As part of the Children and Families Act 2014, all colleges in Redbridge are required to make available their Local SEND Offer to families which details how they can support young people with a special educational need and/or disability (SEND).
Scroll down or click on the headings below to see details of this college's local SEND offer:
- An overview of the college
- Identifying additional needs
- Dedicated contacts at the college
- Involving pupils and parents/carers in planning support
- Range of support available to pupils with SEND
- Measuring progress
- Support and training for staff
- Accessibility of the college
- Support and training for parents/carers
- Further information for families and practitioners
Waltham Forest College is a College of General Further Education providing for 1500 16-18 year olds, 6,000 19+ students and 200 students of statutory school age. The College delivers a wide range of courses in most subject sector areas. The College ethos is one of inclusiveness with the aim of serving the whole of the local community and its mission is to be the college of first choice for vocational qualifications and employability skills.
The College has excellent support for students which comprises information advice and guidance, pastoral support from highly qualified tutors, a specialist inclusion team and a large learning support department.
Students with learning difficulties or disabilities are supported on a range of courses, both specialist and vocational but all with a focus on employability skills. The courses in the specialist department focus on core skills that will prepare students for the transition to adult life and work; these include English and mathematics, personal and social development and work skills. Many students on our specialist provision progress on to level 1 vocational programmes within the College.
The College is undertaking an extensive building programme to improve its facilities which has already provided a life skills kitchen for students and from September 2014, the specialist department will be housed in newly refurbished accommodation which includes a retail shop to be run by students.
Students at the College benefit from the opportunity to take part in a wide range of cross college enrichment opportunities as well as those embedded within the curriculum.
How will the college know if a young person needs additional help and how do they keep parents/carers informed?
The College works closely with Schools and Transition Services to identify students who may require learning support at College.
The College holds regular Open Days which give prospective students, parents and carers the opportunity to come to see the College and to learn more about the courses and opportunities we can offer. Our Learning Support team are there to meet prospective students, parents and carers and to discuss their individual support needs.
Applicants are encouraged to disclose any support need on their application so that we can follow this up to discuss support with them. Applicants are invited to our monthly Interview Evening where they find out more about their course, have an individual interview and discuss support with a member of Learning Support.
At enrolment, during Induction and on-programme students have regular opportunities to tell us about any support needs. All students have a designated Course Tutor who is responsible for reviewing their progress and ensuring that they have the support they need to develop their skills and to succeed. The Course Tutor can refer students to Learning Support for assessment and targeted support. Students have regular meetings with their Course Tutor and are encouraged to talk to them about any concerns or support they may need. Students can also self-refer at any time by coming to our Inclusion/ Skills Centre or contacting us by email, by telephone or on Moodle (our e-learning system). Families/ Carers can also contact the Course Tutor or the Learning Support department to discuss the students’ needs and support options.
Our Learning Support Team conduct individual assessments with students to identify their support needs. With the students consent, they liaise with external organisations to ensure they have support information and following this they devise a support plan. This plan confirms the support agreed and is shared with relevant staff to ensure a supporting and inclusive teaching and learning approach.
The support is regularly reviewed in conjunction with teaching staff. The College holds a termly Parents Evening which all students and Parents/ Carers are invited to. This is an opportunity to discuss the students’ progress and discuss the students’ targets and any further actions or support that may be required.
Who should parents/carers contact if they have any questions or concerns about SEND?
Head of Learning Support
How does the college involve students and parents/carers in planning to meet SEND?
- Planning and review meetings
- Advice on how to support learning at home
- Regular contact between home and school, e.g. home/ school book, email or text
- Individual pupil/ teacher conversations
- Parent Support Advisor
- Any support, advice, guidance can be provided as necessary.
What different kinds of support are available to students with SEND?
- Curriculum adaptations/differentiation
- Specific teaching interventions
- Support for behaviour
- Specified individual support
- Support for health needs
- Grouping of pupils
- Specific individual support
- Specialist teaching groups
- Support for communication needs/ assertive technologies
How will the college know how well students with SEND are doing and how will they inform parents/carers about this?
The course tutors monitor individual progress based on students’ starting points and discuss this with the student and the parent/carer. The College has a well-established OTTA (On Track To Achieve) process which includes the setting of individual targets as well as regular parent consultation evenings. In addition, parents are kept informed through phone contact and email.
Have any staff received specialist training in SEND?
In the last 12 months all Inclusion team members have received specialist training on Mental Health Awareness.
Two members of the team are completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in assessment for SpLD.
The Inclusion Manager has completed Certificate of Psychometric testing Assessment & Access Arrangements.
Some members of the Inclusion team have also received specialist training in specific areas i.e. sign language, Dyslexia and co-occurring conditions, dyslexia screening, behaviour management and level 3 national award for Special Needs Assistants.
As a team we discuss students with SEN and identify best practice and strategies and support individual students and in a cross-College capacity to promote inclusive teaching and learning practice and to ensure students’ needs are met.
The LDD team have strong links with specialist provisions and attend workshops and training as appropriate to update their skills as part of the SENCO training programme at Whitefield’s School.
The Head of Learning Support and the CM (LDD) have received training and attended events in the implementation of the SEN reforms and the delivery and co-ordination of EHCP.
How is the college accessible to young people with SEND?
The College is partly accessible to young people with SEND. The Inclusion Centre and the specialist LLDD department are located on the ground floor and are fully accessible and there is one lift for students with limited mobility. As part of the next phase of the College building works (to be completed in 2015) a second lift is being installed in the main building which will improve accessibility to College facilities.
The Life Skills kitchen contains one work station with an adjustable work top. There are facilities for personal care, but these do not include specialist equipment.
How does the college ensure that young people with SEND are included in all activities, social events, sport and recreation, field work and vocational experience?
The College encourages students with SEND to participate in all college activities; to facilitate this we conduct risk assessments as appropriate and provide suitable staffing ratios.
How will the college support pupils with SEND to make a good start and eventually to move on to further training or employment and independent adult living?
Prospective students with SEND are supported to make the transition to College in a number of ways. Students joining vocational courses are invited in to interview with their parent/carer. Members of the Learning Support Team are present at all group interviews and members of the Inclusion Team are on hand to support students with specific needs.
The College has close links with a number of local schools and runs link programmes for students to prepare them for the transition to College. In addition, students and their parents/carers are invited in to visit the College, meet the staff and discuss their support needs. Once at the College there is an extensive induction programme to familiarise students with the college and to enable staff to develop individual learning plans.
When moving on either within College or from College, staff discuss options at the parent consultation meeting in the Spring term before supporting the student with their application and preparing them for the transition to the next stage of their career.
All students are offered the opportunity to meet with a careers advisor and staff work closely with external transition teams to ensure that each students needs’ are met.
What support and training within the college is available to parents and carers?
Consultations with parents
Please refer to the college website for further information.