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Additional Learning Support

Arrangements to identify and provide specialist support for learners with additional learning needs are good. Practical individual support, for example for dyslexia, is provided at the earliest opportunity. Learners value the support they receive highly. Ofsted 2016

Richmond upon Thames College is passionate about supporting students with learning differences and/or disabilities in a safe and inspiring learning environment. We have a dedicated team of skilled specialists who are responsible for ensuring that effective and appropriate support and reasonable adjustments are in place for students requiring assistance with accessing their academic studies and in their progression on to further/higher education, apprenticeships or employment. If you need reasonable adjustments for an adult course, please scroll down to the adult course section of this page.

The Additional Learning Support Team

We have a team of specialist staff who are experienced in supporting learners with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism, Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, sensory and physical needs, moderate and severe learning difficulties.

Types of Additional Learning Support

  • Specialist assessors who can screen for exam access arrangements
  • In-class learning support
  • One-to-one teaching sessions
  • Support for learners with visual, hearing, speech or mobility needs
  • Accessibility software
  • Specialist equipment and laptops
  • Speech and language support
  • Social/communications workshop
  • Specialists in autism, dyslexia, mental health and specific learning differences
  • Access to specialist equipment – such as tablets, laptops, reading pens and keyboards

Specialist Learning Environments

The Learning Support Workshop (D20) is a supportive study area accessible to students who have additional learning needs and high needs.

How do I get support?

Richmond upon Thames College aims to support you to reach your full potential, become independent learners and achieve your goals. We will ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place to enable you to fully access the curriculum and college life.

We ask all learners to disclose any medical conditions, learning difficulties or physical or sensory disabilities or additional learning support needs at the application stage (via Application Form), enrolment stage (via Enrolment form) and at induction (via ALS disclosure form). If you disclose a medical issue, learning need, disability or learning difference that may affect your study, we can advise you on what support would enable you to access and achieve on your course. You may be invited to meet with our Disability Officer, one of our ALS specialists or our Health and Safety Officer in order to discuss your needs further. We also offer advice and training to your teachers on how they can support you to access teaching and learning and what access arrangements you are entitled to in your exams and assessments.

Once you start your course we will support you by providing reasonable adjustments, as recommended by one of our ALS specialists. If you feel that you would benefit from additional learning support you can email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Students with High Needs (Education, Health and Care plans) on Mainstream Provision

Students should indicate on their application if an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has been agreed by their Local Authority (LA). An EHCP will help us to assess a student’s needs and make suitable recommendations regarding the reasonable adjustments and additional support we are able to provide.

A member of the ALS team will attend the curriculum interview for students who have indicated that they have an EHCP. During this meeting we can advise and discuss the needs, outcomes and provision recommended on the plan, therefore a written copy of the plan is required at this point.

The LA should write to Paul Smyth This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a placement consultation including a copy of the EHCP (in word format), which states RUTC as a named provider. We require a copy of the final plan by the start of the academic year of entry. You may need to inform the LA that RUTC is now the first choice of college, to ensure that we receive the EHCP.

We will consider requests from the LA to provide provision for a student with an EHCP. To consider this request, we require a copy of the plan to enable us to assess whether we are able to meet the students’ needs and provide suitable provision in principle.

Students with EHCP will be given provisional offers until we are able to formally agree to meeting their needs, as required in the EHCP.

Support for Adult learners

We ask all learners to disclose any medical conditions, learning difficulties, physical or sensory disabilities or additional learning support needs at the application and enrolment stage. If you disclose a support need which may affect your study, we can advise you on what support would enable you to access and achieve on your course. If you feel that you would benefit from additional learning support you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you have a known disability or learning difference please contact our Disability Officer, Paul Smyth, on 020 8607 8173/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Learning Skills Workshop to discuss your needs with a member of the Additional Learning Support (ALS) team. The college can provide support for a wide range of disabilities and learning differences including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, hearing and visual impairments, mental health and mobility impairment. If you suspect you have a learning difference but have never been assessed, please ask for an appointment with one of our ALS tutors who will be able to carry out an assessment. The ALS team can help with English and mathematics and also assess students for access to special exam arrangements such as extra time, modifications to papers and more.

If you are not eligible for funding support on your course then you will be asked to fund any ALS needs you may require.

ALS Contacts

Disability Officer; (including High Needs Students on mainstream programmes) Paul Smyth: 0208 607 8173 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Learning Support Manager; Rachael Chidgey: 0208 8607 8424 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General ALS enquiries or to request ALS: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Learning Support – Dyslexia

020 8607 8209/233

Additional Learning Support – Autism Spectrum Conditions

020 8607 8483

Additional Learning Support – Mental Health

020 8607 8483

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