Our Offer to students with Difficulties/Disabilities

Teaching and Learning

The Classroom and College Environment

Our curriculum and learning environment can be adapted to meet individual needs based on an assessment of the student’s needs. This is in line with reasonable adjustments as defined in the Equality Act 2010 and clarified further in the Equality Act 2010 Technical Guidance for Further and Higher Education, published in November 2010.

Our teaching staff have a strong focus upon meeting individual needs through their planning and completion of Individual Learner Profiles which identify any difficulties students may have and strategies to overcome these. In addition to our entry requirements we also use Initial Assessment in order to assess the starting point for each individual student.

Within the classroom our teachers make reasonable adjustments to cater for any needs arising from a difficulty/disability/medical condition. In addition to differentiation in teaching we provide individual arrangements based on student need. These are usually determined through an interview with the Learning Support Team and completion of an Individual Support Plan.

Reasonable Adjustments for students with difficulties/disabilities may include:

  • Breaks/Early release from classes
  • Need to eat/drink/take medication
  • Specialist equipment (chair, back rest, laptop, software)
  • Material adaptations such as large print or coloured paper/overlays

All college sites and venues are accessible to users and existing disabled users have informed our reviews and audit. There are accessible toilets and specialist equipment is fitted on an individual needs basis. The majority of our classrooms are equipped with smart boards/projectors and specialist equipment such as digital recorders, laptops and radio aids are also available for students with specific requirements.

Where identified as an ongoing need for a student, the college works with partners to buy in their expertise in Hearing and Visually Impairment.  Where individuals require the use of British Sign Language to access the curriculum, the college employs a Communication Support Worker on a casual basis.

Our Learning Support and Teaching Teams

The Learning Support Team is a dedicated team of experienced staff. Our One to One Support Team possess a Level 4/5 Skills for Life specialist qualification in either Literacy, Numeracy or Language. Our specialist teachers all have a recognised qualification in supporting students with specific learning difficulties and all hold a PATOSS Practising Certificate. Our In-Class support team are all experienced in working with students with barriers to their learning and some have particular areas of expertise. The Learning Support Manager is experienced in Learning Support and holds a specialist teacher qualification.

The College has a coherent programme of professional development across the organisation, which includes sharing of best practice both across the College and with other College partners. CPD sessions provide regular updates on Equality and Diversity including sessions on Dyslexia Awareness and staff training on Individual Learning Plans. All classes have effective group profiles which identify individual learning and pastoral needs to enable staff to plan lessons effectively.

Our CPD programme aligns common themes for improvement and provides a highly responsive support framework in the form of themed workshops and staff mentoring.  SCC has introduced a number of methods to recognise and share innovative practice. Some of these projects and training activities directly address issues of inclusivity and include “Developing Effective Resources for ESOL Learners with Low Literacy” (Community) and “Promoting a positive, consistent and structured approach to improve the mental health / behaviour support for learners with ASD’

SCC Staff carrying out lesson observations are well trained and accurate in their judgments. A thorough induction of all new teaching staff is carried out by teaching staff Learning Leaders.

Our Learning Support Service

The college offers a range of support which seeks to meet the needs of our students depending on their learning difference, disability or medical condition. At SCC we are committed to removing barriers to learning and ensuring that each individual is empowered to reach his or her potential and gain independence. Support ranges from differentiated teaching and In Class support, to more specialist support including Assistive Technology or Dyslexia.

For our students with complex or multiple disabilities we offer specialist provision and support on the Entry level courses at our Eccles Centre (click here for details).http://sccdev.salfordcc.ac.uk/16-18/support/learner-support/disabilities-learning-difficulties/

Students may require support if they have identified needs as follows:

  • Specific disabilities/difficulties like: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Asperger’s Syndrome, hearing/visual/physical difficulties, mental health difficulties, ADHD, medical conditions
  • A temporary disability resulting from illness or injury

All support arrangements are determined by discussion and assessment with the student, their teachers and parent/carer and other agencies where appropriate. All discussions about the best type of support for any individual are “student led” as we consider student voice and their independence in decision making to be key.

Please note: For students studying on one of our adult or Higher Education courses then entitlement to support may differ depending on how the course is funded. Please check this entitlement at the time of enrolling.

The Types of Support  Available

  • One to One Support provided by a Learning Support or Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties Tutor
  • Specialist screening/assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties where students have a history of these difficulties
  • Assistive Technology for students with difficulties/disabilities
  • Individual Support plans for students with disabilities/medical needs
  • Support with Access Arrangements for exams where applicable
  • Classroom Support provided by our In-Class Support Team

The Learning Support Team will provide classroom support based on evidence this is an appropriate way to support learning. Often, this is outlined in a student’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Support is embedded on our Entry Level programmes and on some Level 1 programmes,  depending on student need.

