East Durham College Clause 65 SEND Information

1. The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the college.

East Durham College is a Further Education, inclusive College which will consider all learners for entry to all our programmes, regardless of special educational need. East Durham College is based on two main sites, one at Peterlee and one at Houghall in Durham.

Our Houghall Campus specialises in land-based curriculum from Entry 1 to Level 4. We have a specialist Autism provision, known as Derwent Autism Provision and a Foundation provision which is also located at this Campus. Our Foundation learning team caters for learners with moderate learning difficulties and a range of disabilities.

The Peterlee Campus offers a range of curriculum from Entry 1 to Foundation Degree Level including Foundation provision for learners with moderate learning difficulties and a range of disabilities.

Our service covers learners aged 14 and over. Provision for 14-16 year olds is provided by the Transitional Development Team. This service gives unique, bespoke provision to help young people who are unable to remain in the school environment. Intense support is given around behaviour, responsibility, social & emotional management.

The Peterlee Campus is fully accessible but the Houghall Campus may be a challenging environment for those with limited mobility. However, transitional visits are recommended to ensure it is accessible for the individual.

The College has a Learning Support Manager and an Inclusive Learning Manager who work across the College and Curriculum in conjunction with teaching and vocational staff to ensure all learners have access to support as needed

2. How does the College know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs (SEN)?

At East Durham College learners are identified as having a SEN through a variety of ways. The College works in partnership with the young person, parents & carers and local authorities to identify and support special educational needs. Full and open discussion will occur, throughout the processes with the learner, parents, carers and will be communicated in appropriate language.

The College has an applications procedure, on receipt of an application form you will be guaranteed an interview and an opportunity to discuss your needs and requirements. Following this you may be offered opportunities to participate in summer schools and taster sessions and other events to help you move from school into the College environment. On entry all learners are assessed and the data from these tests is then analysed by the Learning Support team and group leaders to identify any potential areas of need.

The assessments taken by learners on entry may include:

  • Literacy and Numeracy assessments
  • Dyslexia screening
  • Specialist assessments

All learners are continually assessed throughout their time at College. Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and School Education support plans are used to inform College assessments. Teaching and support staff are trained to identify special educational needs and there are clear processes to follow to ensure support is received. Staff carry out regular formative assessments as part of the programme of study and reviews of progress are conducted monthly to identify at risk learners.

All learners have an individual learning plan which is compiled, reviewed and amended at least termly. Staff can refer learners to the Learning Support team if they have any concerns. Following a referral assessments may be undertaken as necessary. Learners and parents/carers will be informed if there are concerns.

Other means of ongoing identification of special educational needs can include;

  • Feedback from personal learning coaches
  • Referrals from outside agencies
  • Concerns raised by parents
  • Observations Counsellor referrals
  • Liaison with outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Specialist teacher advisors.

Should you believe your child has a special educational need you should contact the Learning Support team on:

Email: ALS@eastdurham.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 518 5513

Staff will be able to undertake investigations and appropriate assessments to establish if support is required.

3. Information about the school’s policies for making provision for learners with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans.

3a) How does the College evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for pupils with SEN?

All interventions and support offered to learners is regularly monitored and evaluated by the Learning Support team, adjustments are then made accordingly. Effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEN is evaluated in the following ways:

  • The College has comprehensive quality processes which are fully followed
  • Curriculum Reviews are held termly during which the progress of all learners is monitored
  • Observations of teachers and support staff Pre and post intervention testing and analysis of the data collected
  • Learning Support progress reviews
  • Analysis of student progress data
  • College success, retention and achievement data is published in a college self-assessment report
  • Learning support follow clear service standards

3b) How the progress of the young person is reviewed?

There are a variety of ways in which you can find out how your child is progressing. These include:

College reports

College reports are published for all learners twice per academic year. These reports will provide detailed information regarding how much progress your child is making and provide contact details to allow you to speak with someone if you are concerned.

Parents evenings

There are opportunities throughout the year for you to meet your child’s lecturers. At these meetings you can discuss your child’s progress and any concerns which you may have with their teacher or tutor. If you still have concerns you can contact the Learning Support Manager (see section 4) or other member of the college management team. Your concerns will be listened to and discussed and if necessary additional support may be put in place.

Education Health and Care Plans (EHC) and Learning Difficulty Assessments (S139a)

Learning difficulty assessments and Statements of SEN have now been replaced with a single, integrated education, health and care plan from 2014 from birth to 25 years.

