Our Local Offer for Young People with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities
The South Thames Colleges Group consists of Carshalton College, Kingston College, Merton College and South Thames College (Wandsworth).
We all work very closely with the Local Authority and the Preparing for Adulthood Agenda to provide a much needed and high quality provision for South West London.
We welcome all learners to our fully inclusive environment and provide guidance and support to ensure that our young people are successful in their chosen pathways.
There are three main pathways for learners requiring additional learning support:
- Study programmes with learning support
- Supported Learning (discrete provision for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities)
- The Aurora Centre for students with autistic spectrum disorder and complex needs
How will the College be able to support you?
Our group of Colleges can support you in three different ways: in-class support; out of class support; and exam concession assessment.
In-class support is provided to ensure that you have the opportunity to be successful within delivered sessions. Support may be provided in the form of a note-taker, reader, communicator or practical support, along with encouragement to enable you to fully participate in curriculum activities and opportunities.
Out of class support is designed to provide you with the necessary skills to become independent within college, in your personal life and for the future. Individual programmes are devised by our highly qualified and experienced tutors to develop and nurture your academic, social and emotional well-being.
Our Colleges will also be able to support you through identifying your best starting point for further education; this may be achieved through one or more of the following:
- Transition planning
- EHC Plans
- BKSB English and maths assessments
- Progress review meetings
- Application information
Our Colleges also offer provision for learners with specific Autistic Spectrum conditions. This provision is dedicated to ensuring that the needs of young people with social and communication difficulties are met, using identified strategies to deliver a fully inclusive experience. Our Curriculum is designed around the individual Learner and achievement is assessed following the Learner’s aspirations.
How will your learning and support needs be met?
When applying to our Colleges, you can tell us if you think you might require additional support – there is a section on the College application form where full details can be provided.
You, your family, your school or local authority need to send us a copy of your Educational Health and Care Plan and any other documents explaining the support you currently receive.
If you prefer, you can discuss your needs with one of our Learning Support Team via a face to face meeting or over the phone.
You can request an assessment for support at any time, even if you have already started your study programme.
If support is agreed, you will be invited to meet with a specialist in either:
a) physical/medical conditions, mental health or sensory support
b) learning difficulties or disabilities
Our qualified team will work together with you to assess your support needs.
We may also ask for permission to contact other relevant professionals or people significant to you.
What support is available?
Our support ranges from Pre-Entry through to Higher Education. Whichever course you apply for, you can be assured that there will be good, professional and regular communication between your tutor and the Additional Learning Support Team, as well as a multi-sensory approach to learning. This will ensure that you can be successful in your chosen area of study.
All tutors in College have access to a team of specialists who can offer strategies and support in relation to:
- Asperger Syndrome
- Deaf and Hearing Impairment Awareness
- Assistive Technology
- Mental Health
After your assessment has taken place, your support package may include some of the following:
- Language, literacy and numeracy support and/or a learning mentor
- A specialist teaching group outside your normal class
- A reading group
- Specialist software or adapted equipment such as JAWS screen reader, literacy software Text Help, Read & Write, and magnifiers
- Speech and language therapy
- A learning support worker
- A social skills group
- A British Sign Language communicator and/or note taker
- Personal care
- Access arrangements for exams such as a reader, scribe or extra time.
If you have a medical condition or physical disability you may also receive a Well-Being Plan.
You may wish to visit one of our Colleges and meet a member of our Learning Support Team before beginning or applying for your chosen course; this can be easily arranged.
How do we ensure your transition is successful from school to college?
We will establish communications with your School from Year 9, which may include attending reviews with your School and/or Local Authority. We will work in close liaison with your School so we will get to know you and how to best meet your education/support needs.
We will discuss and identify a progression pathway which best matches your desired outcomes. You will be given the opportunity to experience your chosen College through organised visits.
During your first 6 weeks initial assessment period at College, we will ensure that your chosen programme of study best matches your desired progression pathway to enable you to work towards your desired goals.
You and your parents, carers, and advocates will be invited to a Progress Review meeting before October half-term to agree your planned progression.
Moving from College to the next stage of your life
In your final year of study with us, we will work with you and your family to identify an appropriate progression route for you after College. This might include working with external organisations to help you find suitable supported living accommodation and/or local voluntary or work opportunities.
Providing for specific learning/support needs?
Our Colleges have a wide range of highly experienced and qualified staff who are comprehensively trained in a variety of specialist areas.
In addition, all staff within the Colleges Group receives regular training and updates on key issues relating to learning needs, support needs, well-being needs and safeguarding.
What specific study programmes do the Colleges offer?
For further information regarding provision available within the South Thames Colleges Group, please follow the links to each College websites or contact us for a prospectus and/or more information.
South Thames College Group Local Offer Links
- Carshalton College - Supported learning SEND
- Kingston College - Supported learning SEND
- South Thames College (Wandsworth) - Supported Learning SEND
- Merton College - Skills for Working Life SEND
- Aurora Centre
- Additional Learning Support
If you require any further information or guidance regarding the South Thames Colleges Group Local Offer, please contact: