Higher Education Support Team (HEST)

The Higher Education Support Team at Newcastle College provides support, advice and guidance for students with a wide range of learning needs.

We are here to help higher education students across the College who have a range of additional support needs. We support higher education students in a number of ways and are committed to providing inclusive education in a safe and positive environment. 

Making a referral to the Higher Education Support Team (HEST)

It you feel you require support from the Higher Education Support Team please complete the HEST Referral Document 2016-17 below and return to the HEST team via email headmin@ncgrp.co.uk. This will help the team to get a better understanding of your additional support needs such as exam access arrangements, alternative assessments plans and emergency reaction plans. 

HEST Feedback

If you would like to provide any feedback to the Higher education Support Team please e-mail headmin@ncgrp.co.uk.

HEST Referral Form 2017-18

Download and complete this form


Disabled Students Allowance (DSAs) 

As a Higher Education student it is advisable for you to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). This is a grant to help with extra costs you might have as a direct result of your disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. It would provide the funding for any support that you may require to complete your course. It is non-means tested and is not repayable.

Support may involve the provision of a non-medical helper; for example, study skills tuition, access support or mentoring. In addition, it can provide you with access to specialist equipment, additional travel costs that you pay as a direct result of your disability and other costs for things such as photocopying or printer cartridges.  Any delay in making your DSA application is likely to cause a delay in the implementation of any support requirements that you may have. The application process can take around 14 weeks to complete so it is vital that you apply early.

As an independent adult learner, it is your responsibility to make an application for DSA, attend the necessary appointments and provide any evidence that is requested. Applications for DSA are available to download from April 2016. If you require advice on how to complete the form please contact headmin@ncgrp.co.uk 

Get help and advice for completing your DSA application 

Alternative Assessment Plans

You may feel that applying for DSA is unnecessary and that adjustments to your assessments or deadlines would be more appropriate. If this is the case then an Alternative Assessment Plan (AAP) may help. Please be advised that evidence to support your disability or long-term health condition will be required. Please complete the HEST Referral Document 2016-17 which can be found above and email it to headmin@ncgrp.co.uk along with your evidence specifying that a AA Plan is required.

Higher Education Dyslexia Support

The Higher Education Support Team can help higher education students achieve their potential by:

  • Providing advice and support for students who think they may be dyslexic
  • Arranging a dyslexia diagnostic assessment from a psychologist
  • Signposting where to get information and advice about Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). A HE student can apply for DSA when he/she has a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disabilities (SpLD) - Dyslexia from the age of 16+ and this has been conducted by a suitably qualified specialist teacher or psychologist holding a current practising certificate in SpLD issued by their professional association.

When DSA has been awarded, the team can offer the following one-to-one study support sessions, based around student individual need:

  • Time management strategies: organising time, meeting deadlines, coursework notes, assignments and computer files
  • Assistive technology: encouraging the use of appropriate software within studies
  • Writing essays: decoding essay questions and format of essay writing
  • Planning techniques: using strategies to plan an essay/assignment
  • Writing: paragraph structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling skills, proofreading techniques
  • Information and research skills: finding and extracting relevant information from a wide range of sources. Skimming and scanning techniques
  • Harvard referencing: how to reference work correctly
  • Note taking techniques: strategies to support effective note taking within lectures
  • Presentation skills: effective presentation of work and group presentations
  • Revision for exams: memory techniques.

Higher Education Dyslexia Support Guide

Download this useful support guide


Non-Medical Helper costs for Needs Assessors

At Newcastle College we provide an in-house Support Worker/Non-Medical Helper (NMH) service for disabled students who are in receipt of Disabled Student Allowance (DSAs) funding. We have a team of trained and experienced Higher Level Support Workers who provide NMH support to ensure students are not disadvantaged as a result of their disability or difficulty.

Click on the link below to find out more about the Non-Medical Helper support services delivered by the Higher Education Support Team and the associated costs.

Non-Medical Helper support services and costs

There may be instances where you need to cancel your booked support session. Click on the link below to find out how to do this.

How to cancel your booked support session

What our students say

I received support from the Higher Education Support Team and it helped me to keep on track with my work and provided me with the confidence and reassurance to enter the real world. Since I have studied at the College I have learnt to enjoy education. 

Taylor Mitchell
BA (Hons) Creative Enterprise (Digital Media) (Top-Up)

What our students say

I am a severely dyslexic mature student and would like to commend the staff in the Higher Education Support Team at the Learning Support Service. With their help I have achieved a distinction in my Photography Foundation Degree and a First Class Honours in my (Top-Up) degree. The staff who supported me must take credit in raising my aspirations as I left school without any qualifications.

Morgan Stephenson
BA (Hons) Creative Enterprise (Digital Media) (Top-Up)

Contact Us

If you would like further information regarding these support services, please contact the Higher Education Support Team via:

E-mail: headmin@ncgrp.co.uk

Telephone: 0191 200 4189