Written Answers to Parliamentary Questions on DSAs: 30th Oct 2014

On the 30th October, Universities Minister Greg Clark responded to a growing set of parliamentary questions put to the Government on a range of issues relating to Disabled Students Allowances. Links to source material are numbered for accessibility purposes only.

1. Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Students: Disability (30 Oct 2014)

Barry Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the support offered to potential university students with a disability to ensure that they are able to access support in undertaking their studies. Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 30 October 2014, cW)

Greg Clark: Discussions are underway with the higher education sector to ensure institutions are ready to meet their legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the changes for 2015/16 and 2016/17. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is currently undertaking a review of provision and support for disabled students in higher education which will help to inform this.

2. Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Disabled Students’ Allowances (30 Oct 2014)

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when the deadline was for submitting evidence for the equality analysis of proposed changes to disabled student’s allowance; and how awareness of that deadline was disseminated. Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 30 October 2014, cW)

Greg Clark: The Government invited interested parties to submit evidence as part of its programme of consultation during the summer.

3. Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Students: Disability (30 Oct 2014)

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will bring forward proposals to give disabled pupils a right of appeal against higher education institutions at a special educational needs and disability tribunal where an institution fails to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 30 October 2014, cW)

Greg Clark: There are already a number of rights of appeal available to students. The Government is working with interested parties to consider if further changes are needed.

4. Written Answers — Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Students: Disability (30 Oct 2014)

Barry Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the capacity of the Higher Education Funding Council for England to (a) support and (b) challenge universities which do not provide careers advice, counselling, financial advice to students with a disability and other support services. Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 30 October 2014, cW)

Greg Clark: The Higher Education Funding Council for England is undertaking studies looking at how Institutions support students with specific disabilities and learning difficulties where intensive or multiagency support is required. The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) supports a number of specialist task groups including a Disability Task Group (DTG) which promotes professional practice and provides information and training concerning the employability of disabled students and graduates.

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