This information report is part of the Norfolk Local Offer for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). As a post-16 learning provider we are required to publish and review annually the support we offer to students with SEND. 

The key people to contact are: 

Dean Crosbie – Head of Student Services

Caroline Dimsdale – Learning Support Coordinator 

We would welcome your feedback to enable us to review our offer in the future – please contact Caroline.

Our approach to teaching and supporting learners with SEN and LDD

We aim to provide a College education for all who can benefit from it, including those with Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulties and Disabilities. The College believes that all people are of equal value and seeks to promote positive attitudes towards diversity and to eliminate discrimination. 

How we provide for learners with SEN and LDD?

Paston College aims to provide appropriate additional support to those students who themselves disclose or are identified by their teachers as having specific learning needs or experiencing learning difficulties, so far as practicable. The Study Support Team at Paston College has highly qualified and experienced additional support staff and a specialist teacher, who regularly update their knowledge through continuing professional development. 

Funding for additional support is provided by the college unless a student has complex needs when the college may be able to apply for additional funding through the Local Authority. 

How we identify learners with SEN and LDD?

The Learning Support Coordinator liaises with Special Educational Needs Coordinators from local High Schools throughout the school year. Any student who has indicated to their school that they have applied to Paston will have the details of their additional needs passed on by the school. This information is then supplied to the member of Paston staff who interviews the student. The interviewer may enlist the help of the Learning Support Coordinator where necessary. All information is treated as confidential and will not be disclosed to others without the consent of the student. Students who may wish to study at Paston but do not attend a local school are encouraged to contact us directly as soon as possible to discuss their needs. 

Throughout the application process students may disclose an additional need. This information will be passed to the Learning Support Coordinator who will make an appointment to meet the student to discuss any additional support needs. This meeting will usually take place during the summer term prior to enrolling at college. 

Where a student has a Learning Support Assessment, (LDA), or an Education, Health, Care Plan, (EHCP), this will be used to help plan provision for the student; in addition the Learning Support Coordinator will contact the relevant agencies to seek advice where necessary. 

At enrolment students who have disclosed an additional need will be seen by a member of the Additional Support team and offered a 1:1 or small group support session. However, a student is also able to access support during the year by self-referral, either indirectly through their teacher or tutor, or by contacting the Learning Support Coordinator directly. Teachers and tutors may also refer students for additional support. 

During the first term all new students will complete a written diagnostic assessment. If it is felt the student would benefit from a further assessment they are contacted by the Learning Support Coordinator. 

Our SEN profile shows that 9% of our learners have an identified need; this includes students identified as having SEN linked to Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, and Physical and Sensory needs. Many of these students require some form of support from the Additional Support team. Additional support can be for a short period of time or for the duration of study at the College. 

Facilities and other opportunities for learning

The College is located on two sites and has a mixture of buildings, some of which date back to the C17th and are listed. The buildings have been made as accessible as possible through the use of stair lifts etc, and we regularly move teaching rooms to make access as easy as possible for individual students. It is very helpful for prospective students to contact us as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements well in advance. 

The College library and study centres are fully accessible and have different study zones, some of which offer ‘drop-in’ support from the Additional Support team. 

All students have the opportunity to take part in an extra-curricula activity as part of our Clubs and Societies programme. We offer a wide range of activities which varies from year to year, but currently includes: Far East Theatre Company, First Aid, Volunteering, Debating/Film Society and Photography. In addition, there is a wide range of sporting activities, visiting speakers and the opportunity to achieve the Paston Employability Skills Award.

What we do to support learners with SEN?

Learners at Paston who have an identified need will be offered additional support. The support that is available to the learner will be dependent on the need of the individual student but could include: 

• weekly one-to-one support session with a member of the Additional Support Team 

• small group work out of class with a member of the Additional Support Team 

• in-class support by an Additional Support Assistant 

• ‘drop in’ support in the Study Skills Centre 

A student who receives weekly one-to-one support is asked to complete a learning style review before a programme of study is agreed. The student’s particular needs are then discussed and an Individual Learning Plan is written with the student. This is reviewed on a half-termly basis, and targets agreed are shared with the student’s teachers. 

Dyslexia assessments can be arranged for any student who has disclosed a specific learning difficulty or whose enrolment screening shows a cause for concern. It is also possible – and in fact quite common-place - for a student to be assessed for dyslexia at any subsequent time during the college year, following a self-referral or a referral from a member of staff. A copy of the assessment report is supplied to the student and his/her teachers and tutor. 

Exam ‘access arrangements’ (special arrangements for exams) will be granted following an assessment and recommendation by the College Learning Support Coordinator, but are subject to exam board approval where this is required. 

How we find out if support is effective?

The Learning Support Coordinator and Additional Support Assistants liaise regularly with the teaching staff and personal tutors in order to ensure that students are receiving the appropriate support. Teachers and tutors are able to view, on the college intranet, a student’s agreed support target. Students are encouraged to talk to their personal tutor (or any other member of staff) about anything that concerns them. Student Reps also relay suggestions and concerns to the College. 

Comments from students included: 

‘The learning support centre really helps with coping with work and stress’ 

‘I am grateful for the support I have had so far’ 

‘I find Study Skills is a quiet working place with very helpful staff and all those who use Study Skills are respectful of other people’s work ethic’ 

All students complete confidential questionnaires during their time at College. In March 2016, students with learning difficulties reported the following: 

85% found the study support they received from was useful to them 

95% felt that they had been treated fairly 

93% were confident they would know what to do if they felt discriminated against 


Preparing for the next step

Paston has specialist tutors who provide ‘next step’ advice and will help you investigate options and make applications; there is specific support for university applications. Students who have SEND will be given advice by the Learning Support Coordinator on applying for the Disabled Students Allowance. 

Have your say

This report outlines our annual offer to learners with SEND. In order for it to be effective we need the views of learners, parents/carers, staff and governors. Please help us to assess and review our provision for our learners with SEND by participating in the process. You can send us any comments / questions via our website or by contacting us on 01692 402334 

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