New government reforms to support for disabled university students are “rushed and reckless” and could lead to many young people being left without the assistance they need to complete their degrees, say campaigners and industry experts.On Monday (18 April), the government is introducing a “quality assurance framework” (QAF), which sets out a series of new requirements for support workers for students claiming disabled students’ allowance (DSA).These new requirements mean that many professional support workers will have to spend years securing new qualifications or achieving membership of professional bodies to work with new students, although they will be able to continue to work with students they are already supporting.One provider of student support, Randstad, has accused the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) of “a reckless approach threatening the support system which students depend upon”.The government’s reforms and cuts of nearly £30 million a year to DSA have been heavily criticised by disabled campaigners, who have described them as part of “a wider ideological attack on disabled people accessing education at any level”.Universities and science minister Jo Johnson announced last December that – following a public consultation – many of the cuts to the DSA system would go ahead for new claimants starting courses after 1 September 2016.But the latest changes affecting providers of support services to DSA claimants – which were not subject to a public consultation – have raised fresh fears.In a submission to BIS, the Association of Non Medical Help Providers (ANMHP) said its members believed the new criteria were “not appropriate” and “not workable”.Among the findings of a survey of its members, they found that 96 per cent of notetakers did not hold the relevant qualification, 93 per cent of specialist mentors for students with autism did not hold the relevant qualification, and 55 per cent of specialist mentors for students with mental health conditions did not hold the relevant professional membership.One of ANMHP’s members, Randstad, which helped 28,000 disabled students last year, said the changes were “rushed and reckless” and would lead to staff and skills shortages.It said that many support workers would be unable to register to work with new students after the 18 April deadline, which could leave many disabled students without the support they needed.Tara Flood (pictured), director of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said she feared for those disabled students preparing to start their university courses in September.She said: “This is already within a context of disabled students knowing their chances of accessing DSA are diminishing.”She pointed to a Randstad survey two years ago which showed that four in five disabled students said they were more likely to drop out of university if the government pressed ahead with its DSA reforms.She said: “The same will be true if the thought of not getting access to the right support quickly is likely, particularly students with high levels of support needs.“They will either be put off from going to higher education or they will be at a huge disadvantage because they will not be able to start with the same support as other students.”Flood added: “The government is keen that university returns to ‘the good old days’ when it was an opportunity for a very small elite group, and I think disabled people do not fit the government’s vision for higher education.”Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Student Support, said: “Existing workers have amassed crucial experience and skills through their time within the sector – but the value of this has been completely overlooked.“For employees who have spent years dedicating their careers to helping young people achieve their goals, it will feel like a kick in the teeth.“It’s a shake-up which the sector isn’t ready for – and the government need to realise that.”She added: “Rushing through changes amounts to a reckless approach threatening the support system which students depend upon.”A BIS spokesman admitted that the QAF had not been subject to a formal consultation because it was “an administrative issue in terms of the application of DSA and does not alter the amount of support available to students”, but he said BIS had had “extensive engagement with stakeholders over the change”.BIS said it had developed the QAF through discussions with “higher education institutions and disability charities”, but has refused to say which ones, or to explain why it did not appear to have consulted providers like Randstad or organisations like ALLFIE.The BIS spokesman said: “The aim of the Quality Assurance Framework is to ensure that support workers are competent to provide specialist support to disabled students who need it. “The framework responds to widespread concerns expressed by stakeholders about the need for competent support workers. “We have worked closely with higher education representatives to develop the framework, with a focus on improving the quality of support.“We recognise that some stakeholders have concerns about the introduction of mandatory requirements, particularly with regard to mental health mentoring. “We are exploring this with stakeholders to ensure that no students will miss out on the support they need, including whether an alternative accreditation system would be possible.“Any support worker currently providing a student with non medical help support can continue until 31 August 2018, or until that student finishes their current higher education course, whichever is sooner.“So no students will experience any disruption to the support they currently receive.”
Saints face Warrington this Sunday and it will be a special day for Sia Soliola.The second rower will make his 100th appearance for the club after joining back in 2010.Saints will be looking to record their first Magic Weekend win in four seasons.Magic Weekend Summary:St Helens: Won 3, Lost 3, Drawn 1Warrington: Won 5, Lost 2(Head-to-head: St Helens 0, Warrington 1)Last Ten Meetings:Warrington 8, St Helens 38 (SLR1, 13/2/14)St Helens 16, Warrington 29 (SLR26, 30/8/13)St Helens 22, Warrington 48 (SLR16, 25/5/13) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Warrington 10, St Helens 22 (SLR6, 8/3/13)St Helens 18, Warrington 36 (SLQSF, 29/9/12)Warrington 6, St Helens 28 (SLQPO, 15/9/12)St Helens 12, Warrington 22 (SLR23, 6/8/12)Warrington 16, St Helens 28 (SLR9, 30/3/12)Warrington 35, St Helens 28 (SLR19, 24/6/11)St Helens 18, Warrington 25 (SLR3, 25/2/11)Super League Summary:St Helens won 39 (includes wins in 2010 and 2012 play-offs)Warrington won 7 (includes win in 2012 play-offs)2 drawsHighs And Lows:St Helens highest score: 72-2 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)Warrington highest score: 56-22 (H, 2001) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Sia Soliola needs one appearance to reach 100 for St Helens.He made his Saints debut in a 32-12 defeat by Hull FC at Knowsley Road on February 6 2010.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Tom Makinson (St Helens) 142 = Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons), Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 114 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings) 106 = Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons), Joel Monaghan (Warrington Wolves) 99 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Omari Caro (Hull Kingston Rovers), Tom Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos), Francis Meli (Salford Red Devils) 8Goals:1 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 482 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 453 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 434 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 425 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 386 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 377 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 348 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 329 Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons) 2510 Jamie Foster (Bradford Bulls) 24Goals Percentage:1 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 90.90 (20/22)2 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 84.00 (42/50)3 Jamie Foster (Bradford Bulls) 82.75 (24/29)4 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 82.22 (37/45)5 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 79.16 (38/48)6 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 77.58 (45/58)7 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.27 (34/44)8 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 75.43 (43/57)9 Ben Crooks (Hull FC) 74.07 (20/27)10 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 73.84 (48/65)Points:1 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1062 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 1053 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1024 Jarrod Sammut (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 985 Marc Sneyd (Castleford Tigers) 946 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 807 Travis Burns (Hull Kingston Rovers) 748 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 709 Tom Makinson (St Helens) 6810 Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves) 60
KEIRON Cunningham is looking for a positive response when his charges host Widnes this Friday.The two rivals lock horns for the second time this season – with Saints recording a 30-20 win at the Select Security Stadium earlier in the year.But they head into the game on the back of a reverse to leaders Leeds last week.“It was a tough loss but I thought we played really well,” he said. “We made some errors at the wrong times particularly when we had impetus in the game. We were going forward and attacking Leeds’ line but dropped the ball. On the right hand side there was a potential try to intercept and that happened on the left too.“If you eliminate those two tries and give us one then it is a different game altogether. If we play those plays a little smarter then we score.“If you hide the scoreline and watch the game without the tries we had our fair share of dominance. I thought we deserved a little better but the result is what it is. I’m sure if we had our chance again we would do things differently but we have to look at this Friday now.“I thought our attack was really good and we attacked great without Walshy in the first half. When he came on it opened up more avenues of attack. It was our attention to detail in some areas of our defence that let us down. That was uncharacteristic of the players.”Keiron says Luke Walsh will start the game this week and there could be a return for Mark Percival.But Matty Dawson is out for up to eight weeks after surgery on his ankle whilst Lance Hohaia is unlikely to play with an ongoing leg issue.“The medical staff have done a great job with Walshy,” he added. “We have done the right things by him as we want him to stay back for the season.“Injuries never come at the right time and you can’t account for what has happened at fullback. Jonny has gone for the year and then you lose Wello. You don’t have three fullbacks in your squad – that is the same for everyone – and we have lost two of our main ones.“When you lose Tommy Makinson from the wing too… he is a winger that can play fullback and I have to be careful not to hurt his development.“I thought Matty Fleming did superb on debut though. I’m happy because he is another outside back I can call on now.“Mark Percival has a good chance of returning too. If it isn’t this week then it will be next. He is one of our best juniors and a real strike centre.”Widnes come to St Helens this week on the back of a great win over Castleford – and historically games between the two rivals are high scoring.“We know every point counts and apart from the Hull game I have been impressed with how we have played,” Keiron continued. “We went to Wigan with half a team and were super. We ground it out against Huddersfield and I thought we did well against Leeds.“People will see that differently but if I think my players deserve to be criticised I will do it. Leeds did get some luck and I’m sure we will get some next time against them. At half time we had a chance – and the players thought that too – but defensively we weren’t at our best.“I’m not having sleepless nights; I have a good squad here and we aren’t that far away. Widnes are coming to our place off the back of a great victory but if we do the right things and play well then we will be tough to beat.”Tickets for Friday’s game are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.
