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Learner Support

For students on mainstream courses, our Learner Support Team helps over 1,000 people each year achieve success.

How to access support

You can let us know if you want support when you fill in the application or enrolment form for your course, or by filling in a support referral form at your interview or in a tutorial. If you have a learning difficulty assessment document, special educational needs statement or Education, Health and Care plan, please provide copies of these with your form as they might help us get additional funding for you.

After your application you'll meet with one of our support specialists who will assess your needs. We'll tailor a support plan for you which - with your permission - will be sent to your teacher and other relevant staff. If you have a medical condition or physical disability you'll also receive a health and safety plan.

You can discuss your support requirements with us at any point.

What support is available

Learners with an EHCP on study programmes (mainstream)

Moving from year 11 at School to College?

If you have an EHCP, you should name the College at your annual review so you can start the transition process. Your SEND case worker at your local authority must then amend your EHCP and consult the College before 31st March 2019. We may then talk to your school and ask to meet you to ensure we can meet your needs and agree your placement.

If you require high needs support funding, your placement at the College will be conditional on your local authority agreeing to fund this in advance of the start of term. This is so we can plan your support package with you and help your transition.

Please make your course application asap so we can invite you to a support interview to discuss your needs. Please bring your EHCP to your interview or email it in advance to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please also contact your local authority as soon as possible so you can request an annual review to name the college before March 2019.

Moving from another post 16 College within the academic year?

If you have an EHCP and are transferring from another post 16 College within year; your local authority must review and amend, where necessary, your EHCP at least five months before the transfer takes place.

If you require high needs support funding, your placement at the College will be conditional on your local authority agreeing to fund this in advance of your start date. This is so we can plan your support package with you and help your transition.

Please make your course application asap so we can invite you to a support interview to discuss your needs. Please bring your EHCP to your support interview or email it in advance to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What type of SEND support is available if you have an EHCP?

The Learning Support team will agree a package of support with you and your local authority. This is to help you to achieve on your course, meet the outcomes in your EHCP and so you can be as independent as possible.

You will be allocated a Lead Professional who will ask you what information you want to share with teaching and support staff to support your learning. They will also coordinate your support package and your annual review.

The types of support that may be offered are:

  • Exam access arrangements eg extra time, reader, scribe, for learners with a range of learning difficulties, mobility, medical, or mental health needs that significantly impact on their education
  • BSL communicator and or note taker for learners who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • Specialist software to support reading and proofreading for learners with literacy difficulties
  • Specialist software, adapted equipment or note takers for learners who are blind or visually impaired
  • Personal care for learners who have a physical disability
  • social skills group for learners who have for example an autistic spectrum disorder or Asperger’s
  • Integrated speech and language therapy for learners who have for example, significant communication support needs
  • Personal evacuation plan for learners with for example anxiety, mobility, medical or sensory support needs
  • Safeguarding plan for learners with for example additional vulnerabilities such as mobility, medical, sensory or mental health needs
  • Specialist teacher support for learners with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, Asperger’s
  • In class support for learners with a range of learning difficulties, mobility, medical, social and emotional or mental health needs that significantly impact on their education
What type of support is available, if I do not have an EHCP?

Following an assessment, the types of support that may be offered are:

  • Exam access arrangements eg extra time, reader, scribe, for learners with a range of learning difficulties, mobility, medical, or mental health needs
  • BSL communicator and or note taker for learners who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • Specialist software to support reading and proofreading for learners with literacy difficulties
  • Specialist software or adapted equipment for learners who are visually impaired
  • Social skills group for learners who have for example an autistic spectrum disorder or Asperger’s
  • Personal evacuation plan for learners with for example anxiety, mobility, medical or sensory support needs
  • Safeguarding plan for learners with for example additional vulnerabilities such as mobility, medical, sensory or mental health needs
  • Part-time in class support for learners with a range of learning difficulties, mobility, medical, or mental health needs that significantly impact on their education
  • In class support from a teaching assistant to help learners with ESOL, English or maths support needs

DSA Allowance for Undergraduate Learners

If you have a disability, mental health condition or learning difficulty and are on a higher education level course, you could receive a grant called the Disabled Students' Allowance to help you during your studies. It does not need to be repaid. Find out more about the Disabled Students' Allowance.

Visit us

You are welcome to visit us. Check our college open days page for details. Our learning support staff attend these events and can explain how you may be supported during your course. With notice, we are usually able to help with any extra support you may need eg signers or speaking guides. All our sites are fully accessible.

For more information on what our Learner Support team provide and to see case studies from previous students, download the Learner Support brochure.

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