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Newcastle-under-Lyme College Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Policy

Newcastle-under-Lyme College was praised by Ofsted for providing "outstanding support and care for learners".

Newcastle-under-Lyme College has regard to the Equality Act (2010) through our commitments set out in our Equality Scheme 2015/16 - 2017/18 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 and the Code of Practice (0-25 years) 2014 when carrying out its duties towards SEND students. 

Definition of Special Educational Needs and Disability

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (0-25 years) 2014 states that: "A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her."

Click here to watch videos of students who needed our support to succeed.

Frequently Asked Questions & Our Commitment to Students and Parents

How does the College know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think I/my child may have special educational needs?

NULC has excellent links with local schools and provides transition support to parents/guardians. If you/your child meets the necessary entry requirements for our wide range of courses, then we can work with you to eliminate any barriers to joining that course. For example, we can support students who have:

  • Autism
  • Asperger's syndrome
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Emotional or behavioural difficulties
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Other medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and asthma
  • Physical disabilities
  • Sensory impairments (vision and hearing)
  • Speech and communication difficulties

How will College staff support my child/young person?

Before you/your child enrolls on a course, we can:

  • Arrange for you/your child to visit the college to see our outstanding facilities and meet the teaching and support staff to discuss your/your child's needs.
  • Involve your school's Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), parents, guardians, carers or anyone else necessary to make sure that you have the right amount of support.
  • Arrange for a taster on the chosen programme to help with decision making.

At college

  • You/your child will be assigned a named person who will work with you and your family to ensure that your needs are being met.
  • We also work with other agencies and specialists when necessary. Understanding that each student is different, we tailor our support to the individual and review throughout the year to ensure the right level of support continues and is adapted to their changing needs.

Completing the course

  • During your/your child's final year on the course we will arrange an exit review to help you plan the next stage, providing individual advice and guidance on progression routes for further study, careers, employment or other options.
  • We will also assess the quality of the support you have received.
  • If you are progressing to higher education, such as an HNC/HND, Foundation Degree or Degree at college or university, then we can help with the transition and ensure you have access to any available funding.

We offer:

  • Interviews with a transition co-ordinator to discuss what you would like to do next.
  • Interviews with a specialist careers adviser.
  • Referrals to Social Services with regards to day service provision, sheltered employment and housing needs.
  • Information and advice about supported and open employment opportunities.

Our commitment

Newcastle-under-Lyme College is committed to a policy of equality, inclusion and accessibility in the delivery of our services.

The College has an open and welcoming policy towards applicants who may have a physical or learning disability or mental health issues and recognises the rights of all students to be treated equally regardless of disability.

All reasonable adjustments to provision will be made to ensure that disabled students and other disabled people are not disadvantaged.

Our effectiveness

According to the College's latest Ofsted report, learners can expect a "supportive culture, which is welcoming to all" in the only college with outstanding provision in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Ofsted also found that:

"Managers and staff have very high expectations of learners and raise their ambitions by setting high, motivational targets reinforced by very good use of excellent resources, outstanding support and good teaching."

"Managers and staff provide outstanding support and care for learners."

How will the curriculum be matched to my/my child's needs?

We offer the full range of courses to suit the learner's goals, whether that's to live independently, progress to university or gain employment. That means we offer from entry Level 1 to Level 4 higher education and work with you to eliminate any barriers. For example, the student can mix their studies with personal development and life skills such as independent travel training, cooking and budget planning. We can provide support for enrichment activities including college trips, sport and clubs.

How will parents know how their child is doing and how will the College help support their child's learning?

At NULC, we understand the challenges facing young people and aim to provide parents with as much information as possible.

We feel that as parents and guardians, it is vital that you are kept informed of learner progress. You will receive a report each half term clearly outlining 'working at' grades in each subject or aspect of a course, to include maths and/or English, along with a grade for effort and the attendance in each session (If you would prefer to receive an E-Report, email ).

