Information is sent to the college either ahead of enrolment, at enrolment or can be acquired from a student’s previous school after enrolment. Prospective students are asked to declare any support requirements on the application form and at interview and again, during the enrolment process.Screening activities are part of enrolment in order that the college can identify individual strengths and possible support needs for students whilst they participate on college courses.
Some students will be in receipt of an Education, Health and Care Plan. If this is the case, their support needs are known well in advance of their attendance at college and often, such High Cost Learners will have extra funding attached to them to ensure that the support identified is in place is appropriate and allows them to achieve successfully in a Post-16 educational environment.
The college Learning Support Department works closely with all schools and where appropriate, Link Courses and Transition is organised early in the academic year so prospective students can familiarise themselves with both the staff and the college before enrolment at the start of the academic year in the September.
Internal assessment in individual subject areas is implemented at the beginning of the academic year in order that levels of achievement and ability are established. Different formats are used relating to each subject area. This enables the college to identify whether a course is at a suitable level for a student and, alongside information gained from the initial screening process, to identify if any support is required and if so, what strategies would be most appropriate. Further assessment in the form of Educational Psychologist Report with accompanying guidance to the college on how best to support a student, can also be triggered in specific cases.
Examination arrangements are applied for and students informed in order that exam practice can be an active part of a Study Skills programme.
If a student feels that they need extra help, they are encouraged to talk to their Tutor or subject Teacher initially. Students can freely access Study Skills without consulting teaching staff and can independently organise participation in these sessions. However, they may be invited to attend Study Support if any initial assessments carried out raise concerns. Teaching staff can refer students to Study Skills if they consider a student to need support with their learning.
All students are assessed continually to ensure they are making good progress and meeting all agreed targets. Students with individual needs may have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) initiated which will be reviewed at agreed intervals by teaching staff and the Head of School for Personalised Learning and/or the Learning Support Coordinator.
Outside Agencies such as:
- Specialist Teacher
- Advisory Service (Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Physical Difficulties and Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
- Occupational Therapists,
- Speech and Language Therapists,
- Social Care and
- Educational Psychologist
All these agencies work closely with the College to support young people with needs in education.
Teaching staff in the School of Personalised Learning have specific qualifications in teaching such as Specialist Teacher status for Specific Learning Difficulties; ASD; Severe Learning Difficulty, Moderate Learning Difficulty and attendant medical qualifications.
Once established, a student’s individual needs will dictate the support strategy which is most appropriate so students can
progress and be successful. Differentiation is a key component of any support strategy and this may take a variety of forms from extending deadlines (to match an exam arrangement of 25% extra time) to using coloured paper for set work, specific use of language within a test paper, a lap top or the use of a scribe. These are just some examples of how differentiation can support a student in their work and be used to support, track and monitor progress.
Some students may have hospital admissions or require therapies as part of their timetable. Individualisation of the timetable may be required in such instances. This will negotiated with the Head of Schools.
All students, irrespective of needs, are encouraged to become fully involved in all aspects of the planning and delivery of their education in a Post-16 setting. They will be encouraged to become independent learners and will self-advocate where possible. However, some students may need support whilst they develop these skills. Such students will have a:
- Personal tutor
and some will have a
- Key worker
- and/or a mentor.
Some students may have an
- These will take on this role and they will accompany the student to any meetings and if necessary (and in agreement with the student) either speak on their behalf, spend time explaining it to them or relay information the student wishes to convey.
The support workers will also keep records of all such meetings.
Overall responsibility for the management of these activities will lay with the Learning Support Coordinator and Head of School for Personalised Learning one of whom will be present in all meetings, where appropriate.
The college fully supports intervention from Outside Agencies and will work cooperatively with these so that a student is fully supported in discussions around the planning and execution of meeting their individual needs within the college setting.
All students, irrespective of levels of ability, are encouraged and supported in becoming as independent as possible, which is part of preparation for adult life. Where appropriate, students will take initial responsibility for attendance and timekeeping and the meeting of coursework deadlines. The college has a Code of Conduct and the expectation is that all students will adhere to this. College tutors will support and advise students regarding academic, social, emotional and behavioural targets. All students have a progress tutor whilst those students on vocational courses will have a personal tutor.
Students who are based in The School of Personalised Learning will have a personal tutor.
Part of the remit of all staff involved in the pastoral aspect of college life, is to support students in developing their skills in independency albeit in learning skills or life skills. For students with Severe Learning Difficulty and Moderate Learning Difficulty, Life Skills and Independency form part of the curriculum and are therefore embedded within individual timetables.
