Aid for disabled is nothing new

10th March 2006 at 00:00
Here we go again! Yet another report expressing concern about poor provision in FE for adults with disabilities ("Damning verdict on help for disabled", FE Focus, March 3). The ALI report provides no real new knowledge, ideas or solutions to an identified problem that is at least 20 years old. We have had reports, inquiries, working parties, task groups and papers presented that fundamentally repeat themselves every two or three years.

The Learning and Skills Council, colleges (both incorporated and specialist) and central government must employ well-qualified, experienced staff supported by specific training. Teaching and support staff should be well rewarded and paid the professional rate. No wonder so few staff qualified to work with Adults with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities-qualified staff enter the world of FE from the schools sector.

Colleges need to provide quality support and welfare services combined with specific training packages that enhance opportunities, provide social inclusion and offer a clear career pathway and exit routes. Local colleges are not able to support learners with profound or complex disabilities and needs. Staff working with this group of learners are dedicated, but they are often strangled by an insensitive funding mechanism that fits students into financial boxes that do not recognise the intensive and specialist support needed to ensure success.

Proper resourcing and imaginative teaching and training programmes would represent a way forward for this group of marginalised learners.

Len Parkyn Head of Cherry Treesfurther education centre Brighton and Hove

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now