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Blackburn College

Blackburn College is a fully inclusive college that provides the necessary support to allow students to have full access to mainstream educational provision. 

We can help you if you have a learning difficulty, disability or any other learning needs.  We will adapt our support and courses to suit you and make sure all of your needs are met. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Additional Learning Support Team
Contact Position
Additional Learning Support Manager
01254 292585/292336
text phone 07837418148

Where to go

Blackburn College
Feilden Street

Other Details


Other notes

Additional Learning Support

Students with learning disability or physical disabilities (e.g. ASD and ADHD)

We can provide:

Suport Worker or Note-taker in class or to help you during breaks or lunch times

Help with personal care

Support to use college facilities such as the library and gym

Loan of computer equipment and software

Environmental adaptations such as seating, rise and fall desks

A full specialist assessment

Students with complex needs

We can provide:

Individual Support Plans (ISP) to provide a tailor made support package

Suport Worker in class or to help you during breaks or lunch times

Note taker where required

Help with personal care

Support to use College facilities such as the library and gym

Mental Health Support

Our Support, Mentor, Advice and Resourse Team are available to provide the personal support that you may require.

Support for Specific Learning Difficulties (e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia etc)

We provide:

Qualified dyslexia tutors

Help to manage workloads

Planning and organising assignments

Getting ideas on paper

Developing reading and spelling skills

Tailor made support plans

Using assistive technology

Sensory Impairment

Qualified Teacher for the Deaf

Qualified Teacher for the Visually Impaired

Communication Support Workers (BSL and SSE)

Support Workers


Sighted Guides

Up to date sensory imparment technology e.g. radio aids, SuperNova or JAWS software packages

Braille tuition

Mobility training / Long Cane course

Adaptation of course material in large print, audio or braille







This service is part of the Local Offer

Local Offer

Contact Name
Louise Birchall
Contact Telephone
01254 292462
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
Parents & carers
11-16 years
19-25 years
16-19 years
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the college/setting?


We support students with the following:

·         Complex Support requirement

·         Individualised Study Programm

·         Learning Disabilities and Physical Disabilities (eg ASD, ADHD)

·         Specific Learning Difficulties including exam access arrangement

·         Mental Health / Mentoring Support needs

·         Sensory Impairment/s

·         Supported Internship Programme


The College works with a range of external agencies to support students that can include speech therapists, occupational therapists, NHS nurses, etc.


More information on any of the above points is available on request, via a copy of our Additional Learning Support leaflet or by viewing this leaflet on our website.


What training and experience have the staff supporting young people with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?

We have a highly qualified and expereienced team with many years of experience of working with learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Our team consists of:

·         Additional Learning Support Manager

·         Manager of Assessment and Out-of-Class Support

·         Manager of Learning Difficulties and Disabilities and In-Class Support

·         Curriculum Centre Support Coordinators

·         Specialist Dyslexia Tutors – (many of whom are accredited by the 

       Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning


·         Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired

·         Qualified Teacher of the Deaf

·         Support Facilitators

·         Communication Support Workers who hold British Sign 

       Language qualifications at Level 3 and above

·         Note takers – trained to undergraduate level and above

·         Support Workers – receive on-going training including perosnal care.

·         Assistive technology technician

·         Material adaptation and resource assistant

·         Administration support



All members of the team undertake regular professional development via:


·         staff development within the ALS team

·         the College wide organisational development programme

·         sharing good practice within the Further Education sector

·         attendance at external events and update training some of which is externally accredited


Here are some examples of training undertaken in the last year:

personal care training, sighted guide training,  Professional Association of

Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties updates,


Person Centred Planning, British Sign Language, Dyscalculia,

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice and Autism.







How does the setting/college know if I need extra help?

The Transition Service at Blackburn College is here to help you through this process. If,as a potential student ,ou need support to learn we understand that making a transition to college could be a concern.


Whether it’s a medical condition, learning difficulty, physical disability, sensory impairment, mental health or specific learning difficulty we are here to make sure that our students can take part and achieve on the course of their choice.


If you are interested in any level of study, supported employment or have your sights set on a university place, we will help you to get the right level of support for your needs.


What we need from you

To ensure that support is in place at the start of your course please let us have a copy of your Education Health and Care Plan, Statement of Educational Needs, Section 139a or any other relevant documentary evidence.


