We are a mainstream F.E. college offering a wide range of courses that are both academic and vocational from Entry level to A Level and Level 3. HSDC Alton will also be one of the first providers of T-Levels in 2020.
We offer a range of specialist SEND courses from Entry level 1 to level 1 and in 2020 are starting a supported internship programme for young people with EHCPs who are ready to enter the workplace with bespoke job coach support.
HSDC welcomes applications from people with additional learning needs at all levels.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Lizzy Ryan
- Contact Position
- Learning Manager for Foundation Learning and Learning Support
- 01420 592200
- HSDC Alton
Where to go
- Alton College
Old Odiham Road
- GU34 2LX
- Sensory adaptations, Accessible changing, Physical adaptations, Wheelchair access, Low stimulus, Accessible toilets, Disabled parking
- Referral required
- Referral Details
We are able to cater for a wide variety of students with additional needs including learning disabilities, specific learning difficulties, sensory impairments, autistic spectrum conditions, physical disabilities, personal care, SEMH and sensory processing needs. Additional or academic learning support is available at all campuses.
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
We use lots of different ways to find out if any student has special educational needs or disabilities. Before starting college we talk to students and their parents about their support needs. Parents and students are welcome to come along to College open evenings to talk informally to specialist staff. We attend Year 11 annual reviews and have good relationships with local SENCos, attending regular SENCo circle meetings.
The SEND Co-ordinator works closely with the local authority Special Educational Needs Officers to get to know the student as well as possible. The local authority requests a reply to their EHCP from us before they arrive.
On the application form students are invited to share any additional learning, health or welfare needs they have. Students will then be interviewed by an appropriate member of staff. At enrolment every student who declares a need is seen by a specialist member of staff. This enables students to feel confident that we are fully aware of their needs and familiarises them with the staff who be supporting them to be successful.
We screen all students on enrolment to detect any signs of learning difficulty. Students are then set an assessment in their subject areas early in the term to highlight their strengths and weakness to staff; particular attention is given to students’ Maths, English and Study Skills. Support is then organised on an individual basis. Any further information you wish to share with us is warmly welcomed.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
Alton College has a whole college approach to supporting students. All staff are trained and experienced in responding to the needs of individuals. There is a Learning Support team who organise and allocate support for students. All support is student focused and discussed with parents where relevant. This support will be reviewed regularly and adapt to suit the needs of the student.Teachers are all aware of the individual needs of students in their groups and have been trained in the new SEND reforms 2014. As a result of a long-standing relationship with a local independent specialist provider, staff are used to working with students with a wide variety of disabilities.
There is a qualified and experienced team in the Learning Support Department which is highly committed to ensuring success for every student. Learning Support Assistants are widely used to support learning and develop independence both in and out of the classroom. There are dyslexia specialists who assess, plan and deliver teaching for students with learning difficulties.
Examination access arrangements are put in place for students that need it, such as extra time, a reader or a scribe etc.
There is a team of counsellors offering appointments across the week. Alongside this there are student mentors and buddies to offer peer support. Referral is made to outside agencies such as CAMHs, the Hearing Impaired Advisory Service, Italk. Ethnic Minority Achievement Service when appropriate. We foster good relationships with self-help voluntary organisations including ME Association, Mediation First.
Students on foundation learning programmes will access courses designed around the Preparing for Adulthood outcomes.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
We match the ability, ambitions, prior experience and interests of each student to the programme of study that they follow. There are general entrance requirements for each course which are designed to ensure that the curriculum matches the needs of the student; appropriate adjustments are made where necessary. Teachers plan and adapt tasks to address the individual needs of students within the class. Students are assessed regularly to ensure that they achieve their potential and are challenged and supported effectively. There is a careers specialist available to all students so that their future plans are matched to their aspirations.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?
Student progress is regularly reviewed and target grades are set. Students are at the heart of the reviewing and monitoring process and are invited to contribute through 1-1 meetings with their subject staff and tutors. These reviews are recorded on the college’s online monitoring system called ‘Insight’. This tracks the student’s progress and is openly available for parents to read. ’Insight’ records a student’s attendance, targets, exam results and highlights any concerns as well as celebrating achievements. Parents are sent an individual P.I.N. to be able to access ‘Insight’ securely. Additional monitoring includes: • Progress reviews • Regular target setting • Parents’ Evenings • Contact with subject teachers • Contact with personal tutors • Mock exams • Direct contact with parents The Learning Support Department staff also regularly review the effectiveness of individual support given to ensure its continued suitability.
For students with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), an annual review will take place to which parents/carers and other relevant professionals will be invited. Student and parent/carer contributions to this are considered valuable and are welcomed.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
The student’s overall wellbeing is of upmost importance to all of the staff at Alton College. There may be times when students experience difficulties outside their studies. Every student has a personal tutor who will be their first port of call. Alongside this there are Learning Support Assistants, college counsellors and the learning support team who support the safety, happiness and care of students within the college. We also have a trained ELSA to meet the emotional literacy needs of students with EHCPs.
