Additional Learning Support

Learner Support

Learning Support is provided for students who have learning difficulties or disabilities. Every year many of our students need additional help with skills such as literacy, numeracy or indeed day to day learning activities. Support can be provided, through a variety of methods which is agreed between the student, Study Programme Tutor and the Learning Support team, thereby getting the best support package for you.

If you think we can help, please come and see us:

Eastbourne Campus, Room 116 in ECAT House
Telephone: 030 300 39258 / Minicom (01323) 637216

Lewes Campus Room LC134
Telephone: 030 300 39562

Exams arrangements

If you think you are entitled to special examination arrangements, such as extra time, reader or scribe etc, you should speak to your Personal Tutor or contact the Additional Support team.

Access for All

Removing Barriers for Disabled Students

Sussex Downs College is committed to taking positive action to remove barriers to success for all students, particularly those who are disabled. We are happy to embrace the disability provisions of the Single Equality Act 2010 which echoes our own College commitment to promote equal opportunities and diversity.

In particular, we recognise our responsibility to:

Sussex Downs College

Under the Equality Act 2010 we are required to:

Contact us:

Adrian Carnie, Director of Learning Support
Telephone: 030 300 39321
Minicom Eastbourne: (01323) 637 216

Kira Brabenec, Manager – Additional Learning Support
Telephone: 030 300 39294
Minicom:  (01323) 637216 (Eastbourne)


View our local offer (PDF)

Admissions Procedure

If you are disabled or have a learning difficulty, please tell us about your access needs or difficulty as soon as possible. It will help us to help you better if you contact the College before you apply, particularly if you need any individual arrangements for interview. In response to your application we will assess your access to learning needs and make every effort to provide the support or specialist equipment you need. We can also arrange for you to come for an accessibility visit. If we are unable to provide the support you need, for example, if a specialist service or re-source cannot be made available, we will let you know in writing, giving the reasons.

Staff Expertise

The College prides itself on the level and diversity of qualifications of its staff, who are experienced in supporting students with a broad spectrum of impairments and learning difficulties, including students who have hearing impairments, visual impairments, dyslexia, or other specific learning difficulties.

Examinations and Assessments

If you are disabled, you should not be disadvantaged in exams or assessments. Awarding bodies have clear guidelines about the level and type of support that can be given in particular circumstances. Appropriate arrangements will be made for students who have been assessed as needing support.

Range of Support Available

Access to support is based on an assessment of your learning needs. Here are some examples of support we may provide:

Buildings and Accommodation

The Colleges main campuses are at Eastbourne and Lewes. Denton Island Training and Business Centre is in Newhaven. The College also uses many schools and community venues and provides education and training through franchise partners. Please contact us to discuss where you would like to study, so that we can advise you of its facilities and, if appropriate, arrange an accessibility visit with you. The Eastbourne and Lewes buildings are almost all purpose-built modern buildings with good accessibility and facilities. They have been audited to make sure they comply with the Disability Discrimination Act Part 4 and there is an on-going programme of improvements to make them even better. Denton Island Training and Business Centre is a new building and allows full access for users with restricted mobility or wheelchairs. At present, there is limited access to the upper floors of the A Level Centre, Eastbourne.

Participation and Consultation

The College is required by law to consult with students and to involve them in decisions which affect them. Some of our students may be disabled and have particular access needs (they may have learning difficulties, sensory or physical impairments or mental health issues and need, for example, particular equipment, communication support, or materials in a format accessible for them). We are pleased to be told about the access needs our disabled students have, and if they are happy to discuss them with the relevant staff it helps us to do what we can to meet their specific needs and to understand how we might improve our services to all students, particularly those who are disabled. We also encourage all students to speak to their tutors, learning support teachers and course teachers about any problems or suggestions they might have about our service – and to become involved in various college activities to increase student participation. 

Complaints and Appeals

The College is committed to providing the highest possible level of service to all its students. Despite our best efforts, things can sometimes go wrong. If you are dissatisfied, please talk first to your College contact or the Additional Learning Support Manager, Kira Brabenec and try to reach an informal resolution. If you wish to take your complaint further, please contact Adrian Carnie, the Head of Learner  Quality and Learning Services.

Study Programme Tutor

Study Programme Tutor sessions are a chance for you to talk to a member of staff who is not your course teacher about any queries you may have, such as applying to university, future plans, personal issues and financial issues around. Study Programme Tutors help you set and meet achievable targets and discuss ways in which you can manage you workload. They will also let you know about important College messages about curriculum, exam timetables, guidance or anything else you need to know. Skills that are not covered in your chosen subjects, such as applying for jobs or university, citizenship and personal skills are covered in tutorials, as well as general College information. This helps each student to feel a part of the wider college community.

What your Study Programme Tutor provides

You will meet with your Study Programme Tutor to assess your needs, go through reports, set targets, talk through issues, and generally check that all is well. Full time students will attend short group tutorials where your Study Programme Tutor will deliver a tutorial program designed to develop your confidence, communication skills, independent living and learning skills, personal awareness and safety, study skills, progression and work options, and much more. Your Study Programme Tutor is here to act as an advocate and will support you if things don’t go as planned. We work alongside other teaching staff but are independent. We can talk with outside agencies on your behalf. And if we can’t help, we will know someone who can!

Contact your Tutor

You will be given details of how to contact your tutor when you start college. This information will also be provided on the noticeboards for your course. It is very important that you keep your contact details up to date at college, in case your tutor needs to contact you.

Study Programme Tutor Support

Talk to your tutor first if you are having problems with any issues at college. They will know what options will help you to do well at college, and after college too.

Disability Equality

The college is running a campaign on disability and equality, making sure that everyone gets treated the same, and that everyone feels valued. You will see posters around the campus giving more details of this.

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