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The RCU Award for Support for Students Synopses 2023/24

Bridgwater and Taunton College

BTC seeks to “transform lives and communities through innovative learning and partnerships”. At a time of unprecedented inward investment and opportunity in Somerset, it sees its role as ensuring that those with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities aren’t left behind. It uses the Supported Employment model to develop innovative study programmes that offer individuals with additional needs or learning difficulties a Supported Internship that gives them invaluable exposure to the world of work alongside a personal and social development framework designed to increase their skills, experience and confidence. BTC’s Project SEARCH was established in 2017 in partnership with Musgrove Park Hospital and Discovery Job Coaches and has now been the springboard for a raft of new Supported Employment programmes, including a Supported Traineeship at the nearby nuclear power plant construction site at Hinkley Point C (HPC) and, new for September 2023, BTC’s Supported Employment Programme with Avon and Somerset Police. A myriad of smaller schemes with businesses large and small have also been established, thereby fostering inclusivity, dispelling preconceptions, and contributing to a more diverse Somerset workforce.

Coleg Cambria

NeuroTech courses are bespoke alternative courses within Digital Technologies, designed to enable individuals with social communication conditions such as Autism to succeed both academically and socially within a mainstream college setting. This is achieved through a programme of study that incorporates practical techniques and strategies, and is tailored for learners' individual needs. NeuroTech can be adapted to each learners' specific learning style, enabling them to reach their academic and personal aspirations. NeuroTech learners receive targeted support from ASD Mentors and in-class support. All NeuroTech courses offer a personalised life skills element to develop independence and employment skills; including using transport, working with others, developing communication skills and managing money. NeuroTech learners benefit from a tailored and bespoke transition into college through visits, support and regular contact prior to their arrival. They also have access to support in their transition out of college onto their next path. NeuroTech courses are offered at Level 1, 2 and 3. Learners will achieve accredited and non-accredited qualifications. NeuroTech enables learners to progress to other courses in the college, into university or into employment.

College of West Anglia

Hummingbird is an individualised flexible learning programme, designed to meet the specific needs of students who would otherwise be unable to access a college programme. Designed to cater for those who may not fit into a traditional college study programme, no two Hummingbird programmes or learners are alike! Hummingbird is offered to applicants when no suitable alternative programme is available, and to existing students whose additional needs are preventing them from accessing their current course. It is normally a one-year programme catering for students up to level 3 and prepares them for: • a full-time college course, • an exit course from college with experience in their vocational subject, • a learning experience that we are unable to provide any other way, and which helps to prevent them from becoming NEET. The programme supports students with a wide range of needs including but not limited to: complex medical needs; autism; social, emotional & mental health. Each student has an individualised programme which will usually include elements of one or more vocational courses, maths and/or English plus any individual support needs. The Hummingbird co-ordinator works with the student, parents, curriculum and support teams to oversee and monitor transition and progress.

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