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Learner Support Policy

Scope

The policy covers all learners on a learning programme with Learn Devon or an external provider formally sub-contracted by Learn Devon. Learners may be over or under19 years of age, depending on the required eligibility for the learning programmes being offered. Learn Devon’s strategy states that ‘we will prioritise government funding to support, groups and individuals who have found it difficult to participate in the past. This will include: Older People, Unemployed, Minority ethnic groups, Low income family members, those with low skills levels, adults with disabilities and carers.’

Aim

To provide a learner support service involving initial and on-going guidance and support for individual learners to enable them to successfully participate and complete their learning programmes.

To meet the criteria regarding support for learners within the Common Inspection Framework 2015:

  • learners who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are prepared to become more independent in their everyday life.
  • teaching and assessment methods and resources inspire and challenge all learners and meet their different needs, including the most able and the most disadvantaged, enabling them to enjoy learning and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.
  • learners are supported to achieve their learning goals, both in and between learning sessions.
  • staff identify learners’ support and additional learning needs quickly and accurately through effective initial assessment, leading to the provision of high quality and effective support to help learners achieve as well as they can.
  • staff are aware of and plan for individual learners’ diverse needs in teaching or training sessions and provide effective support, including making reasonable adjustments for learners who have special educational needs and/or disabilities

Ofsted feedback:

  • Increase the proportion of learners who are successful on courses leading to qualifications by ceasing to offer courses which do not meet learners’ needs because they are too long. 
  • Provide better course guidance at registration so that learners are fully aware of the time needed to complete longer courses. 
  • Identify when learners are at risk of leaving a course and provide them with suitable support.
  • Improve the quality of the individual learning plans by ensuring that learning goals are well defined and recorded in detail. 
  • Identify incremental steps leading to these learning goals which are reviewed and recorded accurately.
  • Use information about learners’ prior achievement and personal barriers to learning well to plan courses that ensure learners develop new skills and knowledge. 
  • Ensure that Information, advice and guidance are effective and timely and ensure that learners are on a course that helps them develop new skills and knowledge. 
  • To ensure that Learner Support is recognised as a whole service responsibility embracing initial contact with learners with any member of Learn Devon or MyDevon staff through telephone, face to face, leaflets, letters, brochures, social media and web contact.

Delivery:

Guidance and support is provided at different points in the learners’ journey:

NB: Partners should ensure the following processes are followed within their own procedures by staff.

Programme Planning:
  • Area Co-ordinators to brief Learning Support Team on new programme to enable Learning Support Coordinators(LSC’s) to provide accurate IAG
  • Curriculum team to inform Learning Support Team re changes which may impact on support, i.e. new awarding body specifications increasing complexity of portfolios etc.
  • Programme to include study skills and confidence building courses that can be accessed by existing learners
Initial welcome / contact:
Web
  • course finder
  • course information
  • social media interactions
Telephone
  • MyDevon
  • Centre staff
Face to face
  • information giving, capture information
  • access to IT in centres
  • centre staff available to help
  • LSCs work with centre staff to ensure that vulnerable adults are appropriately supported from first contact
  • LSCs to work with centre staff to maximise disclosure opportunities before the start of the course
Further information:
Specific assistance
  • discussion with Learning Support Co-ordinator/Tutor
  • response to learners indicating on enrolment paperwork that they would like to discuss their learning needs
  • IAG as required
  • access to funding support i.e. Bursary Fund and DLS and ALS funds
Literature
  • Learner welcome letter, information pack, handbook
On course:
Additional Learning Support
  • as identified by Learning Support Co-ordinator/ Tutor
  • on-going provision
  • LSCs to work with Tutors to enable them to identify non-disclosed support needs early in their courses
Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication / contact / study skills with identified learners and liaise with the course tutor, learning support assistant and e-learning co-ordinators as requiredIndividually tailored learning support to identify additional strategies for independent learning and assist with specific skills areas such as:

  • discuss support / differentiation strategies for the learner with Tutor and Learning Support Assistants
  • time management and organisation
  • note-taking and note-making techniques
  • exam and revision strategies
  • preparing for classes
  • action planning and target setting
  • research methods
  • numeracy and literacy strategies
  • incorporating assistive technology
  • advocates for vulnerable learners requiring support with other aspects of  their lives that are impacting on their learning

 

Delivery

Guidance and support is provided at different points in the learners’ journey:

NB: Partners should ensure the following processes are followed within their own procedures by staff.

Programme Planning

  • Area Co-ordinators to brief Learning Support Team on new programme to enable Learning Support Coordinators(LSC’s) to provide accurate IAG
  • Curriculum team to inform Learning Support Team re changes which may impact on support, i.e. new awarding body specifications increasing complexity of portfolios etc.
  • Programme to include study skills and confidence building courses that can be accessed by existing learners

Initial welcome / contact

Web

  • course finder
  • course information
  • social media interactions

Telephone

  • MyDevon
  • Centre staff

Face to face

  • information giving, capture information
  • access to IT in centres
  • centre staff available to help
  • LSCs work with centre staff to ensure that vulnerable adults are appropriately supported from first contact
  • LSCs to work with centre staff to maximise disclosure opportunities before the start of the course

Further information

Specific Assistance

  • discussion with Learning Support Co-ordinator/Tutor
  • response to learners indicating on enrolment paperwork that they would like to discuss their learning needs
  • IAG as required
  • access to funding support i.e. Bursary Fund and DLS and ALS funds

Literature

  • Learner welcome letter, information pack, handbook

 

