There are various ways in which West Thames College determines whether students require additional support.
Parents can indicate this information on their child's college application form. They can direct their son or daughter to complete a referral or they can ask to speak to their child's Student Learning Advisor or the Disability Support Manager.
Support will be allocated according to need and can include:
Various staff members will work with the student and their parents including:
Students will receive a 1:1 tutorial on a fortnightly basis. The students support arrangements will be reviewed on a minimum termly basis and support targets and issues are reviewed every half term.
Parents will receive regular updates from either:
Differentiation is embedded in all classes. Support staff have a remit to create differentiated materials. Differentiation forms part of the college focus in scheme of work and lesson planning as well as being a focus of the observation process.
The student's progress is reviewed regularly. Targets are set and reviewed termly and 'soft' targets are set and reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the year.
Information is shared with parents at twice yearly parent evenings which take place in October and March.
Parents evenings keep parents/carers informed regarding the progress of their child. Any concerns regarding attendance, punctuality and/or performance are raised directly with parents of students aged 16-18. Regular liaison with external agencies is also provided.
There are two parents' evenings each year in October and March. Parents can also speak directly with the Disability Support Manager, the Head of Foundation Learning and/or support staff at any time.
The college has a specialist safeguarding staff team as well as a counsellor who is available to all students. Supported students are assigned a key support worker as well as having a Student Learning Advisor. Both these members of staff have oversight of a student's wellbeing.
There are a number of members of staff, both support staff and curriculum staff, who have specific medical training including on the use of epi pens and epilepsy medication. First aiders are available across the college.
The college periodically offers short courses/sessions on issues such as self-esteem and stress reduction etc.
The tutorial programme run by the college comprehensively addresses all aspects of personal and social development.
Specialist services are accessed on a need basis and include Educational Psychologists, British Sign Language interpreters, Communication Support Workers, Speech and Language Therapists, specialist note takers, Irlen screening.
Within the college, there are specialist dyslexia staff, specialist support staff, a counsellor, mentors and medically trained support workers.
Staff working with special educational needs students have a large range of training between them in many different areas including autism, AD(H)D, mental health, dyslexia, dyspraxia, specific learning difficulties, supporting students in Literacy and numeracy within sessions, embedded Literacy and numeracy, manual handling, physical interventions etc. Further training is identified and offered as part of the overall policy on Core Professional Development.
All planning for external activities takes into account the range of needs and transport is provided where necessary. Buddies are assigned if appropriate and support/first aid staff are available to accompany students if required.
Very. The college is all very new and compliant with building regulations around disabled access. Where problems occur e.g. a lift breakdown, classes are relocated to ground floor or accessible areas.
All applicants are invited pre entry to come and discuss needs and negotiate support packages. Supported interviews are offered. Acclimatisation visits are held during the quiet summer period as well as taster sessions for some courses. Support during the induction period is historically very high to allow for a settling in period.
Transition meetings are common practice and college staff meet with previous or future settings on a regular basis. External agencies involved with the student will also contribute to this process. Records and background information are regularly exchanged (subject to consents).
Support software is available college wide. A range of specialist furniture and equipment is available and allocated according to needs identified at interview/assessment. There is a dedicated equipment budget which is used to both anticipate and cater for students with additional needs.
All previous information available is collated and considered along with a comprehensive interview and assessment which involves external agencies, partners, parents/guardians and the student. Agreement will be reached during this process but all support packages are flexible and regularly reviewed.
Parents are invited to initial interviews and assessments. There are also opportunities to join college groups and attend coffee mornings for parents/carers.
Parents can contact the Disability Support Manager, Head of Foundation Learning, Student Learning Advisor or Head of Department who will address concerns in the first instance.
Supported students complete their Personal Social Development review which gives a picture of the student's own view of their strengths and weaknesses. There are three reviews of support throughout the year, two of which are completed by the student. Each year students have the opportunity to complete the college wide student survey.
All this information is collated in the Self Assessment Report and this is presented to governors annually. All information is analysed closely, including by department, ethnicity, disability, gender etc. and any and all gaps are addressed.
This is all done by application or by referral from schools, local authorities, social services or other educational establishments.
Follow this link to see how the London Borough of Hounslow are supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities.