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Case Study: Pastoral & Academic Support for Learners
Transcript of Case Study: Pastoral & Academic Support for Learners
Presented by Vicky Wilding and Laura Gray
College Support Services
Teachers should recognise that they may often be seen as a ‘trusted adult’ by a student who has personal difficulties in their learning or in their personal life. This status may lead to a teacher receiving confidences from a student who has few if any other adults to turn to. It is important that a teacher understands the policies and services in place to signpost their learners to for both internal and external support.
Attia was a 29 year old student who came onto a degree course at UCBC after starting a basic skills course at Blackburn College and successfully completing qualifications up to level 3. She was an Asian heritage student and had a profound visual impairment. Her schooling was completed at a specialist school for the blind and she didn't gain any formal qualifications during her time there. Her parents were extremely overprotective family and as a result she led quite an isolated lifestyle with few friends and no form of work experience. She was an extremely quiet student with low levels of confidence and self-esteem.
Accessed via Tutor or Self-referral to Main Reception at The Hub who then make an appointment
Careers Adviser gives IAG appropriate to individual needs and signposts to other services where appropriate
In this case Attia was helped to identify course options to continue her studies and given support to complete her UCAS application form. The Careers Adviser also made an early referral to Disability Services for Attia to discuss and organise her support needs.
Whilst on her course Attis continues to gain support from Careers Services to increase her employability at the end of her studies. This included help with developing her CV, Interview Techniques and support completing job application.
UHUb Library Services
UHub library can be used by all UCBC students and is open during the evening, weekends and outside of term time.
It offers a range of facilities and services including study areas, book loans, journals, computer and presentation facilities, printing and photocopying, academic school support from specialised technicians.
During her studies Attia used a variety of these services and made extra use of the technician for the school of Arts & Humanities.
Students are given the opportunity to make a disclosure about learning difficulties or disabilities on both their application and enrolment forms. The disability services team automatically contacts all individuals who make a disclosure.
Tutors, other support services and students themselves can also make direct referrals using UHubs main reception who will book an appointment with an adviser.
Disability services help students; complete their disability allowance finance forms; arrange assessments of need; arrange support packages to meet their needs
Attia had continuous support from her disability adviser. Her support package included; Scribe/Reader; Extra time in exams; Specialist ICT; Support Worker; PEEP
Disability Discrimination Act (1995) Chapter 2 Section 28R
Equality Act (2006)
Blackburn College Disclosure of Disability Policy
Blackburn College Equality & Diversity Policy
Student Finance Support
The student finance team support students with their HE student finance applications. They give IAG on what funding individuals are entitled to and support the Student Finance England application process. The also administrate UCBCs Emergency/Crisis Loan funding.
Students can self refer or tutors/support staff can make appointments with a student finance adviser via the UHub main reception.
Attia had support with her finance applications in each year of her study.
1:1 tutorials where Attia was given feedback on her progress, given targets and support to improve her grades and where Attia could discuss her needs.
Inclusion was encouraged through arrangement of group sessions
Teaching/assessment methods which were appropriate for Attia's needs e.g. Extra time allowances on activities, classroom layout, clear structure to class discussion, Presentations to combine visual and audio content
Timely planning to allow for material adaptation
Attia's condition meant that extra concentration was required to work at the same level as other students, reducing the amount of hours she was able to study during the day. Through liaison with Attia, Tutors and Support staff it was agreed for her to study her programme on a reduced timetable, over a longer period of time.
This adaptation complied with DDA legislation
An individual's learning support package is specifically tailored to suit their needs and is based on the recommendations made at their assessment as part of their Disability Support Allowance application.
Attia's support package included -
Person Assisted Support for help with independent study in the library
Specialist IT software
There are a number of learning resources available to enhance the student experience at UCBC and extend the learning experience beyond the classroom.
Moodle - Accessed internally from the student homepage and externally over the internet. Students can access information on courses, support services and general college information.
Student Engagement Team - Provide support with academic essay writing, referencing, time management.
Online journals - Accessed online via the Heritage system which is run by UHub library
Adapted Resources - Liaison between Tutors and Learning Support to have materials adapted to Braille.
BwD Women's Centre
Aims to support, encourage & enable all women to get the best out of life for themselves and their families. Support emotional well-being through group work, personal development courses and counselling.
Attia was referred to the Women's Centre to make use of a contact group for isolated women in the community. The group ran on a coffee morning basis and gave Attia the opportunity to meet up with other women for a chat.
Attia also accessed personal development sessions aimed at building confidence and assertiveness.
BwD Volunteer Centre
Advertises volunteering opportunities for a range of organisations. Vacancies can be accessed via the walk-in centre or online at www.do-it.org.uk
Attia was referred through for help trying to source a voluntary placement to secure some work experience and support employability at the end of her course
This Presentation will explain the practice used in Blackburn College to establish the specific pastoral and academic support needs of the Learners in our Case Studies.
Blackburn College is fully inclusive and offers an extensive range of support, internally and linking with external agencies. Through the case studies we will explain the practice used to establish the specific pastoral and academic support needs of learners, discuss the range of support available to meet the identified needs and how learners can access the support.
Case Study One
Case Study Two
Adam was an 18 year old male enrolled on the Level 2 Apprenticeship programme for Childcare.
He was the only male in the class. Since he started the course he had a sexual relationship with 4 out of the 9 girls in the class. Adam was finding it difficult in class to keep on track with his studies.
He was behind with the initial tasks set by the tutor and lost concentration quite quickly.
He appeared to be easily distracted. He was aware of the fact the girls were talking about him during lessons and he enjoyed the attention. This made it difficult for him to stay on task.
He approached his tutor saying he was struggling with work tasks set and disclosed he may have dyslexia. He was also worried that one of the girls he had, had a relationship with has passed on an STI to him. Adam was asked to move out of home as his father does not agree with him giving up his job on a building site to work in childcare. Adam was sleeping on friend's floors whilst he tries to find a home.
Adam was signposted to support within the college
The Learning Support Team met with Adam to assess his needs. They carried out an initial assessment with him and it was concluded that Adam did have Dyslexia.
Adam received support in the classroom with a support worker sitting in class. She assisted him by taking notes, helping him to read and break down tasks and by setting him targets to achieve.
Learning support also supported the tutor and gave her resources and strategies to help Adam in the classroom
The Tutor filled in an S1 Form and referred Adam for an assessment.
The Hub based in Blackburn College can offer a wide range of support.
Adam was directed to the Hub to access Financial Support to help him with his day to day cost of food and travel into college.
He was also signposted to the Retention and Mentoring Team to help him stay focused with his studies.who linked with Student Engagement to ensure his studies continued.
The role of the tutor was to refer Adam for the assessment.
She met with Adam weekly for 1:1 Tutorials. Reece et al (2007) gives the definition of a tutorial as: Interaction between the teacher and one or a small group of students providing opportunity for guidance.
She then had to differentiate her lessons and resources in order to meet Adam's needs and to accommodate a support worker in the class.
Resources were added to Moodle so Adam could access these at home to recap on the session.
She also signposted him to relevant agencies and support both externally and internally to find him the support he needed.
Tutorials took place weekly to record Adam's progress and to monitor his situation.
Adam met with the Engagement team and was assigned a Pastoral Support Tutor who met with him on a fortnightly basis to help him with any issues that arose either with college or in his workplace.
They linked with Adam's Training Adviser and the Tutor to ensure that Adam was receiving the best possible support.
The Youth Zone
Adam was also signposted to External Support
Young homeless people aged 16-25 with support needs, including single mothers with children under 5. Must be committed to programme of training, education and independent living. Local connection to Blackburn with Darwen preferred.
Brook is the UK’s leading provider of sexual health services and advice for young people under 25.
The charity has 45 years’ experience of working with young people and provides free and confidential sexual health information, contraception, pregnancy testing, advice and counselling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and outreach and education work, reaching more than 290,000 young people every year.
Offering world class equipment, cutting-edge resources, tailor made sports and arts programmes and extensive mentoring and personal support – we will irrevocably change the prospects offered to Blackburn’s young people.
For all backgrounds, for all abilities, for all of the community…open 365 days a year. And all for just 50p admission…!
Pastoral and Academic Support encompasses the Humanistic approach and focuses on the 'whole person'. Using Maslow''s Hierarchy of Needs, if a Learner does not acheive all of the elements to make them feel secure and happy then they will find it difficult to achieve their qualification and progress into employment.
Regularly reviewing a student's progress will help identify any further support needs, should difficulties come to light during the programme, and give the student opportunity to raise any questions or concerns they may have.
Tummons, J. (2005) Assessing Learning in Further Education, Learning Matters Ltd, Exeter UK.
Blackburn College Disclosure of Disability Policy (2012) Available from:
Blackburn College Equality & Diversity Policy (2011) Available from:
Disability Discrimination Act (1995) Available from:
Light, G. Cox, R. Calkins, S (2009) Learning and teaching in Higher Education: The reflective professional, Sage:London
Race, P. Pickford, R (2007) Making teaching work: 'teaching smarter' in post-compulsory education, Sage:London
Reece, I. Walker, S. (2007) Teaching, training and learning: A Practical Guide, Sixth Edition, Business Education, Tyne and Wear, UK
Mission Statement and Objectives
Set high expectations to promote the consistent achievement of aspirational learning goals
Promote equality actively, support diversity and cohesion and tackle discrimination through innovative strategies
Provide a range of learning opportunities, services and support relevant to the needs of individuals and employers
Blackburn College (2011)
"Your irreplaceable value as a teacher is to be found in dialogue with students. Prioritise opportunities for dialogue and feedback. It is generally accepted that formative feedback about performance and attainment is necessary for effective learning to occur. Feed-forward regarding the steps required to improve current performance." (Pg 24, Race & Pickford (2007)
"technology, especially emerging technologies, such as multi-media, the Internet and online learning environments...can encourage or enhance learning"
(pg 180 Light, Cox & Calkins, 2009)