Andrew Dickens

Apprenticeship Functional Skills & Additional needs



i'm looking for some support on a learner with some undiagnosed learning needs.  

The learner in question has been assessed by our learning specialist and having dyslexia and unlikely to achieve L1/2 functional skills.  As a result we want to support them with EL3, but i'm slightly confused by the guidance that states:

Exceptions to the regular English and maths minimum requirements, for people with special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities

P147 Individuals must be considered on a case-by-case basis and must satisfy all of the following conditions:

P147.1 The apprentice has either an existing or previously issued education, health and care (EHC) plan, a statement of special educational need (SEN) or a learning difficulty assessment (LDA). Self-declaration of a learning difficulty or a disability is insufficient.

P147.2 You and the employer expect the apprentice to achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve entry level 3 functional skills in the adjusted subject(s) before the end of their apprenticeship.

P147.3 You hold or have conducted an evidenced judgement demonstrating that even with support, reasonable adjustments and stepping stone qualifications, the apprentice will not be able to achieve English and / or maths to the minimum level within the timeframe projected for them to complete all the occupational elements.

P148 Depending on the apprentice’s individual circumstances and outcome of your judgement, the exception outlined in paragraph P147 may apply to either English and maths (or both).

Does this mean our assessment is adequate? 





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Martin West

Yes, you need to evidence all the requirements of P147 including, EHC, SEN or LDA without this the normal FS requirement apply.

You can claim ALS where it is required.



Andrew Dickens

Thanks Martin West  However, i'm just trying to quantify if our internal assessment is enough to meet the Learning difficulty assessment (LDA) element or if it needs to be from a recognised external body. 


Thanks in advance.  

Martin West

An LDA was issued by Local Authorities but came to an end in 2016 and replaced by EHCP, your internal assessment would be insufficient for the exception to L1/2 FS.


Tom Bartlett

Hi Martin,

Am i right in thinking though that an EHCP plan is only possible for those upto the age of 25 years old. Therefore if they were at school during a time when there was less awareness of learning difficulties then the learners are unfairly disadvantaged from being able to complete their apprenticeship programme through use of this flexibility? These flexibilities seem to only benefit younger learners unless i am reading this wrong? Could you advise on your thoughts as we have a few learners in this boat.

Martin West

EHC plans replaced Statements of Special Educational Need (SEN) and before that Section 139 Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) any learner who had any of these could be eligible for the FS exemption even if are over 25 now as LDA assessments applied in the previous millennium.

It’s a bit like GCE results as it is related to school years, older apprentices could have had one.


Andrew Dickens

Thanks Martin, 

It helps as it answers the question,  but it doesn't if you know what i mean!  


Really useful thank you