|Guidance to the Learning and Skills Council on Meeting the Needs of Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities  (LDD) [April 2001]|
2. Guidance for local Councils on their general responsibilities under section 14 of the LSA to promote equality of opportunity has also been prepared.
3. The Councils powers to secure financial resources for people receiving post-16 education and training are set out in section 5 of the LSA. This can include assistance with fees or the costs of such things as childcare and transport. Information about funding arrangements for young people in work based training who have additional learning or social needs is set out in Appendices 3.8
and 3.9 of the Learning and Skills Council Operations Guide, issued on 6 December. For 2001-02 there will be interim funding arrangements for trainees. In FE, the FEFCs current arrangements will be maintained in 2001-02.
4. The Council is undertaking an exercise this year to map the various approaches and to develop a funding system which is understandable for learners, their advocates and providers alike. The principles are that funding must follow the learner and that there should be common levels of funding for learners with similar additional learning needs who are pursuing similar programmes anywhere in the country and in any LSC sector. The funding will not be based solely on the type or extent of learning difficulty or disability but linked to the amount of additional support a learner needs to successfully access and complete specific types of learning programmes. The overall policy aim is to drive up standards for those learners traditionally marginalised within education and training. The recommendations from the review will be included in the general consultation on the funding system for 2002-03. It has not yet been decided whether the new funding system for additional learner support will be introduced from 2002-03.
Power to attach conditions to funding including publication of disability statements
5. Section 6 of the LSA gives the Council a power to attach conditions to payments it makes to post-16 education and training providers. Such conditions may include a requirement for a provider to publish statements in respect of its facilities for disabled people. The SEND Bill removes the Councils power to impose these conditions on institutions because they will be superseded by new anti-discrimination duties introduced by the Bill. Until these new powers are brought into force, however, the Council will need to take forward the requirements of the LSA. We also believe that providers will want to promote the provision they have put in place to meet the needs of learners with LDD.
Action for the Council
6. The Council will need to:
in Quality and Standards in Further Education
in England 1999-2000 about provision for students with LDD.
17. At a local level, the Council will need to ensure that local Executive Directors have a clear remit to put mechanisms in place to ensure that local providers take forward their responsibilities for ensuring that their provision meets the needs of people with LDD. In order to do this we would expect the Council to ensure each local Council:
Key first steps:
26. Young people can receive an assessment under section 140 of the LSA up to the age of 25. There are several instances where it is appropriate for young people with a learning difficulty and/or disability to continue in learning beyond 19. These include:
- when a young persons 19th birthday
occurs while they are in the middle of a learning programme
28. The Council needs to take into account any assessment that is made by the Connexions Service or the Employment Service. The Council should not be involved in the funding of assessments as between them the Connexions Service and the Employment Service will be responsible for this activity.Action for the Council
29. The Council must ensure that local Councils take account of any assessment and will want to:
Ensure local Councils take account of any action
plan that is produced by either the Connexions Personal Adviser or,
where there is no Personal Adviser in place, the Careers Service Adviser,
or the Employment Service.
30. There are currently more options open to learners with more severe learning difficulties than there have been in the past. These might include a package of supported employment, adult and community learning, independent living and social services support. It will be important to distinguish between those learners who genuinely require longer in full-time education and/or training and are working towards clearly defined learning goals and those whose placement is extended merely because there is no appropriate future placement for them when they leave full-time education or training. In the latter case local Councils will need to work closely with other agencies (particularly Social Services Departments and organisations involved with supported employment) to ensure that there are ongoing routes for those with LDD to follow as they move on from full-time learning. It is important that provision meets the needs of the learner. Where individuals with LDD require input from more than one agency there needs to be a holistic long-term plan that encompasses their aspirations for learning and living. The importance of support during transition from college or post school learning to adult life was emphasised in Inclusive Learning. Young people with moderate learning difficulties will also need more time to establish themselves in employment and adult life.to top
31. The Council will want to:
Ensure that local Councils co-operate and are
pro-active in their dealings with the Connexions Service and personal
advisers who will link with young people and providers to ensure what
was agreed as part of the young persons assessment is being delivered.
