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Additional Learning Support

Supporting learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Supported learning students

Petroc has a commitment to maximising the potential of all learners through outstanding teaching, learning and training. Our commitment to supporting learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities sits firmly within the college Strategic Plan, as part of the college aim for High Standards of Quality and listening to and supporting our learners.

Special Education Needs and Disability provision at Petroc is inclusive and person-centred.  We work with learners, families and professionals to identify and support individual needs to ensure equal access to education can be realised. We are committed to offering a high-quality service and provision to learners with additional needs, and we will make every effort to ensure all learners’ experience of Petroc is positive.

The college has a clear focus on developing greater levels of independence and we help learners progress towards adulthood, linking learning to all of the following Preparing for Adulthood outcomes:

  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • Community Inclusion
  • Health

If learners have a learning difficulty or disability, the Additional Learning Support Team at Petroc offer support to maximise individual potential and help learners to reach their learning goals. Personalised and centred around the individual, support is available on all college sites and can be both inside and outside the classroom.

The college makes reasonable adjustments and uses technologies to ensure learners have the opportunity to access learning.

For learners with more pronounced learning difficulties and who are learning at Entry Level and below, the college offers a specialist discrete provision delivered within Progressive Studies. This curriculum offer is a valuable foundation for learners to progress into further learning, independent living and employment.

Additional information

The SEND provision at Petroc is here to help learners maximise their potential and reach their learning goals. The college has a strong team of professionals with the expertise to allow learners who have support needs to progress and achieve.  

Key roles within the team structure include:

The college has a team of motivated and highly experienced Learning Support staff who work with learners from Entry Level learning to Level 3 study and above.

Learners have access to specialist staff who are able to assess for exam access arrangements if they have previously had exam dispensation and/or access arrangements at school.

We offer support at all college sites in-class, outside of the classroom, with exams and assessments and in the wider college environment. This support is to enable learners the opportunity to access all available opportunities and to have the most positive learning experience whilst studying at Petroc.

Whatever learning difficulty or disability learners may have, we can offer tailored support to match individual needs. We work in partnership with curriculum staff, other internal services and external organisations to provide a person-centred approach. The support we offer is regularly reviewed and our aim, where possible, is to guide individuals towards greater levels of independence.

We are a part of the Devon Local Offer.

At Petroc we support learners with:

  • Specific Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities 
  • Hearing, Visual, Sensory and Mobility Difficulties 
  • Autism
  • Physical Disabilities and Medical Conditions
  • Mental Health Difficulties and Mental Ill Health 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Multiple and Complex Learning Needs
  • Mild, Moderate and Severe Learning Difficulties
  • English and Maths Development

The POD:

Petroc has a discrete support provision for learners with Autism at Petroc called The POD.  The POD is a quiet room staffed during college hours for any learners with a diagnosis of Autism to access.  The POD has computers, a quiet zone, lockers, medical storage, stress aids and staff who are ready to support at any hour.  Referrals for the POD are made through the Additional Learning Support Panel.

If you are new to Petroc, and are starting the Preparation for Adulthood and Progression into Adulthood at our Barnstaple campus​, here is a virtual tour to show you your learning areas and the staff that teach in particular classrooms.

Procedures are in place to identify support needs and to implement individualised support. Learner needs are generally identified prior to entry and meetings take place to assess support needs prior to the course interview. For learners that present a learning need after enrolment, curriculum staff can refer through the SEND Team, where a Learning Inclusion Plan can be completed to identify support required. Learners can also make self-referrals.

To ensure Petroc can best meet individual needs and requirements we will:

  • Make arrangements to support you at interview
  • Meet with you to discuss your needs which feeds into your individual support plan
  • Attend Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) meetings and reviews (if applicable)
  • Put support in place to enable you to access the opportunities you require to achieve
  • Liaise on a regular basis with teaching staff to share the relevant information and provide updates regarding your support
  • Support teaching staff with information and training about specific learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Review the support you receive on a regular basis
  • Discuss and agree on any changes that will be made to your support with you
  • Promote your independence
  • Support your achievement and progression
  • Act in an inclusive and person-centred way at all times

Learners who require additional academic support are referred by their curriculum tutors and/or Wellbeing and Support contact for Additional Learning Support.

This support is offered on a 1:1 basis with tutors who can work on specific literacy or numeracy intervention and support with organisation and study skills.

Additional Learning Support Intervention Tutors work in all GCSE English and maths classes offering individualised strategies to learners in class and small groups

Additional Learning Support tutors also work on specific outcomes for learners from their Education, Health and Care Plans.

For learners who have an Education, Health and Care Plan, the college's Additional Learning Support Administration Team is equipped to respond, ensuring both supporting and curriculum staff are aware of the set outcomes.

The Head of SEND is responsible overall for coordinating the consultation process with the County Council and the statutory responsibilities once the learners is enrolled.

Petroc has a thorough transition offer for EHCP learners starting with attendance at Year 11 Annual Reviews.

Petroc will review the EHCP annually and keep in contact with the family throughout the year ensuring that the young person and family are at the heart of any decision made about their learning.


For those learners who require a transition programme, the college Transition team offers individualised packages to support learners both into and out of college.

Transition planning can start from year 9, and our Transition staff works with learners, parents and carers, schools and other professionals to ensure the move from school and into college is coordinated.

All Learners with EHCP’s have the opportunity to be interviewed for a transition out of college and into employment through the Supported Internship Programme and Project Search.

For learners who are not able to transition into employment, the college works closely with Adult Services, PLUSS and alternative provision for Post 19.

Devon County Council's local offer gives children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and their families, information to help them find the right help and support in their area.

It has two main purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available.
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs.

Find out more about this local offer.

The 16 to 19 tuition fund is ring-fenced funding to mitigate the disruption to learning arising from coronavirus (COVID-19). The funding is to support small group tuition for students aged 16 to 19 in English, Maths and other subjects