We are delighted that the colleges below are supporting the Finished at School campaign. The campaign aims to secure more and better educational options for all young people with autism aged 16 – 25 to enable them to develop skills, gain employment, live more independently and ultimately to live the life they choose.
Over many years Abingdon and Witney College has engendered a culture of support and high aspiration for all learners, and especially perhaps for those with higher than average individual support needs. The Autism Team based in The Green Room, supported in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council on the Abingdon campus offer expertise and specialist support to learners wishing to access a mainstream environment. We are all very pleased to be involved with the Finished at School campaign and value the opportunity to contribute to the Inclusion Charter. Many of the principles and values of the Charter are upheld by Action for Inclusion, an organisation that has worked industriously to build capacity in Further Education for all learners in the South East with a Learning Difficulty and/or Disability over the last few years.We wish the Finished at School campaign every success, and will take the opportunity to offer our expertise to other organisations wishing to increase their offer to all young people with and without a barrier to learning.
Principal, Abingdon & Witney College
Barnet and Southgate College offers a broad range of supported learning courses, specifically designed for students with learning difficulties, disabilities and those who feel they need a more supportive environment than our mainstream courses offer. The College caters for a large number of students on the autism spectrum and we strive to fulfil their individual needs and provide a friendly learning environment, which actively supports Ambitious about Autism’s Finished at School campaign.
Principal, Barnet and Southgate College
Blackpool and The Fylde College is a Beacon College for Equality and Diversity and designated 'Outstanding' in this field by Ofsted. Our College ethos, values and goals reflect our passion and commitment to Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Widening Participation. We, at Blackpool and The Fylde College, would therefore like to offer our support for the 'Finished at School' campaign, and look forward to working with Ambitious about Autism in assisting in the creation and implementation of the 'Inclusion Charter'.
Pauline Waterhouse OBE
Principal, Blackpool and The Fylde College
Many colleges are actively engaged in supporting young people with autism and other disabilities to continue their learning in their community, to help them to live independently and enter appropriate employment. But there are currently barriers that make this very difficult. We need a more coordinated funding system and clarity about the roles of the various funding agencies and local authorities. We also need to ensure that our staff have access to improved training routes to enable them to specialise in supporting young people with autism. With these changes, colleges could deliver an even better, and more accessible service to support students with autism.
Principal, Bridgwater College
Cambridge Regional College recognises the amazing potential of young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions; in terms of their ability to think in non-conventional and unique ways, these young people are an untapped resource, as yet not fully discovered by the working world. We aim to support each individual in a holistic way, enabling them to develop strategies to reach their potential and empowering them to make informed decisions about how they interact with the world. By the end of their time here, we hope that these young people have developed the confidence, the skills and the insight to be able to make their next step into employment or Higher Education. We are proud to be a part of the ‘Finished at School’ campaign and we are committed to supporting young people with autism to reach their very great potential in whatever they choose to do.
Principal, Cambridge Regional College
Our Learner First commitment to students means that we actively strive to offer the best possible educational experience to all our learners and that includes those in our communities who are autistic. The College is therefore fully behind the aims and aspirations of the Finished at School Campaign, and being located in the heart of London with its great multicultural diversity, we are only too aware that there are sometimes difficulties with proper diagnosis and often confusion with other languages and learning disorders, which makes our task as educators quite difficult. Being aware of these issues and the challenges that are associated with autism, allows us to have systems and procedures in place, to work with autistic students and provide for them, a learner journey that will hopefully allow them to become independent and progress onto a positive destination.
Principal, Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College
East Norfolk Sixth Form College is pleased to be part of the ‘Finished at School’ campaign. We always have a significant number of students on the autism spectrum and our staff work tirelessly to support them and meet their individual needs. We know that recognition and support can make a real difference for these young people.
Principal, East Norfolk Sixth Form College
At Hereward College we are very ambitious for all our students and therefore we are delighted to support the Finished at School campaign. As a general FE college that specialises in delivering inclusive provision for students with disabilities we are passionate about enabling them to achieve their goals, ambitions and qualifications, and develop skills for employment, independence and progression. We believe students should have every opportunity to thrive and achieve and they inspire us in our commitment to overcoming barriers to learning.
Principal, Hereward College
John Leggott College fully supports the Ambitious about Autism Campaign. We enrol an increasing number of young people on the autistic spectrum each year, with achievement on entry ranging from Entry Level 1 to Level 3. Students are supported throughout their time at college by a large, experienced inclusive learning team, passionate about equality of opportunity for all. We actively encourage aspiration in all our students, regardless of their prior level of attainment. For some, university is the appropriate next step after college; we seek to build stronger links with HE providers in our locality regarding specific learning needs, and we help and advise individuals in all aspects of application, including for the DSA. For those who seek vocational training, we are in the process of developing a project to widen opportunity for work placements with local businesses, by working with local government specialist learning services to promote better understanding of adaptations appropriate for young people with ASD. We recognise that transition at 18+ is a potentially stressful time for our young people. Our mission is to enable all students to have the opportunity to realise their potential.
Principal, John Leggott College
Staff at Nescot College are passionate about education and support at the critical stage of transitioning from school pupil to young adult and we fully support Ambitious about Autism’s Finished at School campaign. Nescot is proud of the number of youngsters with learning difficulties who leave our college to enter employment, live independently and enjoy a varied and fulfilling adult life. However, this is not the norm across the country. Small but significant changes at a national level will enable us to manage this stage consistently. We can then ensure that this is a period of growth and the realisation of great potential, rather than uncertainty and the end of opportunity. Colleges, schools and employers are working together to unlock this potential but too often young people with learning difficulties are falling through the gaps; neglecting to provide an effective national strategy to support these youngsters not only has a devastating impact on the individual, but is wasting one of the country’s most valuable resources – our future workforce.
Principal, Nescot College
East Kent College fully supports the aims of ‘Finished at School’. We are an award-winning college in this field and work collaboratively across Kent supporting young people on the autism spectrum as well as with other specific learning difficulties and disabilities, across all subjects, and from Entry to Level 4. Our focus is on enabling independence and access to paid employment. As a result of our success with Project Search we are piloting ‘Bright Futures’, a consortium exploring innovative ways of getting these learners with specific learning difficulties and disabilities into employment. We recognise the need for more effective education options for young people with autism once they have finished school and urge the government to implement the positive change required. If nothing is done the potential of thousands of young people with autism may be squandered. We can’t let this happen and I encourage all practitioners to back this important national campaign.
Principal, East Kent College
I am fully supportive of the ‘Finished at School’ campaign. It is a dynamic and entrepreneurial solution for young people with autism which can transform lives.
Dr Paul Phillips
Principal, Weston College
Yeovil College is delighted to be part of the ‘Finished at School’ campaign. We work with students, on the autism spectrum, across all subject areas from Entry level to degree level. The College prides itself on its high quality support for young people with specific learning difficulties. We have a team of staff who work to support students to achieve on their chosen programme through an individually tailored programme of support. This enables them to develop the skills they require and move towards independence and progression into employment, the voluntary sector or the next stage of education. The team work in partnership with staff across college, as well as other agencies, to ensure the student’s learning experience is positive and successful one. We fully support the aims of ‘Finished at School’ in seeking more options for young people in education, employment and independent living.
Principal, Yeovil College