Local Offer For Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

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1 Sussex Downs College Local Offer For Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Introduction Your child has been at school and is now moving on to college. Moving from school to college is a step towards the world of work and/or greater independence. It is an exciting time but we understand that you and your young person may feel anxious about the change. We know that parents, carers and young people often have questions about how colleges can support them. Local colleges have looked at the most common questions we are asked and provided answers below. It may help you to know that there are a few main differences between college and school: A full time programme at college may be less than five days a week and the times may vary. Funding for colleges is different from the way that schools are funded and may also vary between different types of colleges. Because of these differences, it may be that some of the support given to a young person at college will not be the same as it was in school. College is not just about delivering education and training, it is also helping young people progress into adulthood by developing their personal, social and employability skills and encouraging greater independence. If you have any questions that are not answered below or you would like to discuss any of the answers please get in touch and we will be happy to talk to you. 1. How does the college know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs? Through contact with parents and carers, and with the previous school. Information provided at application, school reference or through interview process Young people with complex or high support needs may have an EHCP or in the process of transferring from a statement/lda resulting in contact with the Transition Service or other professionals involved with the young person Teachers' use of initial, diagnostic and on-going assessment methods At any point during the year a conversation can be initiated with learning support, progress tutor or curriculum teachers to discuss any queries or concerns surrounding SEN.

2 2. How will college staff support my child/young person? Learners at Sussex Downs College will be allocated a Progress Tutor at the start of the academic year. The Progress Tutor will meet with them at regular intervals during the course year. There are Learner Support Managers attached to curriculum on Eastbourne and Lewes Campus that help to ensure learners are being appropriately supported with academically and pastorally. These link closely with Additional Learning Support staff. ALS Senior Advisor and ALS Advisor co-ordinate a range of additional support packages, discussed and agreed with a young person as part of the progression through the college. ALS Senior Advisor will coordinate support for young people with Educational, Health, Care Plans discussing with the young person and parent/carer as soon as possible during transition A team of learning support staff with a range of skills to support young people at the college including a speech and language key worker at Eastbourne and Lewes, Senior Learner Assistants in curriculum areas, Learner Assistants, Hearing Impaired Coordinator and HI Support Workers, and Learning Support Tutors on each campus. 3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child s/young person s needs? The curriculum offer includes a range of courses and pathways to suit the needs and aspirations of individual learners. Initial advice and guidance is available to help appropriate choices to be made. Differentiation, where lessons are adapted to suit individual needs within the group, enables support for learners who may need it and provide greater challenge for high achieving learners. Within Foundation Learning there is flexibility in pathways including English and Maths and vocational content, allowing some greater personalisation of programmes for learners. Other reasonable adjustments can be made on an individual basis, including assessment arrangements. Please contact the College to discuss. 4. How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child s/young person s learning? By attending all or some of a range of events e.g. Open Days, Parent Review meetings, Progress Reviews, within Foundation Learning invitation to our Spring, Winter and Summer Fairs at the end of each term, Parent Introduction Days Parents/carers of students under the age of 18, and over 18s (where the learner has given permission) will be contacted if there are any concerns.

3 Parents are concerned about their young person s progress they are invited to contact the College at any time. All learners have an ILP, which is electronically based, and a young person can provide access to a parent to view. This will provide information about attendance, targets set and achieved or outstanding from curriculum, progress tutor and/or learning support. A member of the curriculum or learner support team may contact a parent/carer to discuss areas of progress with a young person. 5. What support will there be for my child s/young person s overall wellbeing? A range of staff will ensure support for a young person whilst at college and this includes progress tutors, Learner Support Managers, curriculum teachers, learning support staff including Senior Advisors and safeguarding team including safeguarding officer. Where required a Risk Assessment or an Evacuation Plan (PEEP) would be written to ensure all needs can be met safely at the college. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this. 6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the College? A range of services are available for young people and College staff can sign-post these services. External services working with the college include: Sensory Needs Service for young people with hearing impairments or visual impairments. Speech and language service including therapist regularly visiting and working with the college External Qualified Assessors to assess for SpLD/Exam Arrangements Staff within the college include: Hearing impaired Support Coordinator/Workers with signing BSL level 3 Visual Impaired coordinator and specialist VI ICT course Assistive Technology Coordinator Speech and Language Key Workers Qualified Teachers offering 1-1 and small group intensive support work Senior Learner Assistants with knowledge of specific curriculums and support Some Personal Care Support (reviewed and discussed at application point. 7. What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND/ LDD had or are having?

4 All staff at College are trained in Health and Safety, Equality & Diversity and Safeguarding. This is updated over a set period of time. There are a number of training days identified for all college teaching staff and support staff during the academic year. These provide opportunities to identify CPD for staff in areas of specific training. Specific training is organised as needed. Expert help and advice is sought where necessary. SEND training has been provided updating learning support staff on new changes to legislation. Learning Support staff have received in house training on a range of Learning Difficulties and disabilities. Speech and Language external training general strategies for working with learners with communication difficulties All Learning Support staff and some curriculum have been trained in the use of Read and Write Gold (Assistive Technology) External Mental Health Training session for Learning Support Staff 8. How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom including college trips? All activities both inside and outside the classroom, where reasonably possible, take into account the individual needs of students and the help of parents/carers is sought to ensure the special needs of their son/daughter are catered for. 9. How accessible is the College environment? Equipment and facilities to support young people with specific needs will be explored on a case by case basis. The estates team at College monitor the site to ensure that the facilities are accessible for all young people with or without a disability. All computers across the college have accessibility software Read and Write Gold. This is software that will provide a screen reader and dictation device. Mobile hoists are available and adapted spaces within Oak House for personal care support.

5 Assistive Technology such as laptops and dictaphones are available from learning support to assist with accessing classes independently. 10. How will the College prepare and support my child/young person to join the College, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life? Taster Days take place in Year 10 with local schools in both Lewes and Eastbourne to allow students to access areas they may be interested in. Open events are held each year for prospective young people and parents to look at the college and curriculum areas they are interested in as well as speaking to support services. The college school liaison team visits local schools to ensure that they have an understanding of the college and choices on offer. Support during interview where appropriate. Introductory days for learners take place during July before enrolment in the September Foundation Learning has a summer programme during the month of August to allow further opportunity for orientation and transition into the college. ALS Senior Advisor linking and visiting local schools/sencos to build transition for learners Working closely with SEN Personal Advisors at the Local Authority Where appropriate individual transition with a variety of staff from learning support and curriculum. 11. How are the College s resources allocated and matched to children s/young people s special educational needs? Allocation of resources is arranged on an individual basis according to need, including higher needs detailed in Educational Health Care Plans, Learning Difficulty Assessments/ S139a Moving on Plans. Students requiring a high level of need will be assessed and a bespoke program of support put in place. Funding for higher level support needs can be negotiated with the Local Authority as part of High Needs funding. Oak House provides a highly specialised learning environment for students with profound LDD.

6 12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive? The decision about type and how much support a young person is given is made on an individual basis, according to needs and the support identified through Education, Health & Care Plans/Learning Difficulty Assessments/S139a/Moving On Plan along with our initial assessment and any other relevant information. The view of the young person and their parents/carers is central to this process. Information will also be requested from SEN personal advisers and relevant staff in the secondary school. The College will regularly monitor the student s progress to assess the impact the support is having and identify whether any appropriate adjustments are necessary. 13. How are parents involved in the College? How can I be involved? Parents/carers are encouraged to maintain regular formal and informal contact with the College and the student s personal tutor. The College values this contact and involvement in decision-making as it ensures the student s changing needs are appropriately met during their college career.

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