As mentioned previously, a strong pastoral support system provides the students with a range of support mechanisms. Students can access freely their identified:
- Head of School,
- Teaching staff,
- Learning Support Assistants.
The Head of School for Personalised Learning and the Deputy Principal for both Curriculum and Student and Community are also available for consultation. The Finance Department in the college will respond to queries over transport and bursaries.
The college also employs a range of outside agencies including
- Counselling services and a
- Full time nursing team located on the college campus. The college nurse oversees medical protocols and stores, tracks, monitors and records the administration of medication. The Nurse and her team also manage Personal Care. The organisation and delivery of:
- Physiotherapy and
- Occupational Therapy
These are part of the Nurse’s duties. Where appropriate, specific agencies can be contacted and appointments made either in college or at an alternative venue.
Study Skills support is available throughout the college day and students are free to make contact using a variety of methods such as email, filling in a form or attending a drop-in session.
Students are encouraged to voice any worries or concerns they may have and are guided on induction, as to where specific help is available for them to access.
All students will be included in the following events:
• Progress Reviews
• Parents’ Evenings,
Students, parents and carers are welcome to make contact with Heads of School, Head of School for Personalised Learning or Progress Tutors to discuss individual student progress. This is particularly important should there be specific concerns or information from home that the college needs to be aware of.
The college in return, will contact parents/carers if a student has continued to fail despite initial discussion with the young person or if the college are significantly concerned regarding certain aspects of a student’s performance or behaviour.
All students have on-line access to their attendance, grades,reports and individual targets.
Teaching staff are available for tutorials and to help and advise students regarding individual progress. Teaching staff work closely with the Learning Support Team so students are enabled to track their personal progress closely.
One-to-one LSAs work as part of the team that monitors and tracks progress.
Any concerns parents may have can be directed to the Tutor or the Heads of Specialist Curriculum or the Head of School for Personalised Learning. All parents have direct access to staff in the School through the SPL Admin Office.
All college staff are trained in Safeguarding and Equality and Diversity. All Staff are screened through the Disbarring Service
(DBS) process and are therefore approved to work in the college environment with and alongside young people.
Teaching staff working in the School of Personalised Learning and in Cross College Support have specialist qualifications.
Learning Support Assistants:
LSAs have a range of qualifications based within the cohort. Many have had experience working with young people with ASD and
Cerebral Palsy and all staff are trained to deliver:
• Personal Care,
• Manual Handling,
• First Aid in theWorkplace. Some LSAs specialise in supporting
• Peg feeding,
• Hearing Impairment and
• Visual Impairment.
Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities:
Young people who will require specialist equipment so they fully access Post-16 education will be supported through funding provided by the relevant service. Appropriate equipment will be identified in the Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) and funding provided so the College can source and install the equipment in time for the beginning of the academic year. The involvement of Outside Agencies such as:
• Specialist Teacher Advisory Service,
• Health (for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, Speech and Language therapy and Social Care etc.)
These are also identified in the EHCP and those requirements acknowledged by the College who will state whether they
can deliver these services on site.The college will also employ the services of an Educational Psychologist if screening identifies that a student has a specific learning problem. This enables the college to apply for examination arrangements where applicable and also guides the teaching in how best to support the student in their learning.
The college works closely with Health and Social Care Community Teams and where appropriate, interventions and support take place within the college environment. Some clinics such as:
• Wheelchair services and
These can also be organised so students do not have to travel to their local hospital to receive treatment. (This is organised on an
annual basis and dependent on the number of young people involved)
As far as possible,reasonable adjustments are made to include all learners in college activities.
Trips and visits which form part of subject assessments will consider accessibility with regard to wheelchairs, medical protocols and support for learning. Risk Assessments will detect potential concerns and the actions required to lessen these identified risk factors.
• LSAs and/or
• Care assistant
These will accompany students on all trips and visits where such a need has been identified.
Subject teachers and Heads of Specialist Curriculum have responsibility for organising trips and visits. They will provide the initial Risk Assessment. The Head of School for Personalised Learning ensures that the initial Risk Assessments reflects the support required for the individual student, thereby reducing associated risks.
a) How will I know who can help me?
Students with an identified individual need will be known to all staff involved in their areas of learning alongside pastoral staff. This includes:
• Heads of Specialist Curriculum in subject areas where the young person is studying
• Subject staff
• Progress Tutors.
