Press release

SLC introduces improved Disabled Students’ Allowance service

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has introduced its enhanced Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) service model.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has introduced its enhanced Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) service model.

The new approach has been launched this week with two suppliers, Capita and Study Tech, now responsible for the provision of needs assessments, assistive technology equipment, and assistive technology training and aftercare for students in receipt of DSA.

Applying to students receiving DSA from Student Finance England (SFE) and Student Finance Wales (SFW), the service will improve the DSA application journey, the overall customer experience and introduces contractual controls to deliver greater value for money for the student and the taxpayer. Once an application is approved by SLC, students will have a single point of contact and with one supplier being responsible for this support, ensuring the customer journey is quicker and simpler. This is a vital change as it addresses previous pain points around the service being too long and complex for students.

The timing has also been chosen to coincide with the launch of the application service for the 24/25 academic year, which will open next month. Students who require DSA can apply for this at the same time as their other student finance.

Jackie Currie, Executive Director, Business Operations at SLC, said: “We are committed to continuing to improve the service we deliver to customers. I am pleased we are launching the improved service, which is a real step change for how DSA is delivered. We are working with our suppliers, Capita and Study Tech, as well as a range of stakeholders, and from the outset, students will experience a much smoother journey to receiving their DSA, which is the most important element of these reforms.

“This is an important milestone but there is much more work to do, with further customer improvements taking place throughout this year.”

In July 2023, SLC confirmed Study Tech and Capita were awarded the framework to supply needs assessments, assistive technology and assistive technology training for students in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). The reforms are driven by ministerial decisions to put contractual arrangements in place for these services. Each supplier has been awarded two geographical locations.

SLC will have oversight of the quality of service provided to students in receipt of DSA and through formal performance management, will ensure Capita and Study Tech deliver against the framework requirements.

Richard Holroyd, CEO at Capita Public Service, said: “We are really proud and excited to be playing a vital role in delivering much needed specialist technology and support through the DSA. We are committed to empowering learners through a service which will help level up access to education for students.”

Glenn Tookey and David Baxter Williams, Joint Managing Directors at Study Tech, said: “Study Tech is excited to commence its DSA Service, after over a year of development, engaging industry, stakeholders and partners. We are committed to delivering a service to all of our customers and working with SLC, we plan to introduce a wide range of innovative improvements over the coming months that will further enhance this unique Government service.”

Information about applying for DSA is available for students funded by SFE at:

and SFW at:  

Notes to Editors

For further information contact the Student Loans Company press office: 0141 306 2120,

The Student Loans Company: 

  • Administers student finance on behalf of the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Has 9.4 million customers and manages a loan book of £227.5 billion.
  • Processes almost 1.5 million applications for student finance every year.
  • Paid out £11 billion in loans and grants to new and existing students, as well as £11.5 billion tuition fees to higher and further education providers in 2021/22.
  • Employs over 3,000 staff across sites in Glasgow, Darlington and Llandudno Junction.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

  • Students will continue to apply to SLC and once the application has been processed and approved, based on the student’s geographical location, one of the suppliers will be responsible for the provision of their needs assessments, assistive technology equipment, and assistive technology training and aftercare.
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a grant to help with any additional study-related costs students may have as a direct result of a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition, or specific learning difficulty. The allowance is non repayable and does not depend on household income.
  • The new service model applies to Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales funded students.
  • SLC has contracted, via a multi lot framework, with the two suppliers who will support students through the journey from needs assessment to the provision of assistive technology and assistive technology training.
  • Capita and Study Tech will deliver and own the model for this part of the DSA process across four lots, by creating four geographic areas of roughly equal size in terms of the number of DSA applications received in previous years.
  • Non-Medical Help and travel are not within the scope of this framework, and this will not change how NMH is provided.
  • Through formal performance management, SLC will be able to set clear standards and hold suppliers to account for their performance and quality against these standards.
  • SLC has established a new DSA Quality Committee, a small group of third sector bodies to provide independent validation that suppliers are adhering to the agreed quality standards, and that the agreed quality standards are driving the intended outcome of an improved customer journey.
  • SLC has also established a DSA Student Finance Customer Panel, and its main customer panel includes students in receipt of DSA, to ensure user needs are well understood and represented in the design process.

Geographical lots awarded

Capita will deliver the new service for students funded by Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales in:

  • East England;
  • the Midlands;
  • London;
  • Wales; and
  • Northern Ireland.

Study Tech will deliver the new service for students funded by Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales in:

  • Northwest England;
  • Northeast England;
  • Yorkshire and the Humber;
  • South West England;
  • South East England; and
  • Scotland.

Services provided in Wales will be available in Welsh and English.

About Capita

Capita is a leading provider of business process services, driven by data, technology and people. We are a purpose-led, responsible organisation­. Every day our 50,000 colleagues help millions of people, by delivering innovative, digitally enabled solutions to transform and simplify the connections between government and citizens, businesses and customers. We partner with our clients and provide the insight and technologies that give time back, allowing them to focus on what they do best and making people’s lives easier and simpler. We operate across two divisions – Capita Public Service and Capita Experience– in the UK, Europe, India and South Africa. Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (CPI.L). Further information can be found at:

Capita Media enquiries
Capita external communications
Tel: 0207 654 2399

About Study Tech

Study Tech is a Joint Venture of agile assistive technology suppliers, IT specialists and education providers. Comprising Sight and Sound Technology, Assistive Solutions and Misco, we are positioned to deliver equipment, support and training to customers in receipt of the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) in England and Wales. Together, we have supplied to hundreds of thousands of disabled customers, helping them meet their potential in Education and the Workplace. We have offices in London, Glasgow and Northampton, and a network of national student centres across the UK. Study Tech is managed by a strategic and skilled team who look forward to working with SLC and stakeholders to modernise the DSA and improve services to the customer.

Study Tech enquiries

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Published 29 February 2024