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SENCOs, Advisers and DSA Assessors

This page is specifically for SENCOs, DSA Assessors, Specialist Teachers and Careers/Connexions Advisers who work with, or support students, with disabilities and/or Specific Learning Differences (SpLD).

The following will provide the necessary information to advice your students who may be considering Higher Education as their next step. However if you have any further questions please contact the Student Accessibility Team.

We are a team of specialist staff available to provide information, advice, guidance, and support to all students with a disability and/or SpLD. We are available at all stages of the student journey. We also advise academic and other University staff who are working with students that access our service. We will also liaise with other services to ensure you are fully supported throughout your time here.

Coming to University can often seem daunting to students, but this is also a very exciting chapter - see the Student Life section of our website for an overview - and be assured that our Support Services will be available to you at every step of the way.

We would advise that, wherever possible, prospective students attend University and Faculty Open Days to get a better understanding of how life and study at University differs from sixth form or Further Education College. However, a good start would be to contact the Student Accessibility Team so that we can tailor the discussion and discuss what support is available to ensure students have the best possible start.

It is University policy that a student will need to provide primary evidence of their disability or long-term health condition, and this is also required for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) applications. Unfortunately, an EHCP is not accepted by the University as suitable evidence of a disability or a specific learning difference.

However, as explained in the SEND Code of Practice, local authorities should plan a smooth transition to the higher education (and, where applicable, to the new local authority area) before ceasing to maintain their EHCP. Once their place has been confirmed at the University, the local authority must pass a copy of their EHCP to the University before the plan is ceased.

It is University policy that a student will need to provide primary evidence of their disability as described above. This is also required for Disabled Students’ Allowances applications.

If a student requires specialist accommodation such as wheelchair access, close to campus, en-suite, medical storage, carer rooms etc, the student should apply for accommodation online following the University process, stating a preferred option and details of their disability related needs.

For further information on the accessible facilities within University accommodation, please see the Accommodation web page and the AccessAble Accommodation Guide.

The Support Worker Service is provided by the University in partnership with Randstad and Keyfort and provides educational support for students that may require support such as note-taking, mentoring, educational personal assistance, guiding, and exam reading/scribing. Some UK students may be eligible to apply for Disabled Students' Allowance. Please note that should a student require personal care, this cannot be provided by the University Support Worker Service. Provision of personal care is usually provided by Social Services (Direct Payments or Care Management funding).

Dyslexia@Northumbria provides specialist study skills tutorials for students with a Specific Learning Difference (SpLD) and we can provide this service both remotely and face-to-face. See more information on this website page.

The Student Accessibility Team at Northumbria University can help to arrange Support Workers (also known as ‘non-medical helpers’ or NMH) who can offer a range of support to disabled students who are assessed as needing such support. The cost of support is usually paid by the student’s funding body or the University. If a Support Worker is required from the beginning of term, it is vital that you talk to an Accessibility Adviser as soon as possible. If you are a UK student you may be eligible to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Support can include, but is not limited to:

  • Note-taking
  • Reader / Scribe for exams
  • Library Support Assistant
  • Practical Support Assistant e.g. help with carrying books etc around campus
  • Specialist Mentor
  • Specialist study skills support for students with dyslexia

Contact Us


Find out how to contact the Student Accessibility Team.

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