Supported Learning

Working in partnership with over ten local authorities in Greater Manchester and beyond, we provide a highly personalised Supported Learning offer for students with special educational needs or disabilities in an inclusive, supportive learning environment.

Whether you study one of our mainstream 16-18 (16-24 with an EHCP) or 19+ Adult courses and require additional support, or you want to study one of our dedicated Supported Learning courses, at The Manchester College – the No.1 College in Greater Manchester for achievement* - our provision is specifically designed to support you into employment or further education.

We’re extremely proud of our strong track record of helping students with special educational needs or disabilities to achieve their aspirational career goals. Our Supported Internship provision has been highly commended by the Department for Education and the department is also a 19/20 Beacon award winner for its application of assistive technology in supporting young people with a SEND need.

*NARTS 18/19

Can you reach your potential? You can with us!

Make it possible today, view our range of Supported Learning courses and enrol to study at the No.1 College in Greater Manchester.

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Our supported curriculum has been designed to remove the barriers to learning for all individuals with learning difficulties, providing them with tailored help and guidance on their journey to independence.

We offer two types of Supported Learning courses:

‘Routes to’ Programmes of Study

Our ‘Routes to’ courses can be customised to meet the requirements of individual students, helping them to develop a range of skills associated with community living, employment and education.

Routes to Community Living: Tailored to High Needs students, who may have complex learning difficulties and a strong desire to become more independent.  

Routes to Learning: Specifically designed for High Needs students with learning difficulties and disabilities who can follow instructions and routines, and who would like to develop their own independence and work skills.

Routes to Skills: Designed for any High Needs student under the age of 24 with an EHCP (or in the process of gaining one), this course will help those with the potential to develop their work skills, make positive decisions about their next steps and focus their goals on employment in the future.

Supported Internships

On our Supported Internship programmes, young people have access to training in a real workplace, with host employers including Manchester General Hospital, Manchester Airport, Manchester City Council, and Digital Advantage, as well as a range of high profile businesses at Media City including The Lowry and the BBC.

Interns are supported to develop real work skills and access placements that are closely matched to their skills and interests. They’re supported to settle in and learn the job by an Employment Officer, Job Coach and teacher throughout the duration of the placement and in the great majority of instances cases go on to achieve paid work.

Additionally, we also offer a Preparation for Supported Internship to students, giving students the opportunity to develop employability skills via a mix of classroom activities, community visits and work placements, in preparation for work and our next step onto Supported Internship programmes.

Digital Supported Internship

Our Digital and Creative Internship for students under the age of 24 with an Education, Health and Care plan is specifically designed for those that love social media, making films, designing websites or coding and that want to go into paid employment in the digital industry.

The internship offers a year of agency work experience in a Manchester city centre workspace and external placements, with the opportunity to work on live briefs set by creative and digital employers. 

Plus, students receive career support, employment guidance and training options during and after the programme on their path to a career in the digital industry.

At The Manchester College we also have a team of experienced and dedicated staff who provide support for people with learning difficulties and disabilities – including hearing and visual impairment and dyslexia - 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.

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 Learning and Support

  • Andrew Hulme

Supported Learning Curriculum Managers

  • Jodie Booth
  • Daniel Kirkham

Additional Learning Support Team

  • ​Adele Robinson (Harpurhey, Nicholls, Seminary and St Johns)
  • Andy Armstrong (Openshaw and Welcomb St)
  • Jenny Barnard (Shena Simon and HI/VI support)​
  • Jennifer Colville (Northenden and Wythenshawe)
  • Tracey Melling (Dyslexia/SplD Team)​


Our Transition Team are on hand to support access to college from as early as year 9 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)
  • Nazmin Sultana (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:

Photo gallery

Lucy Rowe

The Supported Internship provides a strong evidence-base of what works well in terms of achieving genuine social and financial inclusion for young disabled talent, including meaningful and sustained employment. Year on year the partnership has grown stronger and the results speak volumes about the merits of joining forces to achieve a common aim, in this case delivering excellence in transition, careers and opportunities for all Manchester young people.

Lucy Rowe • Community Engagement and Resourcing Manager Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust