LEARNER SUPPORT STRATEGY

Policy Statement

It is the aim of Skills & Learning Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole to provide access to all their learning programmes. Extra support for learners can be provided and reasonable adjustments made to encourage and enable all learners to progress towards the successful achievement of their learning goal.

Support provided

This support can be in the form of:

  1. Information and guidance
  2. Assistance in learning situations
  3. Financial assistance
  4. Support for childcare
  5. Support for transport
  6. Resources and specialist equipment

Eligibility for learning support

Learners wishing to access learning support must meet the eligibility criteria laid down annually by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and evidence may be required.

Information and Guidance

Free information and guidance is available to potential and existing learners regarding learning opportunities, choices and support via

  • Learning Adviser, a Next Step consultant or Learning Support Officers
  • S&L website
  • S&L brochure
  • Course Information Sheets
  • Information sessions or 1:1 interviews
  • Initial assessment

Assistance in learning situations

For Vocational and Functional Skills courses funded by the ESFA, this will be funded through the Additional Learning Support fund and will include:

Learning Support Assistants to support learners in taught sessions or at a separate time if appropriate; where 1:1 support outside class time is provided. Learners are still required to attend normal class sessions or the support may be withdrawn. Learner progress will be monitored & reviewed regularly to ensure learning goals are being achieved, and may be withdrawn if there is insufficient progress towards agreed goals.

  • Specialist support as appropriate for: sensory impairments, physical difficulties, learning difficulties, medical conditions including mental ill-health
  • Communication support: signers for the deaf, hearing loops, note takers
  • Special arrangements for examinations in line with awarding body protocols

For courses funded by the Community Learning Grant, a sum will be set aside to provide specialist and communication support for learners attending these courses.

Financial assistance

Evidence of eligibility will be required. An application for financial support does not, in itself, guarantee that the support will be available and there is only a finite amount of money that can be used for support. Financial assistance may be provided by:

Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) – aimed at supporting learners with a specific financial hardship that prevents them from taking part in learning leading to an accreditation.

Learning Support (LS) – aimed at enabling the Service to work flexibly and provide support activity and reasonable adjustments to meet the learning needs of learners and enable them to achieve their accredited learning goals.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans – Skills & Learning will signpost learners aged 24+ to the availability of loans for studying Level 3 and 4 Certificates and Diplomas or higher level Apprenticeships.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans Bursary Fund – Skills & Learning may use this fund to assist vulnerable learners such as those with learning difficulties or disabilities, or parents who need help with childcare, to achieve their learning goal.

16-18 Bursary Fund – young people aged 16-19 may be eligible to receive assistance from this fund to gain a qualification within the Service.

Support for childcare and/or transport

In certain circumstances, a learner may apply for support with childcare and/or costs of transport to and from the centre. If awarded, approved costs will only be reimbursed on proof of attendance at the individual sessions claimed. All childcare providers must be approved by the local authority and Ofsted.

Resources and Specialist Support

Where approved, Skills & Learning will make reasonable efforts to provide learners with resources and specialist equipment to enable them to achieve to their full potential, e.g. course books, ICT equipment, calculators, adjustable height tables, hearing loops, coloured overlays, writing equipment etc.

April 2015