Student Finance England Draft DSA Guidance - update

Update on UK Government's consultation for the draft Disabled Students' Allowances guidance for 2015/16.

13 March 2015



The Government is determined that anyone with the aspiration and ability can go onto higher education regardless of any disability.

It is important that as wide a consensus as possible is built on the role of Disabled Students' Allowances. The Government has been consulting on the draft Disabled Students' Allowances guidance for 2015/16. It has now decided that the proposed changes set out in the draft guidance concerning accommodation, peripherals and consumables - that would have required additional reasonable adjustments from institutions - should be deferred until 2016/17 and that changes will only be made once continued consultation with the sector and stakeholders has taken place to ensure the specific changes are introduced effectively.

Although the Government has exceptionally been consulting upon (and as indicated above will further consult upon) these specific proposals, it remains the case that Disabled Students' Allowances guidance is a Student Loans Company operational document that is revised on a year to year basis and is not generally subject to consultation before it is amended.

The Government has been in regular contact with stakeholders, including higher education institutions, regarding these measures. Deferring these proposed changes until 2016/17 will help give institutions the time to review the services they offer to disabled students and make appropriate improvements to meet their needs. The annual guidance for study needs assessors, setting out the approach to managing applications for Disabled Students' Allowances for 2015/16, will be published in due course.

We are grateful to universities, student and their representative bodies for their continued participation in informing these changes.

BIS has written an email to Higher Education Institutions and other stakeholders setting out more information about the process - the letter can be viewed at below link.
Letter from Department for Business Innovation and Skills - 11 March 2015