It’s official – our SEND pilot is now permanent!

Following our hugely successful SEND pilot which aims to improve accessibility to apprenticeships, we’re delighted to announce that the Department for Education is launching the scheme as a permanent initiative.

From 1st August, any learners without evidence of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of Learning Difficulties Assessment (LDA) and low English and maths levels, who were previously not eligible to access apprenticeship programmes, will be able to undergo an assessment with their training provider.

Driving change

This is a huge breakthrough for social mobility through apprenticeships and a personal passion for HIT and its specialist SENDCo team which has pioneered the scheme since the pilot launched in May 2023.

A staggering 180 learners have been able to benefit from the initiative so far – and HIT is thrilled to be able to take this scheme forward and make it a permanent part of its apprenticeship offer.

Speaking of the remarkable achievements of the SEND pilot, Quality and Curriculum Director Micaela Barlow says: “This is brilliant news and something we have been campaigning for for a long time. Improving accessibility to apprenticeships for all is something we are passionate about at HIT and we are incredibly proud to have led this groundbreaking change.

I would like to say the success of the scheme at HIT is largely down to our SENDCo and SEND Specialist Functional Skills team who have worked so hard to reach as many vulnerable learners as possible via the pilot.

“Whether it be from learning difficulties or a poor experience with the education system, there are a number of reasons that individuals struggle with academic focused work but would make brilliant apprentices.

“Since the pilot launched, we’ve seen with our own eyes how breaking down some of the barriers to entry has helped learners gain confidence from their newfound skills and qualifications and this, in turn, helps them progress in both their careers and lives.”

Who can apply

The SEND exemption scheme, which becomes a permanent feature from August 2024, opens the door to SEND learners who do not have a formal EHCP / LDA statement and would otherwise
be ineligible to enrol onto an apprenticeship due to barriers in achieving maths and/or English at Level 1 or Level 2.

Previously, only learners with a pre-existing EHCP or LDA were eligible for exemptions from having to pass Level 1 or Level 2 Functional Skills for any apprenticeship schemes that require these. 

Under the new scheme, Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities coordinators (SENDCo) are able to conduct additional assessments, and judge whether a learner would have the equivalent need for an EHCP or LDA and then approve this flexibility.

These learners are then able to work towards and pass the lower level of Functional Skills English and maths at Entry Level 3. 

Contact us

The scheme is open to any apprentices, including those already in the workplace, with training provided by HIT Training Ltd. 

To find out more about HIT Training Ltd, please visit 

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