When is the support available?

For one to one support, sessions are agreed with the student and scheduled outside classroom time. Students are expected to attend a minimum of six sessions with their one to one support tutor. Students can refer themselves any time during the year and are always welcome to come and talk to a member of the team in the Learning Support Centre at any of our main sites.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is available to students with specific additional needs and also on a wider scale throughout the college. A whole range of equipment is available. Mind Mapping and text reading software is widely used and is available at all centres. More specialist software such as Dolphin and Dragon is also available if students have very specific requirements.

Free Software for students is also available which can be uploaded onto a memory stick so they can access this at home. Students can attend one to one appointments with our Assistive Technology Officer who will demonstrate how to use a range of Assistive Technology depending on the student’s needs.

Access Arrangements for Exams

Students who are entitled to Access Arrangements will usually have already had these at school. It is really important that we know about these arrangements at the start of the course. Applications for Access arrangements have to be submitted to the exam board well in advance and it can take time to provide evidence of need. Please note previous Access Arrangements do not automatically carry on to college, and they need to be a student’s “normal way of working” so it is important to discuss this with the Learning Support Team as soon as possible.

Specific Learning Difficulties

Students who have an up to date assessment for a specific learning difficulty like Dyslexia may be entitled to Access Arrangements if this is their normal way of working. We can then apply for these arrangements as long as we have a copy of the assessment. We will discuss these arrangements with the student and they will be expected to attend passport sessions in order to practice using them.  Once the arrangements are approved, we will notify the student of their entitlement.

Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Students who have evidence of other identified needs such as a disability/medical condition may be entitled to Access Arrangements if this is their normal way of working. We can then apply for these arrangements as long as we have a copy of the evidence. We will discuss these arrangements with the student and once the arrangements are approved, we will notify the student of their entitlement.

If English is a second or other language (where language is not the main learning goal)

Students may be entitled to a bilingual dictionary if this is their normal way of working. If we have the relevant evidence we can then apply for these arrangements. We will discuss these arrangements with the student and once the arrangements are approved, we will notify the student of their entitlement

Transition from School to College

Any student requiring support will go through the same application and admissions process as any other student. The Learning Support Service will work alongside curriculum and school’s’ liaison teams to plan the best possible transition for students with an additional need. If students declare a difficulty/disability on their application form or during the interview process we will automatically contact them prior to starting college. We also have several open events throughout the year where the Learning Support Team are available to discuss individual requirements (click here for details).

Alternatively, schools, parents/carers or the Connexions Service can contact us directly to arrange a transition visit or interview (pre-course assessment) at any point prior to starting college. If students require reasonable adjustments or have complex/multiple disabilities it is helpful if this is done as early as possible. This allows us time to plan support effectively and put the necessary adjustments in place. (click here for details about the college’s application and interview process)

For students with complex or multiple disabilities who are considering more specialist provision on our Entry level courses at our Eccles Centre then more specific transition arrangements are in place (click here for more details).

Annual Reviews

Individual Learning Plans and a Learner profile of needs are completed by curriculum teams and reviewed with the student at key stages throughout the academic year. These are also discussed at Parents Evening.

Students with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will go through the same review process as any other student but there will be an additional annual meeting to review their plan. The annual review of the EHCP will be led by a member of the Learning Support Team with input from teaching staff, parent/carers and any other agencies involved in supporting the student. The review will gather together details from the EHCP and Individual Learning Plan and will make reference to areas where the student is working well and becoming more independent. All discussions about the best type of support for any individual are “student led”

Transition Planning

When students are ready to move onto the next stage of their education or into employment they have access to advice from our qualified careers team/Connexions advisors (click here for details). The careers and Learning Support Team work closely together to look at progression for students with individual needs. The UCAS process is completed through group tutorials but additional support for those who need it is also provided by the Learning Support and Careers Team. The teams also support students through the process of applying for Disabled Students Allowance (click here for details) where applicable.

Keeping Children Safe

Individual Support Plans (ISPs)

ISPs are completed with students who have difficulties/disabilities/medical conditions which impact on their daily life at college. Part of the ISP process is to document the facts about their condition and identify potential risks/support measures that need to be put in place. The ISP is completed with the student and can be done in conjunction with parent/carer where appropriate. Often an ISP will be completed prior to the student starting their course. With the student’s consent the ISP is shared with all teaching/support staff who work with them. Some ISPs may also lead to the completion of a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.

A Safe Learning Environment

All of our main college centres have car parks with drop off zones for students with disabilities/medical conditions. Where noted in support documents, for example, EHCP, key staff will meet and wait with individual students at the beginning and end of the college day, although we do place an emphasis upon supporting students to become independent as part of their transition into adulthood.

