Sarah's delight at government u-turn on funding for disabled students


Sarah has spoken this week to say that she is delighted about the government's u-turn on funding for disabled students. Government plans had previously meant that cuts would be made to disabled university students' allowances, which help pay for carers, sign language assistants, and specialist equipment to aid disabled students' learning. Sarah has previously expressed concern about these plans, saying in Parliament that she was concerned that disabled students from Rotherham may not be able to afford university adaptions. However, the universities minister Greg Clark has now announced that the proposed reforms are being postponed.

Commenting on the u-turn, Sarah said: I am delighted that the pressure I placed on the universities Minister to reverse these unfair cuts has finally had some effect.

Despite living in what we often take for granted as an open and inclusive society, disabled young people can face problems that do not make the headlines. For example, 27 percent of young disabled people aged 16 to 19 aren't education, employment or training, compared to 9 percent of their non-disabled peers.

Applying to universities, sorting out student finance, finding accommodation, all while trying to get the grades, is a stressful process for any student before university commences. But if you are disabled, these challenges can be just the start of a frustrating university experience.

It wouldn't have been fair for the government to penalise disabled students by making them pay for adaptions that help them learn. I am very pleased about the u-turn and my role in helping secure it, and I hope that disabled students are never again discriminated against by the government in this way.

NewsVanessa Johns