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The Disability Service co-ordinate support for all disabled students at Lancaster. We provide information and advice on:

  • Reasonable adjustments through Inclusive Learning Support Plans (ILSPs)
  • Planning for university life and study
  • Disability Policy
  • Accessibility issues
  • Disabled student allowances (DSA) and other disabled student funding
  • Alternative exam arrangements

We work alongside disabled students from the first enquiry or visit before students arrive, and through their course. We also co-ordinate developments across the University to enable teaching and other staff to think around all kinds of accessibility issues.

General enquiries

Please note that during the Coronavirus crisis we are operating remotely. If you have any questions or queries during this time, then please use our service contact form.


  • Inclusive Learning and Support Plan (ILSP)

    When you register with the Disability Service, we will ask you to provide appropriate evidence of your condition. We will use your evidence along with any further information we have gathered from you to produce an Inclusive Learning and Support Plan (ILSP). 

    The ILSP will highlight the characteristics of your condition, how these may impact your academic studies and will make recommendations about reasonable adjustments that your Local Authority placement, Frontline, and their exams team should put in place to support your studies.

    We will ask you to view and approve your ILSP on your student portal before we share it with the relevant Lancaster University staff, the Local Authority you are working with and Frontline. Your ILSP, which will be available to view on your portal, is a living document and can be amended. 

    We recommend that all disabled participants have an ILSP, and you can ask us to review or update your ILSP if your circumstances change or your adjustments are not enabling you to study effectively. It is your responsibility to inform the Lancaster University Disability Service if an update or review of an ILSP is required.

    Reasonable adjustments and competence and professional standards 

    A competence standard is a particular level of competence or ability that you must demonstrate to be accepted on to, progress within and successfully complete a course or programme of study. Universities need competence standards to determine whether you have demonstrated the requirements to be awarded a qualification.

    As a social work trainee and a (newly) qualified social worker, you must also demonstrate:

    • Understanding of the professional standards set by the regulatory body, Social Work England, and uphold them in your practice;
    • Knowledge, skills and understanding of the capability statements outlined in the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), as set by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW);
    • Knowledge and skills for child and family social work, as set by the Department for Education.

    Although competence and professional standards must be maintained, we can explore adjustments to the ways disabled participants demonstrate competence and professional standards.

    You can contact your Practice Tutor to ask about any core competence or professional standards that you need to demonstrate on your course.  Please talk to the Disability Service if you have any concerns or you think that you will need any adjustments to competence or professional standards.

  • Lancaster Support Review

    Once you have declared your disability and have provided us with evidence, this will be reviewed to inform the creation of your ILSP. After reviewing all your documents, we may invite you to undertake a Lancaster Support Review (LSR). The purpose of an LSR is to have a further discussion about your specific requirements with an assessor independent of the university Disability Service. Not all participants will require a Lancaster Support Review and decisions are made on an individual basis.

    The assessor will consider your circumstances and make recommendations to the Disability Service about support, which could help you with your studies. 

    Your LSR will be a standalone assessment if you are not eligible for Disabled Students' Allowance, for example, if you are an international student. The LSR is also separate from Disabled Students' Allowance, which only considers specific types of support which are eligible for DSA funding. 

    The LSR usually takes around 30 minutes and will involve you having a discussion with an assessor and possibly trying out various pieces of software and equipment. You will not have to do any tests, and (beyond providing appropriate supporting evidence to the Disability Service) you will not be asked to prove that you require support.  

    Information from your LSR and (if relevant) your DSA assessment will be used to inform your ILSP which is your definitive record of the support and adjustments you will receive at Lancaster. You can access your ILSP via the student portal.  

  • Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)

    Pre-Registration and Year One

    Participants on, or due to start, year one of the Frontline programme who have medical evidence of a disability or long-term condition, may be eligible to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) from your funding body. DSA is not means tested and does not need to be repaid. The allowance is dependent on your needs and will be paid directly to providers. DSA can pay for things like mentoring support, assistive technology, and additional study costs incurred because of your disability. 

    You will need to complete an application and send them evidence of your condition. Once the evidence has been checked, and your eligibility approved, you will need to book an appointment for a Study Needs Assessment at an Assessment Centre. Your funding body will tell you how to do this.

    It is the participant’s responsibility to complete, send and monitor the progress of their DSA application.

    DSA Eligibility and Residency

    Although Frontline participants study and work in England for the duration of the course, the process for applying for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) differs between the four nations of the United Kingdom. You will need to apply to the UK region in which you have lived for 3 years or more prior to the start of the course. For example, if prior to the course you lived in Wales for 3 years or more, you would apply for DSA through Student Finance Wales (SFW).

