Lord Lipsey of Tooting Bec – Labour peer and Chairman of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance – has spoken up in Parliament in praise of Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA), which has come under review by the Government.
Like many other performing arts-based Higher Education Institutions, Trinity Laban has a high number of disabled students. In fact, as many as 16% of Trinity Laban UK students in 2014/15 relied upon DSA funding to provide them with support during their studies.
During a debate in the House of Lords, Lord Lipsey quoted from a statement provided by dyslexic student Lewis Raines, President of Trinity Laban Students’ Union:
“I was first granted DSA whilst studying at the Blackpool and Fylde College... with DSA support I was given the opportunity to pursue my goal of getting a degree... this gave me first of all the confidence to believe I could study at a top conservatoire of music.
When I came to London to study at Trinity Laban, I still could not read music or for that matter read another language. However I was just so grateful for DSA… [which] helped me get a 2:1, because I had additional hours of one-to-one coaching from my teachers Alison Wells and Helen Yorke, funded by DSA.
Without the DSA I don’t think I would have a degree today and I don’t think I would have ever been here as the President of Trinity Laban Students’ Union. The work and support I was given, I will forever be grateful for.”
Lord Lipsey himself added:
“I hope that the essentials of the existing DSA system, tweaked and tuned as it might be, remain in place after this review and that people like Lewis will therefore go on being able to receive an education that equips them to contribute to our society.’
For more information on the DSA visit the gov.uk website.