32. Inadequate transport is a major barrier to access to learning, particularly for learners with LDD who are over 19. LEAs and Social Services have a power to provide transport for disabled adults but do not always use it. Following Ministerial commitments on the reform of FE transport arrangements during the passage of the LSA, the Department has consulted with LEAs and others and drawn up a package of short-term measures to commence in September 2001. The Department will be publishing a circular which will require LEAs to:
co-ordinate collaborative arrangements with
local Councils, colleges and others, including Learning Partnerships,
with an interest in local transport support in order to provide effective
support for learners for whom transport is a barrier or constraint;
34. We hope that the Learning and Skills Council will use its powers in relation to transport to ensure that young people and adults are not denied access to learning purely because they cannot get to where it is taking place. Baroness Blackstone made it clear during discussions of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill in the House of Lords, that in operating their transport policies education providers would have to make sure that they did not treat disabled students less favourably than the non-disabled. She also said that the duty to have to consider reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled students are not put at a disadvantage relative to non-disabled students would also apply to transport.
35. Some learners with LDD can learn to access public transport and travel independently with extra support and training. The Council has a real opportunity to make significant progress in the provision of improved mobility training for those who want it. This is a new area which will require the Council to organise its funds and perhaps to work in a more flexible way. It will require people to acquire good practice. The powers of the Council have been set out in order to avoid the ambiguities in the existing powers of the FEFC so that it can assist learners with learning difficulties to benefit from the help that will be available.to top Action for the Council
36. The Council will want to:
Encourage local Councils to commit resources
to help disabled learners and those with learning difficulties, working
with their Learning Partnerships to identify gaps in transport provision.
37. Equality of opportunity, inclusive learning and widening participation are all terms used in this guidance. They are interrelated goals that underpin the Councils whole approach to learning. The Councils commitment is for all individuals and groups of people to have equal access to appropriate learning provision, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, age, disability or learning difficulty. Appropriate provision should be capable of meeting each learners needs and of leading to a suitable learning outcome and employment or further learning. This approach supports the Governments aim of an inclusive society where everyone has an equal chance to develop their knowledge and be active in the workforce.
to top Annex A: Background
Relevant provisions in the Learning and Skills Act
Section 2 sets out the duty of the Learning and Skills Council to secure the provision of proper facilities for the education and training of people from the age of 16 up to the age of 19. This includes the provision of connected organised leisure time occupation. In carrying out these duties the Council must, among other things, take account of the different abilities and aptitudes of different people.
Section 3 sets out the duty of the Council to secure the provision of reasonable facilities for the education and training of people over the age of 19. Otherwise the provisions are similar to section 2.
Section 5 gives the Council powers to secure financial resources for people receiving post-16 education and training; this could cover assistance with fees or charges for education or training or with the cost of such things as transport and childcare.
Section 6, which relates to the provision of resources, allows the Council to attach conditions to funding it provides which require the provider of post-16 education and training to publish statements in respects of its facilities for disabled people. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill provides for the repeal of this section.
Section 8 gives the Council powers to secure provision of work experience for those in their last two years of compulsory schooling and those in education up to the age of 19; and to provide for education business links between, on the one hand, the world of work and, on the other, pupils of compulsory school age, young people in education or training up to the age of 19 and teachers.
Section 13 requires the Council to pay particular regard to the needs of people with learning difficulties when performing its duties to secure facilities for education and training under sections 2 and 3, when providing resources for education and training under 5(1)(a) to (d) and (g) and when exercising its powers to secure facilities for work experience under section 8. In particular, the LSC must have regard to a report of an assessment of a persons needs made under section 140. Learning difficulties are defined at section 13(5). This definition is derived from current provisions for further education in section 4 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.
Section 13 also describes the Council's main responsibilities regarding the funding of boarding accommodation for those with learning difficulties. For those between the ages of 16 and 19, the Council must provide boarding accommodation where it is satisfied that it cannot make arrangements for individuals, which are sufficient in quantity and adequate in quality, unless it also secures boarding accommodation. For those between the ages of 19 and 25, the Council must provide boarding accommodation where it is satisfied that it cannot secure the provision of reasonable facilities for individuals unless it also secures boarding accommodation. For those over the age of 25, the Council has a power to make such arrangements if it is satisfied that it cannot secure the provision of reasonable facilities for individuals unless it also secures boarding accommodation.
