Our Education Guidance Team provides a friendly, confidential and accessible service to assist students with dyslexia and other neurodiverse conditions, disabilities and medical conditions.

Students are encouraged to disclose any additional need on entry through the application process, or prior to application. This is to ensure that we are able to provide the additional support required to students during their studies.

Where an additional need arises during studies, students are requested to disclose these as soon as possible by contacting the Education Guidance Team.

Diploma Students

Diploma students with additional needs may be entitled to support such as:

  • Special examination arrangements
  • In-class support
  • Individual academic study tutorials
  • Initial screening for dyslexia

Examples of suitable evidence includes a full diagnostic assessment report or medical evidence which gives details of the additional support need.

Degree Students

Students who are studying at degree level at ACM who have a support need are encouraged to apply for the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). The application process can be done online; more information is available at www.yourdsa.com Additional support in completing this application can be provided through the Education Guidance Team.

To show that you qualify for the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) you will need to provide evidence that you have a disability, medical condition, sensory impairment, physical disability, mental health condition, or a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) which affects your ability to study. This evidence will need to be sent with an application to an appropriate funding provider. In this case it will be Student Finance England (SFE).

Confirmation of whether your application is successful will be received within 6 weeks. It can take up to 14 weeks to get your DSA support in place as this is done separately.

Once your application for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) has been accepted the funding provider may ask you to book a Study Needs Assessment. The cost of the Study Needs Assessment is paid through the Disabled Students’ Allowances.

The funding provider (Student Finance England) will send you a letter to tell you what support they will pay for from the Disabled Students’ Allowances. The letter will break down the allowances and display what you are currently entitled to, out of: specialist equipment, non-medical helper’s, allowance, general, and travel allowance.

Students will need to provide a copy of this report to the Education Guidance Team.

For students accessing the Guildford ACM campus, the Education Guidance Team will support students in making necessary arrangements for accessing the support that they are entitled to as per the report. The Education Guidance Team at Guildford have a number of in-house specialists who are able to provide Academic Study Skills Tutorials or Mentoring Tutorials. Alternatively, students can opt to access this support through qualified agencies who specialise in delivery of this service. Whether a student accesses support internally or through an agency does not affect the level of support offered.

For Students accessing the London or Birmingham campuses, they will need to contact the suppliers listed to arrange the support that they are entitled to. Access to DSA support on these campuses will be delivered through qualified agencies who specialise in the delivery of this service.

Reasonable Adjustments

Following the disclosure of additional needs, the Education Guidance Team arranges and puts into place necessary reasonable adjustments for students during their time at ACM. Most students with identified additional needs will be entitled to receive reasonable adjustments such as additional support or adjustments to examinations such as extra time.

Academic Study Skills Tutorials

These are offered on a one to one basis through the DSA. During study skill sessions, students are encouraged to build strategies to support their neurodiversity, disability or medical condition. Study skills tutorials can cover a wide range of areas such as:

  • Reading
  • Research skills
  • Writing
  • Organisation
  • Written work
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Use of assistive technology
  • Revision/ Examination approaches

Mentoring Tutorials

These are offered on a one to one basis through the DSA. Mentoring sessions enable students to access friendly support, advice and advocacy from an experienced mental health professional.

Screening for Dyslexia

At Guildford ACM students can book screening tests to see if they have any dyslexic tendencies and we advise that students undertake this screening test before considering arranging an expensive diagnostic assessment. If a further diagnostic assessment is indicated from the screening test, the team and recommend qualified assessors who can undertake this task.

ACM is part of the Student Health Scheme administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. The MBF supports students by awarding grants to cover health treatment costs. Application forms are available through their website.

“I really think without their support and advice I wouldn’t be enjoying it much and I would really struggle. I really enjoyed one to one sessions with Abi who also takes notes for me in lessons, I learn a lot faster and understand quickly. They also give me the confidence to stay at ACM as it’s very new for me as I was previously taught at a boarding school for the deaf. Without them I probably wouldn’t carry on or be excited to stay on at ACM and learn more”

Iain Botting

If you’d like our assistance, please contact one of our team via the details below:

Email:educationguidance@acm.ac.uk
Tel: 01483 501 211

Specific learning differences

Dyslexia is a specific difficulty characterised by a combination of strengths and weaknesses. It affects information processing (receiving, holding, retrieving and structuring information). It therefore has an impact on skills such as reading, writing, using symbols and musical notation.

Other things to know about dyslexia:

  • Dyslexia is not related to intelligence.
  • People with dyslexia have their own individual profiles of strengths and weaknesses; no two people are exactly the same and the impact of dyslexia on each individual is different.
  • Dyslexia may overlap with related conditions such as dyspraxia or Attention Deficit Disorder (with or without hyperactivity) and dysphasia (total or partial loss of verbal language).
  • Most dyslexics appear to be born with dyslexia, although a few acquire it through accident or illness.
  • Many people with dyslexia have a family member with the same condition.
  • Dyslexia is legally recognised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.Dyslexics are often innovative thinkers who can be very successful in the creative arts and business; think of Richard Branson and Steve Jobs. Famous dyslexic musicians include Noel Gallagher, Cher, John Lennon, Joss Stone and Ozzy Osbourne.

