ucas application - school reference and SEN

(41 Posts)
bruffin Wed 08-Jan-14 21:51:37

What actually gets put on the ucas application by the school about SEN . DS has spld and gets extra times in exams

goinggetstough Wed 08-Jan-14 22:20:42

School can put whatever they want to about an individual's extra needs. I don't think there is a particular form, but another poster may correct me on that one. There is also a box on the UCAS form that your DS could tick to mention his SPLD etc. This will not affect the outcome of his offer.

Don't forget to apply for disability student allowance. The form is online. This can be applied for before he has his offers firmed etc. It is worth looking at the evidence student finance require for this as it can take a while eg ed psych report post 16 years and medical evidence if relevant to correlate.

bruffin Wed 08-Jan-14 22:39:14

Thanks
I was just interested in what happens.
He has never had an ed psych report,however there have tests done in school at the beginning of 6th form

Shootingatpigeons Wed 08-Jan-14 23:36:22

bruffin I am interested in this and asked my DDs. They tick a box on the form to indicate they have a diagnosis. They need to have had a particular post 16 assessment which can be carried out by a qualified teacher assessor, in my DDs case the Dyslexia centre arranged this but I assume school SENCOs can carry it out as well.

My DDs say that their school references only referred indirectly to their SpLDs, though for DD2 they are quite severe, other than implied effects eg "her ability is greater than her modest realisation", her lack of confidence in her ability obviously being related to her SpLDs. However she has very good grades predicted. I don't know if the assessment was sent to the uni. I doubt it since it is all done online and even if a hard copy I doubt they would have time to read it at the stage of making offers given they are looking at hundreds even thousands of applications. Perhaps an Admissions Officer will be along to advise.

However once at uni and with DSA in place the Learning Support Centre (or whatever it is called) will swing into action once the student approaches them. Support at DD1s uni has been absolutely fantastic, not just from Learning Support but also from academic staff who have a far better understanding than most school teachers. For extra time, although she had an Ed Psych report, they did their own assessment with four measures related to writing and four to reading. It was a good deal more sound and objective than OFQUALs latest attempt to limit the number of pupils with access to extra time regulations. She was also assessed for equipment to help her with her problems getting down notes / absorbing information in lectures. They also have a centre where students can access all the latest software that can assist. They really are committed to levelling the playing field as long as the student seeks help

He could put it on his personal statement?

I know this is both jumping the gun and probably very obvious - but do make sure he knows that if he wants to apply for DLA he needs to be diagnosed. I'm hyper-aware of this because I have come across a student who was convinced he would simply be given extra time because it'd always happened at school. He didn't apply for DLA or have any kind of statement and he didn't realize how long it can take to get things sorted out. I don't mean to imply your DS is equally disorganized at all, just posting because it'd be such a pain if he didn't get it sorted out and then found he really needed the help.

UptheChimney Thu 09-Jan-14 09:01:55

He has never had an ed psych report

He'll need to have one done for any SENs to be acknowledged and accounted for in a university application, and then subsequently for his university studies.

You can't just tick the box without some professional assessment.

creamteas Thu 09-Jan-14 09:06:18

From my experience of reading UCAS forms, the practice of schools varies.

Obviously if the SEN issue has resulted in lower grades that should have been the case, I would expected it to be mentioned. But if it is just to note that the student has a disability, and that is already noted on the form (in the tick-box and/or the PS) it doesn't really matter. So some schools mention it and others don't.

As shooting says what actually matters is the applicant has had a post-16 assessment of the impact on their learning. It is this information that will be used rather than anything mentioned in the reference.

At all the universities I have worked at, the disability unit will contact the applicant independently of the academic dept. At my current uni, students with more complex disabilities will be contacted on application so discussions start before an applicant has made their firm/insurance choices.

For students with conditions we see routinely, such as SPLD where we have significant numbers of students so have well established policies and procedures, applicants will be contacted later on (but still well before they arrive).

bruffin Thu 09-Jan-14 10:20:59

Thanks for all the replies

He has had assessments at school, the last one was when he went into 6th form. The first test was a WRAT assessment but not sure if was the same in 6th form. He gets 25% extra time for maths based and 10% for others. He needs extra time for checking and organising more than anything. He makes very silly mistakes ie carrying forward the wrong number from previous page or using wrong setting on calculator. In the last exam he took in two calculators labled with different settings, yet last assessment he managed to do half the paper with correct setting and then the second half on wrong setting.
The ucas application has been sent off and had one offer and a strange one, where they rejected him from the course he applied for (MA engineering) but said they still felt he was a strong candidate and they want to wait until all the applications come in and they may offer him another course (he is assuming BA). His predictions were lowish for the courses ie A*BB when they want A*AA. His offer is A*AA but that is not unachievable.

