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“Magnificent” SEN support gives independence and belief to high achieving student

Posted: 18th August 2022 - 2:10pm

Kyfer Allchorne’s autism always left him feeling like the “odd one out” and wondering whether he would ever forge an independent life and career for himself.

Because of moderate learning difficulties linked to autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and crippling anxiety, Kyfer spent 15 years in a special needs school, leaving without qualifications and an uncertain future. 

When he stepped through the doors at Loughborough College as a 19-year-old, it was his first taste of mainstream education and he was amazed at the “incredible” support offered to Special Educational Needs (SEN) students.

Fast forward four years and Kyfer has graduated with distinctions from his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Media – but more importantly, he leaves with independence, confidence and ambitions for the future.

Kyfer said: “To go from a special needs school for 15 years to go to a mainstream college and gain one of the highest grades available, I think, what are the chances of that happening to a student like me?

“I’ve always felt like I was the odd one out and wondered what would my identity be, how would people see me, would I be a role model to them? Would I make my family and my tutors proud? Well, that’s been proven.”

Kyfer described his educational journey as “unusual” and his time in special needs schools as a “rollercoaster” of ups and downs.

“It wasn’t always easy for me,” he said. “In the special needs school, I was surrounded by many people who had more severe needs, and it wasn’t always easy for me. It’s been a rollercoaster.”

When Kyfer was 19, he had a short spell in a special needs college which convinced him that he was ready for more independence. But he was worried that the support that he had become used to would be gone in a mainstream college.

“I didn’t quite know what to expect, but throughout my four years at Loughborough College, the support I had was just, magnificent. I had a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) for three years and they understood my needs well and have always been there to give me the right amount of support.

“My last year at College, I didn’t have an LSA as I felt I was fully independent. But the tutors were here for me, whenever I needed them. They are here to give you a boost, support you throughout, not just academically but emotionally as well.

“I left school with no qualifications. But after four years at college, it’s been qualification after qualification after qualification.

“To any student who is on a similar spectrum to mine, always believe in yourself. I would recommend Loughborough College because it has amazing facilities, a wonderful environment, and incredible staff. They listen to you and give you the support you need.”

Kyfer is now weighing up his options and would like to work as a volunteer or eventually head to University.

Watch Kyfer’s full story here: