Rotherham MP backs disabled cut U-turn

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A South Yorkshire MP has welcomed a decision to postpone funding cuts for disabled students.

Sarah Champion, who represents Rotherham for Labour, had raised concerns about Government plans to reduce disabled university students’ allowances, which help pay for carers, sign language assistants, and specialist equipment to aid disabled students’ learning.

Universities’ minister Greg Clark has now announced that the proposed reforms are being postponed.

Ms Champion said: “I am delighted the pressure I placed on the universities minister to reverse these unfair cuts has finally had some effect.

“Despite living in what we often take for granted as an open and inclusive society, disabled young people can face problems that do not make the headlines.

“For example, 27 per cent of young disabled people aged 16 to 19 aren’t in education, employment or training, compared to nine per cent of their non-disabled peers.

“Applying to universities, sorting out student finance, finding accommodation, all while trying to get the grades, is a stressful process for any student before university commences.

“But, if you are disabled, these challenges can be just the start of a frustrating university experience.

“It wouldn’t have been fair for the Government to penalise disabled students by making them pay for adaptations that help them learn. I am very pleased about the U-turn and my role in helping secure it, and I hope disabled students are never again discriminated against by the Government in this way.”