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Supported in school but not in college

One college lecturer, who asked not be identified, told of her concerns about 14 to 16-year-olds.

She said: "I still have problems, particularly because of the students the schools send us. I only have a small group, but I would say that all of them would certainly be in receipt of some sort of special needs support at school.

"They would be on the special needs register at some level - ADHD, mainly emotional and behavioural stuff. There's one young lad with ADHD - if we get him to sit down we've done well.

"At the start of the course, we did have some of them chucking things around the classroom as well, but it is more low-level disruption. When that's constant, it becomes a big thing.

"And the support doesn't follow them. They come to college without anybody with them , so I'm teaching these students on my own. Now there's only eight in the group - we lost a third.

"Some of them did find it hard to keep up, but you can only spin so many plates at once if you're in there on your own, and I do think some of the behaviour and the lack of support is responsible.

"The beginning of lessons is usually quite disrupted because they come from three different areas, which sets you off on the wrong foot to start with.

They are all meant to be here for 9am, but because they come from three schools, that seems to be very difficult to co-ordinate.

"At the beginning of the class, we had issues of rivalry between schools, and beyond that it's mainly getting them down to focusing on what we're doing. Their attention span is very, very short."

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