Every student will be encouraged to work hard and to fulfil their potential. The ALS department offer specialist teaching and support to promote student success. Support is provided for many different reasons, which can include specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia), health related conditions either long or short term, or a disability.

How can I access learning support?

You can access help for short term reasons or throughout your time at college, in a number of different ways. Before you start at college you can:

  • Discuss additional learning support with your Link Tutor
  • Identify a support need or access arrangement on your application form
  • Meet the ALS team at college open days and events
  • We can meet with you either at enrolment or shortly after
  • Arrange a visit or appointment with ALS staff

Students are also able to self-refer for support once at college, as well as accessing support through Personal Progress Mentors and subject teachers.

What kind of help can I get?

The ALS team can provide support for a range of learning differences as well as for general study skills development, completion of coursework and exam preparation. Support is discussed and agreed an individual basis and may include:

  • One-to-one support sessions
  • In-class support
  • Exam access arrangements and preparing to use them for assessments and exams
  • Equipment loan
  • Liaison with tutors as needed

The College has a variety of aids to help students with specific problems e.g. Dictaphones, large screen VDU for a computer, coloured overlay sheets, laptops and IPads. Further aids and resources may be obtained based on requirements for reasonable adjustments.

Students may request extra help with examinations. This may include extra time, word processing, rest periods, use or a scribe/reader or modified papers. Staff in the ALS team are qualified to assess students for exam access arrangements.

What happens if I am away from College due to ill-health?

If you are away from College due to long-term sickness, the College will provide support for you to continue to learn at home, where this is reasonable. Liaison with mentors and subject teachers would ensure you are able to maintain your study where possible and will support your return to college.

I have mobility difficulties. Will I be able to come to College?

All rooms in the College are accessible to wheelchair users. On the ground floor ramps are provided to allow access, and the first floor is accessible by a lift for which students will be allocated a key. If you are temporarily disabled you can still request your own lift key. If you cannot get around College independently, we can provide someone to help.

A committed learning support team work with students who require additional learning support to ensure their needs are met.

The college recognises the changing patterns of employment and economic development in the UK and, in order to meet the challenges set by these changes, will provide you with comprehensive impartial Careers Advice and Guidance directed by the college Careers Adviser.  The main aim of this support is to enable you to make fully informed decisions and plan your progression route from College to the next stage of your career.

The college Careers Adviser organises a series of visits from universities, speakers from different professions, workshops and trips throughout the academic year to support your university and degree research and application along with speakers from local industry, sessions on apprenticeship applications and an annual employment/training fair where 30+ local and national employers/training providers attend with information about opportunities within their sector.

In addition there is a well-stocked careers library and appropriate computer software available to ensure you have considered all your options.  The College has a qualified and knowledgeable Careers Adviser who is available to offer 1-1 impartial careers guidance interviews.  You will also have support in gaining relevant work experience to enhance your University or Employment/Apprenticeship application.

The admission of a student between the ages of 16 and 18 to Barrow Sixth Form College is not subject to the charge of a tuition fee.

Occasional college trips may charge eg for transport and accommodation.

The College provides a counselling service to which you can self-refer. The service is confidential, and covers a whole range of problems such as bereavement, lack of self-confidence, eating disorders or problems with relationships. You can contact the counsellor directly by texting 07999 386 551, e-mailing or through one of the Heads of Learning.

Free meals are targeted at disadvantaged students. For the purposes of eligibility for free meals, ‘disadvantage’ is defined by the students being in receipt of, or having parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

A student is only eligible to receive a free meal when they, or a parent/guardian on their behalf, have made a successful application to College.

Please apply through the Bursary Fund.  Application forms are available from Students Services or from the Student Bursary section below.

The College offers specialist support to students who are going onto Higher Education through:

  • Twice weekly visits in the Autumn term from different Universities offering information about their courses, finance and university life
  • Presentations from University tutors and admissions staff on a variety of subject areas
  • Trips to University Open Days, Taster Days and a Higher Education Fair
  • Individualised support from college tutors, Careers Advisers and University staff to help with research, decision making, the application process and finance
  • Support to parents.

