LDA's (Learning Difficulty Assessments)
Extract taken from the Learning Difficulty Assessments Guidance April 2013
(7.1, 7.2 & 9.2)
A person has a learning difficulty if:
he has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of persons of his age, or
he has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided by institutions providing post-16 education or training.
But a person is not to be taken to have a learning difficulty solely because the language (or form of language) in which he is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which has at any time been spoken in his home.
Learning difficulty is the term used in legislation while 'learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities' is a deliberately wide definition in common usage in the FE system, and includes people with mental health difficulties, autistic spectrum conditions, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioural emotional or social disorders, physical, sensory and cognitive impairments and other identified and non-identified difficulties in learning. All of these conditions could fall within the definition of learning difficulties for the purpose of a Learning Difficulties Assessment.
Many young people who have additional needs can be supported with additional learning support without a formal LDA.
It is for the Local Authority to assess whether a LDA would benefit the young person.
Local authorities should use their power to undertake an LDA for:
1. any young person with a learning difficulty but without an SEN statement, in his/her last year of compulsory schooling, who in the opinion of the local authority is likely to need additional support as part of his/her future education or training and who would benefit from an LDA to identify his/her learning needs and the provision required to meet those needs.
2. any young person with a learning difficulty but without a SEN statement, who is over compulsory school age but under 25 who is receiving, or in the opinion of the authority, is likely to receive post 16 education or training if they;
are likely to leave school, during or at the end of the current school year, are likely to need additional support as part of their future education or training and who, in the view of the local authority, would benefit from an LDA to identify their education and training needs and the provision required to meet those needs;
are currently in, or about to start, post 16 education or training, have not previously received a statement of SEN or a LDA, but whose circumstances are now considered by the local authority to indicate that an assessment of his/her learning needs and the provision required to meet them is appropriate;
have previously received an assessment but whose circumstances have since changed to such an extent that in the opinion of the local authority a further assessment is necessary to ensure their learning needs are met; or
previously had an SEN statement, but did not have an assessment under the local authority's duty, because they did not move directly from school into other education or training. This might apply where a young person becomes NEET or undertakes employment for a short period of time before returning to education or training.
3. Those who acquire a learning difficulty and/or disability through injury or disease where in the opinion of the local authority an assessment will benefit the young person.
4. Students who continue learning beyond 19 and in the view of the local authority need to be reviewed and reassessed to ensure the most appropriate provision and support is provided to meet changing needs.