• Head of School for Personalised Learning,
• Learning Support Coordinator (Cross College) and SEND & High Needs Funding Manager will also be closely involved with identified students.
Students may also have an LSA attached to them. Therefore, any of these staff will help students; the student may freely approach the member of staff they feel most comfortable with.
b) Who can I talk to about getting involved in student activities if I need extra help?
Every subject area has activities that students are encouraged to join. Talking to the subject teacher or their student representative in their class would be the first step. If the young person requires extra help, the Learning Support Coordinator will be asked to assess the type and quantity of support required and will respond accordingly.
If activities require specialist equipment, where appropriate, this will be provided for the young person through appropriate
c) If I have a disability or additional need, how can I join in college activities?
The college aim is one of inclusivity and it is planned that most activities can include all students within the college. In order to achieve this, the college is
• Fully wheelchair accessible with
• Disabled changing rooms,
• Medical rooms
• Toilets for the disabled.
• Students with visual impairment will have locational sessions with the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service in order that they become fully acquainted with the college environment.
• Hearing loops are placed in all communal areas including Reception and most recently in the newly refurbished Learning Centre
Preparation for the move of a young person from Secondary education to Post-16 education is of primary importance to every person involved.
• Open Evenings: The college holds several Open Evenings throughout the academic year where prospective students can explore the college and the range of course options available to them. In these Open Evenings, young people and their parents/carers can meet staff and discuss with them the most appropriate courses and decide whether they wish to then apply to the college for a place for the next academic year.
• Prospectus: The college produces a main prospectus. It is sent to schools for distribution, can be sent out on request or is available to download from the college website.
• Identified Young People: Some young people will have been previously identified by the school as being in need of support.
These young people will be in receipt of an Education, Health and Care Plan or had support at school through Learning Support. The may have had an Individual Learning Plan and/or a Learning Difficulty Assessment. Some young people may have a medical condition which has required intervention in order that they have access to education.
The college receives an S139A or an Education Health and Care Plan which identifies what support and/or equipment a young person will require in order that they can fully access Post-16 education. After interview and having considered the S139A/ EHCP the college will respond and either confirm or refuse the offer of a place at the college.
• Transition: The college will visit the young person in their current educational setting and also go into the home should this be appropriate. The college then arranges with parents/carers and the current school, a period of transition where the young person attends college in advance of the coming academic year. This allows a familiarisation process to take place for both the young person and the college.
• Introduction Day: All students are invited into college to attend an introduction day where they can participate in “tasters” of the subjects they are interested in studying.
• New Student Parents’/Carers Evening: Parents/Carers are invited to attend an evening meeting with the Principal, Senior and Curriculum Management. The meeting is a general introduction to how the college operates, expectations and importantly, an opportunity for parents/carers to meet with key staff and raise queries or any concerns they may have.
Prospective students, parents and carers are welcome to contact the college at any point if they require further information or advice.
Employment is the ultimate aim for all students in Post-16 education, albeit through moving onto University courses, Training courses, Apprenticeships, or directly into employment. To achieve this the college employs a Careers Advisor, a SEND Careers Advisor, and all students have the opportunity to access this service and to be guided through the range of options available.
Four Employment and Careers Fairs are held in college throughout the year and more at other venues. Students are encouraged to attend as many as possible and can then ask advice from the Careers advisor having gained relevant information.
Students in the Learning Support Department have their own Opportunities Fair which also looks at voluntary options alongside training schemes. Life skills is included in the curriculum for students participating on courses in the School of Personalised Learning alongside Work Experience. The School also has as part of its provision, a Futures Course which includes Work Experience and a curriculum dedicated to preparing students for the work place.
All complaints should be directed to the Principal initially. The Principal will then direct a senior member of the management team to investigate the complaint. Action will then be taken in light of any findings.
Andy Grant, Head of College
Contact Details of Staff at StVincent College
|Position / Role||Tel. / Email|
Head of School for Personalised Learning
Tel: 023 9259 9311/023 9260 3674
SEND & High Needs Funding Manager
Tel: 023 9259 9311/023 9260 3676
Head of Specialist Curriculum – Preparation for Life and Learning
Tel: 023 9259 9311/023 9260 3672
Head of Specialist Curriculum
Tel: 023 9259 9311/023 9260 3667
Head of College
Tel: 023 9258 8311
School of Personalised Learning Office
Tel: 023 92 603 674