The City of Liverpool CollegeAdditional Learning Support - The City of Liverpool College
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Additional Learning Support

Our aspiration at The City of Liverpool College is that students receive an outstanding level of learning support. Our Additional Learning Support model aims to ensure that staff have the specialist skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality, personalised support programmes that effectively meet the needs of learners with Additional Learning Needs.

Once you become a student at the College, your goals and aspirations become ours and we aim to provide the help and support you need to achieve them. We provide support to thousands of students every year across all college campuses and programmes of study.

We have a dedicated, highly qualified and experienced support team comprising of:

  • Learning Support Practitioners
  • Specialist SpLD (Dyslexia etc.)
  • Tutors
  • Learning Support Specialists.

Our staff work collaboratively with cross-college teams in efficiently assessing a student’s needs as well as organising and implementing a wide range of support programmes, each tailored to their individual requirements.

We offer support in a wide range of specialist areas including:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Autism Spectrum Condition
  • Behaviour 4 Learning (EBD/ADHD/ADD)
  • Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing
  • Support for Students with Mental Health difficulties
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)
  • Support for Students on HE Programmes
  • Visual Impairment.




Click on a title below for more information about each area.
1. How to access Learning Support

To access the various types of support available, a referral needs to be made to our Specialist Support Team. A member of this team will meet with the student to complete an Initial Needs Assessment.

The Student’s individual support needs are quickly established and the correct type and level of support is put into place as soon as possible.

A referral to discuss potential additional support can be made at the following stages:

  • Pre-entry
  • School referral/Section 139a/Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Pre-entry identification (during interview)
  • Application/enrolments/admissions
  • Parent/carer referral
  • As part of a transition programme.

Our specialist team works closely with schools, specialist providers and external organisations, attending termly and/or annual reviews, where applicable and informed of, to ensure relevant information is identified prior to a student enrolling at the College. Discussions could include: progression routes, transition programmes and individual support needs.

Once a student has enrolled, referrals can be made through the following:

  • Screening assessment
  • Self referral
  • Tutor referral
  • Parent/carer referral.
2. SEND Reforms
Embracing the new SEND Reform (Special Educational Needs and Disability) – Children’s and Family Act 2014

The College embraces the new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 and the Children’s and Family Act 2014.

The Additional Learning Support team at The City of Liverpool College, works hard to ensure that the principles within the SEND reforms are met across college. 

We are making sure that:

  • Young people and their families are at the centre of all discussions around the support we provide
  • The support offered takes into account young people’s health, care and educational needs
  • We work closely with the young person’s local authority to access all aspects of the services available in the area 
  • Young people and families are supported during the transition to an Education Health and Care Plan
  • We focus and prepare young people for adulthood, including employment, independent living or higher level courses
  • Person-centred reviews are provided ensuring young people meet their individualised goals and their EHCP outcomes are reviewed well. 
3. Local Offer
What is the Local Offer?

From September 2014, Local Authorities, schools and colleges are required to publish and keep under review information about services available to children and young people aged from 0 to 25 years with Special Educational Needs (SEN). This is called the ‘Local Offer’. The intention is for children, young people, carers, parents and professionals to have access to the most up-to-date and relevant information regarding the services available.

For more information about what is available locally to Liverpool, please follow links:
4. Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology helps learners to develop more ways to access their course and enhances their independence. Assistive Technology can help the user to be creative in their learning, reduces barriers to literacy and promotes study inclusion. Specialist Tutors can provide training in assistive technology, helping users to understand each item’s purpose and function, in context with their learning aims.

Assistive Technology for students with Visual Impairments:

  • Adaptation of resources to Braille
  • Adaptation of resources to be read by a screen reader
  • Provision of magnifiers, from discreet handheld to powerful full screen, and adapted keyboards
  • Provision of equipment such as large calculators and adaptation of visual resources, such as graphs to tactile versions
  • Provision of equipment for certain vocational courses such as talking scales

Assistive Technology to support reading and writing:

The College provides information on the suite of assistive technology provided on MyStudyBar (including screen tint, text-reader and concept-mapping software), which can be downloaded using the following link:
  • Where appropriate MyStudyBar can be provided on a pen drive to students who have been screened and assessed as ‘At Risk’ by the Dyslexia Team.
  • Scanning Pens (C-Pens) are provided to students with significant reading difficulties. They can be loaned for use in class, at home and in exams. Scanning Pens help with reading printed text – as the pen moves along a line of text, it reads the words aloud. 
  • Microsoft ‘Learning Tools’: all students can use Office 365, providing access to the core range of Windows software and their built-in accessibility features. This includes: text reading (Read Aloud), word/ line highlighting, spacing and font size, syllables, parts of speech, dictation, line focus and picture dictionary.
Information about email and MS Office can be found at:
5. Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

In College, we believe the best way to support SpLDs/Dyslexia involves:

  • Celebrating the Signature Strengths of our students
  • Assessment for Support (tailored to individual needs)
  • Inclusive Teaching and Accessible Support.
What are Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia?

Dyslexia affects the way people read and write, causing mild to severe difficulties. It is called a ‘spectrum condition’ because of the different levels of difficulty it can cause. People who experience dyslexia can sometimes also experience other Specific Learning Differences too, like those listed below – e.g. dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

People who are Dyslexic often have strengths in the following areas:

  • ‘Big Picture’ thinking
  • Visuo-Spatial Skills
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Determination/Resilience
  • Proactivity
  • Flexible Coping.

Here are some specific areas where Dyslexia can cause difficulties:

  • Literacy issues – reading, writing, spelling, how the information is presented, issues with accuracy – especially if under pressure
  • Numeracy issues – mental maths, time, money calculations, measuring, ability to estimate, recording information
  • Organisation – time management, ‘multi-tasking’, sequencing
  • Processing skills – new day-to-day tasks can take longer to complete
  • Memory – working memory, short-term memory.
For more information, go to: About dyslexia – British Dyslexia Association

Dysgraphia affects a person’s ability to perform handwriting. Often the person’s handwriting will be poorly formed, difficult to read, a mixture of cursive and block letters, have letters of varying sizes and ‘go against’ convention i.e. written right-to-left rather than left-to-right. However, it is more than ‘messy’ handwriting. Although the person can write, they will find the process of writing more difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Handwriting involves ‘fine motor skills’ which are used in conjunction with the brain’s ability to process information; a person with dysgraphia will need to use a higher than usual degree of concentration and working memory to complete written tasks. This can be made worse with pressure (such as limited time to complete a task).

For more information go to: International Dyslexia Association

Dyscalculia mainly affects a person’s development of mathematical skills and the ability to perform calculations. Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers, which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. It will be unexpected in relation to age, level of education and experience and occurs across all ages and abilities.

For more information go to: British Dyslexia Association

Dyspraxia affects a person’s fine and/or gross motor coordination that may also affect their speech. It is a lifelong condition and occurs across the full range of intellectual abilities. How dyspraxia affects a person may change over time, will affect individuals differently and may also change depending on the environment. Issues affecting coordination may affect participation in education, life and work. Indicators could be present in reading and/or writing, activities that require coordination and/or balance, self-care and/or play, among others.

For more information go to: Dyspraxia Foundation – 30th Anniversary – Dyspraxia at a glance
What support can we offer to students?
  • Assessment and guidance on learning strategies to students and tutors
  • One-to-one sessions with a specialist tutor
  • Small group or ad hoc sessions, by appointment with a specialist tutor
  • Exam Access Arrangements (eg, extra time; reader; use of technology; etc.)
  • Loan of Assistive Technology (laptop; reading pen; etc.)
  • Provision of coloured overlays/reading rulers/ coloured pads, etc.
  • Support for progression to Higher Education.
6. Physical Disabilities and Medical Conditions (Temporary and Lifelong)
What are Physical disabilities and Medical Conditions (Temporary and Lifelong)?

A physical disability is any condition that affects a person’s movement, on a permanent or temporary basis, and/or that requires them to take regular breaks during activities or learning.  A physical disability may be obvious but may also be hidden.

A medical condition may also affect movement or a person’s ability to perform every day and/or required tasks to attend and achieve in learning. If medication is required, then it is important that you share this with college. Please follow the link on Risk Assessment for further information.

For more information go to:
What support can we offer to students?
  • Accessibility
  • Person-Centred Support Planning
  • In-class support
  • Exam Access Arrangements
  • Personal care
  • Risk assessment.
7. Exam Access Arrangements (EAA)
What is an Exam Access Arrangement (EAA)?

Exam Access Arrangements are adjustments made for individual candidates, based on evidence of need and the candidate’s normal way of working. They exist to ensure all candidates have the same opportunity to be successful in their exams and include reasonable adjustments for those candidates with a disability or learning difficulty.

Access arrangements are agreed before an assessment. They allow candidates with specific needs – such as special educational needs, disabilities, or temporary injuries – to access the assessment and show what they know and can do, without changing the demands of the assessment. The intention behind an access arrangement is to meet the needs of an individual candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment. Access arrangements are the principle way in which awarding bodies comply with the duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. – JCQ AA Regs 2020 – 2021; Pg 3.

For further information please go to:
What we need from you

To help us ensure that your additional needs are met, please discuss this with your tutors at the earliest possible opportunity. Once your needs have been identified (e.g. 25% extra time, coloured paper etc.), your tutor will make an application for arrangements in your exams.  You will then be invited for an assessment or to provide evidence of a disability by a member of the Exam Access Arrangement Assessment Team.

We receive a high volume of applications every year and some courses have exams in the autumn term, so it is important that students notify their tutors as early as possible and respond promptly to any communications we send.

Exam Access Arrangements Coordinator – Richard Taylor
Email:  Telephone: 0151 252 3029