Additional learning support

If you have or think you may have a medical condition, physical or sensory impairment, or learning differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum Condition, ADHD, ADD or any other learning needs, our Additional Support Team can help you.

Students at New College Swindon receive an outstanding level of support, from dynamic, dedicated, qualified and experienced staff. Additional Support has consistently been recognised by Ofsted as an ‘outstanding’ feature of the college.

If you are a current student looking for help or advice, visit us in the Skills Development Centre in BG06 (Queens Drive) & LRC (North Star), or use this self-referral link For prospective students and parents you can email

We offer support in a wide range of areas

  • Assistive Technology
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders: New College Swindon was shortlisted by TeS for the support provided to students with an ASD diagnosis.
  • Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing: we work collaboratively with the Advisory Teachers of the Deaf, and have a number of Soundfield Systems; improving the learning environment
  • Physical Impairment: we work collaboratively with the Advisory Teacher for Physical Disabilities and Complex Health Needs
  • Specific Learning Differences (SpLD):  in 2018, we achieved the British Dyslexia Association Quality Mark for a Designated Area - Skills Development Centre.
  • Visual Impairment: we work collaboratively with the Advisory Teachers for Visual Impairment.

We can provide:

  • 1:1 specialist teaching; this is not subject teaching, but specialist teaching for students with specific learning differences, embedding specialist strategies including the use of assistive technology, such as using reading and speech recognition software and mind-mapping. In addition to encouraging independence, the sessions are time bound. We will also offer screening for dyslexia, dyscalculia and ADHD/ADD.
  • Screening and/or assessment for Access to Examination Arrangements.
  • Drop-in study support sessions,

For students who have a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder or have evidence that they are on the diagnostic pathway, they will have access to:

  • Baseroom - a place for quiet-study from 9am-11am and 2pm-4pm, a social space from 11am-2pm. The baserooms have pod-chairs and a sensory lamp. At the Queens Drive campus we are lucky to have a kitchenette.
  • Mentor - who can be found in the baseroom. 
  • Social activities - we endeavour to arrange at least three early evening social activities in an academic year. The Mentors support the students accessing the baseroom to arrange the events, supporting social and communication skills.

Assistive Technology

Students and staff have access to a variety of assistive technology and software, which may help with learning:

All of the below technologies are exam compliant and can be used in an exam following assessment and training.

Docs Plus is a discreet, customisable software application that integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications.

Docs Plus literacy software solutions for desktop and iPads help struggling readers and writers, students with learning disabilities, and English Language Learners access the support tools they need at school, work, or home. The software ensures every learner has the tools necessary to reach their potential, build confidence and independence, and succeed.

Note: This software is on all laptops and computers located in the Skills Development Centre, LRC, English department laptops, HUB, Exam room PC & Laptops; to become more proficient in the use of this software, please contact Additional (Learning) Support, to book a one-to-one session or simply come to one of our daily Drop-in sessions held in the Skills Development Centre (BG06) 12-2 pm at QD campus & Mon-Thu 1-2 pm in the LDC at NS campus.

Tint & Track is specialised software that works in front of your screen, meaning any programme you are running will still sit behind your chosen coloured overlay. It will also display on multiple screens. Students and staff will need to have been assessed for visual stress before being allowed to use this software. We currently have ten individual licenses.

JCQ approved, Reading Pens - these pens are for use with more confident learners who still encounter difficulties with individual words, or work more efficiently when they hear the written word repeated back. If you would like to trial a pen, please contact Additional (Learning) Support team in the Skills Development Centre (BG06).

If the pen becomes your 'Normal Way of Working' you can use it during exams.

Study Skills Supporting Technology

Immersive Reader (Office 365) is a free tool that implements proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people, regardless of their age or ability. Immersive Reader can improve reading comprehension and increase fluency for English language learners. It can help build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels and offer text decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia.

It is available as part of the Office 365 package and works in OneNote, Word, and the web version of Outlook. It is also available in Office Lens for iOS.

Mind Mapping is embedded into Docs Plus and is an application that enables you to make well-organised mind maps. This software is available on most computers across the college.

Classroom tech support

REDCAT sound panel can fill a classroom with the sound of the speaker's voice. REDCAT produces audible clarity, no matter where a teacher stands, or students sit. It allows people to speak naturally and be heard throughout the room. All-in-one design means out-of-the-box usability. The REDCAT System provides full access to the teacher’s natural voice without hot spots or dead zones. It also aids in eliminating feedback; turn it on and start talking.

Students aged 14-16, 16-18 and 19+, can self-refer to Additional Support at any time on their programme:


If you are feeling anxious about the move to college from school, we arrange a Meet & Greet day in June, which is an opportunity to tour the campus, meet support and pastoral staff, find out more about where your classrooms are likely to be and where to find support staff/services.

Transitions Project: 1-1/2 days, the week of the GCSE results day. We usually offer two groups; Monday all day, Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday all day. More details can be made available nearer the time.

Education, Health & Care Plans

If you are considering New College, Swindon, then please encourage your school SENCo to invite the college to the Year 11 Annual Review meeting where we can discuss your course options and support.

If you have personal care needs, you will need to arrange your own personal care assistant, this can be discussed at your Year 10/11 Annual Review

If you have any questions, please contact:

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