We are delighted that the organisations 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.
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.
Association of Colleges
The 157 Group is committed to raising the bar for equality and diversity in the further education sector. We want to enable all individuals to benefit from the transformative impact of developing skills and knowledge. As such we are happy to support the Finished at School campaign, and its aim to create more and better educational options beyond school for young people with autism and other disabilities.
Natspec is pleased to support the Finished at School campaign. Our own experience confirms that personalised learning beyond school enables young disabled people to achieve their aspirations for adult life, but we know that too many still don’t get the chance to access any education at all after school. We support the campaign aims to create more and better educational options for young people with autism, and urge government to take action on the recommendations in the report.
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers is pleased to support the Finished at School campaign. We believe all young people, including young people with autism, should have access to skills training and employability programmes. Unlocking their potential delivers benefits for individuals, employers, and society.
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers
The National Union of Students believes in the power of education to transform people’s lives, and know that this is particularly powerful for disabled students. We are pleased to support the Finished at School campaign because it will help to remove barriers to young people with autism’s access to tertiary education, and ultimately help them to achieve their goals.
The fact that only 15 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time work shows why the Finished at School campaign is so necessary. Schools and colleges do all they can to help young people with autism to succeed but clearly more support is needed to help them reach their full potential. ASCL commends Ambitious about Autism for raising awareness of the issue and is encouraging secondary school and college leaders to back the campaign.
Association of School and College Leaders
The Finished at School campaign which has UCU’s full support casts a light on just how we are failing this group of young people, despite the best efforts of colleges and schools. With more support from government, colleges would really help these young people make the most of the opportunities to learn and develop their skills to face an increasingly difficult world.
The Institute of Education fully support the Finished at School campaign. We are passionately committed to the power of education to transform lives and opportunities and to contributing to developing solutions to educational challenges based on evidence, research and planned interventions. The Institute’s Centre for Research in Autism and Education is contributing powerful evidence on social, cognitive and perceptual development in people with autism to better understand how people with autism learn and to extend opportunities for all. We know that expectations and education shape life changes and we hope that the campaign will help to increase opportunities for all to negotiate difficult transitions to productive adulthood.
Professor Chris Husbands
Institute of Education
Nasen aims to promote the education, training and advancement of all young people with special educational needs. As such we are very pleased to support the Finished at School campaign. Young people and the SEN staff who support them work really hard at school to achieve a good standard of education. This must continue beyond school if we are to allow all young people to fulfil their potential and enjoy the equal life chances they deserve.
Lorraine Petersen OBE
At Disability Rights UK, we know that appropriate education and training are essential if disabled people are to reach their potential in employment and their communities. We support Ambitious about Autism’s Finished at School campaign because it has raised awareness of the lack of education opportunities for many disabled people and the barriers presented by the funding systems and brings together partners to work on solutions.
Disability Rights UK
At the Foundation we strongly believe in the importance of the transition stage for young people with autism or any learning disability and we welcome Ambitious about Autism’s Finished at School campaign which is seeking to improve educational opportunities beyond school. It is a really important part of a young person’s life with lots of changes being made. Many families of children who have learning disabilities and ASD find it difficult to navigate this time as the pathway is not always clear and support given differs in each area. We are very much in favour of promoting work which enables young people with autism to be able to have the same life chances as other young people at this stage in their lives.
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
NIACE is happy to support the Finished at School campaign. We campaign for more, different and better learning opportunities for all those over the age of 16, and are concerned that young people with Autism may lack the support and resources they need to be ambitious about their future.
The Council for Disabled Children is delighted to support the Finished at School campaign. We would welcome an increase in the rights and resources available for educational support for young disabled people up to the age of 25. We also support the call for a cross-government focus on outcomes to ensure that all disabled young people can fulfil their aspirations.
Council for Disabled Children
Scope supports the Finished at School campaign to ensure young people have the opportunity to pursue good quality education and training post-16. We believe that young disabled people have a valuable contribution to make to society and need the same chances as other young people to mature, develop aspirations and progress towards their goals.