I can't imagine that he would qualify for DLA. He is very disorganised and loses lots of things, no sense of time but is also very independent.

Oh, I don't know.

Mild dyslexia is enough for DLA (for example). And problems that look small when you're at school can suddenly loom large when you go to university.

He won't get extra time without it, so if he needs it, he needs to be assessed.

bruffin Thu 09-Jan-14 10:54:46

Ok will into getting it .

senua Thu 09-Jan-14 11:24:59

Do you mean DLA, LRD, or DSA?
<head explodes with TLA>
grin

I mean DSA, sorry. I'm rubbish with acronyms and yes, obviously, DLA isn't relevant here.

For a DSA you need a diagnosis and I do not think a university will give extra time without a DSA statement, though I'm not sure. Certainly, you can't claim to have a disability if you don't have a diagnosis, and DSA is great because you can get quite a bit of support.

bruffin Thu 09-Jan-14 12:21:38

from the DSA website it says assessment can be from

"a specialist dyslexia teacher with a Practising Certificate"

Could this be the SENCO from school

Yes, if the SENCO has a practising cert.

senua Thu 09-Jan-14 12:28:59

I'm no expert but I think that someone who passes muster for the examining boards' purposes will be good enough for University DSA.

I don't think so. I'm not a teacher, but I think schools have quite a lot of leeway here, though they don't always use it.

I am certain that some universities (and I thought all, but I may be wrong) would not give extra time etc. without DSA, and for DSA, you need to be assessed.

Some SENCOs will have the cert, so it may be absolutely fine, and he or she can do a formal assessment before he goes up to university. But it is worth checking.

senua Thu 09-Jan-14 12:38:08

That's true, there is the 'normal way of working' woolliness isn't there.

Have you seen any paperwork, bruffin? - that will show the signatory's qualifications. It might be worth trying to get hold of it now so that DS has it to hand if he needs it at University next year.

YY, that's what worries me.

Sorry if this is tangential, bruffin. As I say, I'm a bit paranoid because I know it can be such a pain for students once they get to university, especially if organisation is a problem anyway.

bruffin Thu 09-Jan-14 12:49:25

Letters after SENCO's name are Msc and NASCO according to school website. I do have a letter detailing the original WRAT assesment so will need to find that.

bruffin Thu 09-Jan-14 12:51:09

I do realise the Msc is probably irrelevant

The NASCO is this: realtraining.co.uk/send-programme/national-sen-award/. I only found that off google though, and I can't see it saying anywhere that it's equivalent to a practising certificate, it looks like a diploma-type thing. But the SENCO would surely know who to send him to for assessment anyway, even if s/he isn't qualified to do it.

chemenger Thu 09-Jan-14 14:25:08

I would recommend looking at the information on the universities' web pages. I've just had a look at my institution and it requires a report from a Chartered Educational Psychologist for dyslexia and specifically states that they do not accept reports from specialist teachers. It advises students who are unsure of whether they have sufficient evidence to get in touch as soon as possible. I would link, but it would out me! On the other hand Manchester University says they accept some reports from specialist teachers, so it clearly does vary.

2rebecca Thu 09-Jan-14 14:46:05

My son has dyslexia and he filled in details about it on the UCAS form in the bit mentioned above. I presume the school added something in their bit but haven't seen their reference.
My stepdaughter also has dyslexia and in her first term at college the uni paid for her to be reassessed.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 09-Jan-14 15:46:28

chemenger My daughter has been supported by a specialist dyslexia centre (a charity) since she was in Year 5 and so we have had two previous Ed Psych reports, one the original diagnosis and one pre GCSE but the centre advised that this post 16 assessment did not need to be a full Ed Psych report as it was an update, and also was basically administering the tests that the universities require, so it was done by what they term as a qualified teacher assessor. The school were happy we were meeting requirements as well. I hope that was sound advice, will check!

Interestingly it was the qualified teacher assessor that first raised the possibility, subsequently confirmed, that DD was Dyspraxic as well as Dyslexic. It actually makes a lot of sense and I am quite upset that it wasn't identified earlier. Could have saved her from many a withering PE teacher...............

creamteas Thu 09-Jan-14 15:54:37

Shooting My DD has had a diagnosis of dyspraxia since primary, but unfortunately it has made no difference to the attitude of PE teachers...

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