Disabled Student Allowances
The Disabled Student Allowances SpLD Working Group was convened following requests from Local Education Authorities (LEA) to clarify what would constitute acceptable evidence of SpLD in order to qualify for the Disabled Student Allowances (DSA). The report is intended to be a guide for those assessing SpLD in Higher Education students and a statement of what is considered to be an acceptable standard expected from those carrying out assessments.
The final report of this Working Group was released on 27 July 2005.The report along with the following covering note was sent by the DfES to all LEA Support Managers. Click links at the top of this page for the Final Report.
TO: LEA STUDENT SUPPORT MANAGERS July 2005
DISABLED STUDENTS ALLOWANCES – SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTIES WORKING GROUP
You will be aware that a Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) Group was set up in 2003 to review the arrangements for identifying and assessing SpLDs in higher education students. The group was asked to produce a report recommending a framework for ensuring the quality of assessments which diagnose specific learning difficulties. The Working Group has now concluded their work and I am pleased to present the final report.
I am extremely grateful to Carol Youngs and other members of the SpLD Group for their hard work in producing the report which is important for improving the quality of services to students accessing the DSA scheme. I am also grateful to the sector for supporting the process and look to their continuing support in the future by supporting the framework recommended in the report.
The success of the new framework relies heavily on the support of LEAs who are strongly encouraged to adopt the recommendationswhich will be gradually introduced over a three year period as follows:
- SpLD assessments conducted after the start of academic year 2006/07 should use the report format and tests recommended in the report;
- SpLD assessments conducted after the start of academic year 2007/08 should be accepted from Psychologists and suitably qualified Teachers holding a current Practising Certificate in SpLD assessments issued by their professional association; and
- from academic year 2008/09 all training for assessing SpLDs should follow the report recommendations.
This means that the first recommendations will not be implemented until after the start of the academic year 2006/7.
Until the start of academic year 2006/07, LEAs are requested to continue following the existing guidelines as contained in the 2005/06 DfES guidance chapter ‘DSAs’. We are considering training events on the report for LEA Awards Officers but in the meantime, please refer technical enquiries on the report to the contacts provided on page 51.
I am also copying this note to Dr James Palfreman-Kaye (Chair of NADO), Sian Davies (NUS), Keith Houghton (Chair of NASMA), Jayne Aldridge (AMOSSHE) and Steve Broadbent/Lesley Morrice (Joint Chairs of NNAC).
Courses seeking approval from SASC for training provision leading to Assessment Practising Certificates can now apply to SASC. Relevant documents are listed on the margin of this page.