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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN 20539, tabled on 22 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what provisions are in place to ensure that neurodiverse students are able to access all aspects of further and higher education courses, including work experience.

Answered on

1 July 2021

This government believes it is important that all students, including those with neurodiverse conditions and/or disabilities receive an appropriate level of support wherever and whatever they choose to study, and is committed to ensuring that all students receive the support they need to enable them to study alongside their fellow students on an equal basis.

We do not hold information on whether a further education and skills learner has a registered neurodiverse condition. Adult (19+) further education and skills learner participation (which includes apprenticeships) in the 2019/20 academic year by primary learning difficulty and/or disability and/or health problem as self-declared by the learner can be found here:

This government expects all higher education (HE) providers to fulfil their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 to be making reasonable adjustments for all students, including students with neurodiverse conditions, and disabled higher education students, not just those in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).

In terms of funding, DSA is available in addition to the standard support package to help students with the additional costs they may face in HE because of their disability, including long-term health conditions, mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

DSA is not means tested and does not have to be repaid. It is available to full-time and part-time students at undergraduate and postgraduate level, alongside support available from HE providers, and in line with the recommendations of the student’s DSA Needs Assessment. There is no list of approved disabilities; to receive DSA, any student must be eligible for the main support package and disabled in line with the definition contained in the Equality Act 2010.

Disabled students and students with neurodiverse conditions should expect to have their needs met through inclusive learning practices and individual reasonable adjustments made by their HE providers. DSA is available in addition to these for the provision of more specialist support (for example, British Sign Language interpretation).