Teaching and Learning
All students with an additional support need will have been assessed, either at transition, enrolment or during the College year, if a need became apparent later. Support is then put in place and communicated to staff. Appropriate equipment would be organised, generally before the student arrives at College.
Equipment provided in classrooms may include access to PCs/laptops, specialist software, use of white boards, enlarged worksheets, Dictaphones or anything else a student requires to access equal opportunities.
To facilitate access to the curriculum and to develop independent learning, Oldham Sixth Form College provides the use of laptops and access settings on all PCs. The College also provides ‘Study Lab’ workshops for students with SPLDs to develop independent learning skills. Also available is external support from the Visual Impairment and Hearing impairment team.
The specialisms and expertise that staff have around SEND and disability include undergoing specific related training on SEND reform, learning difficulties, autism training, counselling and listening skills training.
The College provides ongoing training for staff in dealing with student mental health issues. Provision for students with emotional health difficulties are offered support in the form of regular reviews, mentoring, counselling and links with external providers.
In order to make arrangements for reasonable adjustments in the curriculum and to support students during exams, students with learning difficulties are assessed internally for exam arrangements, with a qualified assessor, along with information and evidence gathered and checked during support reviews.
The College shares educational progress and outcomes with young people and their parents via progress monitoring. Tutors discuss the progress of students with them, after which reports are sent home to parents. There are also Parents’ Evenings, which provide opportunities for parents to discuss provision with the additional support team.
All students work towards externally accredited achievements, and there is no differentiation between SEND and ‘non-disabled’ students in this.
In order to ensure that support is maintained in “off-site provision”, person centred support reviews are held to monitor these provisions.
Work related learning or work experience opportunities are sometimes inclusive in the curriculum if the student is studying BTEC subjects. Other work experience opportunities can be accessed through the Work Experience Officer.
Reviews for students with Learning Difficulty Assessments /Career Guidance Forms or Education, Health and Care Plans take place at least once per term to check if the support arrangements in place are appropriate and adequate. If the student or subject teachers feels it is necessary, they can also request appointments.
These reviews are person-centred and follow a goal orientated approach, based on advice and the new SEND reforms. Parents are welcome to attend these reviews and are invited in or contacted wherever there are concerns.
For students with other SEND support needs, annual reviews take place for those with EHC Plans. Any student with an identified support need, be it SEND, welfare related, health related or a safeguarding concern, is seen by the additional support team and/or safeguarding officer and appropriate support is organised for the student.
Keeping Students Safe
Risk assessments are carried out by the additional support team for students with complex needs, particularly to cover trips and units externally.
Students are given training on keeping themselves safe, e.g. when travelling or using the internet, through tutorial sessions, assemblies and workshops on various aspects of safeguarding, including e-safety.
Parking spaces are not made available for any students specifically, but disabled staff spaces can be used by students on arrangement.
During breaks and lunchtime, LSA support and supervision is available to support students with mobility and personal care or for those struggling with high levels of anxiety. Students also have access to quiet/safe areas during these times.
To ensure that a young person stays safe outside of the classroom, the college has LSA support, College supervisors, practiced safe routes, on-hand first aiders, and accessible transport vehicles.
Communication with Students and Parents
Information to ensure that students and parents know “who’s who” and who they can contact if they have concerns is available on the College website, and in the Additional Learning Support booklet. Information is also available at the College Information Mornings and Parents’ evenings, also providing an opportunity to meet the team. Before coming to the College, transition appointments are held to discuss support.
Parents ideally have to make an appointment to meet with staff regarding a student either at Parents’ evening or at another scheduled time, but parents would always be accommodated if they arrived without an appointment.
Students and their parents are kept informed about their progress through progress monitoring, parents’ evenings, the sending home of positive post cards, and some support review appointments. Where appropriate, students and parents are invited to person-centred reviews, especially for students on EHC Plans.
The College offers two open days per year for prospective students to attend.
In order for students and their parents to give feedback to the College, regular surveys are carried out. Comment boxes are provided at parents’ evening and other events.
Parents can also email or call staff directly with their concerns.
The College holds Learning Agreements signed by the student, parents and the College for every student.
Students are given the opportunity to have their say through participating in the Student Association, forums, Equality and Diversity meetings, curriculum area focus groups, and specific focus groups for comments on Equality and Diversity and additional support provision.
Parents are invited to get involved in engagement forums through the opportunity to become governors.
The College involves other agencies in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and supporting their families by liaising with health professionals, such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, the VI and HI team, the CAF team and CAMHS, and is in contact with social services, where relevant. The College also has links to the local youth centre, Mahdlo, and with Positive Steps.
Regular meetings and case conferences are participated in, such as child protection and child in need meetings. The Associate Director for Inclusion sits on the Children’s Trust Board. She is also a member of the Emotional Wellbeing panel, SEND forum, and many other external bodies.
What Help and Support is available for the Student and their Family?
Students can be assisted with completing forms and paperwork through LSAs, mentors, Study Lab sessions and possibly in tutorials. Students and parents can also contact personal tutors or request help at support reviews.
Students and parents have access to careers advice, general advice on finance, wellbeing, university applications and work experience through the College. This is mostly provided though weekly tutorial sessions with a Personal Tutor. Careers guidance appointments are bookable through the Learning Resource Centre. Work Experience Advice works on an ‘open door’ policy.
The College provides advice and guidance on transport options through the liaison team and the College website. The College works with students, their families and with external bodies to arrange transport for those students who have mobility issues.
Transition from High School and College Leavers
For school leavers coming to College, OSFC provides ‘taster’ days, open mornings, visits WITH campus tours, transition appointments and, where necessary, lesson observations.
At enrolment, Student Ambassadors are on hand to guide and assist new students. LSA support, careers advice and specialist enrolment tutors are also available. Any student with identified support needs is enrolled by the Associate Director for Inclusion or the senior LSA.
For young people leaving the College, the College offers careers advice, support with university applications and advice on other options, such as apprenticeships and employment. The College liaises with Parent Partnership Point. Attendance at SEND forum meetings in Oldham ensures that links are maintained and the College can pass information to parents.
The majority of ex-students with SEND go on to higher or further education rather than employment. These numbers are in line with the progression of non-disabled students.
The College offers a number of enrichment activities, such as accessible sports, foreign languages, first aid, and College theatrical productions. There is generally no charge for these activities, but there may be a small charge for use of the College gym facilities.
To ensure that clubs, activities and residential trips are inclusive, the College checks that facilities and any transport is accessible. Clubs, activities and trips are publicised with an emphasis on inclusion and access for all. The College ensures that staff are aware of any support needs so that they can make the activity accessible for all. The College also liaises with Mahdlo over local provision of activities.
To ensure that young people make friends and socialise with other students, classes perform icebreaker activities and group work to generate social interaction. Outside of the classrooms, the clubs and activities mentioned above are made available. There is also a lunch-time student group with an LSA facilitating that students can join.
Support for parents of students with SEN
Disabilities, mental health difficulties and learning difficulties is available from: POINT at Oldham (Parents of Oldham in Touch) http://pointoldham.co.uk/contact-us/