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Further options

Our school has students with a wide range of abilities. For many years our local college of further education has run courses for our school leavers with severe learning difficulties. There were no such options for those with profound and multiple learning difficulties, whose only option on leaving school was the local day centre.

Our head, Richard Fraser, instigated a meeting of school and college staff to discuss further education for post 19-year-olds with profound and multiple learning difficulties. It was vital both to devise appropriate, accredited courses and find suitable premises.

I had to find a framework for the courses. Working with staff from Buckinghamshire Open College network, we used a questionnaire to consult with parentscarers and young adults with learning difficulties. Then, with speech therapists and physiotherapists, I wrote two GNVQ programmes, in communication and hydrotherapy.

These have both been accredited and should be offered at the college in September. Three more programmes - in music therapy, art opportunity and access to information technology - have been written and are awaiting accreditation.

In a franchise arrangement with the local FE college an area of our school's premises, including our new hydrotherapy pool, has been dedicated to these courses, which will be co-ordinated and staffed by the college.

For more information contact Redway School, Whalley Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK3 6EN. Tel: 01908 370000

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