Learner Support


Learner Support

New Directions College is able to offer our learners a range of support to make ensure learning is a positive and enjoyable experience. We aim to break down any barriers to learning, be that a learning difficulty or a financial hardship, with our Learner Support schemes.

Learning Support

Overview of offer

We offer a range of support to help learners with a learning disability or a learning difficulty. This includes:

  • Initial assessments to identify your starting point and clearly identify areas where you would benefit from additional support
  • Additional support in and out of the class with a Learning Support Worker or specialist service
  • Specialist support for specific learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Access arrangements for exams, including extra time, a reader, a scribe or adapted exam papers
  • Specialist dyslexia assessments and support
  • Individual Learning Plans
  • Regular reviews and feedback on your progress

Our team of Additional Learning Support Workers are on hand to support you if you have a learning difficulty and/or disability. You could receive 1:1 support in every class and additional time with your Support Worker to help you complete assignments and course work outside of timetabled sessions.

We work with a range of local services who can also provide support for learners with visual or hearing impairments, including signers and scribes.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to have learning support. We will discuss your needs and how best we can support you.

Learner Support Fund

New Directions College is able to provide financial support for individuals enrolled on a course that is either fully or part funded by the ESFA ( Education and Skills funding agency), through our Learner Support Fund. This fund is available for individuals experiencing financial hardship or another barrier to learning. Unfortunately this fund is not available to Apprentices. Each application is individually assessed and must meet specific eligibility criteria to be successful. If you require support to complete your application, you can contact us on 0345 842 0012 or email: newdirections@reading.gov.uk

The Learner Support Fund may be able to provide the following support for eligible learners:

• Help with childcare costs (you must be age 20+)
• Help with course fees
• Help with the cost of books, kit & equipment, including digital
• Help with travel expenses

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

• Unemployed
• In receipt of pension credit
• In receipt of a means tested benefit e.g. universal credit, JSA, ESA, Income support
• From a low-income household – less than £20,319 per year
• Have a learning disability/difficulty
• Household income adversely affected by the Cost of Living Crisis

When applying you must provide the following evidence: (Photographs including screenshots are acceptable)

  1. Evidence of the benefit you receive
  2. Evidence of low-household income, less than £20,319 – last 3 pay slips, bank statement (dated within last 3 months), P60
  3. A supporting statement as to why you are applying to the fund
  4. A self declaration that your household income has been adversely affected by the Cost of Living Crisis

If you are aged 20+ and live within an eligible postcode you will automatically be eligible for help towards childcare. If you don’t live within an eligible postcode area then we will require evidence of your household income to demonstrate you have financial hardship and require support. If you are 19, you should apply for help with childcare costs through the Care to Learn Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn

Please complete this online application form to be considered for support through our Learner Support Fund. Your application will be assessed on receipt and we will contact you if we require any additional information or evidence. We aim to assess each application as quickly as possible and will contact you within 5 working days with a provisional outcome.