SEND Local Offer

As part of the Children’s and Families Act, a SEND Local Offer is a requirement for schools, colleges and local authorities to publish the provision available to children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities.

At Darlington College we are committed to meeting the needs of all our learners. Our offer describes how we support the special educational needs and disabilities of local children and young people.

Please click on the links below to find out more information on the key aspects of our offer. There is also a link to Local Authority ‘SEND Local Offers’ where you can find lots of information on wider support services available in your local area, including other educational provision.

Additional Learning Support

We are committed to making sure that all students receive the additional learning support they need to access the college and achieve their goals. Sensitive and individualized support is available regardless of what course you choose to do.

We provide support for a wide range of additional learning needs including students with general learning difficulties, Autism Spectrum Conditions, Specific Learning Difficulties (such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia), Social/Emotional and Mental Health needs, Sensory needs, and Physical/Medical needs.

For further information on what additional learning support is available and how we can work with you, click here

For further information on what specific support is available for students with social, emotional and mental health needs click here

The Curriculum

Darlington College welcomes students with special educational needs and disabilities onto its full range of programmes on offer across all subject areas and levels.

In addition to supporting students on all our mainstream programmes we offer discrete full time study programmes specifically designed for students with special educational needs. This provision is called ‘Next Steps’ and offers students the opportunity to develop their literacy, numeracy, employability and independence skills in preparation for progression onto a Level 1 mainstream vocational programme and/or development for adult life and the ‘world of work’.

This provision offers small class sizes and extensive additional learning support both in and out of the classroom.

For more information on the Next Steps provision, click here

How will the College identify a child/young person’s special educational needs or disabilities?

  • Learner needs are usually highlighted to the College by feeder schools and Local Authority SEN Departments.
  • If a child/young person has an Education, Health & Care Plan or other SEN Support Plan the College will attend the Year 11 or 13 annual review if the college is named as the child/young persons preferred post 16 provider. The college will attend these reviews from Year 9 if invited.
  • On the college application form students are encouraged to disclose any special educational needs and disabilities.
  • At the interview/enrolment/assessment stages students are encouraged to discuss their support needs.
  • College Progression Coaches and/or tutors can refer learners to the Additional Learning Support Service if they feel additional support may be required for a student to reach their full potential.
  • Parents and/or students may self-refer at any time to the Additional Learning Support Service while studying at the College.

Supporting transition into Darlington College for children/young people with SEND?

  • The transition into college for children/young people generally starts in their last academic year at school. This could be either year 11 or year 13.
  • The college works very closely with feeder schools regarding the sharing of SEND information.
  • There may be a number of professionals/agencies involved in transition including Key Workers, Social Workers, SEN Case Workers etc.
  • The college can get involved in planning for transition from Year 9 if required and for children/young people with EHC Plans or other SEN Support Plans the college will confirm transition arrangements at the Year 11 annual review.
  • Transition may involve other multi- disciplinary meetings which enables all those who are/will be involved in the future placement to meet together and discuss how best to make the transition as smooth as possible.
  • The Additional Learning Support service can arrange visits and/or vocational taster sessions for your child/young person.
  • Once an application has been made, a child/young person will be invited to attend an admission interview to discuss their chosen programme of study. The Additional Learning Support service can support the child/young person through this process.
  • Support is planned with the child/young person and parents/carers at the EHC Plan/annual review. If support is not planned at this time we will work with children/young people and parents/carers to plan what support needs to be in place, before the child/young person starts at the college.

Monitoring a student’s progress at College

  • Every full time student on a mainstream programme will be allocated a Progression Coach who work very closely with Programme leaders and teaching teams. Progression Coaches will complete tutorial reviews (at least 5 in an academic year) to discuss the student’s progress towards targets, how support is working/not working and discuss any other barriers students may be facing. They liaise closely with the Additional Learning Support service and Student Support Service if there are any needs that are not being met.
  • Personal tutors complete tutorial reviews with students on the Next Steps provision and alongside dedicated LLDD Coordinators communicate with parents/carers frequently regarding the progress of students.
  • All parents/carers of full time students with SEN will be invited to 2 Parents Evenings throughout the academic year to discuss progress with Programme Leaders.
  • All parents/carers of full time students with SEN will receive 3 Progress Reports from the Programme Leader throughout an academic year to ensure they are informed of student progress.
  • The Additional Learning Support service will complete statutory annual reviews for students with an Education, Health and Care plan in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice.
  • The Additional Learning Support service will liaise with parents/carers/external professionals regarding any issues/concerns as they arise.
  • Parents/carers can request a meeting at any point throughout the year if they have any issues or concerns regarding a student’s progress. This can be requested directly with a Programme Leader, Progression Coach or LLDD Coordinator

Maintaining a student’s EHC Plan?

  • We will work with parents/carers in partnership with the Local Authority SEN Advisor to ensure the EHC Plan is reviewed in a person-centred way and make sure that all other professionals working with a child/young person are invited to the review.
  • We will review a student’s progress towards outcomes in their plan and work with the student and parents/carers to set new outcomes to ensure that the student progresses towards meeting their long term aims.

Preparing students for adulthood

  • The college is committed to ensuring that provision enables all young people to prepare for adult life, including stunts with special educational needs and disabilities
  • All student have the opportunity to develop their employability skills. Students develop their skills in a variety of ways depending on what programme they are on and where they are on their learning journey. Activities include external work placements, in-college real work activities, enterprise projects, volunteering and fund raising opportunities and live project work.
  • Other enrichment opportunities give students the opportunity to develop their wider personal skills through participation in group activities etc.
  • The Next Steps curriculum is specifically designed to ensure that students cover a wide range of units to enable the development of their wider personal skills and awareness of key issues facing people in adulthood.
  • Alongside families, the college will work with social care and health professionals as part of the EHC Plan review process to plan to ensure students have the opportunity to plan effectively for when they leave college and be able to live as independently as possible, know how to be healthy and be actively involved in their local communities.

Your Local Authority SEND ‘Local Offer’

Local Authorities are implementing the Local Offer initiative which brings together information about education, health, care, training, employment, independent living and other important resources together for the first time.

Click here to find out more about the Local Offer from Darlington Borough Council

Click here to find out more about the Local Offer from North Yorkshire County Council

Click here to find out more about the Local Offer from Durham County Council