College helps student to tackle ADHD

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College helps student to tackle ADHD

06 October 2014

Last week was National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Week and the college is proud to be assisting students with this condition to overcome their difficulties and reach their full potential.

Leanne Adams joined the college’s 14-16 programme in 2011 where she studied Hair & Beauty part time alongside her GCSEs at school. At this time Leanne had been diagnosed with ADHD and she had become disengaged from school, her attendance was significantly low and she was struggling with certain aspects of education. There were times when Leanne had to overcome her extreme emotions and persevere with her studies.

The school wanted to support Leanne as much as possible and felt that the course at the college would enable her to re-engage whilst working with them on her core subjects at school. Whilst gaining qualifications was important, the aim of the college and her school was to keep Leanne in some form of education to enable her to secure a good future. This can be a difficult task as The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS) point out in a statement on their website:

‘ADHD has the capacity to wreck a child’s life and the lives of their family. It also has the capacity to produce extraordinary individuals. We need to ensure that everyone involved in the lives of children with ADHD understands the condition and is able to provide the understanding and support to enable these children to reach their full potential. We must not let ADHD become a barrier to success’.

Leanne’s tutors at the college and at school, along with her parents and Leanne herself, created numerous strategies to keep her on track. With this support Leanne made steady progress throughout the year and it became clear that she had a real passion for hair and beauty. She was also able to secure herself a part time job at a local hair salon.

Such was this progress that after completing her first year she was invited by the college to join their Providing Alternative Curriculum (PAC) course, which is now known as The Innovation programme. This meant Leanne studied Hair & Beauty at the college full-time whilst remaining on roll at her school who had continued to support and fund Leanne throughout.

The course manager for Leanne’s course, Sarah Bradshaw, said:

“The course involved a 2 day a week work placement at a hair salon and Leanne became fully engaged and demonstrated a real passion to pursue Hair & Beauty as her future career. By the end of the year Leanne had completed a higher qualification than originally anticipated and also successfully completed other qualifications including GCSE English with her original school. She also demonstrated significant improvements in attendance, attitude, social skills and she often offered support to others on the same course.”


Leanne’s hard work, dedication and progress during her course were recognised when she was nominated by her tutors for one of the college’s annual Achiever Awards. As well as high achieving academic students, these awards also celebrate those who have overcome adversity to excel in their particular course area. Leanne went on to win the Personal Achievement Award for the 14-16 year old programmes that involved just over 200 other learners in her year group.

Louise Gigg, who was the Co-coordinator for 14-16 Vocational Programmes whilst Leanne was at the college said:

“Everyone involved with Leanne over the last 2 years are extremely proud of what she has managed to achieve and how she has turned herself around and would like to wish her all the very best for the future. Leanne’s passion for Hair and Beauty continues and she is now an Apprentice at the same local hair salon that supported her during her work placement whilst at College.”

If you would like to know more about the college’s 14-16 Programmes please contact your school coordinator or visit

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