The Neurodiversity Team can provide advice and support to students who feel they have barriers to their learning.
Our team is made up of SpLD Teachers, Exam Access Arrangements Assessors and SEND Support Practitioners who have all got experience of working with students with Specific Learning Difficulties.
You can tell us about your learning difficulty or disability at any point of your studies:
- On your application form
- On enrolment
- On your course – just speak to your teacher and ask them to refer you to the team or use the QR code and refer yourself directly to us.
- Or you can email at SpecialistSupport@tmc.ac.uk
When we have received your referral, you will be added to our student list and a member of the Neurodiversity Team will contact you. We will invite you in for an initial support interview to identify how best to support you. Support that could be offered includes:
- High Quality Inclusive teaching within the classroom
- We can advise teaching staff on specific reasonable adjustments that may be required within the classroom
- Screening for possible Specific Learning Difficulties
- An invitation to a Study Skills Study Hub that helps students identify strategies to plan, organise and complete their studies more independently.
- Drop in Study Hubs are available for short term literacy and numeracy support
- Assistive Technology such as computer readers and speech to text
- An Exam Access Arrangements assessment
- Signposting you to other areas of support that you may require
*Please note, we cannot offer support to students whose barriers to learning are due to having English as an Additional Language (EAL), however we can direct students to the ESOL team who have qualifications and experience in offering this form of specialist support.
Screening – is a basic tool to look at strengths and weaknesses and can include short assessments of cognitive processing to look for possible patterns. The results usually fall into 3 main categories: low indicators, moderate indictors or significant indicators of a possible Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD). It is not a diagnosis and the reasons for weaknesses are not looked at in any depth. A screener is not acceptable evidence for an application Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA) (Support at University).
Form 8 assessment – this is an assessment using standardised tests to identify whether a student meets the criteria for certain Exam Access Arrangements (EAAs). This is not a diagnosis. The report only contains scores that meet the criteria for extra time or a reader for example. The report cannot be used in any other way other than for applications for EAAs. A form 8 is not acceptable evidence for an application for DSA.
Diagnostic Assessment Report(DAR) – this is a full in depth assessment of a students strengths and weaknesses, cognitive processing, speed of processing and abilities. It takes up to 3 hours to complete the testing and a further 7-8 hours to write up. It is a lengthy document. This report includes a diagnosis if appropriate. This DAR must be completed by a qualified assessor with a full Practicing Certificate and who is approved to assess for DSA.
We do not provide a service to formally diagnose any learning difficulties, disabilities or medical conditions, including Dyslexia. If you feel that you would benefit from having a full diagnostic assessment, qualified assessors can be found on either the BDA website, PATOSS website or SASC website. Assessments tend to cost between £350-£700, especially if you are wanting to use it as evidence for an application for DSA. The links for each are included here for you:
It’s really important that you choose an Assessor who is qualified to write DSA assessments, and that they use the correct DAR format to gain approval from Student Finance. Some Assessors may be able to diagnose, but not provide evidence for DSA.
The deadline for referrals to the Neurodiversity Team is 15th December each academic year. Referrals after this date will only be progressed once all previous referrals have been actioned.
Modified Papers – If you think you will require modified papers due to a significant Visual need, the deadlines for referral to the team are:
- September 10th for exams in November, December and January
- October 10th for all other exams
This is due to external exam board deadlines and the significant amount of time required to create modified papers for each exam series.
A note on English Functional Skills exams:
Functional Skills exams assess your ability to communicate in English independently. For this reason, a student will not be allowed to have a human support for
- CSW support in exams testing speaking & listening or reading.
- Reading in exams testing reading
- Writing in exams testing writing
EAAs cannot be applied for where a student’s barriers to learning are due to English being their second or additional language. There must be evidence of a learning difficulty or disability.
All EAAs are processed following the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Regulations.
At The Manchester College, a student’s Normal Way of Working in exams will be to handwrite their answers to exam questions in a room with their peers, with no support for reading being given. If, due to a learning difficulty or disability a student requires differing arrangements to be put in place than the TMC (The Manchester College) Exam Normal Way of Working, an assessment of need will be completed. In compliance with the Equality Act 2010, where evidence that a learner has a physical or mental health need or condition that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on normal everyday activities, any appropriate exam access arrangements that are the student’s Normal Way of Working will be applied for or centre granted. If there is no evidence of Normal Way of Working within the classroom, no application will be made.