Learner Support

Prostart is committed to anticipating the individual needs of learners & apprentices, providing reasonable adjustments and promoting non-discriminatory practice across all functions of the organisation.

This includes ensuring the availability of a range of services and support aids to meet the needs of learners, and potential apprentices, who have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that may affect their ability to access provision.

Prostart is committed to developing inclusive learning approaches and to providing additional learning support to secure learning success for all.

Prostart aims to provide an inclusive learning environment that recognises learning needs/ disability and its impact on the way people learn. Inclusive learning is based on providing the best match or fit between a learner’s needs and the learning opportunities provided.

Learner Entitlement

All learners/apprentices are entitled to study and progress in an environment where they:

  • are fully respected
  • feel welcomed
  • are treated fairly
  • have equality of opportunity for learning and training
  • are in a safe, non threatening environment

Staff Responsibilities

Monitor the flexibility of programmes to ensure that disabled persons are not excluded unnecessarily.

Review teaching styles and practices to ensure that provision is accessible and that reasonable adjustments are built in to anticipate likely support needs.

Ensure that recruitment, assessment and examination arrangements are flexible to the needs of all learners/apprentices and anticipate the need for likely adjustments.

Encourage learners/apprentices to disclose a disability where it would enable additional adjustments, exam/assessment arrangements or support aids to be put in place, whilst maintaining confidentiality to the level requested by the learner, wherever possible.

Ensure that English and Maths support needs are identified and that arrangements are made for learners/apprentices to attend teaching sessions in centre.

Maintain effective working links with referral organisations staff to maximise inclusive practice and to meet the additional support needs of learners.

Monitor the accessibility, and take anticipatory action, relating to services, including: Advice, Support and Careers resource centre and facilities.

Management Responsibilities

All staff receive training on their responsibilities under the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 annually.

Sufficient resources are available to fund the anticipated reasonable adjustments to meet needs of learners/apprentices who have a disability and to respond to individual cases.

All staff are fully conversant with this policy and the demands it places upon them.

Effective systems and procedures are in place for the promotion, referral, identification and provision of additional learning support, including learning agreements, review of need and effectiveness and efficiency of the service.

As part of Equal Opportunities monitoring, student data is analysed and evaluated monthly, 6 monthly and annually.

Monitoring

As part of Equal Opportunities monitoring data – Equality & Diversity Impact Measures (EDIMs) are analysed and evaluated monthly, 6 monthly and annually to ensure that groups of learners/apprentices are not being disadvantaged and all learners/apprentices have the same opportunities to achieve.

Responsibility for implementing this policy

Responsibility resides at all levels; the Managing Director, Quality  Manager and Equal Opportunities Officer have overall joint responsibility for the implementation of this policy. All staff have an individual duty and responsibility to promote and implement this policy.

Arrangements For Additional Learning Support

Learners/Apprentices are supported through the following means:

  • Recruitment Team – The Recruitment Team carry out initial assessment and identify if learners/apprentices require additional learning support. The results of the initial assessment are recorded on the Commitment Statement and the Recruitment team discuss with the Training Adviser whether they want to refer the learner/apprentice to a partner organisation for specialist support. At this stage if any specialist equipment is needed the Team liaise with the Equal Opportunities Officer to arrange the purchase
  • Training Advisers – Learners/Apprentices are supported by their Training Adviser for vocational training/learning and key skills knowledge through on-going assessment, action planning and progress review sessions. This is recorded on their monthly Assessment record and their quarterly progress review report. Learners/apprentices that require additional support receive more frequent visits / visit of a longer duration or both depending on the individual learner’s request. Training Advisers identify if any specialist equipment is needed and refer any requests to the Equal Opportunities Officer who arranges the purchase
  • Off the Job Training – All apprentices attend training sessions in line with their Scheme of work and keep a learning journal to record all the off the job training during their Apprenticeship.
  • Functional Skills(FS)– Maths, English & ICT  FS sessions are carried out every other week in house at Prostart by qualified Tutors. All apprentices that need to achieve Functional skills attend these sessions. In addition if an apprentice has been identified as requiring additional support they are visited in the workplace by a Tutor once a month.
  • Dyslexia/Dyscalculia Support/ Specialist Support -Apprentices with additional learning needs are given extra support through arrangements with The Dyslexia Association who have a team of specialist support workers that give one to one support sessions. Reports are received following visits which are kept in the apprentices visit file
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) – Apprentices requiring ESOL support are referred to their local College
  • Quality Review – Apprentices are given personal support which consists of telephone calls and visits carried out every 12 weeks. It gives them the opportunity to discuss any concerns and acts as a check on the service good or bad that Prostart provides. This is a valuable tool and provides an opportunity for the Apprentice to talk impartially with another member of staff. All information is recorded on a review form and availability is made for the apprentice to have a confidential discussion with the reviewer during these sessions. The information gathered during the ‘blue’ quality review is analysed monthly and findings and comments are fed back during the monthly progress meetings

Reasonable Adjustment

Education and training providers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to anticipate the adjustments that disabled students may need. They are only required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. Other factors, such as the need to maintain competence standards and health and safety, will also be taken into consideration.

Definition of reasonable adjustments:

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the apprentice at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. It is made to an assessment for a qualification to enable a disadvantaged apprentice to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.

Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:

· changing usual assessment arrangements, for example allowing a apprentice extra time to complete the assessment activity

· adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in larger print or Braille

· providing assistance during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or a reader

· re-organising the assessment room, such as removing visual stimuli for an autistic apprentice

· changing the assessment method, for example from a written assessment to a spoken assessment

· using assistive technology, such as screen reading or voice activated software

· providing the mechanism to have different colour backgrounds to screens for onscreen assessments or asking for permission for copying to different coloured paper for paper-based assessments

· providing and allowing different coloured transparencies with which to view assessment papers

Advance planning

Its important Apprentices let Prostart know if they need any adjustments to make the programme accessible to them. The earlier we know, the sooner we can make changes or provide support. It‘s also important to let the education provider know about any access arrangements they may need for exams or assessments

Any application for Reasonable Adjustment must be supported by evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable. This information will need to be shared with examinations awarding bodies.

Apprentices  can discuss particular adjustments needed and how to arrange them with the Business Development Team or Equality & Diversity Lead. We also have links with a Disability Adviser and other agencies e.g. Dyslexia Association.

We will need to make sure any reasonable adjustments that are approved are set in place before the assessment activity takes place. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a apprentice’s work.

Definition of special considerations:

Special consideration can be applied after an assessment if there was a reason the apprentice may have been disadvantaged during the assessment.

For example, special consideration could apply to a apprentice who has temporarily experienced:

· an illness or injury

· some other event outside of their control

And which has had, or is likely to have had, a material effect on that apprentice’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her level of attainment in an assessment.

Special consideration should not give the apprentice an unfair advantage, nor should its use cause the user of the certificate to be misled regarding a apprentice’s achievements. The apprentice’s result must reflect his / her achievement in the assessment and not necessarily his / her potential ability.

Special consideration, if successful, may result in a small post-assessment adjustment to the mark of the apprentice. The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances and reflect the difficulty faced by the apprentice.

Note that:

· where an assessment requires the apprentice to demonstrate practical competence or where criteria have to be met fully, or in the case of qualifications that confer a License to Practice, it may not be possible to apply special consideration.

· In some circumstances, for example for on-demand assessments, it may be more appropriate to offer the apprentice an opportunity to take the assessment at a later date.

Learner Support is reviewed on an ongoing basis through the Quality Improvement Cycle

Version 12 January 20