Learner Support Policy

Prostart is committed to anticipating the individual needs of learners & apprentices, providing reasonable adjustments and promoting non-discriminatory practice across all functions of the organisation.

This includes ensuring the availability of a range of services and support aids to meet the needs of learners, and potential apprentices, who have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that may affect their ability to access provision.

Prostart is committed to developing inclusive learning approaches and to providing additional learning support to secure learning success for all.

Prostart aims to provide an inclusive learning environment that recognises learning needs/ disability and its impact on the way people learn. Inclusive learning is based on providing the best match or fit between a learner’s needs and the learning opportunities provided.

Prostart aims to:

  • deliver a whole organisation approach to Skills for Life/Functional Skills
  • ensure that the spirit of Every Child Matters is reflected in all aspects of our work to ensure that Apprentices & learners are safe, happy, healthy and develop as responsible members of society
  • ensure that all Apprentices & learners experience effective opportunities for learning and achievement
  • ensure that all staff and learners have equal access to information enabling them to work, learn, develop and progress
  • treat Apprentices & learners as individuals and fully support them through Prostart and its Partners.
  • Provide a remote learning experience which is inclusive as per Prostart’s Remote Education Policy


  • employing systems which include and empower Apprentices & learners and staff
  • equipping staff to deliver effective learning and achievement opportunities
  • offering targeted additional support to meet the individual and / or additional needs of Apprentices & learners on programme
  • ensuring key documentation is accessible to all

challenging assumptions and positively promoting equality

Learner Entitlement

All learners/apprentices are entitled to study and progress in an environment where they:

  • are fully respected
  • feel welcomed
  • are treated fairly
  • have equality of opportunity for learning and training
  • are in a safe, non threatening environment

Staff Responsibilities

Monitor the flexibility of programmes to ensure that disabled persons are not excluded unnecessarily.

Review teaching styles and practices to ensure that provision is accessible and that reasonable adjustments are built in to anticipate likely support needs.

Ensure that recruitment, assessment and examination arrangements are flexible to the needs of all learners/apprentices and anticipate the need for likely adjustments.

Encourage learners/apprentices to disclose a disability where it would enable additional adjustments, exam/assessment arrangements or support aids to be put in place, whilst maintaining confidentiality to the level requested by the learner, wherever possible.

Ensure that English and Maths support needs are identified and that arrangements are made for learners/apprentices to attend teaching sessions in centre.

Maintain effective working links with referral organisations staff to maximise inclusive practice and to meet the additional support needs of learners.

Monitor the accessibility, and take anticipatory action, relating to services, including: Advice, Support and Careers resource centre and facilities.

Management Responsibilities

All staff receive training on their responsibilities under the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 annually.

Sufficient resources are available to fund the anticipated reasonable adjustments to meet needs of learners/apprentices who have a disability and to respond to individual cases.

All staff are fully conversant with this policy and the demands it places upon them.

Effective systems and procedures are in place for the promotion, referral, identification and provision of additional learning support, including learning agreements, review of need and effectiveness and efficiency of the service.

As part of Equal Opportunities monitoring, student data is analysed and evaluated monthly, 6 monthly and annually.


As part of Equal Opportunities monitoring data – Equality & Diversity Impact Measures (EDIMs) are analysed and evaluated monthly, 6 monthly and annually to ensure that groups of learners/apprentices are not being disadvantaged and all learners/apprentices have the same opportunities to achieve.

Responsibility for implementing this policy

Responsibility resides at all levels; the Managing Director, Quality  Manager and Equal Opportunities Officer have overall joint responsibility for the implementation of this policy. All staff have an individual duty and responsibility to promote and implement this policy.

Arrangements For Additional Learning Support

Additional learning support is available to Apprentices & learners with evidence of additional needs including, for example, specific or general learning difficulty, hearing or sight impairment, physical disability.


  • Learning and organisational materials will be presented in appropriate formats
  • Images and roles used in learning and organisational materials will portray positive images and high expectations
  • Assumptions and prejudice will be challenged directly through specific learning modules on equality issues

Remote Learning

  • Ensure consistency in the approach to remote learning for all learners who are accessing training sessions and teaching online by using appropriate online and offline resources.
  • Provide clear expectations to learners with regards to delivery of interactive remote learning
  • Include continuous delivery of programmes, as well as being aware of Health and Well-Being and individual support needs.
  • Support effective communication between Prostart and employers to support attendance

Skills for Life

  • Functional skills are embedded within the whole programme
  • All Apprentices & learners are assessed for basic literacy, language and numeracy needs
  • Apprentices & Learners will be entered for the appropriate functional skills accreditation depending on the outcome of the initial assessment and in line with ESFA guidance.

All Apprentices & learners will continue to be offered support with their basic skills (literacy, language, numeracy or IT) regardless of which awards they are working towards where there is an identified need.

Reasonable Adjustment

Education and training providers have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to anticipate the adjustments that disabled students may need. They are only required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. Other factors, such as the need to maintain competence standards and health and safety, will also be taken into consideration.

Definition of reasonable adjustments:

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the apprentice at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. It is made to an assessment for a qualification to enable a disadvantaged apprentice to demonstrate his or her knowledge, skills and understanding of the levels of attainment required by the specification for that qualification.

Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:

· changing usual assessment arrangements, for example allowing a apprentice extra time to complete the assessment activity

· adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in larger print or Braille

· providing assistance during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or a reader

· re-organising the assessment room, such as removing visual stimuli for an autistic apprentice

· changing the assessment method, for example from a written assessment to a spoken assessment

· using assistive technology, such as screen reading or voice activated software

· providing the mechanism to have different colour backgrounds to screens for onscreen assessments or asking for permission for copying to different coloured paper for paper-based assessments

· providing and allowing different coloured transparencies with which to view assessment papers

Advance planning

Its important Apprentices let Prostart know if they need any adjustments to make the programme accessible to them. The earlier we know, the sooner we can make changes or provide support. It‘s also important to let the education provider know about any access arrangements they may need for exams or assessments

Any application for Reasonable Adjustment must be supported by evidence which is valid, sufficient and reliable. This information will need to be shared with examinations awarding bodies.

Apprentices  can discuss particular adjustments needed and how to arrange them with the Business Development Team or Equality & Diversity Lead. We also have links with a Disability Adviser and other agencies e.g. Dyslexia Association.

We will need to make sure any reasonable adjustments that are approved are set in place before the assessment activity takes place. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a apprentice’s work.

Definition of special considerations:

Special consideration can be applied after an assessment if there was a reason the apprentice may have been disadvantaged during the assessment.

For example, special consideration could apply to a apprentice who has temporarily experienced:

· an illness or injury

· some other event outside of their control

And which has had, or is likely to have had, a material effect on that apprentice’s ability to take an assessment or demonstrate his or her level of attainment in an assessment.

Special consideration should not give the apprentice an unfair advantage, nor should its use cause the user of the certificate to be misled regarding a apprentice’s achievements. The apprentice’s result must reflect his / her achievement in the assessment and not necessarily his / her potential ability.

Special consideration, if successful, may result in a small post-assessment adjustment to the mark of the apprentice. The size of the adjustment will depend on the circumstances and reflect the difficulty faced by the apprentice.

Note that:

· where an assessment requires the apprentice to demonstrate practical competence or where criteria have to be met fully, or in the case of qualifications that confer a License to Practice, it may not be possible to apply special consideration.

· In some circumstances, for example for on-demand assessments, it may be more appropriate to offer the apprentice an opportunity to take the assessment at a later date.

Learner Support is reviewed on an ongoing basis through the Quality Improvement Cycle

Version 10 January 2024