Deaf students from Doncaster’s Communication Specialist College are set to launch a national campaign for the same right as other young people – to choose the college that will best meet their learning and support needs.
Students and tutors from Doncaster are heading to Manchester this week (June 17) to stand alongside colleagues from other specialist colleges from across the country to launch the ‘A Right not a Fight’ campaign in London and Manchester.
Funding reforms have put power into the hands of 150 local authorities, who assess needs and commission and fund places in different ways. The campaign says that this has led to a postcode lottery for specialist education, with some authorities not allowing young people to visit specialist colleges, not valuing life skills for adulthood alongside vocational skills and in some cases, insisting that students have to be rejected by local colleges before they can even consider a specialist provider. They also say there have been delays in making placement and funding decisions.
Alan Robinson, Executive Principal of the Communication Specialist College, Doncaster, said: “This is a very important campaign for our students and we are pleased to be able to take a group of them to Manchester to be a part of this.
“The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the continued difficulties that face our students and families in finding out about the specialist Further Education (FE) provision that is available, applying for funding for FE specialist provision that meets all a student’s needs to complete their programme of study and securing a place at a specialist college.
“We are supporting Natspec to launch the student campaign and with new legislation – The Children and Families Act – coming into effect in September we need to work together to help government understand the barriers and concerns that our students and families face.”
Students will be handing out the new Natspec Directory, showing how important it is for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to get information about all the Specialist Colleges in England and Wales, including our own college.
The launch event is an opportunity for students and families to tell their story and share their experiences of the difficulties they face in securing a college place.
For further information about Communication Specialist College Doncaster visit www.deaf-trust.co.uk/college
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