If you do not share this evidence we may not be able to guarantee your support as in some cases the funding would need to be agreed with your home local authority.


To ensure we have the best support in place for our students, the Additional Learning Support team need to know at your earliest convenience if you are or have been in receipt of support. This can be done at a number of stages:



If you are intending to study at Blackburn College in the future, you can make our ALS team aware without having to submit an application – this just means that when you do come to apply to the College, we are fully aware of what support is needed when you start. Our contact details are below.



Indicate on your College application form that you will require support. This will ensure that your support needs are discussed with you at this stage.



At enrolment please let us know your potential support requirements if you haven’t already. We can discuss this with you and guide you through the process if required.



To make the College aware of what support you need, you will be required to disclose certain information. We will provide opportunities for you to disclose information in a sensitive, discreet manner. Information will only be passed to other members of the team in College on a ‘need to know’ basis, but only if you have granted permission for this to happen.



What should I do if I think I need extra help?

Additional Learning Support

The team are available at all College events tosupport  young people and their parents/carers  through the following stages: transition, application, enrolment, on programme and at exit stages. Please do not hesitate to contact the team who will be available at college events and can be contacted at any stage to give help and advice. The team support and champion the College's inclusive ethos.


The Hub Support Services

For any Hub Service query contact 01254 29 29 29or to get in touch.

This includes:

Careers Team

Our friendly and professionally qualified Careers Advisers are here to help you plan your career and make the most of the opportunities that will be available to you after your studies.


We can help you explore:


·         Career options related to your qualification

·         Job Vacancies, Graduate vacancies and access to employers

·         Further of Post-graduate study options


Finance Team

Our Student Finance Team is here to help you budget, plan and explore the financial support available to you during your study.


We are here to:

·         Let you know about travel, meals, kit & uniform and childcare support.

·         Discuss enquiries regarding any available grants and bursaries

·         Ensure you are aware of your full funding entitlement from Student Finance England

·         Assist you with your application for funding

·         Assist you with any concerns/problems you may be experiencing with Student Finance England

·         Discuss options and help you budget if you are experiencing financial problems


Counselling Service

At Blackburn College we have a dedicated on-site Student Counsellor for our students- Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 9:00-4:30 in term time.


The College Counsellor can help you with any emotional problems you may have. Counselling is not about telling you what to do; it is about listening and understanding your life from your point of view. Counselling can help to unlock new ways of doing things and can support you in finding your own solutions to problems and help you make the most of your life.


No problem too big or too small.

Counselling takes place in a private and comfortable room.


Contact the Student Counsellor either by phoning: 01254 29 25 86, emailing: or visiting reception at the Hub – Beacon Centre or phoning the Hub on 01254 29 29 29


Health Promotion

The tutorial and guidance framework includes themed  events,  including  ‘Health and Wellbeing’ – this offers students the opportunity to take part on activities and enrichment to promote healthy lifestyle choices and to have access to external services. 

How will my course work and learning environment be organised to meet my individual needs?

The College uses a number of different technologies which are personalised to your individual learning experience and can be further personalised to your own individual learning styles.

Moodle - Moodle is a virtual learning environment for your tutors to deliver more flexible learning opportunities for you to access learning content, assessment portals and interactive activities online. This means that you can continue to learn beyond your daily timetable at times to suit you. Moodle is adaptive and compatible with all common screen readers. It can also be personalised in terms of font, colour and layout.


Mahara - Mahara is an e-portfolio system where you can organise your thoughts, notes and resources. You can then publish these resources into assignments, websites, presentations etc.

In addition to these core systems, we have a range of outstanding technologies and specilaist resources available to help you to learn including:

  • Mobile Devices (iPads, tablets, smart phones, laptops)
  • GoPro Cameras
  • Visualisers
  • Interactive Boards
  • Interactive Tables
  • Specialist  software for example Read and Write Gold, Mind View, and Dragon
  • Adapted keyboards, CCTVs, low vision aids, audio equipment and specialist chairs and tables

Specialist Support including Medication and Personal Care The Transition Co-ordinator and the ALS team will discuss your individual support requirements with you and work with any external services to ensure that your requirements are met. Please talk to us as early as you can to enable everything to be co-ordinated before you start college.  If you require medicines to be administered then please liaise with the ALS team.

Progress and Achievement

This is recorded via our Pro Monitor system which enables students to own their learning journey and see progress and achievement towards qualifications. The system also allows individuals to set and review SMART targets and monitor attendance and punctuality. Tutor also provide feedback and complete a snapshot towards the overall target grades. Parents/carers can also access this via Pro Portal.

How will I be involved in planning for my needs and who will explain it and help me?

As mentioned above, the Transition Service is available for all students who require support to be planned and tailored to their individual needs.


Schools’ Liaison Team

The Schools’ Liaison Team work with local high schools supporting students by providing information advice and guidance about the College’s curriculum offer and help pre and at the applicant stage.  After application this is then supported by the curriculum team how undertake the interview and give additional guidance on the programmes we offer. 


Where a student identifies support at any of these stages the Transition Service or ALS team will then discuss your potential support requirements in more detail and to plan for your start at the College.

Who will tell me what I can do to help myself and be more independent?

Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors are available and should be the first point of contact for any academic and or personal support needs. Students meet with their Personal Tutor weekly and this provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns and agree action plans. This will include setting personal targets to promote your independence.


ALS Team

The ALS Team will also work with supported students to promote independence, where applicable to each individual student.

What should I do if I am worried about something?

Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors meet with their students weekly which will enable you to discuss anything that is worrying you so that this can be resolved.


ALS Team

Any member of the team will help you.

How will I know if I am doing as well as I should?

Pro Monitor

Pro Monitor captures snapshots and evidence of target and progress. In addition 1:1 reviews take place regularly between students and Personal Tutors to discuss progress and achievements. Events for parents and carers are planned throughout the year and access to a system called Pro Portal (for parents/carers) is set up for newly enrolled students.



The ALS team will oversee the Educational Health and Care Plan reviews and for all supported students reviews the progress being made and the support provision three times a year.

How can I get help if I am worried about things other than my course?

Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors provide advice, guidance and support for to students regarding academic needs e.g. course work and progression opportunities, and they also work with other colleagues across the College to offer pastoral care, guidance and support.


Learner Voice

This is supported by our Learner Voice which ensures that student views and feedback is gathered and acted upon.


ALS Team
The ALS Team provide and additional support network for student with SEND and support with personal and social, enrichment activities, work experience and ensure that the views of students are listened to. In addition this can include mentoring support where students may require extra help and support.


If I have difficulty in taking part in college activities, what different arrangements can be made?

Inclusive Approach

The College has an inclusive approach with all activities being open to all students. The ALS Team will support you to access the activities available. These range from activities linked to your course to fun activities such as trips and sports, some of which take place in our £13.5m Sports and Leisure Centre which has incredible facilities.


How will I know who can help me?


Personal Tutor

Every student will be given a named personal tutor who they can speak to for help. Also, there are Curriculum Centre Support Coordinators for every curriculum centre who can offer/arrange additional learning support if needed


Who can I talk to about getting involved in student activities if I need extra help?

Student Activities

Students who need extra help to get involved in student activities can speak to:

·         Matthew Hinchley or Kellsey Millar in the Sports Department for sporting activities


·        Each Centre also has a range of trips and enrichment activities which your course tutor/s can advise you or your personal tutor


Where a student may need support to access any of these activities from a support worker, for example, the Curriculum Centre Support Coordinator or any member of the ALS Team will be able to help arrange this for you.


Every student has access to a subsidised Gym Membership by being a student at the College, as well as a range of other sports and activities. We offer the following sports activities for example:

Zumba, Legs, Bums & Tums, Swimming, Netball, Football, Climbing, Running, Cycling, Table Tennis, Badminton, Boxing, Judo, Archery, Cricket, Rounders,  and

Gym & Fitness Classes.

What help is there to help me get ready to start college?


The Transition Service can arrange in individualised transition programme for you which can include: taster sessions, familiarisation visits, open evenings, and the new student day.


I am coming to college to prepare for employment - how will I be supported?


The tutorial and guidance framework includes specific activities and opportunities to promote employability skills and progression activities. This includes employer links and University applications / fairs. Links with employers to promote employability and work experience also feature as part of the tutorial and guidance offer which forms part of the overall study programme.


Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors also include bespoke activities to promote employability and progression that are linked to the vocational area. These form part of group and individual tutorials – information is recorded on Pro Monitor to capture progress and targets towards employability and next steps.


