GC’s autism awareness programme highlighted in TES

28 July 2015
Image representing GC’s autism awareness programme highlighted in TES

Gloucestershire College has been praised for its work supporting young people with autism in an article in TES – one of the country’s leading education publications – calling for autism awareness training for all college staff.

Over the past two years, Gloucestershire College has been working with national charity, Ambitious about Autism, and the Department for Education to help improve support for students with autism as they move into college, in a project entitled Finished in School.

The TES article highlights an independent report created by the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), which found that the first group of 45 young people in the project, who left school in 2014, all made successful transitions to post-GCSE education – with 34 of them going on to attend FE colleges.

It adds that Gloucestershire College, in addition to three other institutions, “were successful in engaging in a mix of mainstream and special schools in the project”, which includes The Milestone School, Alderman Knight School and The Dean Academy. 

The aim of the project was for the College to act as a ‘hub’ to develop staff skills; improve person-centred transition planning; strengthen assessment processes; develop new curriculum pathways; and improve access to college life. 

The report says there was “substantial evidence” of a positive impact in all of these areas, and as a result of the project, Gloucestershire College has improved and extended its local partnerships, and now included support for autism into its strategic plan. 

The College marked the end of the project in March with an Ambitious about Autism event, which featured the then Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper MP, and celebrated the work it has done to ensure it is one of the leading organisations in the country for students with autism. 

Although the project has now ended, the College remains committed to supporting students with autism and has been offered further funding by the Department of Education to extend the project work for another year.

Read the full story here on the TES website

For more information about Gloucestershire College’s Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer, call 01242 532065 or visit www.gloscol.ac.uk/localoffer

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