FAQ about college study for young people (SEND)

My child would be overwhelmed by the size of the college and the large number of students?

Assessments are carried out to ensure all students are appropriately placed, depending on the type of course and individual support needs.

Our colleges offer taster days where students can spend time in the college before starting a course. This helps to address any fears and concerns.

Fully qualified and supportive staff are available to help students settle into college life. They will help learners to develop their confidence and independence.

Will my child be safe on campus as there is open access to roads?

Whilst parents also have a role to play in helping students to travel safely, mainstream colleges can provide independent travel training and 1:1 support where required, with a view to a gradual withdrawal of this as the student becomes more able.

This helps learners to be safe whilst also developing their independence.

Can the colleges offer recognised communication and learning systems?

Student’s needs are identified and discussed at an early stage in the planning process and the colleges respond to those support needs where possible.

Our colleges offer Speech and Language Therapy and specialist communication support. For example Makaton, PECS, TEACCH, and visual supports.

Will the level of study be appropriate for lower ability learners?

A fully qualified tutor at the college would work alongside students to determine which courses would be most appropriate for each individual. A wide-range of courses are available, starting at pre-entry level.

Can a mainstream college meet the medical care needs of my child?

Our colleges work in partnership with other agencies to improve the support they are able to offer, for example, health provision like Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physiotherapy.

Colleges allow students to attend with their one to one learner support who can help to meet their personal care issues.

Lack of understanding and undesired role modelling by mainstream students.

Our Colleges ensure positive promotion and integration of learners with learning difficulties and disabilities into everyday college environment and activities.

Students who are identified as particularly vulnerable will be supervised and monitored where necessary on a one-to-one basis and will be met by a member of staff at the start and end of the college day.

Sensory issues – too noisy.

Following an initial interview the learner would be invited to attend taster sessions to help gauge their level of learning ability and to help introduce learners gradually to the new college environment.  Both colleges have low sensory impact “quiet rooms” that are available to students should they require it.

Possibility of bullying, being led astray, having money/possessions taken, physical/sexual assault.

Our Colleges have a zero tolerance to bullying and have fully operational safeguarding procedures in place. All college staff receive training in these areas. 1:1 support is provided when this is identified as necessary for a student. This will be agreed at the initial assessment meeting. Ongoing assessments take place throughout the programme and changes in circumstances of the student are always addressed and responded to.

Limited strategies in place to deal with challenging behaviours

Specialist staff are trained and skilled in planning for and dealing with students with low level challenging behaviour.

All colleges generally have a zero tolerance attitude to bad behaviour and strict disciplinary procedures are adhered to across all areas.

How will I know what my child has been learning during the day?

Students on the bespoke programmes will take home a workbook diary every day. 

Will I be invited to my child's termly reviews?

College is not like school and an automatic invitation to a review will not be sent to parents. Students (especially those over 18) are given the same regard under the Mental Capacity Act as other adults. Students are supported to invite those who they wish to attend.