How does the college know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think my son/daughter may have special educational needs?

Feeder schools will send us S139a forms or Education and Health Care Plans or notification of School Action Plus learners. We will contact those learners who have expressed an interest in enrolling at Northbrook College and invite them and their parents / carers to attend a meeting with Learner Services (LS) to discuss their support needs.

Applicants to our courses are invited to disclose if they have any additional learning support (ALS) needs and they will be contacted as above.

Prospective learners attend for their interview and have an opportunity to disclose support needs or the interviewing staff may suggest they contact Learner Services: they will be contacted as above.

All students applying for Northbrook College FE courses complete online assessments in English and Maths.



How will the college staff support my son/daughter?

We are an inclusive College with a strong commitment to meeting the needs of all our students and the college promotes equality and diversity at all levels and in all courses. Learner Services works together with all staff to ensure that learner needs are identified and supported. We provide a range of additional support including:

All courses provide in-depth course information for students on Northbrook College’s virtual learning environment, so learners can class notes, notices, access assignment briefs and other information out of class and at home.

Learning Assistant in-class support for some Foundation Entry Level and Level 1 courses and higher level courses where learners have diagnosed needs, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Autistic Spectrum and Aspergers (ASD), physical support needs for the course but we are not able to provide personal support needs at this time.

Communication Support Workers to enable deaf/Deaf learners and visually impaired learners to access the full curriculum and environmental social inclusion by translation of course material to their own language.

Small group ALS out-of-class support with Specialist Teachers.

1:1 support with Specialist Teachers.

Assessment for exam access arrangements (where appropriate) will be arranged where it is considered that the learner will need extra support in timed course tests/ exams.

Weekly tutorial sessions where learners will develop behaviour, emotional, social development projects that will help them in their community and in future employment.

1:1 non-academic support for learners with mental health, emotional and behavioural, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or are within the Autistic Spectrum (ASD).

Pastoral Learning Mentors are available to support all learners to discuss personal difficulties that affects their college work and attendance. This can include signposting learners to Student Financial Services , Safeguarding issues, sexual concerns and safety.

Continuing Professional Development training is provided to all College staff on dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Autistic Spectrum and Aspergers (ASD), mental health issues, behavioural management and deaf/Deaf learner needs and support.

How will the curriculum be matched to my son/daughter’s needs?

All teachers are responsible for using a range of strategies and resources to make sure that all students enjoy and achieve within their sessions e.g. resources using symbols, ICT software to support writing, ALS loan of laptops and recording devices.

Each department area holds weekly meetings with all their team to ensure quality of teaching provision, to maintain that the curriculum for each course is relevant for their qualification and to identify and share good practice and any learner concerns.

We work closely with the feeder schools to ensure we support those learners with diagnosed needs.

Northbrook College has been awarded an Association of Colleges’ Beacon Award for Health and Community Care as well as the Buttle UK Quality Mark at exemplary level for our outstanding levels of support for young people in care and Care Leavers in FE and HE.

How will you and I know how the young person is doing? And how will you help me to support my son/daughter’s learning?

We follow a Traffic Light Review system and track the young person’s progress on an ongoing basis and plan interventions where students are not making the expected progress. Parents and carers receive information about their child’s progress two times a year. 

Opportunities to discuss this progress are formally available at Parents’ Meetings events. Staff from Learner services are available to meet with parents on these occasions when this is requested.

For students with a high level of need regular contact can be arranged.

Research shows that parental involvement has a significant impact on the progress that students make in College.  We encourage parents to talk to us about any questions they have.  Students are given regular homework.

What support will there be for my son/daughter’s / young person’s overall well being?

We are committed to helping students remain safe and healthy and enjoy their time at college and in their community. We aim to help them to grow into mature and caring young people who make a positive contribution to the college, workforce and the wider community.

Young people are encouraged to contribute their views on their College experiences. All students can give their views on College via mentor representatives, student representatives and a bi-annual online anonymous surveys. Comments and suggestions from these sources are reviewed earnestly and any necessary actions are implemented promptly.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the college?

The college provides or can access:

Specialist additional learning support tutors

Specialist deaf/Deaf communicators

Specialist mental health advisors

Student Financial Services

Pastoral Learning Mentors

Information, Advice and Guidance staff

Vocational teachers who are specialists in their areas

Outside agency Educational Psychologist who conducts diagnostic assessments

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment

Any learner who has mobility difficulties has a meeting with the college’s Health & Safety Manager for a risk assessment. Within reasonable adjustment guidelines plans are implemented to ensure full access to learners who are wheelchair users or who have mobility problems.

Each campus provides:

Corridors and doorways that are sufficiently wide to allow easy access.

Ramps where necessary

Main access doors have been fitted with electronic automatic doors and there are lifts.

Disabled toilets.

First Aid room

How will the college prepare and support my son/daughter to progress to the next stage of education and life?

Students are provided with information on next stage courses at Northbrook College and other institutions to match student needs. Students with SpLD or other support needs are supported to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance for Higher Education courses.

Talks and visits are structured into the curriculum to allow students to make informed career decisions.

How are the college’s resources allocated and matched to young people’s special educational needs?

The college’s Learner Services budget is used to provide the wide range of support outlined above. The EFA and SFA funded students* age 16- 24. Learners older than 24 are able to take out a Student Loan, which will fund their support and fees. The young people will access this support according to need.

(*Northbrook’s Additional Learning Support is available to eligible learners. A student is eligible to receive ALS if they have one or more of the following:

1.       A statement of need – such as an Education, Health and Care Plan or LDA – known as Moving on Plan or a Statement of need S139a.

2.       A diagnosed learning or physical disability and/or difficulty (diagnosis must be provided from a medical professional or educational psychologist).

3.       Access Arrangements or if they were to be assessed would be eligible for access arrangements.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my son/daughter will receive?

A decision about how much support is allocated is dependent on the level of need and impact of interventions. If a young person has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or S139a or an EHCP, we always ensure that statutory requirements are met (as a minimum). We also seek and follow guidance from other professionals working with the student and take on board the wishes and feelings of the young person and parents/carers where resources allow. Parents and carers are invited to be involved when planning interventions and informed about the impact and outcomes of support.

How are parents involved in the college?

Teachers will share achievements and targets with you at the Parents’ events.

Who can I contact for further information?

The Course Leader for the students course

The tutor for the students course

The Head of Department for the students course

Learner services – 01903 273076