Compulsory education 

If you, or your child, has a health condition and is in compulsory education they are considered to have additional education requirements, often called ‘additional education needs’ in legislation and in schools, you have rights.

The Education Act 1996, Part IV (as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001) places an obligation on local education authorities to provide appropriate education for children with additional educational requirements.

Additional education requirements means you, or your child, has a learning difficulty or physical impairment which makes it more difficult to learn in the same way as most children of the same age. This can be because of a physical impairment meaning using a standard pen is difficult or the need for additional support to understand literature due to a learning difficulty. Navigating compulsory education with additional requirements can be hard. Receiving advice can be a good way to talk to experts and discover the best ways to move forward.

NSPCC offers support for parents and those with learning difficulties to navigate education. The charity provides more information on their website

Places to access advice and support;

If the school fails their duty, you can make a complaint and bring a claim of discrimination. You can complain directly to the school and if the complaint does not resolve matters, you could choose to bring a claim to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal Wales ) (the “SENTW”).

Help and casework support and advice is available from SNAP Cymru, you can contact them on: Discrimination helpline 0300 222 5711 or email:

Higher Education

Heading to university as a disabled person can feel intimidating if you don’t know what support is available.

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) is available to students with a health condition or impairment to help pay for the essential extra costs you may have as a direct result of your impairment. It is available for undergraduate and postgraduate studies, if you’re an Open university student and if your studying an Initial Teacher Education and qualify for student finance.

DSA can pay for equipment like a laptop, specialist chair as well as services such as a note taker.

You apply for DSA through Student Finance, where you can also find the application form for DSA and additional information 

Every university should have support in place for disabled students. It’s important to ensure you tell the university so they can provide required support. The services they provide can include;

  • Note-takers
  • Seating accommodations
  • Sign Language interpreters
  • Braille transcriptions 
  • Extra time for exams 

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