A Learning Difficulty Assessment (also known as an LDA or Section 139A) is a document that describes what additional learning support a young person needs in post-16 education or training. LDAs were mainly issued for young people with statements of SEN when they moved from school into further education.
So, if your young person is currently at college and used to have a statement while they were at school, then they probably have an LDA.
Recent changes to the SEN system mean that LDAs will cease to have legal status from 1 September 2016. If your young person currently has an LDA and will still be in education or training after that date, it may be advisable to apply for an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan now. This is particularly important for young people aged 19-25 years, as learners in this age group may be charged tuition fees from September unless they have an EHC plan.
N.B. EHC plans were introduced in 2014 to replace statements and LDAs. They can go up to age 25, but are not available to university students.
For more information, please download our parents’ guide to the SEND reforms.