How to access learning support

To access the various types of support, a referral needs to be made to our Specialist Support Team. A member of this team will meet with the student to complete an Initial Needs Assessment.


Students' individual support needs are quickly established and the correct type and level of support is put into place, as soon as possible.

A referral to discuss potential additional support can be made at the following stages:

  • Pre-entry
  • School referral/Section 139a/Education, Health and Care Plan
  • Pre-entry identification (during interview)
  • Application/enrolments/admissions
  • Parent/carer referral
  • As part of a transition programme

Our specialist team work closely with schools, specialist providers and external organisations, attending termly, and/ or annual reviews, where applicable, to ensure relevant information is identified prior to a student enrolling at the College. Discussions could include: progression routes, transition programmes and individual support needs.

Once a student has enrolled, referrals can be made through the following:

  • Screening assessment
  • Self referral
  • Tutor referral
  • Parent/carer referral

When the Initial Needs Assessment has been completed, our specialist staff will work with a student to provide them with an individualised programme of support. This may include the following:

  • Specialist teaching and/or support
  • Assistive technology support
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Equipment support
  • Exam access arrangements
  • In-class support
  • Mentoring
  • Small group workshops

Students are supported by a qualified specialist member of staff best able to meet their needs. The College’s model of specialist support is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Weston College is one of just eight FE colleges in the UK to be included in the sector’s Good Practice Guide, for its specialist support for students on the Autism Spectrum. The guide shares best practice in inclusive learning across the sector.


Student feedback

We provide support programmes for more than 1,000 further education students and 200 degree-level learners.

"Specialist Support has helped me a great deal with my confidence and learning how to speak properly and express myself in writing... her support has been invaluable... without this I would not have passed my course"

"Specialist staff work with my tutors to help them adapt tasks, assignments and the environment so that they are suited to my individual needs and this has enabled me to progress through College and become a more independent individual"

"Specialist support helped me by setting targets each week for me to work towards"

"I feel the Learning Support is brilliant - the people are so kind and easy to talk to they made me feel confident and less overwhelmed... have been a real help to me and I feel that I couldn't have had better support"

“I feel that support is very helpful, mostly with discussing the social and educational aspects of my Asperger’s. My support tutor offers a fresh narrative to situations when I badly need it and helps me to decide which path to take with regards to the future. Having somewhere to go during unstructured time has been great and staff are always available to help me when I am feeling anxious.”

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