Staff across college are regularly trained on how to support students with health and welfare difficulties . Referrals to external agencies are made where appropriate. Some students benefit from supervision during break and lunchtimes to enable them to access the wider college, develop social skills and pursue enrichment activities. Enrichments such as the Creative Writing group are low-key and relaxed and open to all students. We also run lunchtime games clubs. Students are encouraged to contribute their opinion on College life through groups such as the Student Union. Student services in ‘The Hub’ can advise on a range of other issues including finance, transport, bursaries, the careers service and lunch vouchers. There are also a range of other groups in college – New to Alton,- this informal group for students from non-partner schools meets the first two weeks of autumn term to assist students with making friends. There is a named Child Protection Officer who liaises with Children’s Services where necessary.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
The Learning Support Department has a team of specialist teachers who are qualified to assess students for examination access arrangements and offer specialist tuition for students with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Learning Support Assistants are suitably qualified and experienced. There is a team of first aiders who can advise on medical matters. The Welfare Manager works in close liaison with the department and trains the student mentors who provide a positive and student focused understanding of the challenges of moving up to College; this has been a very popular resource for students. The student mentors are available to help at all College wide events such as Open Days. College also has access to: • A careers advisor • CAMHS • Counselling (internal and external) • Specialist Teacher Advisory Service • Training from professionals where needed • Anxiety and Stress busting workshops. Other interventions that take place include physiotherapy, communication and language support and liaison with external Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapists. We have access to Hampshire's Specialist Teacher Advisory service for students with Visual and/or Hearing Impairments. We have staff trained in braille.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
Alton College continually evaluates the training needs of its staff in order to fully respond to the needs of the student population. All staff have received training on the new SEND reforms and we will continue to update staff as required. We have a comprehensive programme of staff development including: • SEND reforms 2014 • Supporting students with disabilities • Safe guarding training • Challenging discrimination ( including homophobia) • Mental health difficulties issues • Eating disorders • Self-harm • Working with students with dyslexia • Behaviour management • Autistic Spectrum Disorder • Examination Access Arrangement • Diabetes and other significant health conditions • Young carers * training in Speech and Language (ELKLAN) and Emotional Literacy Training and Lego Therapy.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
At Alton College we believe that extra-curricular activities should be open to all. We aim to develop the whole person and extra-curricular activities play a vital part in this. Students in Foundation Learning have a dedicated sports club each week run by the Chelsea Football Foundation as well as access to the college’s general enrichment programme. Every effort will be made to ensure trips are accessible for every learner. Individual needs are carefully considered and where necessary extra measures are put in place to allow for participation. Every trip is risk assessed. The Learning Support Department works with all departments in the college to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.
- How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Alton College is fully wheelchair accessible with ramps and lifts to enable access throughout the college. There are dedicated changing and toilet facilities for students with disabilities. We have an assistive technology suite with specialised equipment available to students. Students with ASD benefit from a ‘quiet’ room and access to an outdoor ‘quiet garden’. We use various software packages and other technological aids to support the individual students we have at college. ESOL classes are available for all students for whom English is their second language. These are taught by specialist staff. Communication with a student or their parent whose first language isn’t English is most often done through the student themselves acting as the interpreter. The Learning Support Department and staff from the wider college includes staff who speak different languages, who can be called upon as necessary.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
Familiarisation visits can take place as part of the application process. College staff visit local schools and meet prospective students. These can enable the student to feel comfortable around the college campus and meet specialist staff. Students with significant special educational needs and disabilities are invited in for a taster day where they can try out the courses and experience a college day. Students can discuss their needs with us and share any worries or concerns that they may have. Often the Learning Support Manager will visit a student at school as part of the planned transition process. We understand that students may find the first few weeks of college difficult and work hard to support students to settle into college life as smoothly as possible. We have a successful work experience programme in Foundation Learning which has resulted in employment for many of our students. This helps students to make choices about their future and develop employability skills. The college careers advisor is actively engaged in the curriculum, working with students to develop their career plans. There is a cross-college programme to advise and support students who wish to progress on to higher education. The Learning Support Department works with individual students advising them on the suitability of courses and helps them apply for the extra support they will need at university. Liaison between college and higher education establishments works to make this transition successful.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
All students across college, achieving at all levels, can access learning support. Students can book up for a weekly 1-1 session if they need it or if one of their subject teachers refers them. This may take the form of one session, a block of sessions or continued weekly sessions throughout the student’s time at college. Students with high needs will receive ‘top up’ funding from the local authority to enable the college to meet the needs of the young person. This is then allocated for the support requirements of that individual. For example a student may need supervision at breaks, travel training and 1-1 support with their studies. The cost of this provision is likely to be high and college will apply to the local authority for ‘top up’ funding.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
The professionals working with the young person will make the decisions about the type and amount of support they will receive. The young person is at the centre of any decision making and will have been involved in the development of their EHCP. We use lots of different ways to find out if any student has special educational needs or disabilities. Before starting college we talk to students and their parents about their support needs. We attend Year 11 annual reviews and have good relationships with local SENCos, attending regular SENCo circle meetings. The SEND Co-ordinator works closely with the local authority Special Educational Needs Officers to get to know the student as well as possible. On the application form students are invited to share any additional learning, health or welfare needs they have. Students will then be interviewed by an appropriate member of staff. At enrolment every student who declares a need is seen by a specialist member of staff. This enables students to feel confident that we are fully aware of their needs and familiarises them with the staff who be supporting them to be successful. We screen all students on enrolment to detect any signs of learning difficulty. Students are then set an assessment in their subject areas early in the term to highlight their strengths and weakness to staff; particular attention is given to students Maths, English and Study Skills. Support is then organised on an individual basis.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
At Alton College we welcome involvement from parents/carers at all stages in their young person’s education. We value and encourage positive working relationships with parents/carers and young people and carefully plan and manage the transition period from school to college. Parents have opportunities throughout the academic year to liaise with staff and monitor the progress of their young person. Consultation takes place through parents’ evenings, subject and progress reviews and direct contact with staff. There is also parental access to ‘Insight’ which provides live, online up to date information on your young person’s progress, attendance, daily timetable, and personal exam timetables. Parents/carers are also welcome to discuss any questions they may have with a relevant member of staff. Students are encouraged to be independent and proactive about their own learning and welfare, and through their personal tutor and relevant staff, to seek additional support and advice whenever necessary. We have an online referral system to support them in doing so.