SEND Local Offer

SEND Local Offer

What does your service do?

Riverside College provides a range of training and education opportunities from entry level to Higher Education. We work with learners from the age of 14 upwards, through A-levels, GCSEs, functional English and maths, vocational courses designed to prepare you for work, and apprenticeships.

A comprehensive system of support is available to enable all learners to maximise their potential. This includes in-class support, support tutorials, study workshops, assistive technology, additional assessments, access arrangements for exams and pastoral support.

For those needing a more personal development route into work and life independence our Foundation Studies team offer an individually tailored programme. This programme will help you improve and develop your social, emotional, academic, communication and independence skills to enable you to progress onto other courses and training, seek employment and develop the skills necessary for you to live a more independent life.

Where is your service located and what area does it cover?

Riverside College is based in Halton, the site at Kingsway in the town centre. The college attracts learners from across Halton and the surrounding boroughs of Warrington, Knowsley, St Helens, Liverpool and Cheshire.

Who does your service provide for?

Riverside College provides a range of training and education opportunities from entry level to Higher Education. We work with learners from the age of 14 upwards, through A-levels, GCSEs, functional English and maths, vocational courses designed to prepare you for work, and apprenticeships.

How can a parent / carer start using the service?

Students can apply online at www.riverside.ac.uk or by sending in a college application form which can be found at the back of the prospectus. A structured system exists to help the transition from school to college and learners will have the opportunity, while at school, to apply for places on college programmes. After an interview with the College Admissions Team an offer will be made and learners will then be given a start date depending on when the course or programme next starts. Some courses have a second stage process including such things as a Maths and Science aptitude test or auditions for Dance and Drama courses.

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

Learners are offered places on programmes and courses when there is agreement that the course is appropriate for them and will help them to achieve their goals. A small number of courses require personal references or a Disclosure and Barring Service check (previously CRB) before being offered a place. Learners are able to progress onto higher level courses subject to completion of lower level qualifications and achieving maths and English qualifications at an appropriate level.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?

The college has open evenings and taster days throughout the year where future learners are able to find out more about the college, their courses and support available. After applying to college, potential learners are invited for an interview where any questions can be answered and, subject to entry criteria, learners can then start their programme after enrolment.

While on their programme, learners are allocated a personal tutor who will ensure that information is shared and updated. The Additional Learning Support team will be available to offer specific support and advice to both learners and staff to ensure that specific needs are met. Information from external agencies is shared, where appropriate, and used to inform the learner’s experience, with their permission.

Learners have weekly tutorial meetings with their personal tutor to share information both general and specific to the learner and they have regular reviews throughout their programme of study. Each course has an elected learner representative from within the group to represent them on the colleges’ Student Council.

Important information about each learner is recorded on STAR, the colleges’ learner information system, and this information is shared with the learners themselves as well as their tutors and managers and relevant college support services. Learners have the opportunity to update and amend this information.

Regular progress evenings occur throughout the programmes of study and learners and their parents or carers have the opportunity to be updated about the learner’s progress and action plans to address any difficulties are then negotiated and put in place. Parents/carers are informed by phone, email or letter about any difficulties while on the programme and parents/carers are encouraged to contact the colleges and be involved in discussing and agreeing appropriate support for the learner.

The colleges use email to communicate with learners as well as providing information related to the course via Moodle, the colleges’ interactive Virtual Learning Environment both of which can be accessed from inside and outside the colleges.

Parents or carers’ email addresses are collected during enrolment and induction (with their permission) and they will then receive an email allowing them to access a “Parent Portal”, part of the colleges’ computer network where they will be able to access information on how the learner is progressing.

Is your service fully accessible?

All buildings have lifts and ramps for those learners with mobility difficulties. Hearing loops also available on all sites. Accessible toileting and personal care facilities are widely available within the colleges as is support with personal care where appropriate. Additional support can be provided where appropriate and learners can contact the Additional Learning Support team to discuss and arrange this.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had, or are having?

Staff are regularly updated via cross-college staff development sessions, such as a recent one-day event about equality and diversity. There is a vibrant culture of weekly staff development sessions which are used to address specific areas of teaching and learning, including specific learning difficulties and disabilities and all staff are encouraged to be involved with these. Up to date information about exemplary approaches to support are available via the colleges’ intranet to inform the assessment and delivery on all courses. The Additional Learning Support team are actively involved in sharing information and providing and arranging support for learners and this team.

The college has identified that it is good practice to focus on particular areas of learning difficulty and disability and this year has decided to focus on raising awareness of autism within the colleges and developed links to specialist agencies to enable directed support and training for teaching staff.

Specialist training about particular aspects of difficulty, disability, support or care are highlighted and explored, with nominated staff undertaking these and ensuring their expertise is integrated within the colleges’ support network.

All staff within college have been CRB/DBS checked and undertake a rigorous induction to ensure they are aware of, and meet the needs of learners. This includes mandatory equality and diversity and safeguarding training.

Who can I contact for further information?

For course applications: School Liaison, Marketing and Admissions team:

Up to 18 years of age: Call 0151 257 2022 or email courses@riverside.ac.uk
19 and over : Call 0151 257 2053 or email enquiries@riverside.ac.uk

To discuss support : Additional Learning Support team
Call 0151 257 2105 or email additionallearningsupport@riverside.ac.uk

To discuss Foundation Studies programme:
Call: 0151 257 2520