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Learning Support

College life > Student support > Learning Support

Welcome to the Learning Support Team

We have a team of specialist teachers and highly qualified enthusiastic learning mentors (LMs).  Click here to meet the team 

At St John Rigby College we have an excellent reputation of outstanding support for students.  This was recognised in the latest Ofsted report stating, ‘Support for students is outstanding’ (March 2017) 

This is something we are very proud of. Overseeing the wellbeing of our students is at the core of everything we try to accomplish at SJR.  

The College welcomes students with additional support and is fully inclusive.  

We can offer specialist provision to students with special educational needs and disabilities for the four areas of (SEND) as detailed below.  

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication and Interaction.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
  • Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties

If you have specific needs which you feel do not fit into any of the above categories, please contact the learning support department to discuss your needs.

Learning Support Manager – Sandra McKeown

Support for Students:

The College will aim to meet the needs of students wherever possible working with students to achieve their learning goals. All students are required to meet the College entry criteria. Students with additional support needs will have a student person-centred support plan after working closely with the learning support team. At every stage we work with students to develop their resilience, independence, courage, and perseverance so that they can fully access their education and support them getting ready for their next steps whether that be Higher Education, Degree Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships, Employment and Assisted Employment. 

The Learning Support department provides a service for any student wanting help or advice in their studies, by having:

  • Bespoke transition support from High School to College
  • An open-door policy where students can seek advice and support whenever needed.
  • Specialist teachers who can assess students in house for Exam Access Arrangements
  • Assistive technology and software which helps to remove barriers to learning, promoting independence 
  • A quiet place to study
  • A fully staffed Nurture Room
  • Individualised Study Support Plans with SMART targets that include employability skills
  • Links with a range of external agencies. 
  • Partnership with safeguarding and the wellbeing team (link)
  • Access to the College Careers Advisor (Link)

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Some students may have or require an EHCP and need more comprehensive bespoke support. We will work with parents/carers and students, to ensure that the best possible support is offered and in place at the beginning of the academic year.

Arrangements can be made for transition visits to help with the move from school to college and, we are happy to come out to school to ensure support is individualised.  We will work closely with students, parents/carers, schools, outside agencies and the LA to ensure support is tailored to the individual.

Support for students with an EHCP includes 

  • A Learning Support Assistant in the classroom
  • One-to-one support out of the classroom.
  • Time with a specialist teacher (e.g., for deaf or Braille lessons) brought in as needed.
  • A medical condition that requires support in the classroom. 
  • Internal termly reviews with student, parents/carers.  
  • External reviews once a year with; student, parents/carers, outside agencies, LA.


At St John Rigby we pride ourselves on having excellent communication with parents and carers.

Parents/carers are encouraged to contact college to speak with the learning support team at any time to discuss any concerns they may have. 

Throughout the year parents/carers of students receiving support will have contact with LMs on a regular basis.

  • Students have formal reviews three times a year, parents/carers are invited into the second review alongside outside agencies and the LA.
  • Parents/carers are given opportunities to meet other parents/carers of students receiving support
  • Parents/carers are invited to speak with representatives of DSA

In addition to this parents/carer can request to meet with the LSM at any time to discuss any concerns that may arise throughout the year. 



  • Our campus is adapted for wheelchair access.
  • We have many accessible toilets on site including a fully fitted hygiene suite fitted with hoists and a changing bed.
  • We have a fully functional Gym, offering memberships to students and parents.
  • We have an Open Learning Centre which can be accessed before and after college for independent study and is fully equipped with both Windows and Mac computers.

Exam Access Arrangements

Access arrangements are exam adjustments made for individual students, based on evidence of need and the student’s normal way of working. They exist to ensure all students have the same opportunity to be successful in their exams and include reasonable adjustments for those students with a disability or learning difficulty.

If you have had exam arrangements at high school, then this is not something that automatically rolls over into College. The College will be required to complete our own assessment based on evidence provided by one or more of your subject teachers. A member of the Learning Support team will meet with you to assess your needs and determine appropriate support.

If you have not had exam arrangements previously, your teachers can request an appointment for you to help identify your needs.

If you qualify for support, you will be invited to sessions which help you to understand the various arrangements. You will also have these arrangements in all class tests, and internal/external exams.

Transition to adult services:

We ensure that all SEND students have a plan for when they have completed their studies. Planning begins during the second review when invite in students, parents/carers, and LA.  

 Options discussed are:


Apprenticeships at all levels


Supported Employment

Local Offer

Wigan Local Offer

The Lancashire Local Offer brings together information that is helpful to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. Click here to visit the website.

Lancashire Local Offer

The Lancashire Local Offer brings together information that is helpful to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. Click here to visit the website.

Useful Links:

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Level 2 entry requirements

If you’re not quite ready to start on a Level 3 Technical course (T Levels) or a Vocational Level 3 course (BTEC) but want to begin on the path to your chosen career, the Transition Programme could be for you.  

Transition Programmes are tailored to prepare students to move onto Technical or Vocational Level 3 study. They will give you the opportunity to improve your English and Maths, your work readiness skills and introduce you to the technical skills and concepts that you will need for future study and employment. 

As part of the Transition Programme you will study a BTEC Level 2 Award in your chosen subject area as well as the BTEC Level 2 Extended Award in Work Skills. You will also have the opportunity to resit GCSE English and/or Maths if you have not yet achieved a grade 4. 

Entry criteria for Transition Programmes is four grade 3s including grade 3s in English Language and Maths GCSE.

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