How much is the DSA allowance for the 2021/2022 academic year?

For this academic year 2021/2022 there is now a single flat rate of £25,000. This new figure is available for full and part time applicants and new and continuing students who are assessed as eligible for the Disabled Students Allowance.

Why is there an Assessment Fee?

Pennine Lancashire Access Centre will charge the funding body a single assessment fee. This allows for students to contact us at any time during their course with queries that relate to:


An additional diagnosis during the course for which further medical evidence has been provided.


Additional needs that a student may wish to discuss with their assessor


Any activities undertaken by the assessor or centre to review the student’s Disabled Students Allowance support, for the duration of the original course.


Liaison with funding bodies, equipment suppliers, HEIs or other stakeholders, for the purpose of review of the student’s support needs.

Which applicants are not eligible?

You will not receive access to a Disabled Students Allowance if you are an EU student, eligible for NHS Disabled Students’ Allowances (a separate scheme) or you are receiving equivalent support from another funding source, such as your university or a social work bursary.

What is the Quality Audit Group (QAG)?

The Quality Assurance Group (QAG) was set up by the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES), now known as Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). The group establish a framework for assessors and assessment centres such as Pennine Lancashire Access Centre.


By 2004, the Quality Assurance Framework was developed and launched, and audits of centres and suppliers began in 2005. All assessment centres and assessors are required to meet their published quality standards criteria.

How will my Disabled Students Allowance be paid?

Your allowance will either be paid into your bank account or directly to the organisation providing the service or equipment that you will require.

What is the eligibility criteria for applicants?

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) if you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and have a disability that affects your ability to study, such as a:


  • specific learning difficulty, for example dyslexia or ADHD
  • mental health condition, for example anxiety or depression
  • physical disability, for example if you have to use crutches, a wheelchair or a special keyboard
  • sensory disability, for example if you’re visually impaired, deaf or have a hearing impairment
  • long-term health condition, for example cancer, chronic heart disease or HIV


You must also:


  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate student (including Open University or distance learning)
  • qualify for student finance from Student Finance England (SFE)
  • be studying on a course that lasts at least a year

What if I have a complaint?

If you have a complaint about any aspect of your assessment please raise it with the Access Centre Manager as soon as possible. This is Dave Parrington and you can send your email to david.parrington@blackburn.ac.uk or call 01254 292224.


The next stage would be to direct your complaint to Quality and Standards. Complaints can be detailed on a ‘Helping us to be better’ form and emailed to info@plac.co.uk or outlined in a letter, giving key details to; Clerk to the Corporation, Blackburn College, Feilden Street, Blackburn, BB2 1LH.


Pennine Lancashire Access Centre Complaints Procedure.