Student life

Study Skills and SEND

Study Skills and SEND

The Study Skills team provide a range of support, including assistance for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Study Skills and SEND support

The team of Learning Support Mentors offers group workshops on issues such as organisation, time management, exam anxiety and revision. They also meet one-to-one with students to help them find helpful study strategies, set individual targets and support them to make progress in areas they find challenging. The Study Skills SharePoint directs students to a wide range of resources to help them study better.

Qualified specialist teachers carry out assessments for exam access arrangements where needed; appropriate follow-up is available, including supporting students with using assistive technology. The College has a subscription to Texthelp’s Read&Write. We screen all students when they start at the College to make sure any underlying difficulties they may be experiencing which might affect exam performance can be explored.

Every student with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has a key worker from the Study Skills team who meets with them regularly and supports where needed.

Our low-sensory space in the ground floor of the Studty Centre is designed to welcome and support students, particularly those who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

The desks, table dividers, booths and carrels have been deliberately chosen to give the area a quiet and comfortable feel. The study area seats around 45 students in well-spaced zones, decorated with neutral tones and with lots of natural light.

Exam Access Arrangements

Legal framework

Exam Access Arrangements (EAAs) exist to ensure that students who have a substantial and long term disadvantage get fair access to the assessment process, in line with the ‘reasonable adjustments’ required by the Equality Act, 2010.

The awarding of EAAs is regulated by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) in the UK. Centres are regularly inspected by the JCQ to ensure that malpractice is not happening. Malpractice is defined as ‘putting in place access arrangements that are not approved or permitting access arrangements within the centre which are not supported by appropriate evidence’ and can result in our students’ grades being affected.

All staff at Hills Road Sixth Form College are responsible for ensuring that we meet the JCQ regulations and avoid malpractice. EAAs should be in place before any exams are taken, as early as possible after the student joins the College.

Examples of types of EAAs available

Extra time is granted for students who have a processing or handwriting speed which is below average. This must be established by a qualified assessor using a standardised test. In rare cases, extra time is granted for medical reasons where a medical consultant provides written evidence of the student’s need for it.

The new study space is quiet which means I can focus and there is excellent support from staff


Study skills support has definitely helped me to find my way of learning and what methods work for me, especially for revision