FOI reference: FOI/17/02877
Date received: 28 November 2017
Date responded: 20 December 2017
1. Are the rules about DSA for student in Scotland set in legislation, or are they simply a matter of Scottish Government policy? If they are not set in legislation, please specifically confirm this.
2. If they are set in legislation, which legislation specifically is that? Please provide links to/copies of all legislation which currently regulates DSA.
3. Please supply copies of policy documentation pertaining to DSA (as it was originally launched and also further to any changes/developments since then.
4. Please supply full details of any and all Equality Impact Assessments which have been undertaken regarding DSA since it was launched, and full details of all action taken further to those EIAs (if any) which has resulted in any change to the eligibility criteria and/or which has provided a mechanism (e.g. an appeals/exceptions procedure) via which students can appeal being debarred access from DSA.
5. Please supply comprehensive details regarding the current rules about student eligibility for DSA, together with any guidance you have provided to SAAS about how it should interpret those rules.
Questions (1) & (2)
DSA in Scotland is provided for in The Students' Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 2007 which allows Scottish Ministers to determine the type and amount of allowances that can be paid. I have included a link to the relevant section of the Regulations below.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information you have requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.
Under section 12 of FOISA, public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.
You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600.
This could possibly be an area of discussion at the meeting with Scottish Government officials where we could explore further what information on DSA would be most useful to you. We are more than happy to arrange this by teleconference if you feel that would be easier and we look forward to hearing from you in this regard.
An Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) was carried out as part of the Review of Disabled Students Allowance which commenced in January 2007 and was finalised in March 2009.
A copy of this EQIA has been attached as a PDF document to this email and named accordingly.
The changes to the process resulted from the Review of Disabled Students Allowance, which the Equality Impact Assessment formed part of.
The Guidance for DSA Advisors that followed the review, and those for each year since, have been included in the response to FoI/17/02780 under the heading 'FOI (5) Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)'.
I have also included a link to the relevant section of the SAAS website which provides the 2017/18 version of the 'Notes for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) Application' which can be referred to by students.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House