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Carers UK Forum • Discriminating against former carers
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Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:51 pm
by Lizk57
I'm not sure whether this is the right place to post this and I apologise in advance that this is a rant!

My son, now 26, left school at 17 to help care for my late husband. At the time, husband was seriously ill and disabled but with a mortgage I had no option but to continue in work. Son became his father's full time carer (claiming Carers Allowance) for two years until we were able to make alternative arrangements and then my son, feeling full time education was now not an option, went into full time employment where he has done well. However, he's now trying to follow a life time ambition to become a police officer but been told he isn't able to apply as he doesn't have A levels. He's devastated.

I understand setting a minimum level of qualifications but under the circumstances, surely you would have thought the police would make some allowances. His GCSE results were exemplary. I do feel this is discriminating against former carers who were unable to continue with education beyond the compulsory sector.

Sorry, rant over.

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:01 pm
by Henrietta
Hi Elizabeth
That seems so unfair but the first thing that sprang to my mind was that it is never too late. I don't know how old your son is now but I was recently working with a young man (probably 30ish)who was doing voluntary work in the specials along side his full time job aiming to become a policeman. If he can have such a career change in his early 30s then so to can your son. Spend a couple of years or even longer if fitting it in around other commitments. Get the qualifications needed and mean while see what else they are looking for in the way of experience. No way is it too late for him.

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:30 pm
by Juggler
There may be equivalent qualifications he can take at college that make some allowance for his life experience. Suggest you ask for further details from the police. There will be others who left school early for other reasons and are looking for a route into the service.

Edit: looks like an HND

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:16 pm
by Lizk57
Thanks to both. His current work is in retail and because he has a liquor license (he's the manager of a supermarket ) he's prevented from becoming a Special as it's deemed to be a conflict of interest (a police rule - another one I don't understand!). His working hours can be from 0600 - 23.00 easily some days because he's the manager so voluntary work and/or a college course aren't possible. It's such as shame as its something he's always wanted to do! Thanks anyway. It's hard to see such a hardworking and ambitious young man get shot down in flames just because he voluntarily looked after his late father. Also makes me feel very guilty for allowing him to!

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:02 am
by jenny lucas
Hi - has he explored other qualifications? I say this because a friend of my son's did not get good A level grades, and so couldn't get a place in uni. Instead, he took two years to do a full time BTech, which then got him straight into uni.

I can't believe that the police insist on 'only A levels' as their entry qualifications?

IF your son could go to 'college' - whether BTech or not - he MAY get 'free tuition'. (I know my son's friend had free tuition at the BTech college, even though he was over 18, straight out of sixth form at school.)

Even if he can't get 'free tuition' he MAY, if he's at a college not a school, be eligible for a Student Loan.

This would enable him to give up work, do his required A levels full time (and he may be able to do them in a single year, since he's older now than sixth formers), and then join the police (he'll have to start repaying his loan when his salary is something like £20k p.a, but not until then I'm pretty sure - some people never earn that much, and so never have to repay their loans!)

Please don't let him give up his dream!

As a slightly different tack, if he can't be a Special, could he join the Territorials? This might give him both useful training in things like 'self-defence' etc etc, plus 'show willing and dedication' and also let him experience what it's like being in a 'chain of command' etc etc etc. Plus it will ensure he has high fitness levels.

Sometimes, when the 'orthodox' route is blocked, finding a 'sideways' route can still work.

I agree with your fundamental complaint, though, that a kind, compassionate and dedicated young man gave up vital years to 'see his father out', and that has ended up having a bad knock on effect in his life now. He's been 'punished' for being 'good'....not fair.

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:48 am
by Seoc an Aonaidh
I'd seriously question what he has been told, http://www.policecouldyou.co.uk/police- ... index.html, which includes this statement:
there is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests
Jenny suggested the Territorials (Territorial Army (TA)), now known as the Army Reserve http://www.army.mod.uk/reserve/31781.aspx - they also have certain, very similar limitations, as to who can or cannot join, and potential recruits still have to undergo a variety of tests, including written, physical and aptitude, before they are accepted (sorry, 24 years service as a TA soldier here - just saying how it is).

As far as student loans are concerned, anyone who is 24 years old, or above, may be eligible for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan, depending upon the course they wish to pursue https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/overview

Re: Discriminating against former carers

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:40 am
by Juggler
It appears that local decisions are made:
'Recruitment and selection procedures are managed by police forces at a local level, although a nationally agreed competency-based framework is applied'. (From Prospects link in my previous post)
I suspect that they have to recruit according to quotas. If so, it would be worth applying again in a year. Worth asking for feedback on his application and if he could reapply or apply in another area.