Supporting delivery of diagnostic assessments for apprentices with undiagnosed additional needs
Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Article publication date: 2 January 2020
Issue publication date: 26 October 2020
The purpose of this paper is to address the fact that under current Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding guidelines, diagnostic assessments for apprentices with additional learner needs are deemed an ineligible cost, which has the potential to reduce access to additional funding and support.
The approach of this paper is to critically evaluate the surrounding literature, government reports and Mencap review produced since the apprenticeship levy and present the implications of these funding guidelines relating to access to apprenticeships and the practical effects of apprentice’s experience and development.
The finding presented by this paper is that the definition of diagnostic assessments as an ineligible cost reduces the quality of training delivered by providers and assurances to apprentices that they will be fully supported from the start of their training.
The limitation of this research was the minimal amount of government/ESFA documentation addressing this subject within apprenticeships.
The practical implications of this paper relate to the on-going delivery of apprenticeship training in the UK, and the detrimental effect of reducing access to diagnostic assessments for apprentices with undiagnosed additional learner needs under the current wording of the Education Skills Agency guidance.
The government policy is currently under review to address this area which is considered an ineligible cost for supporting apprentices with recognised additional learner needs.
The value of this paper is to align with recent Mencap review and collaboratively readdress the ESFA’s current positioning of diagnostic assessments for apprentices with undiagnosed learning difficulties and disabilities as an ineligible cost and non-standardised requirement.
Catterall, A. (2020), "Supporting delivery of diagnostic assessments for apprentices with undiagnosed additional needs", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 623-641. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-02-2019-0032
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