On 27th February 2018,Lord Addington asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what consideration they have given to removing the need for candidates for higher education with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities to pay for new assessments for the disabled students’ allowance if they have an existing diagnosis acquired before the age of 16 and a history of support’. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about distinguishing learning disabilities from physical and mental disabilities:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as I understand it, the Equality Act recognises learning disabilities and other forms of mental and physical disabilities in the same way. Yet until now, the Government’s position has been to separate learning disabilities out into a different category. I welcome this review but can the Minister assure us that it will lay out the basis for that different treatment?
Viscount Younger of Leckie: I cannot confirm that the review will cover that but I have no doubt that the review panel will look at the different types of specific learning difficulties. The right reverend Prelate will know that there is a big spread between dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit disorder. The panel will look at all these issues as part of this review, focusing particularly on the diagnostic assessment.