WE have a great new range of food in the kiosks for you to taste this Friday!We’ve teamed up with Big Al’s to bring a selection of Burgers and Pizza Twists to the Saints.Big Al’s Quarter Pound Burger and Cheeseburgers will be available in selected kiosks whilst fans can also enjoy Big Al’s great tasting Margherita and Pepperoni Pizza Twist’s too.They are available in the Karalius, Popular Side, Aussie Saint, Eddington Arms and Murphy’s Bars.We’re also trialling contactless payment in Murphy’s Bar too to help speed up service.We believe in bringing a variety of good food options to our kiosks on matchday and alongside that we offer the best range of drinks too.And to celebrate our away kit sponsorship with Crabbie’s if you buy two you will get a beanie hat for free!Simply head to the kiosks, grab a couple of Crabbie’s and you’ll get your warming hat!
Then enjoy hospitality with us on June 8 when we host Hull KR.Guests enjoy a sumptuous three-course meal pre-match with direct access to premium seats that allow you to watch the game in style.The Package Includes:Premium padded match seats in the South Stand close to the half way lineDelicious pre-match three-course meal plus a tasting plate with complimentary tea & coffee at half-timePrivate cash barProfessional & vastly experienced lounge compère – Pete EmmettPre-match interviews with Saints’ squad players and legendsPost-match interview with Saints Man of the MatchComplimentary Match Programme for each guest10% merchandise discount for Saints Superstore (located at the Totally Wicked Stadium) on Matchday, just show your match ticket in store to qualifyOur Lounge magician, John Holt will visit your table and entertain your groupSky Sports live game will be shown in the Lounge.Post-match Quiz with the prize of a round of drinks for your table courtesy of our partners, Robinsons BreweryCar Parking (for parties of four or more – subject to availability.Prices are £55 (adult) and £30 (junior) for non members whereas 2018 Members can upgrade for £45 and £25.If you would like more information or you would like to book, please call us on 01744 455 053, email [email protected], or book here.
Remember, you can shop 24/7 at the Saints Superstore Online.Superstore and Ticket Office Opening Times:Tuesday January 1CLOSEDCLOSEDWednesday January 29am – 5pm9am – 5pm
Team News and Match Preview:Saints have been the benchmark club in 2019, winning 17 of their 19 games so far and sit six points ahead of Warrington at the top of the table.The Wolves on the other hand are looking to avenge the reverse fixture back in April when a dominant second half display helped Saints to a 38-12 win.Both sides have named their 19-man squad for the match, whilst Head Coach Justin Holbrook has previewed the clash here.Alex Walmsley is relishing the top of the table battle and you can watch an interview with him here.The Man in the middle:The referee for our clash with Warrington will be Ben Thaler, whilst the video referee is Robert Hicks.Travelling to Warrington:Address: The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Mike Gregory Way, Warrington, Cheshire, WA2 7NE. For more information on how to get to the Halliwell Jones Stadium click here. Parking is available around the stadium, but please be aware there are residential parking schemes in operation, though there are some pay car parks close to the stadium near to Central Train station on Winwick Street.Ticket Information:We have sold over 3000 tickets for our top of the table clash and a limited amount of tickets can still be bought direct from Warrington. If you have already purchased tickets from us at Saints, you can collect these from the Totally Wicked Stadium until 6:30pm or following that from Warrington. Select turnstiles in each stand are open from 5.15pm with all turnstiles open at 6.15pm.How to follow the action:Supporters not making the trip to Warrington can follow live score updates and behind-the-scenes coverage on our social media channels and minute by minute updates from 6pm here on Saintsrlfc.com. Just head to the homepage and click on the match centre image.,Team News and Match Preview:Saints have been the benchmark club in 2019, winning 17 of their 19 games so far and sit six points ahead of Warrington at the top of the table.The Wolves on the other hand are looking to avenge the reverse fixture back in April when a dominant second half display helped Saints to a 38-12 win.Both sides have named their 19-man squad for the match, whilst Head Coach Justin Holbrook has previewed the clash here.Alex Walmsley is relishing the top of the table battle and you can watch an interview with him here.The Man in the middle:The referee for our clash with Warrington will be Ben Thaler, whilst the video referee is Robert Hicks.Travelling to Warrington:Address: The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Mike Gregory Way, Warrington, Cheshire, WA2 7NE. For more information on how to get to the Halliwell Jones Stadium click here. Parking is available around the stadium, but please be aware there are residential parking schemes in operation, though there are some pay car parks close to the stadium near to Central Train station on Winwick Street.Ticket Information:We have sold over 3000 tickets for our top of the table clash and a limited amount of tickets can still be bought direct from Warrington. If you have already purchased tickets from us at Saints, you can collect these from the Totally Wicked Stadium until 6:30pm or following that from Warrington. Select turnstiles in each stand are open from 5.15pm with all turnstiles open at 6.15pm.How to follow the action:Supporters not making the trip to Warrington can follow live score updates and behind-the-scenes coverage on our social media channels and minute by minute updates from 6pm here on Saintsrlfc.com. Just head to the homepage and click on the match centre image.