Mencap offers their support to the Finished at School campaign in its ambition to increase and improve the range of opportunities available to young disabled people post-16. We welcome the recommendation calling for a cross-government focus on outcomes and destinations for young disabled people, as we believe it is to everyone’s benefit that they fulfil their potential and fully participate in society.
The National Autistic Society fully welcomes and supports Ambitious about Autism's Finished at School campaign. The move from school into further education or employment is widely acknowledged to be a particularly difficult time for young people with autism. Not only can these young people find change particularly hard to manage, but we also know that support for young people and adults with autism is much more difficult to access. Many parents we talk to describe transition like "falling off a cliff-edge". The system needs reform to ensure that young people with autism can access the help they need in further education and beyond and Ambitious about Autism has set out clear recommendations for reform.
The National Autistic Society
I CAN fully support the Finished at School campaign. Too few young people with autism and communication difficulties, are currently able to access appropriate post-16 education services. We hope that this campaign will successfully ensure that young disabled people have the opportunity to access the right support, to achieve their potential in their post-16 education and to be successful and active members of society in their later lives.
We at the National Children’s Bureau fully support the Finished at School Campaign as we believe all children and young people have a valuable contribution to make to society. We know that the transition from childhood to adulthood is very challenging for most young people and that those with disabilities can unfortunately face more challenges on their path to lead happy, fulfilled and independent lives than their peers. We urge others to support the campaign to ensure young people have the opportunity to pursue good quality education and training post 16 years.
Dr Hilary Emery
National Children’s Bureau
The Finished at School Campaign is vital in raising awareness of the difficulties faced by all young people who require extra support in accessing post 16 education and gaining independence. NDCS urge the government to listen to the evidence presented by Ambitious about Autism and ensure that all young people can access the opportunities to which they are entitled.
The National Deaf Children's Society
The Transition Information Network fully supports the Finished at School campaign and welcomes the clear communication of the issues faced by disabled young people as they move on from school, and the action required to bring about change. The campaign is an opportunity to both raise awareness of these challenges, and to come together to support this valuable work to ensure all young people have the best possible opportunities in life.
Transition Information Network
Autism Alliance UK is pleased to support Ambitious about Autism's Finished at School campaign. Our member organisations provide services to children, young people and adults across the UK and have regular contact young people who, with support, can be successful in the world of work and further education. We feel that much more can be done and welcome the campaign which we hope will draw greater attention to the need for investment which in turn will bring enormous benefits both to the individuals involved and longer term financial savings to the economy.
Autism Alliance UK
ARM UK welcomes and supports this campaign. Autistic children and young people are not well served by our educational system. Many are entirely failed by it, even those of demonstrably high academic ability. The least able need the education and training which will optimise their chances of independent living. The most able need support to access further and higher education to optimise their life chances. Much remains to be done to enable the academically gifted to succeed at university level. Enabling autistic youngsters to realise their full potential and to excel will result not only in good outcomes for autistic youngsters it will also benefit society as a whole.
Autistic Rights Movement UK
Dimensions is delighted to be a supporter of Ambitious about Autism and the Finished at School campaign. The stories told to us by people we support so often describe a lack of viable options in gaining further education; this ultimately limits their opportunities to develop and to realise their full potential. Getting the right education, work experience, and having the confidence to believe that work is both a possible and positive option is crucial to supporting people to achieve their ambitions.
Further Education Colleges face significant barriers in offering the right kind of programmes and support for young people with autism, and with other disabilities, who at the crucial stage of transition in their lives are frequently let down by lack of educational provision. That is why the professionals who work with Action for Inclusion fully support the Finished at School campaign. We endorse the call for a common approach by all agencies that focuses on young people’s future lives, and a coordinated funding system. There are many examples of excellent practice in the further education sector that we can build on, so that on leaving school all young people have choices, and the opportunity to develop their potential, gain employment and lead fulfilling lives.
Action for Inclusion