You will also find information regarding key changes to BTEC qualifications (if needed) which have an increased emphasis on external assessment/ examination and meeting assessment 'hand-in' dates is vital.

The report will also contain a key contact number if you have any concerns you wish to discuss, or if you require any clarification regarding grades awarded.

There will also be two parents' evenings during the year where you will have the opportunity to discuss individual learner progress with staff teams.

We also have a Parents' Portal, a free web-based information service for parent and guardians of NULC students. The Parents' Portal shows you their timetable, register information, target grades and email contact details for their personal tutor.

What support will there be for my/my child's overall well being?

Support depends on individual needs. The support ratio can be from 1-1 to 1-8 in a classroom depending on the young person's individual needs. We can provide:

  • Small class sizes (around 8-10 learners per class) with a learning support assistant and tutor to make sure the appropriate support is provided.
  • An exciting enrichment programme that includes a range of physical and creative activities. Support will be provided to ensure that the learner is able to take part fully.
  • Help with assessment papers.
  • Support with personal care needs.
  • Support during breaks and lunch times.
  • Help to improve community awareness and social skills.
  • Travel training.
  • Voluntary work placements to help develop work related skills.
  • A personal tutor who will help you/your child set targets and monitor progress.
  • Support from outside agencies such as psychologists, community nurses and advocacy services if required.

What specialist services and expertise are available at the College?

All of our staff are appropriately qualified and are observed as part of our quality review systems, to ensure their skills are current and effective. They can provide specialist equipment, facilities and access including:

  • Accessible shower facilities in the main College, The Gordon Banks Sports Centre and The Skills and Technology Centre.
  • Dictaphones and electronic voice recorders
  • Accessible parking facilities with dropped kerbs close to the main entrances
  • Accessible toilet facilities on all floors
  • Fire evacuation lift on upper floors
  • Fire evacuation refuge points on all staircases
  • Ground floor accessible bathroom
  • Hearing induction loops embedded in key areas throughout the College. A portable loop system communicator is also available in classrooms
  • Laptop computers
  • Level site
  • Passenger lifts at convenient points throughout the main building designed to avoid steps and ramps.
  • Radio aids
  • Software to support students with dyslexia
  • Super Nova software
  • Text in different formats such as Braille, large text or on tape or disk.
  • Wide corridors suitable for wheelchair access.

How accessible is the College environment?

  • Accessible shower facilities in the main College, The Gordon Banks Sports Centre and The Skills and Technology Centre
  • Accessible parking facilities with dropped kerbs close to the main entrances
  • Accessible toilet facilities on all floors
  • Fire evacuation lift on upper floors
  • Fire evacuation refuge points on all staircases
  • Ground floor accessible bathroom
  • Level site
  • Passenger lifts at convenient points throughout the main building designed to avoid steps and ramps
  • Wide corridors suitable for wheelchair access.

Where can I get advice on Financial Assistance?

We can provide information on:

  • Transport arrangements 
  • Newcastle Maintenance Allowance – discretionary bursary (NMA) 
  • Guaranteed Bursary (GBA) 
  • Specialist equipment loans 
  • Help towards the cost of specialist course related equipment 
  • Benefits checks for learners over the age of 18 to ensure that they are claiming the appropriate benefits 
  • Concessionary fare scheme – free bus passes for students with physical or learning disabilities or sensory impairments. 
  • Direct payments to enable learners to access support or resource over and above their benefits by referral to Social Services.

Who can I contact for further information?

Denise Haney, Head of Student Services

Tel: 01782 254249 / Email:

Hilary Skelding, Additional Learning Support Co-Ordinator

Tel: 01782 254369 / Email:

Mary Bradshaw, Head of Careers and Guidance

Tel: 01782 254261 / Email:

Student Finance Advisors:

Tel: 01782 254188 / Email:

How do I apply for transport from home to college?

If you live within the Staffordshire County Council area, you can apply to Staffordshire County Council on tel: 01785 278950

If you live within the Stoke on Trent City Council area, the please apply to them on Tel: 01782 236885 or 236867.


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