3. The Learning Support Department


Welcome to the Learning Support Department


Much like the heart in a human body, we are placed in the middle of the school. We continue to offer unparalleled levels of provision to students and guidance to the teaching staff at Richard Challoner School, no matter how big or small the educational, social or pastoral difficulties might be.

A broad team of dedicated and hardworking Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), Specialist Staff, Teachers, Administrators & SENCOs make up a team of almost 40. By far the most extensive department in Richard Challoner and equal in size to many specialist schools. Learning support includes 3 Provisions (Enhanced Specialist Teaching Arrangement for Autism (ESTA), Our Newman Centre for SEMH and our exceptional Xavier Centre) operating and supporting in various areas throughout the school. 

However, our primary focus is what goes on in the classroom. Throughout Richard Challoner, you will find an extensive number of students being closely supported via LSAs in class, fully included within a mainstream curriculum. The Learning Support department is currently supporting over 900 mainstream lessons per week! 

LSAs have regular and continuous coaching to guarantee that the best possible methods are being used to support students. In addition, LSAs will overtly or discretely support a lesson with a range of tactics and methods, ensuring inclusion is paramount. Part of this inclusion is that students will build and learn resilience and independence as they develop up the school, no matter the severity of need.  

The school's Catholic ethos is integral to what we do and no doubt part of the school's wider success of supporting all students. However, as a department, we go further and have explored and developed our department staff values. 

  • Patience
  • Understanding 
  • Sense of Humour 
  • Kindness
  • Support 
  • Sensitivity 
  • Willingness
  • Adaptability 
  • Versatility 
  • Diplomacy 


Learning support Staffing Structure 

We divided the department into different teams and age phases to enable such a large team to coordinate and offer personal support at all levels. 


Transition Team 

Newman Centre Team 

Xavier Centre Team 

Year 7-9 Age Phase 

Year 10 Age Phase 

Year 11-13 Age Phase 

Other Specialist teaching Staff 

Specialist Non-teaching Staff



A staffing lead will manage each team, however, all department staff are overseen by our Lead SENCO and Head of Learning Support


You can see how this works on our Staffing Map below.

Learning Support Staff Map 2021/22