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Students: Disabled

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration the review of the Student Loans Company, headed by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin will give to the effect on disabled students of late payment of loans and grants. (296241)

Professor Hopkin’s review will look at the Student Loans Company’s operations for funding students in England in academic year 2009/10, and the plans for academic year 2010/11, including an assessment of the circumstances which led to any delays in responding to inquiries, assessing evidence, carrying out mean-tested assessments, and providing specific financial support to disabled students.

The purpose of the review is to identify the lessons to be learned so that the service is run efficiently and effectively in academic year 2010/11 and beyond.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) all disabled students and (b) disabled students entitled to disabled students’ allowance of the timing of payment of student loans and grants for 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (296242)

As part of its policy to widen participation in higher education, the Government give generous financial support to disabled students. The Government are aware of concerns expressed about delays in providing that support this academic year. These will be investigated in the review of lessons to be learned by the Student Loans Company, led by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin. Government-funded arrangements are in place to ensure that universities and colleges can support disabled students if there are delays in their assessments or payments.