Support centre for Asperger's is a winner

13th February 2009 at 00:00

A college's dedicated support centre for students with Asperger's Syndrome has been praised for setting a national example in widening participation.

City College Norwich won the Association of Colleges' president's award after it expanded from 18 to 120 the number of students on the autistic spectrum that it taught. The disorder affects communication and social interaction.

In addition to its specialised courses, the college believes its facilities, dubbed the Rug Room, have encouraged students with Asperger's to be more open about their disability and helped them to develop better communication and social skills.

The Pounds 200,000 space, built with Learning and Skills Council funding, was envisaged and designed by its students as an all-day respite room, but has also become a place for them to mingle and improve their communication in a familiar environment.

Last year, 97 per cent of students with autistic spectrum disorders finished their courses, with 88 per cent gaining qualifications.

City College Norwich also runs a dedicated course for autistic students, designed to develop the skills to prepare them for mainstream qualifications.

Danusia Latosinski, the centre's programme manager, said: "We are attracting people from further and further away. But we don't want people travelling miles to come to us. What we want is for other colleges to have the same facilities.

"We had designers come in to do the rooms, and with all the information technology it came to Pounds 200,000. But before that we had an ordinary room and second-hand furniture and that worked as well - that's how we started."

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

Comments

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