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SLC introduces enhanced allowance service for students with disabilities

girl with disabilities learning online

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has introduced its enhanced Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) service model.

The new approach has been launched this week with two suppliers, Capita and Study Tech, now responsible for the provision of needs assessments, assistive technology equipment, and assistive technology training and aftercare for students in receipt of DSA.

Applying to students receiving DSA from Student Finance England (SFE) and Student Finance Wales (SFW), the service will improve the DSA application journey, the overall customer experience and introduces contractual controls to deliver greater value for money for the student and the taxpayer. Once an application is approved by SLC, students will have a single point of contact and with one supplier being responsible for this support, ensuring the customer journey is quicker and simpler. This is a vital change as it addresses previous pain points around the service being too long and complex for students.

The timing has also been chosen to coincide with the launch of the application service for the 24/25 academic year, which will open next month. Students who require DSA can apply for this at the same time as their other student finance.

Jackie Currie, Executive Director, Business Operations at SLC, said: “We are committed to continuing to improve the service we deliver to customers. I am pleased we are launching the improved service, which is a real step change for how DSA is delivered. We are working with our suppliers, Capita and Study Tech, as well as a range of stakeholders, and from the outset, students will experience a much smoother journey to receiving their DSA, which is the most important element of these reforms.

“This is an important milestone but there is much more work to do, with further customer improvements taking place throughout this year.”

In July 2023, SLC confirmed Study Tech and Capita were awarded the framework to supply needs assessments, assistive technology and assistive technology training for students in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). The reforms are driven by ministerial decisions to put contractual arrangements in place for these services. Each supplier has been awarded two geographical locations.

SLC will have oversight of the quality of service provided to students in receipt of DSA and through formal performance management, will ensure Capita and Study Tech deliver against the framework requirements.

Richard Holroyd, CEO at Capita Public Service, said: “We are really proud and excited to be playing a vital role in delivering much needed specialist technology and support through the DSA. We are committed to empowering learners through a service which will help level up access to education for students.”

Glenn Tookey and David Baxter Williams, Joint Managing Directors at Study Tech, said: “Study Tech is excited to commence its DSA Service, after over a year of development, engaging industry, stakeholders and partners. We are committed to delivering a service to all of our customers and working with SLC, we plan to introduce a wide range of innovative improvements over the coming months that will further enhance this unique Government service.”

Information about applying for DSA is available for students funded by SFE at:

Help if you’re a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability: Disabled Students’ Allowance ;

and SFW at:

Student Finance Wales

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