CONEL

The CONEL logoThe College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) aims to serve the community of the Upper Lea Valley by promoting social inclusion and economic prosperity through the provision of education and learning. Our vision is to enhance the life experience of all young people and adults within the college community and help them expand their aspirations in life.

Full and part-time provision for people with autism

At both the Enfield and Tottenham Centres, we offer full and part-time provision through the School of Supported Learning for young people and adults with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities, including many with autism. The provision focuses on developing skills for work and community life and is delivered by experienced and enthusiastic teaching staff. The curriculum includes using computers and other technologies; developing literacy and numeracy skills; creative arts; retail and gardening skills and personal safety.

Teaching is adapted to meet the learners’ needs and every learner has an individual learning plan, which is regularly monitored and reviewed with parents/carers as appropriate. Learning support assistants, under the guidance of the teaching staff, provide in-class or one to one support according to the individual plan. Communication with feeder schools is good with many learners joining the college after a successful experience on the School Link programme. Overall learner attendance and achievement at both Centres is very good.

Staff at the college

Teaching staff make regular contact with parents and carers, who are invited to telephone or email if they need clarification or have concerns about any matter. There are regular consultation events and satisfaction surveys to complete to feedback on progress. In some cases, a notebook is used on a daily basis for communication between staff and the home.

Course teams have strong links with mainstream colleagues and have developed various progression routes onto courses across the college, where additional support is provided to the progressing learner by a learning assistant as and when required. Some learners join mainstream classes on a weekly trial basis throughout the year to find out if that is the right pathway for them, again with support. Awareness-raising and training in meeting the particular needs of learners and positive behaviour management provided in-house or by external specialists is available to all mainstream staff on a rolling programme.

Placements and vocational programmes

Effective links have also grown with a number of voluntary organisations which offer placements to learners on projects including charity shop work; gardening for older people; a community cafe and packing festive boxes. Many learners also take part in the Young Enterprise Scheme, working as a team designing and making a product for sale. The Tottenham Centre has a shop, run by the learners, which stocks stationery and other popular items made by recent Young Enterprise groups, including bags, jewellery and seasonal plant displays. A similar shop is currently being planned for the Enfield Centre.

Individual learners on Supported Learning programmes are encouraged to work at their own pace and gain a sense of satisfaction and confidence in completing tasks as independently as possible. Many opportunities exist for the learners to use college facilities, such as the Food Court, library, sports and relaxing areas, where staff are available to provide support if needed. Learner surveys show that learners feel safe around the college and enjoy contact with their peers. Some learners represent their class at the School and Centre Learner Forum, giving them the opportunity to pass on their own views and the views of others to improve the learners’ experience in college.

Management and staff are currently working to develop further local employer contacts and enhance job prospects for the learners – our mission is to help them succeed by providing outstanding education and training.

Share your good practice example

If you are a college and want to share your good practice example, please email info@ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk