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Wider options for post-16 students with difficulties

I write to correct the record following the article by Clare Jenkins in the FE Update, "Focusing on the ability" (TES, June 2).

While Hereward College is the only further education college specialising in physical disabilities, there are more than 100 independent specialist colleges which also derive their funding from the Further Education Council.

There are 21 colleges in full membership of the Association of National Specialist Colleges (NATSPEC) which cater for post-16 students with disabilities and learning difficulties. NATSPEC was formed to promote opportunities for further education to students with disabilities and learning difficulties in both day and residential settings and only those reaching a satisfactory grade following inspection by the FEFC are eligible for membership.

The association is committed to raising standards in education and training and residential care; it seeks to establish the standards of the workplace as a proper basis for a curriculum suited to students with disabilities and learning difficulties, thereby enhancing employability and independence.

Further details can be obtained from the Honorary Secretary: Chris Berry, Weelsby Hall FE College, Weelsby Road, Grimsby DN32 9RU (Tel: 01472 361334).

PETER DAVIS Director Portland College Mansfield Nottinghamshire

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