The Student Support Plan

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The Student Support Plan (SSP) is a summary document which sets out the reasonable adjustments recommended for a student in order to meet the collegiate University’s Equality Act duties. It is prepared by a disability advisor in collaboration with the student, also involving staff in colleges and departments if needed

The Student Support Plan:

  • describes the unique impact the disability has on the student’s study, based on their perspective, official evidence and advisor observations.
  • lists recommendations for adjustments relating to following areas: teaching and learning; practical, access and orientation; IT and library provision; and examinations.
  • provides information, where possible, about any Disabled Students Allowance application.
  • provides confirmation of the student’s registration with DAS and that suitable evidence of the disability has been received.
  • gives details of the student’s consent to share information, and any restrictions.
  • directs staff to sources of general advice about the nature of a particular disability.

Further information

Two sample SSP documents are available here: one for a student with a mental health condition, and one for a student with a physical impairment or mobility issues, to illustrate the level of detail provided and the structure of the document.

The SSP only contains those details that it is necessary for those supporting the student to have, and will only include medical or other personal details relevant to understanding the impact of the impairment in a study context. The flowchart below shows the process that is followed once a student makes contact with the Disability Advisory Service (or when DAS receives an offer-holder's details because they have declared a disability on their UCAS form). The development of the Student Support Plan and the Disabled Students' Allowance application and needs assessment take place in parallel. Once this assessment of the student's study needs has taken place and the Student Support Plan has been finalised, the Disability Coordinators in the college and department then take the lead in working with the student to implement the adjustments recommended. There is a pdf version of this SSP development flowchart available.

 

developing and implementing the ssp  flowchart

Flowchart showing how the Student Support Plan is developed and implemented. It shows the process from the point DAS makes contact with a student. A PDF of this image is also available on this web-page.

Once the SSP has been approved by the student, it will be made available in the student’s record on eVision as a pdf document. The student, the disability coordinators in the department and college will receive an email letting them know it is available to them. Where relevant adjustments have been recommended, the SSP will also be shared with the Disability Librarian, Access Officer and the Examinations Schools.

Disability Coordinators then circulate the SSP to other staff within the department or college who need to know (respecting any preferences expressed by the student in the SSP). Where the whole SSP is being shared, this should be done via e-Vision. For colleges, this is likely to include:

  • college lecturers who will be teaching the student (whole SSP);
  • the tutors providing pastoral support (whole SSP);
  • the domestic bursar (where adjustments to accommodation are needed, whole SSP);
  • the safety officer (for PEEPs, whole SSP).

In departments and faculties, this is likely to be:

  • the convenors of the papers the student is taking (whole SSP), who are then responsible for sending information about the adjustments needed to all those providing teaching to the student.
  • the Health and Safety Officer (to make a judgement about whether a PEEP is required).

It may not be necessary to send the whole SSP to teaching staff or let them know who the student is or what the impairment is, especially when adjustments are required to lectures. A common sense approach is important in deciding what those involved in providing support need to know in order to make the necessary adjustments. Where it is not necessary to share the whole SSP, information can be shared via email in accordance with our data security advice. Information is only shared with those who are involved directly in providing support or services to students. The section on the impact of their impairment on study in the SSP will be particularly helpful for those providing teaching, and when it is shared effectively, the student does not have to explain the impact of their impairment and the importance of a particular adjustment to each lecturer or tutor who teaches them. Students can share information about their disability with tutors and others, but this is their choice.

Visit the Confidentiality and sharing information page for further advice on sharing the SSP.

Each college and department disability coordinator, under the guidance of the disability lead, is responsible for coordinating the implementation of adjustments in their unit, where they are needed. Where complex adjustments are needed, the Disability Lead should become directly involved in ensuring support is put in place. A case conference may also be called, bringing together the Disability Coordinators and Leads in College and Department, the student, a DAS advisor, and other relevant staff depending on the needs of the student.

See the Implementing a Student Support Plan page for advice on making decisions about adjustments and what steps a Disability Coordinator should take when they receive an SSP.

The disability coordinators should use the SSP as the basis for a discussion between the student and other relevant staff about how best to implement the adjustments. The SSP recommendations are not exhaustive, and additional or alternative arrangements may be put in place that reflect the exact nature of the programme and learning context. If staff have questions or concerns about the content of an SSP they should contact DAS; we welcome input about whether the recommendations in the SSP are appropriate to the study context.

The disability coordinator provides a single point of contact with whom the student can report any substantial changes in circumstances or problems with provision. The disability coordinators in colleges are responsible for monitoring undergraduate students, and the disability coordinators in departments are responsible for monitoring graduates.

The disability coordinator should maintain oversight of the academic progress and student experience of each student with disabilities through their student career. They should check existing academic monitoring records (such as OxCORT reports and collection marks in the case of undergraduates and GSS records in the case of postgraduates) to review whether progress is as expected and encourage academic and welfare teams to advise of any disability-related issues which might require further reasonable adjustments. The frequency of monitoring should be proportionate to the complexity of the student’s needs, but would commonly take place termly or annually.

The SSP is a working document and can be amended when needed. Students are encouraged to get back in touch with DAS if their circumstances change and they would like to revise their SSP.

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