Supporting Students with SEND into Training

June 14, 2022, 11:11 a.m.
At Gordon Franks Training (GFT) we support students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with their transition into further training. In this blog post, we have outlined a series of frequently asked questions regarding the level of SEND support at GFT.

How will GFT know what support I require?

During the application process you will have the opportunity to declare your support needs on the application form. Following that GFT may invite you in to discuss your support requirements with our Inclusion Lead. All young people with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) will be invited in for an interview.

How is a decision made about the type of support I will receive?

The support you will receive, depends on the level of support needed, this will be determined by our Inclusion Lead. If you have an EHCP, you will receive the support outlined on your plan. If you do not have an ECHP, the support required will be assessed by our Inclusion Lead. An additional support plan will then be drawn up by the Inclusion Lead and shared with you, your tutor, the Student Engagement Officer, and programme manager.

You will be asked to complete a Maths and English assessment in the first 2 weeks as well as being observed by your tutor to determine how well you will get on with the level of work.

Will I receive 1 to 1 support?

Our Inclusion Lead will offer 1:1 support to ensure you are supported in your learning. Our Student Engagement Officer frequently reviews students on a 1:1 basis and offers pastoral support. The aim of all
support is to promote and develop the independence of young people and to prepare them for their next steps into adulthood and employment.

I am feeling anxious about starting GFT. How can you support me?

Our Inclusion Lead may offer you a transition plan to ensure a smooth entry into GFT. The transition plan will be designed to meet your individual needs. All students are invited in for an ‘induction day’ session.

The ‘induction day’ is designed to help with anxiety. On the day, you will be given a tour of our building, meet our staff and current students.

How will the curriculum be matched to my needs?

At GFT all our lessons are designed to ensure each young person receives the help they require to become more independent and employable. Once our Inclusion Lead has created your additional support plan, they will work closely with your tutors, Work Experience Coach, and employers to ensure the workplace is
inclusive and can accommodate to your needs.

What services do you have available at GFT?

Our tutors and Inclusion Lead are experienced in supporting students with:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (high functioning)
- Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dyspraxia
- Mild hearing impairments
- Mental health e.g., Anxiety disorders, Depression, and stress

If your need is not listed, please speak to our Inclusion Lead as we are keen to learn and will work in partnership with you and/or support agencies to meet your needs.

Reasonable adjustments/Services we have available:

We will work together to make reasonable adjustments. Here are some of the services we have offered:
- Identified Inclusion lead
- Exam Access Arrangements (reader, scribe, extra time) where applicable
- Dyslexia Screening
- Software is available on student computers to read out information on screen e.g., immersive reader and Grammarly
- Adapted learning materials e.g., coloured overlays, larger font type and personalised resources
- Bilingual Dictionary
- Scanners
- Read Aloud / Reading Pen
- 1-2-1 support
- Small group and workshop support
- Personalised support plans and reviews
- Sensory objects e.g., stress balls, clicker and fidget spinner and wobble cushion
- Meet and greets before interviews, workshops, and exams
- Interview support
- Helping with applications
- Helping with independent living e.g., travel guidance, money management and finance
- Links with external organisations
- Careers advice and guidance

If a service you require is not listed, please speak to our Inclusion Lead as we are keen to learn and will work in partnership with you and/or support agencies to meet your needs.

Is GFT's Training Centre accessible?

- GFT is accessible by wheelchair users on the ground floor.
- Disabled toilets are available on the ground floor.

What if GFT do not have the expertise to meet my needs?

If you are accepted onto any of our Access to Employment programmes, you will be closely monitored and assessed for the initial two weeks. If the Inclusion Lead feels GFT is not the right environment for you, you will be referred to our Student Engagement Officer. The Student Engagement Officer works closely with external agencies and will signpost you to alternative services/provision which better meets your needs.

How will I know if I am progressing?

Our Student Engagement Officer will liaise with the Inclusion Lead and will update your parents/carers at the end of your first week and then again at the end of week two, where you will have the opportunity to discuss the progress you are making. In addition, you can contact the Student Engagement Officer or course manager at any time.

What do I do if I am unhappy with GFT?

If you are unhappy with GFT, you can contact the Academy Manager who will discuss your concerns and will try to help you to resolve your problem. You can contact GFT through the link on our website:

Further Information:

This information is intended to give young people a clear understanding of SEND learners at GFT. If there is something that is unclear, or you require any extra information please contact our Inclusion Lead on 0121 333 3001.