The College offers specialist support to students who are looking for employment/training through:-

  • Detailed presentations by College Careers Advisers and employers/training providers on the local and national labour market and current or future vacancies
  • Workshops on producing a CV, completing application forms and interview technique
  • Opportunity to have a mock job interview
  • Opportunity to attend an employment fair hosted by Barrow Sixth Form College where local and national employers/training providers advertise their current and future vacancies
  • Support to parents.

How does the college know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think a young person may have special educational needs?

There are opportunities to address this during college open evenings, initial interviews at enrolment or even self-referral to see a member of the ALS team or through the school’s link tutor. Schools may also disclose this information to the college and will work with college to support transition during year 11 where appropriate.

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person's needs?

College will make reasonable adjustments according to particular needs and abilities. Teaching materials can be provided in different formats appropriate for various learning styles and subject staff can provide workshops and assistive technology where necessary. Learning Mentors also support students in class, through one-to-one sessions and by working with or monitoring students on a regular basis.

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

College provides a Counsellor and a dedicated team of Learning Mentors with a variety of qualifications and training, including ASC and dyslexia specialisms.

What training is the staff receiving or have completed to support young people with SEND? This should include recent and future planned training and disability awareness

This should include recent and future planned training and disability awareness

Two members of the ALS team are qualified to assess students for exam access arrangements.

Ongoing training and CPD days throughout the academic year. Recent training has included mental health support and First Aid, dyslexia qualifications, ASC and dyscalculia refreshers. Staff will also complete training based on individual student needs as and when they arise.

Our team liaise with specialist teachers and external agencies and a teacher for the deaf works closely with staff where appropriate or required.

How will I know how my young person is doing and how you will help me to support my young person's learning?

Students are regularly assessed on their academic progress. Students who work closely with ALS staff will have a key person who can update parents on progress and deal with any concerns. There are also regular meetings with ALS staff and Personal Progress Mentors providing support and guidance where needed. SMART targets are often used after an assessment and these can be accessed via ProPortal for students. Telephone and email contact are available to speak to relevant staff alongside consultation evenings for parents.

What support will there be for my young person's overall well-being?

Students with additional needs will work primarily with one or two Learning Mentors who will be best placed to support the young person’s well-being. Each student is also allocated a Personal Progress Mentor who will monitor progress and concerns throughout the year. Students can also speak directly to a mentor or any member of staff if they have a worry or concern. College strongly encourages student voice through a Student Union and the ALS team. Concerns are recorded on Promonitor and college has a disciplinary procedure in place. The college Counsellor is available to all students requiring further, confidential support. All staff in college have regular Safeguarding training at the appropriate level and college has an established and prompt referral procedure for safeguarding concerns.

How accessible is the college environment?

The college is an accessible environment and has in place an auditory loop at reception. Access to disabled toilets both on the ground level and upper level. Classrooms are all appropriately adapted.

How will the college prepare and support my young person to join the college or to transfer to a new college or the next stage of education and life?

College provides year 10/11 open days which are an opportunity to welcome new and potential students, this also offers them the chance to speak to members of staff and discuss any concerns. Transition plans are also put in place for new students with SEND and students/parents are encouraged to contact the ALS team prior to joining the college to meet the team and learn more about the support available.

Learning Mentors and link tutors provide an initial and ongoing support network. College seeks to support students with UCAS, DSA, CV work and visits. Exam arrangements are put in place for students needing this provision. Student profiles and Individual Learning Plans document support requirements and staff work closely with teachers to ensure the student can access their learning at the appropriate level.

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

Resources are allocated in response to the required provision for the young person. This may be linked to Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs) or established through working with the young person on enrolment. Please see the ALS section for more information on some of the most frequently used resources.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my young person will receive?

The decision is made holistically with the student, parents, ALS team and subject staff. Regular assessments and liaison ensure the support is appropriate. For student with EHCPs a member of the ALS team will act as a key person for the student and ensure that support is provided in line with the requirements in the Plan.

Student bursaries were introduced in September 2011. Some support is available on a means tested basis. Payments will be made weekly on full attendance, completion of work and good behaviour, and are to pay for the costs of education.  It is recommended that students apply as soon as possible if they think they may qualify.

Support at Barrow Sixth Form College