Section 14 requires the Council to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between people from different racial groups, between men and women, and between people with a disability and people without. It must report annually to the Secretary of State on what arrangements is has made during the preceding year, how effective they were, and its plans for the following year.
Section 140 places a duty on the Secretary of State to make arrangements for an assessment of people under the age of 19 who have SEN statements drawn up by the LEA and where he believes that they are likely to leave school to continue with post-16 education or training or enter higher education. This assessment must be made during the final year of compulsory education and will set out a persons learning needs and the provision required to meet them. The duty is contained in subsection (1) of section 140. This subsection will not come into force on 1st April 2001; the earliest date it is likely to come into force is anticipated to be 1st April 2002.
This section also gives a power to the Secretary of State to arrange an assessment of any young person who is under the age of 25 where it appears that they may have learning difficulties and where they are undertaking, or the Secretary of State is satisfied that they are likely to undertake post-16 education or training or enter higher education. This is to enable assessments to be made where young people continuing in post-16 education or training develop learning difficulties shortly before or after leaving school and thus do not have an SEN statement. The power applies in respect of people up to age 25, to enable assessments to apply for the duration of a course. This also reflects the fact that some young people with learning difficulties may require longer to complete a course or may begin a course later than their peers.
This section also places a duty on LEAs to provide a copy of a childs statement of special educational needs, together with any supporting material, to the Secretary of State. This will enable the persons he appoints to carry out his functions to conduct the assessment.
Under section 13, the Council has a particular duty to have regard to the contents of these assessments and the needs of the young person assessed when discharging its functions for those under 25 years of age who have learning difficulties. Section 6(3) makes express provision for the Council to be able to use its powers to fund an institution or provider to impose a condition requiring it to provide for students the learning and support set out in the assessment.to top
"28. Under the Learning and Skills Act, the Council has a specific responsibility to help young people and adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This has been widely welcomed and the broad remit of the Council will enable it to fund a wide range of provision when considering their particular needs.
29. Clear and robust arrangements must be put in place to ensure that this disadvantaged group of learners have access to suitable provision which meets their needs and, where appropriate, to the additional support they require to undertake it. The Councils arrangements must also be implemented with sensitivity. Some learners may need to start their education or training later; take longer to complete it than their peers; or may find the applications and admissions processes particularly demanding. I look to the Council to address the needs of this group of learners in a flexible and innovative way. Full account must also be taken of the new assessments for people with learning difficulties introduced in the Learning and Skills Act, and which will be led by the Connexions Service.
30. The Council also has responsibility to secure the provision of boarding accommodation, where facilities provided would otherwise not be proper or reasonable. This may apply where learning needs are more complex or specialised, or where an element of care is also necessary, and will in the main relate to placement at specialist colleges. I expect the Council to work with other local agencies, including social services departments, where packages of care and learning appear the best approach. The Council should develop arrangements for processing applications for boarding provision, in consultation with my Department and others, building on those already in place.
31. Adult Residential Colleges have made a significant contribution to the further education of thousands of individuals over many years. They hold a proud and distinguished place in the history of adult learning in this country. It is vital that they have a secure and thriving place in the new post-16 landscape. I expect the Council to ensure that there are appropriate funding arrangements for these colleges which recognise their unique contribution, and also that there is a proper focus within the Council that recognises the national as well as the more local contribution made by these colleges and similar adult education providers."to top
" Learners with special needs, learning difficulties and/or disabilities must be supported to ensure that they can achieve their full potential. The LSC will build on the strengths of the current FEFC and TEC systems, as well as the wok of LEAs funding those with special needs through adult and community education. In addition the new support service for young people will secure arrangements for assessing a young persons special learning needs post-16 and the additional support that is required to meet them. The focus will be on the needs of the individual and we will ensure that the LSCs funding framework is designed to deal effectively with each individuals needs."to top
Chapter II of the Bill places new duties on further and higher education institutions, and LEAs in respect of adult education, community education and youth services provision secured by them. The new duties will place new anti-discrimination duties on the main providers of post-16 education and training. They will mean that providers:
Will not be able to treat disabled students less favourably, without justification, than students who are not disabled; and
Will have to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that people who are disabled are not put at a substantial disadvantage to people who are not disabled in accessing post-16 education.
