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Transferring from college to Higher Education & getting support (including DSA)

At school/college you might have had additional support through an EHCP or SEND Support that school/college offered (which might have been written into a My Support Plan).   

Schools and colleges provide support for children and young people with special needs and disabilities and follow advice given to them in the SEND Code Of Practice (open new page).  Schools and colleges have to follow this advice by law. 

If you go to University, they do not have to follow what it says in the SEND Code of Practice, instead they have to follow the Equality Act 2010 - this page about what this means for higher education gives more information about this (opens new page).  This means that Universities must provide “reasonable adjustments” to teaching and learning for any student who has a disability i.e. any long term condition which has a significant impact on their day to day life.  

However, section 8.43 of the SEND Code of Practice explains what Local Authorities must do when you transfer to university. 

It’s important to note that if you have an EHCP, it does not necessarily mean that you have a disability as described by the Equality Act.

Funding for support - Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

If you are disabled and at University you are entitled to support and this is funded by the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). Information about applying for this can be found on the website about DSA's (opens new page).  You apply for DSA online and the whole process takes around 14 weeks to get support in place.

If you have an EHCP, it is important to ask the Local Authority to pass your EHCP onto the university you are going to.

Huddersfield University details the support it can offer on their website, however the support that is available for different Universities may well be different. 

It is a good idea to contact the university you are thinking of applying to and ask them about what support they can offer you. 

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Services) has some  information about support at University on their website (opens new page).

If a young person has an EHCP and is moving on from school or college to university, their Education Health and Care Plan will cease as there is different funding in universities, including Disabled Student Allowances. The young person’s school or college should work with the Local Authority and the university to make sure that the young person can make a smooth transition to the university and that they know how to claim funding and have their needs met. 

If you receive support from Health or Social Care, then if you go to university and move away from home then the Local Authority will plan how it will deliver this support. It is important to discuss this with those professionals that support you before you move.

Last updated: 29/09/2020

Useful links

Disability Support at NUS

Disability Support at NUS