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Provision in FE Colleges for Post-16 Students with a Sensory Impairment

Specialist Support Service (SSS) Further Education (FE) Offer

(SSS comprises the following teams: Hearing Impairment, Vision Impairment, Autism Outreach and ASSIST)

This offer is for learners moving into FE colleges / apprenticeships at 16+.

Requests should be made directly into the Specialist Support Service office or via ASSIST (Autism and Sensory Support in Staffordshire).

Provision varies according to whether a young person has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) or is receiving support as part of the Graduated Response.

Learners who have an EHCP which is maintained by Staffordshire County Council.

Learners who have an EHCP that identifies specific Hearing Impairment / Vision Impairment / Autism provision, will be eligible to access specialist teacher advice for transition and for statutory reviews.  This support is centrally commissioned by Staffordshire County Council [SCC].

Specialist Teacher statutory support may include:

  • Assessment of need as part of an Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment [EHCNA] where agreed by SCC.
  • Report writing to inform EHCNA.
  • Review, attendance and advice at EHCP Annual Review meetings.  This will include the annual review prior to transition into post-16 provision. 
  • Where there is a significant change to the planned post-16 course programme, timetable or setting, further specialist teacher advice will be offered by the Service to the SEND Assessment and Planning Team in relation to appropriate support / provision and this may include one visit to the student or education provider post transfer.

Where the FE provider does not currently employ specialist staff to provide the support identified within a student’s EHCP, the Specialist Support Service and/or ASSIST may be able to provide this upon request. This support will be charged to the education provider, so the provider will need to apply for the appropriate FE funding to cover this.

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Other than for statutory transition support and reviews, assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming members of the SSS teams in documentation. 

Learners who have identified needs at the Graduated Response Level

Where learners require assessment or support as part of the graduated response, this may be purchased from the Specialist Support Service or ASSIST if there is capacity. 

Support may include:

  • Awareness training.
  • Guidance on Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
  • Specialist teaching support e.g. tutorials, language support, ICT access and specialist mentoring.
  • Specialist Mobility and Orientation Officers.
  • Communication Support Workers.
  • British Sign Language Interpreters.
  • Lip-speakers.
  • Note-takers.
  • Translation and transcription, including braille, moon, audio description.

Assessors and course providers need to check availability before naming any of the SSS teams for support. 

Specialist Access Technology

Specialist access technology; e.g. radio aids, braillers, embossers can be provided, and the Specialist Support Service has a loan agreement for the education provider. There is a cost to this Service and the agreement will include advice, set up and routine maintenance. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mandy Tucker - ASSIST / Samantha Turnbull - Specialist Support Service
Contact Position
ASSIST Manager / Head of Sensory & Autism Outreach Teams
Telephone
01785 356835 / 01785 356830
E-mail
assist@staffordshire.gov.uk / sss.service@staffordshire.gov.uk
Last updated: 14 May 2021
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