Supported Learning

The Supported Learning Department believe in developing independence for all students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities by promoting accessibility and inclusive practice.

Working in partnership with all Greater Manchester Local Authorities and several beyond our mission is to enable SEND students to overcome learning and/or physical barriers to achieve, attain and progress in line with their peers of a similar age.

A leadership team focused upon effective transition into college, clear and effective identification of need and tailored support, work across all vocational areas of further education provision to ensure teaching and learning practice is inclusive. This means that support is, wherever provided, discreet with student wellbeing and dignity at its heart. At the same time our culture is to challenge young people to become truly independent by effective Student Learning Strategies delivered in partnership with each student through collaborative practice.

Teachers and SEND Support Practitioners work together to help students overcome barriers and progress well. The nature of support might range from specific teaching, learning and assessment strategies, the application of reasonable adjustments, application of Exam Access Arrangements, introducing students to assistive technologies, Dyslexia/SpLD support and much more.

The Department has strong relationships with a number of external partners such as the NHS and One Education, with whom we deliver Speech and Language and Educational Psychology services. We also work very Closely with Manchester Sensory Support Services to bring about effective transition and continued support to students with Hearing and Visual Needs.

We are a cross college support function with the specific remit of supporting students with Educational Health and Care Plans, and promoting the development of SEND Awareness and inclusive practice in all areas of the curriculum and the college’s wider services.

At The Manchester College we also have a team of experienced and dedicated staff who provide social, emotional, mental health and learning support for people with learning difficulties and disabilities – including hearing and visual needs and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyslexia or dyscalculia - enrolled on mainstream 16-18 and 19+ adult education courses.

We work with students from application, through their time at college and onto their next steps, and we’re committed to supporting aspirational outcomes and removing barriers to learning whilst studying at the college by providing supported teaching.

We understand that often, for people with disabilities there are additional barriers to learning and students might need help to study and contribute to a wider college experience. The support that we provide is not just about what happens today but is about developing the skills to empower and prepare our students for their next steps.

To learn more about Additional Supported Learning available at The Manchester College visit the Support section of our website:

Find out more

Supported Learning

Our highly qualified, specialist support staff are able to provide person-centred support for students, in accordance with Education, Health and Care Plans as agreed with your home local authority. We have won numerous excellence awards for the quality of our support.

Director of SEND Supported Learning

  • Andrew Hulme

Heads of Department

  • Adele Robinson - All campuses - Teaching, Learning and Assessment
  • Tracey Melling  - All campuses - Neurodiversity and Exam Access Arrangement

Additional Learning Support Managers

  • Andrew Armstrong - Openshaw Campus
  • Jenny Barnard - City Campus Manchester
  • Jennifer Colville - Wythenshawe Campus
  • Aliya Khan - All campuses - Deaf, Registered Blind, Visual and Hearing needs


Our Transition Team are on hand to support access to college from as early as year 9 in specialist and mainstream schools and, on request, will liaise with schools and families to prepare bespoke transition packages. They will also contribute to personal learning plans and ensure we provide the most appropriate means of support for their courses and ambitions.

  • Helen Sherwin - Transition Team Leader
  • Lloyd Gravell - Transition Team Officer
  • Gabby Rowe - Transition Team Officer

Our Supported Learning courses take place at our campuses across Manchester in classrooms that reflect a strong focus on employability and independence, as well as the development of essential transferable employability skills.

These classrooms contain rise and fall worktables, high quality equipment, and an increasing supply of assistive technology resources to encourage independent learning.

Accessible bathrooms and personal care spaces are readily available, and our large classrooms have sufficient space to accommodate students with mobility difficulties.

Find out even more about our Supported department in our subject area guide or on our YouTube playlist:

Download our subject area guide

Watch our YouTube playlist

Get in touch with us today via email:

Additional Learning Support Team:

Transition Team:

Click to play embedded youtube video

Photo gallery