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More choice for students with learning disabilities

Students with learning disabilities and/or difficulties could have more choice about how and where they receive education and training in Herefordshire.

From 2015, all young people up to the age of 18 should be in full time education or training. For students with a learning disability assessment, this requirement will continue to the age   of 24.  This education and training can be provided by a number of organisations including, training organisations, FE colleges, independent specialist providers or school sixth forms.

To help students with learning disabilities get the opportunities they need, the council has to make sure there is enough good quality, suitable education and training available in the right places. The council is reviewing the way this requirement is met.

Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for education and infrastructure, said: “Students with learning disabilities and/or difficulties have a range of different and often complex needs and we want to make sure these needs are met so that they can live as independently as possible.  Therefore our review will include health, social care, housing and supported employment needs, as well as education and training.”

“There are many other considerations that have to be taken on board in this review.  For example, the Education Funding Agency advised that education and training for 19-24 year olds should be run on a separate site from a school, with a dedicated manager and adult curriculum.  Yet, we are aware that schools are often the organisations best placed to meet the needs of these youngsters.”

The review, which began in October, will involve detailed discussions with students, their families, existing and potential educational providers.  Recommendations will be consulted upon early in 2013, with a view to offering revised provision and more choice for students from September 2013.