    Student Finance England (SFE)

    Student Finance England have released a statement confirming that participants on, or due to start, Year one of the Frontline programme who have medical evidence of a disability or long-term condition, are eligible to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

    Student Finance Northern Ireland (SF ni)

    Student Finance Northern Ireland have released a statement confirming that participants on, or due to start, Year one of the Frontline programme who have medical evidence of a disability or long-term condition, are eligible to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

    Student Finance Wales (SFW)

    Student Finance Wales have released a statement confirming that participants on, or due to start, Year one of the Frontline programme who have medical evidence of a disability or long-term condition, are eligible to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

    Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)

    We are awaiting a statement confirming from SAAS as to whether Frontline students are eligible to apply for DSA in Year one. In the meantime, please contact SAAS if you are unsure of whether you are eligible to apply for DSA.

    Year Two

    Participants in year two of the Frontline programme do not qualify for DSA, although can apply for Access to Work funding as full employees of the Local Authority. If you need study-related support during year two of the programme you should speak with the Disability Service about support.

  • Access to Work

    Participants on year two of the Frontline programme, and in their Assessed Year in Employment (ASYE) within a Local Authority (LA) and who have medical evidence of a disability or long-term condition, may be eligible to apply for Access to Work.

    Your employer (the Local Authority) must make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you are not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changes to your working arrangements or providing equipment to help you do your job. You should talk to your employer about reasonable adjustments before you apply for Access to Work.

    If the help you need at work is not covered by your employer (the Local Authority) making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work. You will be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace. You might not get a grant if you already get certain benefits.

  • Financial Support and Funding

    If you need support in managing your finances or debt, then you can access support via the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). If you have questions about additional financial support, such as the Lancaster Opportunity and Access Fund, then please contact the Lancaster University Student Funding team.

  • Wellbeing Support

    Participants on the Frontline programme can access to mental health support through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and access to SilverCloud, a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) app. You can self-refer to use the EAP and the SilverCloud app and you can find more information on your Moodle pages.


    As availability to the EAP service is unique to Frontline participants (Lancaster University students do not normally receive access to EAP), it is important that when using the service you avoid the language of 'participant' and 'student', as this has been known to cause confusion. When contacting the EAP service therefore, please use the identifying details of: Lancaster University, Frontline

    If you experience any issues accessing the service, or you are told incorrectly that you do not have access to the service by an EAP member of staff, please let know so that they are able to resolve this for you.

    Please remember that because EAP is an external service, your use of it is unsupported by Frontline or Lancaster University; this means that EAP do not share information and unless you choose to inform Frontline and/or Lancaster University, we will have no knowledge of any health and wellbeing issues you may have. 

    Participants can also access the following support service through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP):

    • An online EAP/health and wellbeing portal designed to offer self-help and guided support. 
    • Debt management support and a legal and information team providing Citizens Advice Bureau type information. 
    • Telephonic career coaching. You can access one 50-minute session per annum. 


    Silvercloud is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) app available to all participants with a Lancaster University email address. It be accessed anytime, from anywhere and has four different programmes available, each based on cognitive behavioural techniques: space from stress, space from anxiety, space from depression and space from body image. Please note, the app is an unsupported, non-emergency intervention, and your details and posts will not be shared with a mental health professional, Lancaster University or Frontline. You can find details of how to access urgent non-emergency and emergency NHS support via the NHS Every Mind Matters webpages.

  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) and Educational Psychologist Assessments

    A full educational psychologist assessment will be required in order for you to get any study support at university as a result of an SpLD. It will also be required for any application for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). If you have an existing report or other documentation relating to your SpLD but are unsure of whether it is suitable then please contact the Disability Service and we will review your evidence for suitability.

    Participants on the Frontline programme wishing to access an Educational Psychologist appointment for an assessment in relation to a Specific Learning Difficulties should email Your information will then be shared with Frontline who will contact you with further details.

  • Library Access

    You can access Lancaster’s library via the following link:

    Access is also available directly from the student portal when logged in.

    The Library provides a wide range of resources to support your studies including ebooks, ejournals, databases and streaming video collections.  A good place to start exploring the materials available is the subject guide for Social Work with its focused information and content.   Use the discovery tool OneSearch to find and access the Library's online collections.

    If you need help with finding and using Library resources, get in touch with your Faculty Librarians Lorna Pimperton and Paul Newham by email at or book an online appointment.   You can also use the Library chat service for general enquiries and consult the guide for distance learners for information about further tailored support.

Disability Service, Student Wellbeing Services, University House, Lancaster, LA1 4YW - 01524 592111