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UCAS, DSA & post 16 assessment

(14 Posts)
LIZS Sat 10-Oct-15 10:01:20

Is anyone else facing this situation for 2016 entry? The Unis we have visited have advised ticking the DSA box on the UCAS application in order to be sent relevant paperwork and as a route to accessing their Learning Support but we are struggling with a post 16 assessment to substantiate it. Ds has dyspraxia , has access arrangements for GCSE/A levels (laptop) but hasn't been formally assessed since y8. Previous EP has retired and he was discharged by OT many years ago. SENCO not qualified to assess hmm Can anyone advise how we should proceed please?

UhtredOfBebbanburg Sat 10-Oct-15 11:16:32

Do you have a university near you? DD1 has had a post 16 evaluation done by the people our local university uses. She isn't applying to that uni (they don't actually offer her subject) but they were very helpful nonetheless. She needed a post 16 evaluation because all the places to which she is applying require either an interview (plus test/exam) or an audition (or both). And some of them make it clear that to get necessary adjustments you have to have had a post-16 whereas others are more vague (and a couple are clear that existing pre 16 will be taken account of at this stage). However it hasn't all been plain sailing since her post 16 highlighted the likelihood that as well as Dyspraxia (which we knew) she is also 'highly likely' (the guy said certainly but he isn't formally qualified to diagnose) that she has AS. Which isn't a surprise but still. So, we got a referral through our GP for an official diagnosis but because of her age (17) there's no point going through the child MHS because she will be too old by the time she gets to the top of the very long waiting list. And she can't be referred to adult until she is closer to her 18th birthday. So, we are having to go private which we can afford just about (through cancelling other things we planned to spend the money on) - but personally I think it's outrageous because (a) nobody should be in that position and (b) what about people who hadn't saved up to do something, and thus had a pot of money sitting ready to be diverted. We had to pay for the post 16 evaluation too, because she isn't yet at uni (obviously) and her school has no mechanism for post 16 evaluations if you've had a pre 16 one through them (because that will count for your A levels).

I do know people who have had post 16 evaluations organised v speedily once they get to uni but they didn't have the jumping through hoops (other than getting the grades) considerations DD1 has to get there in the first place, so they could wait. If you don't have the jumping through hoops issues probably easier and cheaper to wait till your DC is at the uni they decide to go to.

For us it's not about the money for kit (although there are some specific things it would be nice to get a contribution for - specialist software for example) it's about the learning support. DD1s issues may make transition difficult for her so we want wherever she ends up to be on the right page from the start, you know? Rather than playing catch up.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 12:13:44

LIZS - In DS's case we had the post 16 Ed Psych report done privately (dyslexia.) What we have been told is that if that confirms the needs, and if accepted by DSA we will be refunded the fee. So, it is now confirmed with the DSA but DS hasn't actually got as far as claiming it back (been at uni less than a week, once he settles in a bit we shall be gently encouraging him to do so smile. It seems to me as long as the diagnosis is confirmed it's a cash-flow thing rather than an expense thing IYSWIM. We decided to go this route so that a) it would be confirmed before he went to university, so not in doubt from day 1 and b) we figured he would have enough to do in his first weeks without having to organise this as well.

DS sent off the UCAS form with the DSA box ticked and we then got the assessment over the summer holidays so I don't think you need to have the assessment before the UCAS form goes in.

The process is a bit cumbersome but once you are "in the system" it does seem to work and the university disability office were extraordinarily helpful.

I can only speak for our experience with dyslexia but happy to answer any questions if it helps.

LIZS Sun 11-Oct-15 12:48:37

Thank you , that's very helpful info. Ds is trying to speak to their deputy hoy who is also the careers officer to see whether they have any suggestions and advice, although suspect she may be preoccupied with finalising Oxbridge/medicine applications atm.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 12:50:58

So not sure if I made that clear enough but for us the process was

1. Yr 11 - school did assessment which was then valid for gcse and A level but not for university as he was only 15.
2. Yr 13 - Filled out UCAS form with DSA box ticked.
3. Post offer and exams but pre results (so offer not confirmed) - he rang the uni disability service. They pointed him to recommended Ed Psychs.
4. Post offer but pre results - he did a new Ed psych assessment (based on his previous report we were as confident as we could be that his dyslexia had not magically gone away )
5. Filled out DSA form and sent in with the assessment (uni also wanted a copy of the assessment. )
6. Confirmation received from DSA.
7. Post results and confirmation of place but before going to uni - He then went for a second assessment to determine actual needs rather than diagnosis (DSA sent through a list of centres to have this done) This , once confirmed by DSA, is free. This does seem to have filtered through to uni as e.g. he has a bigger printing allowance owing to his dyslexia.
8. Claim back Ed Psych assessment (which in our case we have not got smile )

So none of it is hard but takes a while.
I think I'm right here , but caveat DS pretty much did this himself.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 12:51:26

sorry x post

LIZS Sun 11-Oct-15 12:58:22

It is a relief to know that there is no immediate time pressure for assessment. Do you mean he took advice from one of the Unis who had offered him for an ed psych recommendation or is there a central contact?

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 13:21:31

LiZS - I am pretty sure that until he had an offer - all he had done was make sure the disability was registered on his UCAS form, I don't think it I ever saw it but I think there is a box which basically says - do you have a disability and there might be a line where you can briefly describe it - nothing detailed. I think I'm right here. So - all the unis he was applying for aware.

Once he had received all his offers and firmed one in UCAS , he then spoke to the disability advisory service at the university he had firmed. They were very happy to help him even though he did not have his results and therefore not confirmed in UCAS. It was this university who recommended the Ed Psych. who did an up to date report to confirm the diagnosis.

As far as I know he spoke only to this uni and at some point the DSA help desk. It was the uni people who gave him the recommended Ed Psych though to confirm the diagnosis.


I can't stress enough that this is just one experience for dyslexia but certainly for us the only pressures (prior to taking A levels) were 1) making sure he had a current enough report for his A levels. 2) Ticking the disability box.

If he isn't a 15th Oct deadline candidate then I don't think you have any pressure at the moment, so plenty of time to check with the deputy HOY.

He might have copied me on some of the emails, so I'll have a dig around.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 13:27:29

one point I can't remember is who he claims the ed psych report cost back from - Uni or DSA - so if you are going to book a private one - worth checking that if it is the uni then they do this.

My recollection LIZS is that apart from ticking the UCAS box we , at the stage you are at did't know half the stuff which needed doing and therefore didn't worry about it!

goinggetstough Sun 11-Oct-15 21:50:23

That is interesting that you were able to claim the ed psych fee back. Is this a new thing. When my ds did his a few years ago we couldn't but some universities had a small fund to cover some of these fees. It wasn't automatic though.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 23:17:00

GGt - good point which is why I idled the point that it may have been through the university and not DSA.

HocusUcas Sun 11-Oct-15 23:20:12

Going - added - not idled - but yes you are right to add as per my pp - is it the university or the DSA you can claim the private ed psych thing back from. ?

HocusUcas Mon 12-Oct-15 19:49:22

Will post back when we have done it - but in the meanwhile don't anyone take it that EdPsych report automatically refunded regardless of university. Going's point is good.

HocusUcas Sun 08-Nov-15 23:50:08

Just to update if anyone is interested - DS has put in his claim to get his Ed Pscyh report cost refunded and he did it on a University expense form - not to the DSA/SFE.

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