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Education Support

Northern Regional College promotes an inclusive learning environment. Education Support is here to help you maximise your potential and to progress to the next stage of your career. We aim to provide an environment and curriculum which meets the needs of ALL our students. If you have a disability, long-term medical condition or learning difficulty you may be eligible for additional support while you study with us.

Helping you Succeed

The College is committed to helping you succeed with your studies. We strive to ensure everyone at the College maximises their ability and fulfils their potential. We work with lecturing staff, other college services and external organisations (CAHMS, AAIS, CEDAR Foundation, HSCNI and more) to provide a person-centred approach.

In order to meet your needs, we would encourage you to disclose any relevant information about your learning needs to the Education Support Co-ordinator. In every case, it is your decision whether you avail of any Education Support that is offered.

Who can apply for Education Support?

The Education Support Team work with students with additional needs and who need some extra support. This may be:

  • Specific learning difficulties e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia
  • Autism
  • Sensory impairments
  • Physical disabilities
  • Students who have a medical condition
  • Mental health conditions

The Education Support Team are also able to support students who are care experienced and students who are carers.


In order to provide you with appropriate support and adjustments, the College requires formal evidence of your additional need - for example, a Statement of Special Educational Needs, Educational Psychologist’s Report or a Consultant’s letter. If you have any queries about the evidence you hold or need support in obtaining relevant evidence, contact educationsupport@nrc.ac.uk who will advise you on this. Evidence should be provided along with the Education Support Referral Form; students will then be invited for a Needs Assessment.

Types of Support

The support you receive depends on your needs. We will work together to create an individual learning plan tailored to YOUR needs. Examples of our services include:

1 to 1 Mentoring

1:1 Mentoring

Specialist Support

Specialist Support

Equipment & Specialist Aids

Equipment & Specialist Aids

Exam Arrangements

Exam Arrangements

Access Arrangements for Exams

If you have examinations as part of your course and require additional support through Access Arrangements, then you must disclose at the start of the academic year. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate evidence that meet the awarding bodies’ deadlines. Attendance at a Needs Assessment with an Education Support Co-ordinator will still be required to ensure appropriate Access Arrangements are in place.  

How do I apply for Education Support?

  • Students who require support from the College with their educational needs, should in the first instance, fill in an online referral form: 2023/24 referral form or 2024/25 referral form
  • If you have difficulty filling in the form, please send us an email on educationsupport@nrc.ac.uk and one of our team will be happy to help you.
  • Students who tick the box at application process will be contacted by the Education Support service.
  • Speak to your lecturer who can refer onto Education Support on your behalf.
  • Call into the Education Support office on your campus.

Disclosure can happen at any time throughout a student’s time at College, but we recommend that it happens as early as possible so there is time for the support to be implemented effectively. We guarantee that your information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and held in accordance with GDPR legislation and will only be shared with your approval. It is your right not to disclose. However, we will not be able to provide support on course or in examinations.


The most important thing you can do to help a current or prospective student get the support they need at College is to encourage them to disclose their condition to us. When they leave school, most students are considered to be in charge of their own support and consent to share information is limited, unless the student gives explicit consent that they wish for us to share information with you on their behalf. We are aware that communication is difficult for some students and we are happy to meet with parents, carers or advocates as part of the Needs Assessment process, but it must be with agreement of the student.

Transition Visits

Moving from the familiar atmosphere of school into College can seem like a daunting experience for any young person, but especially an autistic young person. The Education Support department recognise these difficulties and we endeavour to make this transition as easy as possible.

We offer bespoke orientation visits during quiet times, where we will be able to tell you about the support we offer, give you a tour of the areas you are interested in and meet with some relevant staff. To arrange an in-person tour of the campus, please get in contact with us on educationsupport@nrc.ac.uk. We are also able facilitate these meeting virtually using Microsoft Teams.  

In addition to this, we have prepared virtual tours of each campus site so that you can familiarise yourself with the campus ahead of any visit. Links are available below.

Virtual Tours

Ballymena Farm Lodge
Ballymena Trostan Avenue

Education Support Contact Details

Email educationsupport@nrc.ac.uk

Northern Regional College is committed to widening access and to providing equity of opportunity to all its learners to help ensure that all our students are supported to reach their full potential. The College is therefore committed to supporting student carers, and being as flexible as possible to assist at all stages of their learning journey.

We endeavour to offer access and be as inclusive as possible and this underpins and guides all we do providing an umbrella under which every aspect of the student journey is encompassed.  Student carers, along with other priority groups, are highlighted as a particular group who may require some additional support to enter education and achieve a successful outcome.

Northern Regional College works with a wide range of external stakeholders, to provide our students with the best learning experience possible, including partners in the Health and Social Care sector, other statutory and voluntary agencies.  Should you be a student with caring responsibilities, please contact the Education Support Co-ordinator on your campus, and they will work with you to help ensure you have the best learning experience possible.

Please be aware that you may have to provide evidence of your caring responsibilities in order to access assistance.

QSCS logo

Northern Regional College is committed to having policies and processes to support all vulnerable students and to enhance their experience, development and progression opportunities.

The College believes in opportunity for all and constantly strives to remove barriers for students who may have learning difficulties and/or disabilities, or been subject to negative life experiences; social, emotional and educational.

For those learners who are Looked after Children (LAC) also known as Children Looked After (CLA), and Care Leavers (CL), the College has established a strong position from which to fulfil its responsibilities to prepare students to fully participate in training and education programmes to enable them to compete in the global marketplace and maximise their success in their future working lives.

Should you be in any of the categories above, and feel that you would benefit from some extra support, please contact the Education Support Co-ordinator on your campus, and they will help support you through your College journey.

If you are on a Higher Education course our team can assist you in applying for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

We are an Autism Friendly College! If you are considering studying at Northern Regional College, you can contact the Education Support Co-ordinators before making the decision on your next step. We offer bespoke transition visits where we will be able to tell you about the support we offer, give you a tour of the areas you are interested in and meet with some relevant staff to answer any queries you may have ahead of coming to College. 

Autism Champions

There are 9 Autism Champions across the college and at least one on each campus site. These members of staff are trained to assist you should you have any difficulties in College or need the assistance of an advocate.

Each will be identified by this badge on their Staff Lanyard. They include:

  • Education Support Co-ordinators
  • Student Finance Co-ordinator
  • Student Engagement Officer
  • Equality Manager
  • Head of Student Services
  • Head of Student Experience


JAM Card Friendly

JAM Card with a jar with 'JAM' displayed on it and 'just a minute' below it on the front. A speech bubble with 'Please be patient. I have a learning disability/difficulty.' and 'NOW' displayed below it on the back.

Northern Regional College is a JAM card friendly organisation, allowing people with communication barriers such as learning disabilities/difficulties, and/or autism to let others know they need ‘Just A Minute’ of patience when interacting with them.

Students at the College can apply for a JAM card via Student Services on each campus, or download the app, free to their phone.

Further information can be found at https://www.jamcard.org

AccessAble logo

Northern Regional College works alongside AccessAble to provide an online resource giving detailed access guides to help those with disabilities to plan ahead. Access guides can be downloaded to enable students, staff and visitors view detailed accessibility information about each campus building and facilities such as library, canteen and classrooms.