To succeed in your early working life (whether via University or straight from College) you will need to develop your understanding of the jobs market, your employability skills and the personal qualities to give you an edge in a hugely competitive environment.


Our Employability and Enterprise provision will allow you to develop, through a variety of initiatives, the skills and attributes you will need in order to build a successful career. This offer will run as an addition to your scheduled timetabled classes and will form a large part of your tutorial


Employability tutorial sessions will help you construct a strong CV, search effectively for a part/full time job and develop your interview skills so that you can properly sell yourself to an employer.


The Careers Team based in The Hub can help you gain the employability skills you need to help you find work at the end of your course.


The jobs board in the University Centre and Beacon Centre advertises local part-time job vacancies, work experience opportunities and graduate vacancies.


Once at the College you can log on to The Work Shop Moodle pages to find plenty of information and if that’s not enough call 01254 292929 to book a 1 to 1 session with a professional Careers Adviser for help with:


·         CV development

·         Writing personal statements

·         Where to look for work and the labour market

·         Applying for jobs

·         Preparing for job interviews

·         Interview practice and feedback


The College has a Blackburn College App for use on mobile phones. This demonstrates the wide range of progression routes from entry level through to the University Centre and apprenticeships/traineeships


 “Get Set”

‘Get Set’ is the College brand for our Supported Internship programme. It is specifically designed to help young people with significant additional needs to gain the opportunity of getting into work. We achieve this aim by getting to know our students as individuals so that we understand their levels of ability, ambition and motivation. Once we identify those factors, we source the most appropriate jobs for their needs.

• The programme lasts for up to 12 months.

• It includes a period of working with an employer to undertake a real job (it does not interfere with benefits), this can be up to 16 hrs per week and will be tailored to meet the needs of the young person and employer.

• College Job Coaches are assigned to support each young person and employer from start to finish on the Internship.


How we do it:

Before we match our students to work and employers we get to know each person as an individual. We do this by undertaking:-


Residential provision - The opportunity for many of the students to  

experience a period of time independently from their usual ‘comfort zones’. They are expected to work on team building skills, contribute to the day to day chores of the group living together, such as cooking, washing up, doing their own laundry, tidying up etc. They also have to exercise self-discipline and time management e.g. going to bed at a reasonable time so they get up on time in the morning.


There is also a community work based project with real deadlines and budgets which the Interns work on while on the residential.  The residential has proved to be an effective method of getting to know each person, how they respond to change, how they work with others and improving their independence skills.


A period of work experience in a variety of settings and environments. This is prior to undertaking the internship, to ensure the most appropriate vocational choices are made with the individual.


Work in class – All students work towards achievement of units towards a City & Guilds  Employability Award at Level 1. Other taught sessions include interpersonal skills, customer services, and interview techniques.  All students attend English and maths classes in line with Government recommendations.


1:1 Tutorials - are effective in assessing each person’s capabilities, identifying self-development needs, maintaining relationships with the individual, exploring realistic career options and opportunities. Personalised learning is at the heart of what we do.


Get Set follows a personal learning approach. This means that our staff work with you to identify areas that you need to work on to improve your employability opportunities. This may mean additional help with English or maths or providing you with strategies to overcome some situations you presently feel uncomfortable with. You will undertake the units of the City & Guilds Employability qualification appropriate to your needs. 

All Get Set students have previously received support at the College, so we will know about current arrangements. We do check if support is still appropriate or if we need to adjust, in order to achieve further development and employment. The Programme Manager positively encourages contact and communication with parents/carers throughout the programme, the intership and beyond.

Each student is assigned a Job Coach who will work with the young person, parents/carers and employers from start to finish on Get Set.

The Programme Manager and your Job Coach are your first point of contact and can arrange for extra help in a variety of situations. We also work alongside various outside specialists and counsellors and can sign-post you to support you to get the most out of your time on Get Set.

At the interview for the programme, we go through adivce, information and guidance, if required. You are given the chance to ask questions through out the session. Once you have attended your interview and been accepted on the course we will let you know by letter and telephone what you need to do next. You will have details of the relevent staff to contact if you are in any doubt.

In addition to working in small groups e.g. 1 to 1, or 1 to 2, with your Job, Coach, Get Set is a supported internship, so you will receive all the help you need both inside and outside College and when you go into employment. We work with employers to ensure that your support continues while in work.


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