Publication - FOI/EIR release

Hard of hearing students receiving non-medical DSA fund: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
9 Aug 2018
Hard of hearing students receiving non-medical DSA fund: FOI release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01976
Date received: 23 July 2018
Date responded: 3 August 2018

Information requested

How many first and second year undergraduate students, who are deaf or hard of hearing, received DSA non-medical helper funding for costs relating to a Communication Support Worker or British Sign Language Interpreter, in the academic years 2016-2017, and 2017-2018?

Response

After extracting only first and second year students, who received DSA support and our records showed a disability type of hearing impairment or deaf, we manually checked the student records. From the records we searched, the number of students that received non-medical personal help for a Communication Support Worker or British Sign Language Interpreter are noted below.

2016-2017
Communication Support Worker: *

British Sign Language Interpreter: 25

2017-2018
Communication Support Worker: 5

British Sign Language Interpreter: 16

Note: Student numbers = 0 are replaced with '-', those less than 5 are suppressed and replaced with '*', all others are rounded to nearest 5. Provisional data for 2017-2018 as the academic year ends on 31 July 2018 and students can still submit claims for DSA.

The above information may not contain all the students that received the funding relating to your request. Some students have more than one disability so could have hearing difficulties in addition to the disability that they categorised under. This means other students could have received the type of support noted above but would not have been extracted when complying with your request.

As we are required to manually search student records for the information and there are too many students that received non-medical personal help, an exemption under section 12 of FOISA applies to your request. An explanation of why this exemption applies is provided below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exemption under section 12 of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.

Under section 12 of the FOISA if we estimate that the cost of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested will exceed the £600 upper cost limit, we do not have to comply with the request.

There are over 5000 students in both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 that received non-medical personal help funding. To check all of these records we estimate that it would take 5 caseworkers 4 weeks (with the assumption they are averaging 100 cases a day) to assess if the students received the relevant support.

In this instance under FOISA, we cannot provide any specific advice on how you could reduce the scope of your enquiry so that the information requested would not exceed the upper cost limit of £600.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG