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Developing a Team Site for Learning Support Jean Liddell.

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1 Developing a Team Site for Learning Support Jean Liddell

2 aim To improve access to strategies, resources and the expertise of the learning support team. To improve the quality of provision for our disabled students. scope To ascertain how staff currently access knowledge, information and resources to support disabled students. to identify barriers and knowledge gaps. to identify ways that we can improve this process. “Not sure if it already exists but maybe a list of common disabilities – short definition and how tutors can help in the classroom. Useful tips perhaps.”

3 objectives To deliver a seamless process that will improve the quality and accessibility of knowledge, resources, strategies and information available to staff. To improve retention and achievement and progression rates for disabled students. To improve the learning experience for disabled students. “Many thanks for all the support you already offer to so many of my students, without the work you do, our retention and success rates would be much poorer, and, more significantly, the students lives would be much worse.”

4 justification The college has a responsibility to be proactive in promoting inclusion and to ensure compliance with disability legislation. Each member of staff has a responsibility to ensure that their own practice is inclusive. DEL’s Strategic Objectives for FE include the requirement to: increase participation and widen access to those previously under-represented in the sector. improve the quality of provision and enhance standards of performance. “I am concerned that many tutors do not understand the difficulties their disabled students face and do not make allowances for this.”

5 research A survey was designed to gather quantitative and qualitative data and information. Additional data was collected using GIS and in conversations and interviews with staff. To identify: Approaches Is it worthwhile? key success factors - what do staff actually want and need to know? A survey was sent to 80 recipients. Response rate of 33.75%. 61 comments. Only 22% of respondents said it was very easy to find the information they require.

6 research – GIS SERC students who declared a disability in 2013/14 are on average more likely to live in a more deprived area compared to all students attending the college. 13.4% of disabled students live in the most deprived areas compared to 10.6% of all our students. Inclusive practices will address issues facing students from deprived areas who may not have a formal diagnosis of a disability or did not declare a disability at enrolment. ”The provision of learning support has made a difference to a great number of students who in turn promote the college and the benefits of learning through the FE sector.”

7 options “A more user-friendly team site with a more structured approach.” “A lot of info is available in a number of places already but having it in one place would make access to it more user-friendly.” “Difficult only because it is time consuming to trawl external websites to decide which are useful/current. LS staff are always helpful but it is time consuming to give information to tutors and support staff on an individual basis.”

8 costs Time and expertise of e-authors. benefits Often approached directly for information or asked where information can be found. It will reduce the administrative burden on the LS team and college staff. It will improve efficiency saving time that can be used more effectively. Improve the quality of service. A method of measuring any improvement in retention and achievement will be investigated. A measure of success will be increased visits to the team site - a process to measure the number of visits is being developed. “Lazy but effective approach is to seek help/guidance from Learning Support Officers – works for me”

9 impact There is no clear point from which staff can access information necessary to meet their responsibilities under the Code of Practice. A key impact of the development of a LS Team Site will be to bridge this gap in provision. The recommendations will provide staff with a tool kit to help reduce barriers to learning. The qualitative research highlighted areas that could lead to more projects and further improvements to the service and ultimately improve the quality of provision. “Being honest – I don’t really care where the information is – I just think that a one stop hit for the information would be really useful.”

10 Risks The Disability Discrimination Code of Practice explains that adjustments must be constantly kept under review by a college revisiting and reassessing how it provides reasonable adjustments. Individual responsibilities under SENDO. The site must to signposted. Need to encourage participation and buy-in. “n/a as never access information on student disabilities so unsure what information/resources are currently available.”

11 The new site will include demos of enabling technology, student and staff voices, quizzes, FAQs, top tips, images, current media stories etc. Progress so far “I don’t think it is very user friendly, the layout is confusing and I feel that there are too many folders and sub-folders.”

12 Progress so far … thinking

13 any questions?

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