Frequently asked Questions


What is a learning difficulty?

A learning difficulty is a learning or emotional problem that affects, or substantially affects, a person's ability to learn, get along with others and follow convention. A Specific Learning Difficulty is often associated with dyslexia but this is only is one of a group of difficulties which may include:

  • dysgraphia: writing difficulty
  • dyspraxia: motor difficulties
  • dyscalculia: a difficulty performing mathematical calculations
  • Attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADD or ADHD): concentration difficulties with heightened activity levels and impulsiveness
  • Asperger's syndrome and autism: emotional behaviour or social communication difficulties.
What is a disability?

What is a disability?

  • A physical or mental impairment;
  • the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities.

The Learning Support Team provides support for a wide range of disabilities and learning difficulties ranging from dyslexia, mobility difficulties, recovering cancer patients and students with mental health conditions. There is not much we can't support including temporary health conditions such as broken limbs.

Does Learning Support provide assistance for pregnant students?

Yes, although the first point of contact is the Health and Safety representative at your centre who should complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) to ensure that the student can exit the building safely in case of emergency. Facilities may also be able to provide lumbar assistive chairs etc.

What is the process which students would need to follow to access Learning Support?

All adjustments and entitlements are implemented and specialist staff is arranged if required through our partner agency Barry Bennett. For example a note taker, dyslexia tutor or mentor.

The process is as follows:

  • Disclose a learning difficulty or disability to a member of staff
  • Staff requests that the student completes a Disability Disclosure Form to give consent for their information to be shared. This should be sent with the referral to Learning Support.
  • Contact the learning support service either by phone or email.
  • Learning Support organises to meet the student to discuss their needs
  • Submit documented evidence of their learning difficulty or disability (educational Psychologist's report, doctor's note or consultant's letter etc.)
  • The Learning Support team creates a Learning Support Agreement which outlines the specific adjustments and entitlements for you. These will cover on course adjustments and adjustments in examinations. We can also offer extended library loans, lockers etc.
  • All adjustments and entitlements are implemented and specialist staff is arranged if required through our partner agency Barry Bennett. For example a note taker, scribe or dyslexia tutor
I think I may have a learning difficulty, how can I get assessed?

Some students are not aware that they have an underlying condition which is affecting their ability to study.

If you think you may have a learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, it may be worth looking into arranging a full educational psychologists assessment, a diagnosis of your cognitive abilities in terms of thinking, reading & writing. This will provide us with information about how your disability affects you personally and help us make adjustments for you in your learning environment.

If you require an educational physiologist's assessment please contact our Learning Support Team directly who can advise you about how this assessment could be funded. There is a £75 student contribution fee for psychological assessments.