This means that children, young people and families will have a single assessment process, covering education, health and care, and ensuring that families have confidence that all of the different local agencies - across education, health and social care are working to together to meet their needs. Learners with an EHC plan must have their support reviewed each academic year.

Parents and any agencies involved with your child may be invited to this meeting to discuss how well they are progressing and how successful the support has been.

3c) What is the Colleges approach to teaching young people with a special educational need?

The broad curriculum, available at East Durham College, can be accessed by all learners with tailored support to meet the individual needs. All learners identified with a SEN are treated equally and given access to all programmes provided a reasonable adjustment can be made if necessary. The College has a Learning Support Manager and an Inclusive Learning Manager who work across the College and Curriculum in conjunction with teaching and vocational staff to ensure all learners have access to support and curriculum as needed.

For each student at East Durham College there is a variety of support available. This can include:

  • Lecturers Personal
  • Learning Coach
  • College counsellor
  • Learning support manager
  • Learning Support Assistants
  •  Student support workers
  • Specialist teachers
  • Communicators
  • Senior Management Team

If you have concerns about your child you should initially speak to the course leader or Learning Support Manager, co-ordinator or team leader. Your concerns can then be discussed and a decision about support will be made on a case by case basis, dependent on the individual need of the student.

3d) How will the curriculum and learning environment be adapted for learners with special educational needs?

Foundation learning caters for students with moderate learning difficulties and a range of disabilities. Foundation Studies & Land-based Foundation have a number of pathways which may be of interest to students with learning difficulties.

Specialist provision for learners with Autism is based at the Houghall Campus.

Within lessons the lecturer will differentiate learning supported by a learning support assistant. Strategies to support learners identified with SEN are included in their EHC plan.

There are accessible changing and toilet facilities on all sites. The College has a portable induction loop system and the Peterlee Campus is fully accessible.

Reasonable adjustments will be made wherever possible to allow learners to access curriculum areas.

3e) What additional support is available for learners with special educational needs?

Individual support

Learners with EHC plans are supported in college according to the requirements of the statement, this may include support in and out of class. If a student does not have an EHC plan but support is required this will be provided on an individual needs basis. Support may be provided through 1:1, small group support or other specialist interventions.

Specialist help and support is available to assist learners access the broad curriculum on offer. Specialist support can include:

  • Autism support
  • Behavioural, social & emotional support
  • Moderate learning difficulty support
  • Specialist communicators are available including interpreters and signers
  • Dyslexia support

All learners are assessed prior to enrolment, and have ongoing assessments, to ensure the correct level of support is offered. The College has an Inclusive Learning Manager and a Learning Support Manager who work across the College and Curriculum in conjunction with teaching and vocational staff to ensure all learners have access to support as needed.

Access arrangements (exam support)

Students identified with a SEN will be assessed for any access requirements, this will ensure extra time or additional support is provided to allow everyone the opportunity to equally sit examinations. Examples of support are; a reader; extra time; use of a word processor and a scribe. Assessments are completed by specialist teacher who provides a report and the support a student can have is dependent on the scores they receive in these tests alongside a history of need.

3f) What activities are available for learners with special educational needs in addition to those available in accordance with the curriculum?

Each course or programme may include extra-curricular activities. Examples of these are:

  • Travel training
  • Visits to employers, zoos, construction sites etc.
  • Talks from visiting experts
  • Participating in College Open Days
  • Volunteering activities
  • Sport Performing Arts, Tin Art communication workshops
  • Educational visits
  • Overnight lambing
  • Competition work in Hairdressing, Floristry, Arboriculture
  • Construction projects
  • The Prince's Trust Team Programme

East Durham College aim to support all learners to enable them to attend trips, visits and take part in extra activities where possible. A risk assessment will be completed for each trip and the needs of individual learners are considered as part of this process. A decision will then be reached in collaboration with parents to decide whether or not it is possible for the student to attend. The safety and well-being of all concerned is an integral part of this process.

3g) What support is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with special educational needs?

East Durham College is committed to supporting all aspects of a learners emotional and social development. Learners may undertake personal and social development units as part of their programme of study.

Students in Foundation learning undertake travel training and visit local shopping areas to experience social eating and develop key social skills.

The Transitional Development team are a unique provision set up to provide support and guidance to help young people who are unable to remain in the school environment. Intense support is given around behaviour, responsibility, social & emotional management.

Learners who require specific medicines during the course of their day can leave these medicines in the care of staff who will ensure they are available as necessary as communicated by parents/carers.

Although not unique to students with special educational needs, the college, have clear behaviour and attendance policies.

4. The name and contact details of the Inclusive Learning Manager

Marie Hughes
Direct Line: 0191 375 5513

5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to young people with special educational needs and how expertise will be secured.

All teachers and lecturers are fully qualified and specialists in their vocational areas. All staff are required to undertake regular professional development. Staff attend external professional development events. There is a Bronze, Silver & Gold internal Professional Development Scheme which has included Behavioural Management, Autism Support, Mental Health Awareness training amongst many other topics.

The College employ specialist staff including communicators (signers) and dyslexia specialist teachers.

At the start of each academic year teaching and support staff are introduced to the SEN needs of the new learners via their transition profiles. At this time individual needs are identified and compared with existing experience of staff, if additional specialist staff are required they will be employed or staff will undergo necessary training.

Alongside the staff that work in school we have a network of outside agencies to support learners. These can include; Counselling services, Educational Psychologists, social services, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

6. How equipment and facilities to support young people with special educational needs will be secured

The Peterlee Campus is a new and purpose built facility which is fully accessible. There are accessible toilets and changing facilities and disabled parking at all sites. The College has a portable induction loop system. The accessibility of the site is regularly reviewed in line with the needs of the existing and new learners. The college has experience of working with learners with physical disabilities and special educational needs.

7. What are the arrangements for consulting parents and how are parents involved in the education of their child?

Over the academic year there are a range of opportunities for parents to formally meet with staff to discuss the progress of their child. These include parents evenings, open evenings and if they have an EHC plan at review meetings. Meetings may also be convened at the request of the learner, parents, staff or outside agencies.

Parents may contact teaching staff, the Learning Support manager, Inclusive Learning Manager or the Senior Management Team by phone, in writing or arrange a meeting to discuss any part of their child's support or learning experience.

8. The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education.

Learners are included in all discussions and planning associated with their support plans. They are encouraged to provide their views and feedback in the form of questionnaires conducted throughout the year.

All learners with an EHC plan (previously statement of educational needs) have an annual review to which the student, relevant external professionals, parents and key internal personnel are invited to discuss progress since the last review and set new targets. The student is encouraged to attend and contribute to this review.

9. Any arrangements made by the governing body or the proprietor relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school.

Any complaints relating to the learning support provision should be directed in the first instance to the learning support manager. All parties will involve other staff, and if relevant external professionals, as necessary to address any complaints received. Complaints can be made by telephone, in writing or in person.

If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction then a complaints form should be sent to the Director of Student Experience, Engagement & Wellbeing. When a complaint is received in the form of a telephone call or letter of complaint the member of staff receiving this will complete a complaints form on behalf of the complainant. Alternatively complaints may be made by e-mail and sent to complaints@eastdurham.ac.uk

The College have a clear complaints procedure which is available on the College website.

10. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils.

The College has a multi-agency approach and works with Children and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Paediatric Services and Therapy services amongst others depending on the needs of the learners.

East Durham College works alongside a wide range of external agencies to ensure all pupils are fully supported. These are listed in section 5.

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32.

For queries relating to the provision of learning support both for existing and potential new learners please contact the Learning support team on

Email: ALS@eastdurham.ac.uk

Tel: 0191 518 5513

The following agencies are also available for support:

County Durham Families Service Information

Durham County Council Children's Services

Durham County Council's Family Hubs

Tin Arts

National Careers Service

12. How will the College prepare and support learners to join the school, transfer to a new setting or to the next stage of education and life?

The College has an applications procedure, on receipt of an application form learners will be guaranteed an interview and an opportunity to discuss their needs and requirements. Following this they may be offered opportunities to participate in summer schools and taster sessions and other events to help them move from school into the College environment.

At the start of each academic year teaching and support staff are introduced to the SEN needs of the new learners via their transition profiles, work is then carried out to prepare for the learners arrival. Every learner at the College will have a comprehensive induction programme at the commencement of their programme of study, this will ensure they fully understand the college procedures and can meet staff and familiarise themselves with facilities.

13. Information on where the local authority’s offer is published.

Durham County Council, along with all other local authorities, are required to publish information about services they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

This is known as the ‘Local Offer’.

The Local Offer outlines all services and support available across health, education, social care and leisure services and will improve choice and transparency for families.

Any questions?

Please use the enquiry form below or call Student Services on 0191 518 8222 to discuss your options.

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