The Isle of Wight College Learning Support Service aims to provide a supportive, constructive and well co-ordinated level of service provision for all students requiring learning support.

The service aims to enable students to take control of their own learning and to develop them as independent learners and to provide a service that strives to remove barriers to participation for all students, regardless of disability.

Any student at The Isle of Wight College, with a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, or a disability is entitled to additional support with their learning. The student is usually referred to central Additional Learning Support (ALS) by the tutor, but self referrals can be made, after an initial screening. The central ALS team will conduct a student interview and possibly a diagnostic assessment to develop an appropriate support package.

Support options include: assistive technology, dyslexia support and specialist assessment for exam arrangements, in class curriculum support, EAL and language support, communicators for hearing impaired learners and access arrangements and assistive technology for visually impaired learners.

We provide specialist assessment to advise on support and exam support and have links with an educational psychologist We have  Dyslexia Specialists who work with students on a 1:1 basis to help them to manage their dyslexia. We work with outside agencies such as the SEN team, the speech and language team, the Deaf support team, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and CAMHS, that come into college to offer advice and/or further assessment of needs.

There are experienced learning support assistants who work in college programmes supporting learning activities. We also have assistive technology which can be loaned to support independent learning skills.

All support staff at the college receive regular training on specific difficulties.  Recent training areas have been Disability Awareness, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, sensory support, autistic spectrum support, mental health training assistive technology, communication aids, BSL level 1, intensive interaction, Makaton, Eye Gaze, personal care training, manual handling, restraint training and behaviour management. We are aware of the need to maintain and update our training.

Your individual subject tutors will discuss your progress with you and you will have your own Individual Learning Plan- an on-line record of your progress and attendance. You and your parents /carers can also attend Parent/Carers’ Evenings where you can meet with your tutors.

Support is available from the additional learning support (ALS) team. Learning support assistants will be assigned and if you have an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) this will be sent to the ALS team so that your support package can be developed at college. Our Student Support Services are on hand to provide advice about personal issues as well as finance, transport and health and safety. We have close links with outside agencies, such as the Special Schools, SEN team and CAMHS.

If you have a particular physical or health issue our Health & Safety Officer can meet with you to plan how you can keep safe at College.

The college can arrange taster days and this will give you the opportunity to see what college life is like. If you are likely to require a high level of support, transition sessions between your school and college can be arranged before you start college to discuss your needs, provide you with a taster of the programme and to obtain advice and guidance from existing support staff/external agencies/special schools to ensure a smooth transition for you.

We have a careers advisor who can support you. Advice will also be given on your course programme.  All course programmes are devised to include work skills support. There is also supported work experience available, where appropriate,  for learners who may need more assistance to access external work placements and/or support while in the placement.

There are lifts  and  reserved disabled parking spaces in the car park. The college has a loop facility for those with a hearing impairment. Sensory support can be offered before the start of college so that a learner can familiarise his/herself with the college environment. The upcoming new builds at the College have also been designed around accessibility. If you need to discuss your access needs please contact the team

For further information on additional support please contact the ALS Team on 01983 550811.

The College seeks to make learning accessible to all through its Buddy Scheme. This is for anyone who feels they need extra help in order to access our courses.

A buddy is someone who can accompany you throughout any Adult Education course if you feel you require additional support or have physical support needs. Your buddy can be a friend, guardian, family member or case worker and they can join the class at no charge.

If you don’t have a ‘buddy’ to support you we can put you in touch with a volunteer service called RSVP who can provide vetted volunteers to act as your buddy to join you on the course.

If you need any equipment or furniture, for example, a chair with arms, adapted learning materials for those with dyslexia or a hearing loop system for those who are hard of hearing then this can be provided for you.

All students are asked to complete a confidential one page document alongside their enrolment form giving any details of their heath/support needs. This is then used to ensure we meet your needs, retained by the tutor and destroyed at the end of the course.

The Adult Education Brochure is available from the College Information Office and public libraries throughout the year. or you can request one by telephoning the Adult Education office on (01983) 535212 or emailing, If we can help you in any way please let us know.

The ALS department can assess learners for exam access arrangements and provide updates for assessment data. You can also provide evidence from a medical practitioner or educational psychologist which the ALS team will need to look at and review.  Exam support may include extra time, reader, scribe, use of a word processor or full amanuensis.

Contact ALS on 01983550811 for details.

The Isle of Wight Council is committed to giving all children and young people high quality education that enables them to make progress and achieve well. For children and young people aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs or a disability, additional or specialist support may be needed to enable this.

To support the process of identifying the range of provision and advice that is available, the Isle of Wight Local Authority have published a local offer. For more information about the Local Offer please use the visit

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