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Stoke-on-Trent College

At Stoke on Trent College we welcome learners with learning difficulties and / or disabilities.  The Children and Families Act 2014 sets out the requirements for Schools and Colleges to make available the local SEND offer to prospective and existing learners and their families, providing a greater choice. The 2015 SEND Code of Practice details duties for FE providers to provide support to all learners with SEN.

The October 2019 Ofsted report graded the provision for learners with high needs as Good, stating that:

learners who have high needs become more independent and gain the confidence to talk with customers.

learners show that they know and remember more before moving on to new topics

learners who have high needs develop their communication skills in commercial settings such as restaurants and hairdressing salons

Who to contact

Contact Name
Claire Gordon Head of Learning and SENCO and Yvette Leese Learning Support Coordinator
Contact Position
Learning Support Team
01782 603563 and 01782 603553
Secondary E-mail

At Stoke on Trent College we provide on-going, tailored support to ensure learners are successful in their learning.  Learners with learning difficulties or disabilities have a choice of pathways:

The Foundation Studies department supports learners who may have been out of education for time, did not get the grades expected to access a vocational programme, or those who require additonal support, for example with social skills, confidence and self-esteem, with maths and English embedded into each course.

The Foundation Department sets out a clear pathway for learning at college which could then enable you to progress either onto a Supported Internship or a vocational qualification. Below details the pathways you could follow:

Pathway 1 - Step into College - this course is perfect for you if you have not been in education for some time, or need help to build your confidence and self esteem.  Offering small group provision, in class support, we provide a person centred planned approach with clearly defined targets which will help you to develop your independence skills and enable you to progress. We offer an Entry level 1 and entry level 2 course appropriate to your starting point. Progression may be onto a vocational course or pathway 3 (see below) 

Pathway 2 - this pathway involves team work activities, with lots of exciting trips, visits and project and enterprise activites to enable you to work effectivley alongside others, preparing you for vocational courses.  This course is aimed at those learners who are under the age of 16 who may currently be home educated. Progression may be onto a vocational course. 

Pathway 3 - Preparing for Adulthood.  Within this pathway we have 2 courses for you to choose from:

The first course, Preparation for Adulthood helps you to develop individual skills and to reach the outcomes and milestones as set out in your Education, Health and Care Plan, if you have one.  This course focuses on developing independence skills such as learning to travel independently, managing your time, learning how to manage money, as well as cooking a meal for yourself.  The course helps to develop your team work skills, as well as dipping your toe into the world of work, by building a career portfolio. Progression may be onto a vocational course or onto a Suported Internship.

The second course Supported Internships are for learners who have an Education, Health and Care Plan and enable you to access work experience, with the support of a Job Coach.  You will be taught skills to complete a job, helping you to put into practise some of your existing skills, whilst learning new ones.  Some of your work will take place in college where you will start to build a career portfolio, as well as looking for work. Progression may be into employment or an apprenticeship.

16-18 ESOL E1 – E3 which focuses on developing English, IT, maths, employability and everyday life skills as well as exploring vocational tasters, for example cooking, motor vehicle, hair dressing and construction. Progression may be onto pathway 1 or onto a vocational qualification. 

16-18 Vocational Study Programmes are offered as part of the Colleges Course offer:

Study programmes consist of :

  • English and / or maths
  • Work experience
  • A vocational course (e.g. Health and Social Care, Motor Vehicle, Hair and Beauty, Catering, Construction, IT - see 
  • Tutorial
  • Enrichment activities including sports and clubs
  • Progression opportunities: progress to the next level, progress onto an apprenticeship, progress into employment, progress onto university, progress onto a Supported Internship.

How can I get support on my chosen course?

  • Prior to enrolment the College will request information from parents/carers, school, other relevant professionals to ensure that the needs of the young person can be met
  • You can tell us at enrolment of any additional needs that you may have
  • The Learning Support Team is always on hand at enrolment or open days to discuss any requirements

What Support is offered at Stoke on Trent College?

In order to meet individual needs some or all of the following may be provided:

  • Adaptation of teaching materials assessment methods
  • Copies of teaching materials to be made available before the session
  • Ensuring teaching and learning activities take your needs into account.

Additional support for some learners may also include:

  • Specialist assessment for exam concessions
  • Extra time to complete work
  • Support in exams
  • Specialist equipment including laptops and enabling technology
  • Support for learners with a range of sensory and physical disabilities (eg Communication Support Worker)
  • Some classes have learning support assistants (eg English and maths)
  • Mentors and counsellors
  • Small group study skills sessions for English and maths
  • If you have a medical condition this can be discussed with the Team Leader of Learning Support where a Summary of Need will be developed to share with the staff that work with you
  • Financial support and/ or bursaries may be available through student assistance
  • Supporting learners with an Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Stoke on Trent College recognises that the implementation of the Children and Families Act in 2014 and SEND Code of Practice 2015 has created a legacy of learners transferring to college with Education, Health and Care Plans. Some learners will require higher levels of support than other learners with Special  Education Needs and Disabilities. 
  • Learners are identified by the Local Authority through the transition process where a draft copy of the young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan is sent to the college to review the plan to ensure the needs can be met. Following this process the hours and type of support to be offered is jointly agreed with the Local Authority (for those learners who require a higher level of support, individual contracts and levels of funding are agreed by the Local Authority). Support may include group support, 1-1 support, study skills and support in Maths and English.
  • Transition arrangements can be made through the school / parent/ carer, to the Team Leader of Learning Support whereby the learner and parent/carer attend the college to meet key staff/ tour of the building where they will complete their studies/ go to the canteen to eat lunch, which can be achieved through multiple visits.
  • Upon enrolment the learner is allocated to a key Learning Support Assistant who has the responsibility of liaising with all lecturers and support staff to ensure progress towards outcomes and milestones to be achieved within the plan, are reviewed and updated on a minimum of a half termly basis.  The personal tutor has the responsibility of ensuring that the EHC plan outcomes and milestones form part of a holistic target setting process.  The lecturer has the responsibility for jointly planning with and directing the Learning Support Assistant with regards to the deployment of agreed strategies to meet the individual needs of the learner and to ensure the outcomes and milestones within the EHC plan are achieved.  A copy of the EHC plan is uploaded onto Promonitor to ensure access for those directly supporting the learner. 
  • The learning support team will arrange specialist assessment appointments for all EHC learners, where required.
  • As part of the ongoing review cycle for learners with an EHC plan, the annual review of the plan is hosted by the college and parents/carers and other support agencies are invited to attend.  Where the parent/carer and / or young person is unable to attend (and has not requested a rescheduled appointment) the annual review will continue to go ahead.

Tracking Progress

All learners have regular 1-1 and group tutorials and target setting sessions.  This gives time to work with your tutor and your learning support assistant (where one has been allocated) to set SMART targets to help you get the most out of your course and be successful. 

Parent/carers are encouraged to:

  • Contact us directly via phone
  • Attend parents’ evenings
  • Attend annual reviews for learners with EHC plans.

Where to go

Stoke on Trent College
Cauldon Campus
Stoke Road
Stoke on Trent

Stoke on Trent College has a second campus in Burslem which is our STEM centre . Learners may travel to both sites depending on the choice of course and facilities. 

Where a learner has an EHC plan, before a place can be offered, the college must assess the individual learners' needs to ensure the college can meet the needs of the young person.  This will be done through confirmation to the local authority. 


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