Welsh colleges "should offer more living skills"

16 June 2017, 10:42

College students

Further Education colleges are being told they should pay more attention to independent living skills for young people with learning difficulties.

A report published by the Welsh education inspectors, Estyn, has found most further education colleges do not focus strongly enough on the independent living skills that young people with learning difficulties and disabilities will need for their future. Only a few colleges in Wales set realistic and long-term goals for these young people that include developing wider communication and employability skills.

The document looks at how well further education colleges provide learning programmes for young people with a wide range of moderate to severe learning difficulties.

Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector, says:

“It is vital that further education colleges prepare young people with learning difficulties for life after they leave college and help to equip them with the skills that they need to live an independent life.

“Colleges should design sufficiently challenging learning programmes that have an appropriate balance between qualifications and other activities so that learning is purposeful and well-matched to the abilities of the young people.

“Today’s report highlights some success stories where colleges have made a real difference to individual learners’ lives by setting meaningful targets and taking a flexible approach to planning the curriculum.”

The report has five key recommendations for FE colleges to help improve their provision for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. These include identifying learners’ wider skills and abilities during initial assessments, ensuring individual learning plans take sufficient account of these, and designing programmes of learning that are more relevant and challenging. There are also recommendations for local authorities and the Welsh Government.

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