For further information: British Dyslexia Association

How can ACM Education Guidance help with dyslexia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at the Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Note-taking techniques
  • Assignment planning
  • Academic writing style
  • Reading strategies
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Revision techniques and strategies

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Developmental dyspraxia affects the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families and may overlap with other learning differences or related conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder.

Other things to know about Dyspraxia

The experience of people with dyspraxia may vary as widely as those with dyslexia, but they will usually encounter a combination of difficulties that may include any of the following:

  • Motor co-ordination skills: Poor balance / poor posture and fatigue. Clumsy gait and movement and a lack of manual dexterity. Poor hand to eye co-ordination.
  • Perception: Poor visual perception, lack of spatial relationships awareness / inadequate sense of direction. Little sense of time, speed, distance or weight.
  • Learning, thought and memory: Difficulty with the planning and organising of thought / and concentration. Poor memory. Problems with maths, reading and spelling and writing. Difficulty in following instructions.
  • Speech and language: Difficulty with the content, clarity and sequence of language.
  • Emotion and behaviour: Difficulty in listening to people/ picking up non-verbal signals or judging tone or pitch of voice. Tendency to take things literally and difficulty in adapting to situations.

For further information: Dyspraxia Foundation

How can ACM Education Guidance help with dyspraxia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Note-taking techniques
  • Planning and structuring of assignments
  • Use of assistive software
  • Reading strategies
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Revision techniques and strategies

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Dyscalculia is an individual’s difficulty in conceptualising numbers, number relationships, outcomes of numerical operations and estimation. This difficulty can occur at a concrete or abstract level, therefore an ACM student with dyscalculia may discover problems understanding music theory terminology, including note values, time signatures and other related keyboard skills.

Find out more information about Dyscalculia.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with Dyscalculia?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you:

  • Access all the theory tutorials and masterclasses that are available.
  • Develop strategies for memorisation of the rules of music theory.
  • Become proficient in use of transcription software.

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects the parts controlling attention, concentration and impulsivity. It can co-occur with dyslexia and other specific learning differences.

Adult ADHD is characterised by:

  • Inattention
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Inappropriate behaviour

If no hyperactivity is present, (ADD), then characteristics may include:

  • Difficulties staying focused (appearing ‘dreamy’)
  • Easily distracted
  • Poor listening skills

Find out more information about AD(H)D

How can ACM Education Guidance help with AD(H)D?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Self esteem
  • Social skills
  • Organisational skills and time management
  • Use of assistive software
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Assignment planning

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Asperger’s syndrome

Asperger’s syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with ASD are usually of average or above average intelligence, however social interaction can be very difficult for them and they can experience high levels of stress and anxiety. The condition affects people in different ways; however everyone with ASD shares a difficulty in making sense of the world.

ASD is characterised by difficulties in:

  • Communicating
  • Social relationships
  • Imaginative thought and feeling
  • Deviating from routines

People with ASD have many skills and strengths; enthusiasm, punctuality, determination, and reliability are among the many qualities that students with Asperger’s Syndrome bring to ACM.

Find out more information about Austism from The National Autistic Society.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with ASD?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled. In addition we can provide:

  • A personalised induction at the start of term.
  • A ‘buddy’ if requested
  • Weekly mentoring (if recommended)
  • 1:1 study skills tutorials as required

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Language is very complex and students can have difficulties with developing the skills required to use language effectively. A specific speech and language disorder is a disability in its own right as it affects a student’s ability to learn.

Speech and Language Disorder is characterised by difficulties with:

  • Multi-tasking e.g. writing notes while following spoken instructions
  • Understanding tone of voice
  • Finding the words that are needed
  • Mixing up words with similar sounds

Find out more information about Speech and Language Difficulties.

How can ACM Education Guidance help with Speech and Language Difficulties?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Social skills
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Use of assistive software
  • Assignment planning
  • Academic writing style
  • Organisational skills and time management

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

There are any number of other difficulties and mental health conditions that can affect individuals. Each can offer their own difficulties to students and can impact on their overall attendance, academic abilities and social engagement with others. Prospective students with any disability are encouraged to register with Education Guidance as early as possible to ensure that all necessary support is put in place.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.

Auditory Processing Disorder (abbreviated to ‘APD’) is a condition where, despite no hearing loss, a person cannot understand the sounds they hear. They may have difficulties with:

  • Understanding when listening
  • Self-expression using speech
  • Reading
  • Remembering instructions
  • Understanding spoken messages
  • Staying focused

Find out more information about Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)

How can ACM Education Guidance help with APD?

We will ensure that you get any access arrangements to which you are entitled and offer you access to the buddy system.

Using the recommendations from your diagnostic assessment as a guide, at our Guildford site we can offer 1:1 tutorials that help you improve your:

  • Vocabulary and use of musical terminology
  • Use of assistive software
  • Note-taking techniques
  • Presentation skills

Students at our London sites will receive help from their DSA-appointed support tutor.

What to do next:

Please speak to our Education Guidance Team on 01483 501 211 or email educationguidance@acm.ac.uk for further information.