"A dedicated support team develops learning strategies and support plans that ensure most students who receive support achieve equally well, and sometimes better than, their peers."

Ofsted report, January 2017

The College has a team of dedicated Learning Support staff, including Dyslexia specialists, who can provide support, advice and guidance for students with a wide range of learning support needs. 

Tailored support can include:

  • Support from a Learning Support Assistant inside or outside of the classroom to help with organisation, research, assignments or private study.
  • Dyslexia support
  • Group support or discrete support in the classroom
  • Note takers or readers
  • Special examination considerations such as rest breaks, psychological support, extra time, readers, scribe or separate exam conditions.
  • Technical support including the loan of equipment such as laptops

The team works closely with students, parents, schools, external agencies and College staff to ensure a smooth transition from school to College and students are encouraged to attend taster sessions before they start.

Students are able to work within our Learning Assistance Base during their free periods - with individual work stations, large tables and sofas, and an adjacent quiet room fitted with comfortable sofas and a computer to be used between lessons.


Click here to visit the Local Offer Wirral website for more information from the local authority.


See below for some of our Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:


Q. How do you identify that I have additional needs?


A. The Director of Learning Support liaises with our partner high schools and students are referred to us.

A. The student discloses that they have a difficulty and/or disability on their application form and are interviewed by the Learning Support team.


Q. How accessible is your College environment?


A. The buildings are fully wheelchair accessible. There are central disabled changing and toilet facilities. There is a new entrance and wide corridors with no obstacles and students can be timetabled into ground floor rooms.

A. The College is inclusive and there are quiet areas where students can do their work if they prefer.   


Q How will you prepare and support me to transfer to your College?


A. The Director of Learning Support Learning Support Coordinator  will invite you to come into College to have a look around and will be able to discuss your support needs. Once you have applied to come to College, you will be able to attend Taster Sessions during the year in order to help you decide which subjects you prefer. This also helps the transition to College as you're able to become used to a new environment. 


Q. How will staff support me in College?


A. We have a dedicated Learning Support team that provides support tailored to individual needs. This can be one-to-one support in the classroom, discrete support in the classroom or support in the Learning Assistance Base inbetween classes.

A. Supported students have an individual support plan which is reviewed twice per year by the Learning Support team and the student.

A. Each student also has a development Tutor that they see once per week.


Q. How will the curriculum be matched to my needs?


A. At interview, students are able to choose courses that match their future aspirations and interests. The Director of Learning Support will discuss the necessary qualifications required to come to College as some students are not able to take five GCSEs.


Q. How will I know how well I am doing in College? Can parents access this information?


A. We use the ‘Sapien’ system in College and parents have access to attendance records, reports and pastoral notes. Students will have regular meetings with their Tutor to discuss their progress.

A. We also have regular parents' evenings and parents of supported students are welcome to speak to the Director of Learning Support at any time about any concerns or questions they may have.


Q. What support will there be for my overall physical and mental wellbeing?


A. We have a first aid team in College. The Learning Support Manager liaises with health care professionals involved with students who have medical needs. The Learning Support team can assist with any personal care needs should this be required.

During tutorials, all students look at how to maintain good mental health and wellbeing, helping students deal with the demands on them both in and outside of College.

We have a College counsellor and you can book an appointment with the Listening Service anytime once you start at College.


Q. How can I contribute my views in College?


A. Student feedback is always encouraged and if you have any contributions you are able to speak with your Tutor or the Student Engagement Officer.

Q. What specialist services and expertise are available in College or accessed by you?


A. The Learning Support team are experienced and qualified to provide high quality support. The Learning Support Manager liaises with pediatricians, social services, CAHMS, schools and all the teachers and Tutors within College.


Q. What training do the staff supporting me have?


A. The Learning Support team take part in regular safeguarding training and attend external training on disability awareness, mental health issues, autism and social and communication difficulties, self-harm and any other relevant training to meet the individual needs of our students.

A. The Learning Support team have expertise with a range of difficulties and disabilities and are highly qualified.


Q. How will I be included in activities outside the classroom including trips?


A. Students are able to access all of the activities, and a member of the Learning Support Team will accompany students on trips. Parents are also consulted regarding overnight stays and any individual needs of the student.


Q. How are your resources allocated and matched to my needs?


A. The estimated budget is allocated during November of the PREVIOUS year (for September start). The number of supported students has increased significantly over the past years and the estimated numbers match the actual number of supported students that attend College. It is good practice to apply early in the year, so that any equipment/ adaptations can be put in place prior to September start.


Q. How is the decision made about what type and how much support I will receive?


A. The decision is made in consultation with the student and parents at interview. Support is reviewed on a regular basis at our monthly team meetings and discussed with the student and teachers. Our aim is to promote independent learning and resilience so that students are able to progress onto employment or higher education.


Q. How will information about my support needs be circulated to all members of staff and who will be responsible for that?


A. Learning Support needs are put onto the ‘Sapien’ system with the consent of the student. These can be accessed by the Tutor, the teachers who will be teaching the student, the Learning Support Team and the Senior Management Team.

The notes on Sapien are updated after the first full term in consultation with the student.

The Learning Support team liaises regularly with teachers and Tutors.


Q. Who can I contact for further information?


A. James King (Director of Learning Support) jak@bsfc.ac.uk or Cheryl Price (Learning Support Coordinator) cp@bsfc.ac.uk

Telephone :  0151 652 5575  


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