On course

Additional learning support

  • as identified by Learning Support Co-ordinator/ Tutor
  • on-going provision
  • LSCs to work with Tutors to enable them to identify non-disclosed support needs early in their courses

Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication / contact / study skills with identified learners and liaise with the course tutor, learning support assistant and e-learning co-ordinators as required

Individually tailored learning support to identify additional strategies for independent learning and assist with specific skills areas such as:

  • discuss support / differentiation strategies for the learner with Tutor and Learning Support Assistants
  • time management and organisation
  • note-taking and note-making techniques
  • exam and revision strategies
  • preparing for classes
  • action planning and target setting
  • research methods
  • numeracy and literacy strategies
  • incorporating assistive technology
  • advocates for vulnerable learners requiring support with other aspects of  their lives that are impacting on their learning

Tutors and Learning Support Assistants (to increase retention and success rates of leaners)

  • identify and use the preferred learning style of the learner, where appropriate, to maximise the individual’s potential
  • ensure that learning goals are well defined and recorded in detail on ILP’s as appropriate to the needs of learners and the level and length of the course
  • Identify incremental steps leading to these learning goals which are reviewed and recorded accurately.
  • plan in additional resources and record on SoW and lesson plans
  • effective team working between Tutor and Learning Support Assistant to maximise learner success
  • role of Learning Support Assistant needs to be recorded on lesson plans as evidence of learner support service
  • provide regular feedback and updates on progress being made
  • highlight needs and concerns with line manager / Learning Support Coordinators

Absent learners (ensuring retention of learners is of particular importance to ensure continuation of funding for that learner and impacts on success rates)

  • Tutor to identify when learners are at risk of leaving a course and provide them with suitable support and / or contact Learning Support Co-ordinator for help and advice
  • informal follow up by Tutors to check all OK after a missed session and ask if there is anything we can do i.e. homework / notes to help cover what has been missed; referral to Learning Support Co-ordinator if required 
  • After 2 weeks if not returned, follow up again. If the Tutor has been unsuccessful this should be an LSC role

What next?

  • further learning identified by tutors with group –inform Area Coordinator to set up if not on programme and provide referral to Learning Support Team as appropriate
  • sign post to existing programme / other providers as appropriate
  • Learning Support Coordinators provide IAG for all areas –Tutors ask for support before and during courses, both formally and informally as required

 

Programme specific

English and maths courses

  • Tutors conduct all interviews and initial screening
  • Learning Support Coordinators contacted as and when learning needs are identified
  • Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication / contact with identified learners
  • If a Learning Support Assistant is supporting a course, LSC to review effectiveness of support with the Learning Support Assistant on a regular basis and liaise with Tutor as appropriate. Review meeting(s) with Learning Support Assistants should be planned when LSC is sourcing appropriate Learning Support Assistant cover, 
  • Member of learning support team to be present prior to exam sessions to ensure that access arrangements are in place

ESOL

  • Centre staff to determine whether learner is eligible and inform learner re costs of course and likely start date. 
  • ESOL tutors to assess learning needs and inform the Learning Support Coordinators immediately so that appropriate support measures can be put in place.
  • Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication / contact with identified learners
  • If a Learning Support Assistant is supporting a course, LSC to review effectiveness of support with the Learning Support Assistant on a regular basis and liaise with Tutor as appropriate. Review meeting(s) with Learning Support Assistants should be planned when LSC is sourcing appropriate Learning Support Assistant cover.

Adults with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities

  • Learning Support Coordinators to provide information of provision to individuals, carers and organisations covering expectations (how education contributes to care plan) and responsibilities (i.e. no personal care) This could be through visits to centres / organisations / agencies or / and sending information to them and past and potential learners. (information to be supplied by Programme Coordinator).
  • Learning Support Coordinators can offer individual IAG as required particularly for any very low level learners i.e. Entry Level 1 and others who need more guidance to enrol. Also to cover learning support, risks assessments, individual needs
  • Learning Support Co-ordinators to attend sessions towards the end of courses to ensure that learners and tutors are sign posted/ing to the appropriate course.
  • Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication / contact with identified learners
  • If a Learning Support Assistant is supporting a course, LSC to review effectiveness of support with the Learning Support Assistant on a regular basis and liaise with Tutor as appropriate. Review meeting(s) with Learning Support Assistants should be planned when LSC is sourcing appropriate Learning Support Assistant cover.

Other qualification courses including Apprenticeships and employability

  • induction
  • learning support recommendation by tutor for Learning Support Coordinators involvement towards as soon as possible during induction and before progressing on to main course
  • on-going assessment of learner progress by Tutor and involvement of Learning Support Coordinators as required
  • Learning Support Coordinators provide on-going communication/ contact with identified learners
  • If a Learning Support Assistant is supporting a course, LSC to review effectiveness of support with the Learning Support Assistant on a regular basis and liaise with Tutor as appropriate. Review meeting(s) with Learning Support Assistants should be planned when LSC is sourcing appropriate Learning Support Assistant cover.
  • Learning Support Coordinators carry out signposting / offer IAG at the end of courses where practicable (otherwise this will be carried out by course Tutor). Employability courses a priority for this where time permits

Study programmes for 14-19’s including Traineeships and Apprenticeships: NEETS, 16-19 year olds on other provisions and distance learning

  • Learning Support Coordinators provide support and on-going communication / contact with identified learners
  • Learners under 18 will be supported within GCSE classes by an LSA to ensure that two members of staff are available at all times
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