We do not anticipate our students will require support at lunch or break times as we support students to become independent as part of their transition into adulthood. However, where students are experiencing difficulties we may provide support with this through the Learning Support team. For our students with complex or multiple disabilities we offer specialist provision and support on the Entry level courses at our Eccles Centre (click here for details).

Every effort is made to ensure that college visits/activities are available and accessible to all who wish to participate, irrespective of special educational or medical needs, ethnic origin, sex, religion etc.  If a visit is to cater for students with additional needs, special attention is given to appropriate supervision ratios and additional safety measures which are addressed at the planning stage.  Additional safety measures may also be required for those students who have special medical or educational needs during the visit/activity. This is ensured by making sound and thorough preparations including undertaking a complete and comprehensive risk assessment. Support is provide for activities such as trips or visits if this need is identified through completion of the Individual Support Plan or identified in an EHCP

SCC has several policies around “keeping student’s safe”, these include: Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy (click here)

Health

The Individual Support Plan will also cover details of any medication the individual student receives and what action to take in an emergency. If necessary we will work with the relevant health care professionals in delivering training to the staff who teach/support an individual student.

The college does have a medication policy. However, we do place an emphasis upon supporting students to take responsibility for their own medication. We would encourage them to become independent in this respect as part of their transition into adulthood. Discussions surrounding medication are discussed with the student, parent/carer where appropriate prior to them enrolling at college.

In the case of students who require ongoing medication this is subject to agreement between the college and the student or parent/carer:

“The college requests that medication is only taken at college if it is essential and that it would be detrimental to the learner’s health not to administer the medication during the college day. Where possible, medications should be taken at home, before and after attending college. Staff at the College will not administer any medication to a learner unless competent to do so and without obtaining prior written consent from his or her parent/guardian.” (SCC Medication Policy)

The college offers a confidential Counselling Service (click here for details). A number of agencies visit college during lunch periods so that students have access to services such as: Substance Misuse and Sexual Health.

Communication with Parents

Parental contact for students requiring support will be no different to that of any other student (click here for details). However there may also be additional meetings where necessary and parents are welcome to contact the Learning Support Team directly to discuss their son/daughter’s needs and progress.

We would expect parents to make contact by phone or email to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. We will expect the student to be involved in this meeting

We also have several open events throughout the year where the Learning Support Team are available to discuss individual requirements (click here for details).

Parents are invited to give feedback at events such as Parents Evening and we encourage parental feedback through Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter

Working Together

The college has a Student Council at each of its main centres (click here for details) and a Student Governor. In addition to this the colleges conducts student surveys and focus groups to canvass the opinion of its students. The Learning Support Team also collect feedback from users of the service to drive continual improvement and decision making.

As an FE College, there is no specific role of Parent Governor (as there is with Schools and 6th Form Colleges).  However, when there are vacancies, parents can apply to become an independent governor at the College, which carries a normal term of office of 4 years (rather than the typical 2 years for School and 6th Form Parent Governors). Their application will be treated and assessed in the same way as all other applicants.  Information regarding becoming a governor is available on the College Web Site.

The governing body considers and approves the College strategy and polices in respect of Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Quality of teaching and learning.  It then closely monitors the performance of the College and its interaction and engagement with local agencies for the benefit of its students, particularly those with difficulties/disabilities.

What Help and Support is available for the Family?

Our Learner Services Team are available to provide students or parents with support in completing forms such as SCC EMA and providing eg. Letters required for benefits agencies. The Team are available during key periods such as open events and enrolments and can also be contacted at our college centres at any time of the year. This help would normally be provided to the student as above which also includes services such as careers and guidance (click here for details), however parents are also welcome to access these services.

Travel to College

If students have had individual transport arrangements prior to coming to college such as a taxi then they will need to contact the Local Authority independently. Transport will not automatically continue so it is important to check this prior to starting college. SCC are not able to provide individual transport however, we do provide a college bus service which stops outside or very near to the college centre (click here for  details)

Extra Curricular Activities

The college offers a comprehensive range of Enrichment activities which are inclusive to all students (click here for details).All classroom activities and Enrichment activities are designed to encourage peer relationships.

How is our SEN provision funded?

Salford City College is predominantly funded by the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency. The college uses what is described at “Element 2” funding to provide the majority of its support for students with difficulties/disabilities. This includes most of the arrangements detailed under “What Types of Support are Available?” This support is available to identified students regardless of whether or not they have an Education Health Care Plan. For students with an Educational Health Care plan whose support is identified as costing more than element 2 funding, the college will apply to the student’s home local authority for the top up funding (known as element 3).