Petty Pool Vocational College
City & Guilds Entry Level qualifications: Preparation for Work, Animal Care, Horticulture, Floristry, Conservation, Recycling, Hospitality, Catering, Retail, ICT & Independent Living, with Work Placements and Travel Training for all.
Who to contact
Where to go
- Petty Pool Vocational College
Pool Lane, Sandiway
- CW8 2DR
- Contact Name
- Nicola Colenso
- Contact Telephone
- 01606 889097
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
- Preparation for adulthood
Schools Extended Local Offer Response
- How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Petty Pool College is a specialist provision for young adults with learning disabilities. We accept referrals from school leavers from the age of sixteen up to twenty-five. All applicants must have an EHC (Education Health Care Plan) or equivalent and this will provide us with a great deal of the information we will need regarding special educational need, additional support requirements and any social or communication issues.
We accommodate learners with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities including:
- MLD – Moderate Learning Disabilities
- SLD – Severe Learning Disabilities
- SpLD – Specific Learning Disabilities
- PMLD – Profound & Multiple Learning Disabilities
- Physical Disabilities
- Communication Needs
- Autistic Spectrum Conditions
- Down’s Syndrome
- Williams Syndrome
- Fragile X
Unfortunately at present we do not have adult changing facilities, though we are trying to source funding for this to enable us to accommodate learners with such requirements in future.
This list is not prescriptive or exhaustive and each individual learner’s condition is assessed at preliminary interview with Nicola Colenso our Director of Student Services. Parents and Carers support their young person at interview and are given the opportunity to raise any queries or concerns they might have regarding support or suitability directly.
Following this interview prospective young people are invited on a two day taster, during which they will work in each department and have their skills assessed by the teaching staff. From this we will be able to determine suitability for chosen courses and any additional support requirements we will need to accommodate.
- How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?
If you think your child has special educational needs, the Director of Student Services is the first point of contact for all matters relating to young people and can be contacted by telephone on: 01606 889097 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make an appointment to speak to Nicola in person just contact the main switchboard and we will arrange one as soon as possible.
We have an open door policy, and in the event Nicola isn’t on-site another senior manager will always be available for you to raise any concerns you might have.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Below is a brief outline of key staff and the elements of their job roles which involve supporting young people:
- Classroom Support; Functional Skills, Practicals, Communication, Working with Others
- Break-time Support; Accessing facilities, Managing Money, Social Skills
- Ensuring support requirements identified are being met
- Recording nature of support provided
- Logging & reporting incidents to managers
Course & Personal Tutors
- Pastoral Care
- Design and delivery of Vocational courses
- Design and delivery of Tutorials
- Design & delivery of Life Skills Agenda designed to meet individual need/targets
- Short Course Enrichment Programme delivery
- Assessment of Additional Support Requirements & Review
- Student led setting of Individual Learning Plan Targets & Review
Nicola Colenso – Director of Student Services
- College Manager
- First point of contact in all matters relating to young people
- Recruitment & Deployment of Staff
- Staff Induction
- Student Support Funding & Allocation
- Student Recruitment & Pre-Entry Process
- Exit Processes and Transition
- Referrals to External Professionals
- Liaison with Parents/Carers
- Safeguarding Champion & Equal Opportunities Officer
- Chair of all annual EHC Plan Review Meetings
- Staff CPD – Continued Professional Development
Joanne Halligan – College Administrator
- College Reception
- Signing in procedures / Safeguarding
- Switchboard Operator; Telephone enquiries
- General College Administration; letters, emails, record keeping
- Student Enrolments
- Bus Pass Applications
Rebecca Gasside – Learner Mentor Coordinator
- Line Management of all Learning Mentor Support staff
- Timetabling of allocated support
- Redeployment of staff as required
Hazel Hanslip – Curriculum Director
- Line Management of all Teaching Staff
- Curriculum Design & Implementation
- Qualification approval; Internal & External Verification
- New Starter Induction
- Course Profiling
- Curriculum based Staff Training & Development
- Administration of Medication
- Provision Representation at Events / Open Evenings
- Liaison with parents / professionals around transition into Further Education & Training
Linda Downey – More Project Manager
- Sourcing Work Experience Providers
- Profiling young people into appropriate placements
- Supporting student through interview and within the workplace
- Liaison with parents / professionals / employers around transition into work
- Travel training
Mary Watt – Quality Director
- External Standards; Ofsted, Investors in People
- Internal Quality Assurance; Observation of Teaching & Learning, Auditing,
- Policies & Procedures
- Self Assessment & Action Planning
- Surveys & Stakeholder Feedback
- Registers, Record keeping & Risk Assessment
- Local Offer Content
Peter Evans – Chief Executive
- Personnel & Staff Recruitment
- Finance and Budgeting
- Health and Safety
- Legal Compliance
- Site, Accommodation and Resources
Board of Trustees
- Leadership & Governance of the Trust
- Strategic Planning and Direction
- Legal and financial responsibility
Pre-Entry Support Process
The first staff contact prospective young people will have is with Joanne the college administrator. She logs referrals and writes to young people with an interview dates. On arrival for interview, she greets and signs in visitors. A current Student acts as a tour guide of the college and the facilities. Either Hazel (Curriculum Director) or Mary (Quality Director) will take your photograph and your personal details name, address, medical history etc. for our confidential records before your interview with Nicola the Director of Student Services. Following the interview you will be invited on a two day taster visit. At this time you will work with the course tutors and learner mentors in each department to see which courses you like and what help you need.
On - Entry Support Process
Hazel (Curriculum Director) organizes the first day for New Starters which is an Induction Day and you will also work with learner mentors and final year students. After following a two week rolling timetable to decide on a course working with different Tutors, Learner Mentors and students each day, Hazel will have a brief ‘Profiling Interview’ with students to discuss choices and allocate people to classes.
On - Course Support Process
The majority of support is provided by Learner Mentors in class and at break-times, and by vocational Course Tutors. Additional support or issues arising are passed on to Nicola (Director of Student Services) who might liaise with Parents or other Professionals as necessary.
On - Exit Support Process
In the September before exit, Linda (MORE Project Manager) works with young people to find suitable work placements near their home which have the potential to be sustained on exit from Petty Pool Vocational College and will travel train wherever possible to help young people get to and from work independently. Young people are supported to visit their local mainstream FE colleges and other appropriate facilities which they are interested in pursuing such as social enterprises etc. Hazel (Curriculum Director) coordinates the Leavers’ Reviews to which all relevant family members / Guardians and Professionals are invited and both Nicola and Linda also attend. These review meetings take place in the January prior to exit to ensure young people are supported by all relevant parties to transition successfully.
Rigorous internal quality assurance systems are in place to ensure the overall effectiveness of the provision - including support for young people. Petty Pool Vocational College is subject to Ofsted inspection via its franchise agreement with South Cheshire College.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?
Education and Health Care Plan
We will use the “All About Me” (Young Person) / “Our Story” (Parent/Guardian) / “Lead Professional” Profiles included within the EHC plans to inform our pre-entry process, the individual’s assessment of support requirements, academic profiling onto vocational courses, ILP target setting and ultimately transition planning and final destinations.
BKSB Functional Skills Diagnostic Testing & Baseline Assessment
BKSB is a computer programme used to test functional skills and diagnose the level at which the learner is functioning within English, Maths and ICT. Individual Courses each have a baseline assessment that analyses the starting point for learning within that area and also takes into account preferred learning styles. These two methods combined will ultimately determine if a young person is suitable for an Entry Level 1, 2 or 3 courses. These tests are conducted on both new starters and returning young people in year 2 or 3.
Assessment of Support Requirements
We send out a comprehensive assessment of Support Requirements form to the young person’s current school/provision and ask transition staff or senior managers to provide as much information on academic, social and behavioral needs as possible to assist a smooth pre-entry process, taster visit and induction to Petty Pool Vocational College and ensuring we aren’t starting from the beginning again, but rather building upon what has worked for the individual in the past.
Once profiled into a vocational area, an Assessment of Support Requirements is conducted annually and then reviewed termly in November, March and July by Personal Course Tutors with input from Learner Mentors. This feeds into the Director of Student Services meeting each term to look at the allocation of support staff; whether student needs have changed, staff reallocation and / or additional staff recruitment.
Individual Learning Plans
This is a document designed for young people. It allows them to take control and gives ownership over learning by setting their own, tangible personal, academic and social development goals in the five key areas of: Vocational Studies, Life Skills, Functional Skills, Social Skills and Future Aspirations.
Young people review their own progress towards their target each term with staff guidance using a basic traffic light system of red / amber / green to show at a glance not yet achieved / can do with help / achieved. There is a comments section for those who can write about the progress they have made and at the end of the academic year their Tutor produces a written report. The ILP stays with the learner throughout their time at Petty Pool Vocational College and includes photographs, project work, Tutorial subjects and extra-curricular activities & enrichment evidence etc.
All young people will be encouraged and supported as required to explore and achieve to an extent appropriate to their own abilities. Differentiation occurring naturally is embraced and used as guide in lesson and activity planning.
During Practical Exercises - The assignment of individual independent tasks during practical exercises as students display varying levels of ability, with more simplistic tasks with 1:1 support for those whose progress takes longer and extension activities for those who progress quickly and require greater challenge.
Comprehension - When instructions are given and / or during Q&A sessions and discussion, learners will be challenged accordingly - depending on their progress and the range of vocabulary they respond to. Learner Mentors might be used to repeat instructions or break them down into more simplistic terms or smaller more manageable chunks.
Resources- Where necessary, differentiated worksheet resources are provided for young people working on the same subject at different levels, young people who have a visual impairment and may require coloured paper, magnified text and larger worksheets. Non-writers require symbol and photograph based worksheets to demonstrate knowledge and enhance understanding. PC accessibility options are used and where appropriate, screen magnifiers, roller-ball mice and keyboard stickers etc. There is also at least one conventional PC is available in every classroom for the production of written coursework evidence, for those who are unable to use a pen.
Group Work- During group work, students may be given varied tasks on a similar theme and divided according to their ability. In contrast, at other times learners at different levels may benefit more from being paired together not separated, to allow the more able learner to play a supportive role and impart knowledge and the less advanced student to learn from their peer.
Documents- Any document which is intended for young person use is presented in a format which will enhance their ability to understand its content. ‘Student Friendly’ Documentation such as this, uses Century Gothic Font (Size 16 Minimum), and symbols and/or photographs where possible.
Current Examples include:
- The Complaints Form
- Student Friendly Mission Statement
- Student Disciplinary Code
- Student Questionnaire
- Partnership for Learning Agreement
- 2 Week Trial Agreement
- Student Data Protection Agreement
Any document which is not currently available in student-friendly format will be adapted upon request.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?
We operate an Open Door Policy and if at any time you wish to discuss a young person’s progress please make contact via telephone: 01606 889097 or email: email@example.com for a chat or to make an appointment to come in for a more detailed discussion.
We are keen however, to make the distinction between school and college. Students are actively encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and development and for sharing this information with their families, carers and/or support network. Only in instances where verbal communication is an issue will the use of communication books be considered.
Qualifications are competence based. When the Tutor and Learner both feel competence has been reached they will agree and compete an assessment plan stating when, where and how a learner will be assessed using a simple 1-4 scoring system. At the end of the assessment the tutor will explain to the student step by step, what score they got for each element and if they have passed, or need to be reassessed. Students can have as many attempts as necessary to pass, but won’t be put in for assessment until they are ready and likely to pass. The unit as whole is reviewed at every stage and learner should be clear on their progress and what they need to do to complete each unit.
Students will have weekly Tutorial slots within their timetables, which will be used by Tutors to monitor academic performance and discuss progress. There will also be termly reviews with Personal Tutors against the targets students have set for themselves within their ILP (Individual Learning Plan).
We collect contact email addresses as part of each student’s confidential record and if there is information to be shared will both email and send letters home with students.
We facilitate annual EHC review meetings to which family members and all relevant professionals are invited which will include progress review and target setting discussions.
There are two open days per year to which all Parents and Carers are invited, all teaching staff, learner mentors and senior managers are available to discuss progression be it academic, social or behavioural.
We offer a Transition Open Evening to support those learners and their families / support networks who are beginning their final year at Petty Pool and who are embarking upon work placements and more intensive travel training.
We also have an active social media profile on Facebook and Twitter, providing an ever-changing Prospectus reflecting what each department does on a daily basis and giving Parents and Carers a daily insight into activities. Most parents find this is the most effective means of communication regarding up and coming events and details of day to day learning activities.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?
Weekly Tutorial systems are in place to give each student 1:1 time with their personal tutor if required and cover topics such as ‘No Secrets’, Anti-bullying, Healthy Lifestyles, Stress & Relaxation etc. The management team operates an Open Door Policy to ensure learners issues are top priority and dealt with swiftly and effectively. ‘Student Issues’ is a standard agenda point at every weekly team meeting, from Learner Mentors up to Trustee level, to ensure concerns are raised early and appropriate information is shared.
Whilst we don’t currently have adult changing facilities or hoists on site we can accommodate certain care needs, for example; supporting female learners to manage their own menstruation. We help learners who require showering programmes and have wet room facilities for those who require them. We suggest issues surrounding personal care requirements are discussed at interview stage as we will endeavor to accommodate these wherever possible.
First Aid and Medication
All Tutors and Learner Mentors have First Aid at Work certificates from The British Red Cross and Posters are displayed in all teaching and social areas which show the photographs of staff that students can approach for First Aid help.
We can administer medication. Medication must be in the original packaging with name and dosage information. It will be kept in locked cupboard in the Quality & Curriculum Office and administered by a member of staff who has undertaken the NCFE Safe handling of medicines course. Four members of staff are trained to give insulin injections and all staff have been through diabetes awareness training.
We are pro-active when it comes to managing issues regarding behavior and try to work with individuals to devise appropriate strategies to ensure challenging behavior does not become a barrier to learning, achievement or enjoyment of college life. This might involve 1:1 Learning Mentors, time out, behavior contracts or liaison with external professionals such the local authority behavioural support teams.
- What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?
We are Further Education provision and as such don’t offer any health, therapy or social care services.
Referrals to external professional can be made at any time by Nicola Director of Student Services, for example Speech & Language, Behavioral Support Teams, Community Nurses, Educational psychologists, or Social Workers, if an individual requires specialist support.
Where communication is an issue, be that due to first language or impairment we will source an appropriate interpreter or communicator as part of the pre-entry process to ensure the correct support is in place on entry. At the present time we have a full time communicator for the hearing impaired who can use both BSL and Makaton, and a Polish interpreter on staff. We also have staff with a Diploma in Careers Information Advice & Guidance and a Masters degree in Education.
- How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?
As standard, all members of staff have annual Safeguarding and Equality & Diversity Training.
All Tutors hold both Teaching qualifications and relevant vocational qualifications and experience. Teaching observations are conducted three times a year and every vocational unit assessed is internally verified. From these internal quality assurance practices, the appropriate training required for staff is sourced and likewise good practice observed is shared with the team.
There is a detailed staff development plan meeting the training requirements for the sector and new legislation. Continued Professional Development (CPD) is driven by the individuals via annual appraisals as well as the senior management team, and in-house training and external providers are both used. Annually there are four whole staff CPD days enabling cross college dissemination of expertise and enabling organizational continuity of approach.
Recent CPD includes:
NCFE Safe handling of medicines (External / Frankie Patel, ICS Educate)
Insulin Injection & Blood Glucose Management Training (External/ W’ton & Halton NHS Trust)
Functional Skills Diagnostic Assessment Training (Internal / Hazel Hanslip)
Introducing you to Assessment Practice (External / Wynne Davies, City & Guilds)
Assessment Practice Standardisation (Internal / Hazel Hanslip)
Dyslexia & Dyspraxia (External /Maggie & Jilly Green South Cheshire College)
Diabetes Awareness Training (External / Trina Murray, NHS)
Team Building (Internal / Petty Pool Outdoor Centre)
Communication Advice – an Update (External / CWP Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust)
Observation of Teaching & Learning System (External/G Robinson, South Cheshire College)
First Aid at Work Certificate (External / British Red Cross)
Functional Skills Exams & Assignments Training (Internal / Hazel Hanslip)
Sensory Awareness & Teambuilding (Internal / Nicola Colenso)
Safeguarding Training (External / Chris Baggs, South Cheshire College)
VARIOUS – Basic Awareness of Adult Safeguarding (External / CWaC at The Edge, Winsford)
ONGOING – Hyundai i-800 Vehicle Driver Training (External / BSM British School of Motoring)
- How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Whilst we have a college base, we are currently working out in the community across five unitary authorities; Cheshire West & Chester, Cheshire East, Halton, Warrington and Wirral. Learning activities, travel training and work placements are designed around individual learners’ own local communities to ensure sustainable networks are built on that will survive through transition from Petty Pool Vocational College and on to the next stages of our graduates’ lives.
We advocate learning outside the classroom wherever possible and students will be included on off-site visits with staff on average on a weekly basis. Usually this will be on errands and visits linked to their course, for example the Animal Care dept. work at a stables with horses on a weekly basis and often have to get animal feed supplies or take animals to the local vet. Any special trips that have a cost involved will be highlighted at least a week in advance via letter.
All staff have to complete a thorough off-site visit process to be approved by a senior manager before a trip can go ahead. We have three eight seat People Carriers and two small cars for the transportation of learners. These are checked and maintained by our Health and Safety Coordinator. All staff have large vehicle driving training from a British School of Motoring instructor before they are allowed to drive learners and have their licenses checked as part of the appraisal process.
Students are also supported to apply for concessionary bus passes on-entry to the provision. We commence general travel training from year one, encouraging independence and the use of public transport, delivering accredited units such as ‘making a familiar journey’ in the process. Intensive 1:1 independent travel training for final year students is delivered where appropriate, be that on defined walking routes, cycling, buses, trains or community transport.
- How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?
Facilities are predominantly on one level. Those areas which aren’t have wheelchair lift access and there are disabled toilets on each floor. We have double doors at each entrance, however they aren’t automatic and there aren’t at present any adult changing facilities, though it is a priority to accommodate these in the near future. There are showering facilities and wet rooms available to those require it.
Again, an individualized approach is employed to ensure regardless of requirements, there are no barriers to access. For example where sensory sensitivity is an issue, Learner Mentors might be utilized to enable learners to participate in college life to the extent that they are comfortable with and to learn in a manner best suited to them. Literature for learners is specifically designed utilizing photographs, including visual timetables, student-friendly documents such as surveys and complaints forms etc. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard which is used to enhance teaching and learning – particularly for students who have low level functional skills.
Where communication is an issue, be that due to first language or impairment we will source an appropriate interpreter or communicator. At the present time we have a full time communicator for the hearing impaired who can use both British Sign Language and Makaton, and a Polish interpreter on staff.
If you have any concerns regarding accessibility please contact Nicola Colenso – Director of Student Services to discuss your specific needs and we will work with you to resolve any access issues as far as possible.
- How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
There are two open days per year to which prospective students, parents / carers and professionals are invited to come and have an informal look at Petty Pool Vocational college before considering options.
A comprehensive pre-entry process is in place beginning with a referral from a member of the local authority’s young people’s services team and this is made with a view to Petty Pool Vocational College being suitable provision and ideally accompanied by a copy of the young person’s EHC Plan stating educational aspirations, goals and targets. This referral generates an invitation to interview. On arrival there is a peer to peer guided tour with a current learner. Then a confidential record is generated and populated with a senior manager with parental support to ensure all the most important information has been taken. A face to face interview with the young person and their parents/ carers and Nicola Colenso – Director of Student Services should make clear the preparation and support required by the individual to join Petty Pool Vocational College smoothly and successfully. We also gather information from school such as school reports, additional support requirements and record of achievement etc.
A two day taster visit, sometimes called a link visit is offered shortly after the initial interview stage to allow the learner to try out each vocational area whilst staff conduct assessments so that both Petty Pool and the individual can make an informed decision about suitability for a place in September.
On- entry New Starters are buddied up with final year students. They have a thorough college induction, including health and safety, meeting all staff, finding important areas on site such as toilets, canteen and fire evacuation points, team building exercises and functional skills diagnostic assessments. For the next two weeks new starts follow a rolling programme again trying out each department until they make a decision about which course to enroll on and take part in the profiling interview with Hazel – Curriculum Director.
We facilitate annual EHC review meetings for learners during their time at Petty Pool Vocational College and within the Individual Learning Plan students are asked to set long term goals for the future following Petty Pool and review progress towards them termly.
We dedicate the whole of the final year to Transition, exploring the ambitions and options available to each individual. This might include progression to a mainstream college course, supported employment / voluntary work, securing a placement within day service provision, or in some cases a ‘package’ involving a combination of options. The academic course delivered is geared towards this time in life and entitled ‘Preparation for Work.’ The units studied during this year have been selected to compliment the imminent changes with the learners’ lives and allow them to procure valuable skills, for example Interview skills, Applying for a job, Learning from a Work Placement and Working as a Volunteer.
The MORE Project Manager and Job Coaches work with all transition students to secure and support work placements and ensure these ultimately lead to permanent positions which are suitable destinations for the individual upon exit from Petty Pool College, be they paid or voluntary. Early in September we offer an open evening to support those learners and their families / support networks who are beginning the transition journey and embarking upon work placements and more intensive travel training as it can be a daunting prospect for both students and families. Previous employers, Students and Parents are invited to speak about their transition experiences. Should the individual wish to explore the possibility of living more independently in supported housing for example, the College will also support this decision and provide routes to enable this.
Transition is student centered, however, leavers’ review meetings are held to bring all parties involved in the process together in order to formulate an action plan. The learner is supported by the Curriculum Manager and Director of Student Services to invite one or more of the following to attend: Parents/Carers/Partners/Friends, Social Workers and Careers Advisors, Advocates, Behavioural Support Team Specialists and any other relevant professionals
Throughout the spring and summer terms Petty Pool College supports each individual to attend college and job interviews, visits and taster days and finds and facilitates voluntary placements and work experience sessions. Students leaving the College are presented with a portfolio at the Leavers’ Prom in July, to supplement the Record of Achievement they have from school. This Portfolio contains details of all the qualifications they have gained during their time at Petty Pool, as well as any Work Placement certificates and in-house awards, A reference from the Director of Student Services and from the Curriculum Manager and the CV they have produced during their final year.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
There are nineteen Learner Mentors on staff at present, including 1:1 support workers, Class Learner Mentors and Communicators. If an individual requires 1:1 support this is highlighted during the pre-entry process, and funding drawn down to accommodate those needs whatever they might be. However, support fluctuates and therefore it is reviewed termly by the Director of Student Services. Learner Mentors might then be redeployed or additional staff recruited to accommodate such changes.
- How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?
Decisions about the type, nature and level of support an individual requires will be made by Nicola Colenso – Director of Student Services who will then complete the necessary paperwork in order to draw down the required funding. In establishing this, the following factors will be taken into account:
- EHC Plans
- Referral Information
- School Reports and Assessments of Support Requirements
- Student’s Initial interview
- Parent/Guardian information given at interview
- Petty Pool Tutor Assessments during Two day Taster Link Visits
- Learner Mentor meeting discussions
- New Starter Inductions
- Course Profiling
- Tutor Assessment of Support requirements
- ‘Student Issues’ brought forth at Learner Mentor Team Meetings
- ‘Student Issues’ brought forth at Tutor Team Meetings
- ‘Student Issues’ brought forth at Senior Management Team Meetings
- Learner Mentor support diaries
- Incident reports
Due to the fluctuating nature of additional support requirements, the Learner Mentor timetable is re-issued weekly, Tutors review support requirements termly and Nicola Colenso – Director of Student Services evaluates the effectiveness of support provided and redistribute / recruits additional staff as required. Teaching Observations take place at least twice a year by external quality assurance manager and learning disability specialists and the impact and effectiveness of support is analysed as part of this process with best practice and areas for development highlighted.