guidelines are that students should remain in place and wait until after lockdown to gather their things, but this guidance has not been updated in a month. With the country facing a further extension to lockdown, the Government needs to spell plans to allow students to return home or gather their possessions if required. Student’s tenancy agreements will shortly be coming to an end meaning waiting until an unknown date after lockdown will not be an option for many.

Alex said:

“The length of lockdown is unpredictable, asking to students to wait for an unknown date does nothing to ease their anxieties. Consideration will need to be given to how students with no means of transport will go about gathering their belongings – especially if this includes a round trip of hundreds of miles.

“I have asked the Government to make arrangements in helping students get back their possessions as soon as possible and offer clear guidance on allowing students to return home. A swift response is needed as many students will be approaching the end of their tenancy agreements.

“It is unreasonable to leave students stranded from their families or stuck without their belongings for an unknowable amount of time. We’re all trying to muddle through these challenging times, the least we can do is ease the uncertainties for the thousands of students up and down the country.”