The duties are anticipatory. The Bill will make it unlawful for institutions to discriminate against disabled people not only in the way they carry out their main business the provision of education but also in admissions arrangements and in the wider services they provide for students. So the duties will cover wider services such as accommodation, welfare services, careers advice, leisure and recreational services, and entertainment.to top
Adult Learning Inspectorate, Office for Standards in Education, (2001) The Common Inspection Framework for Inspecting Post-16 Education and Training.
Centre for Research in Primary Care, University of Leeds, (2001) Ethnicity and Disabilities (looks at the particular needs of disabled people from minority ethnic groups).
Department for Education and Employment, (2000) Secretary of States Remit Letter to the Learning and Skills Council.
Department for Education and Employment, (2000) Learning and Skills Council Prospectus Learning to Succeed.
Department for Education and Employment, (1999) Learning to Succeed: a new Framework for post-16 learning.
Department for Education and Employment, Adult Learning Inspectorate, Office for Standards in Education, (2001) Raising Standards in Post-16 Learning: self assessment and development plans.
Department for Education and Employment, (2000) A Study of Modern Apprenticeships and People with Disabilities (Quality Financial Assurance Division Study Report no 84)
Department of Health White Paper, (2001) Valuing People: A New Strategy for People with Learning Difficulties.
Employment Service, (2000) Modernising Supported Employment. Programme Design Document
FEFC Chief inspectors Report, (2000) Quality and Standards in Further Education in England 1999-2000
Further Education Funding Council, (1996) Inclusive Learning: Report of the Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities Committee. (The Tomlinson Report) HMSO
Anne OBryan, Ken Simons, Steve Beyer, and Bob Grove, (2000) A framework for supported employment. Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Jeannie Sutcliffe/NIACE (2000), Guidelines on good practice in disability statements for Local Education Authorities, Adult and Community Learning Team, Department for Education and Employment
Tracey Bignall and Jabeer Butt (2000), Between ambition and achievement. (Young black disabled peoples views and experiences of independence and independent living.) Joseph Rowntree Foundation
SKILL, (1997) Making Connections (a guide for agencies helping young people make the transition from school to adulthood)
SKILL (1997) Successful Transitions: Implementing Sections 5 and 6 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986. (For schools, colleges, LEAs, further education funding councils and social services departments.)to top
Association for Supported Employment, Pennine View, Gamblesby, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 1UR
Association of Colleges, 5th Floor, Centre Point, 103 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1DD
Adult Learning Inspectorate, 3rd Floor, 101 Lockhurst Lane, Coventry CV6 5SF
Commission for Racial Equality, Elliott House, 10-12 Allington Street, London SW1E 5EH
Connexions Service National Unit, Room W407, Moorfoot, Sheffield S1 4PQ
Department for Education and Employment, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT
Disability Rights Commission, 7th Floor, 222 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8HL
Equal Opportunities Commission, Arndale House, Arndale Centre, Manchester M4 3EQ
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, 20/21 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QL
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Homestead, 40 Water End, York, YO30 6WP
Learning and Skills Development Agency, 3 Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, London SE11 5EF
Office for Standards in Education, Alexandra House, 33 Kingsway, London WC2B 6SEto top
Contact list of Post-16 Disability Consortium
MENCAP, Mencap National Centre, 123 Golden Lane London EC1Y 0RT
NATSPEC, Association of National Specialist Colleges, 21 Westminster Drive, Grimsby, DN34 4TT
RADAR, 12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London EC1V 8AF
RNIB, PO Box 49, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3DG
RNID, 19-23 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8SL
SCOPE, 6 Market Road, London N7 9PW
SKILL, the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, Chapter House, 18-20 Crucifix Lane, London SE1 3JW
ACDET Advisory Committee for Disabled People in Employment
1: A person has a learning difficulty if:
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