Category Archives: special needs
Learning disability charity Mencap has welcomed the Government’s publication of draft provisions to improve the support for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).
The new publication follows on from the Government’s proposals to reform provision for children and young people with SEN in the green paper Support and Aspiration, published in March 2011, and the subsequent Next Steps document published in May 2012.
These new draft provisions provide for:
- A new duty for joint commissioning which will require local authorities and health bodies to take joint responsibility for providing services
- A requirement on local authorities to publish a local offer of services for disabled children and young people and those with SEN
- New protections for young people aged 16-25 in further education and a stronger focus on preparing them for adulthood
- Parents and young people, for the first time, to be entitled to have a personal budget
- Further education colleges, for the first time, and all academies, including free schools, to have the same duties as maintained schools to safeguard the education of children and young people with SEN.
A CONSULTATION is taking place presently regarding the proposed closure of Ashlea Hostel, in Coronation Avenue, Alvaston. This building is currently used for respite care by more than 75 people with learning disabilities.
There are a large number of carers who are desperately worried about the possible loss of Ashlea and are especially anxious about losing the professional and highly dedicated staff who work there. We are aware that users of the service are to receive personal budgets but for many the facility provided at Ashlea is what they would choose for their short breaks. Most of those with severe learning disabilities do not accept change easily and would therefore find it difficult to adjust to a different service. Those with profound disabilities need a building-based service to cater for their very special needs.
Emma Richards has profound and multiple disabilities and enjoys staying overnight at Ashlea Hostel, in Alvaston, left.
It is generally accepted that the Ashlea building has limitations as originally it was not designed for people requiring such high levels of support. However, inside it is always clean, fresh and well organised and the staff are friendly, welcoming, caring and helpful. There is a real homely atmosphere and Michelle Stevenson, the unit manager, and her staff have made some outstanding improvements.
You see they all have a real love for the job they do and this is what makes the difference. They really care about those who stay at Ashlea and this consistently shines through. The patience, kindness and level of care shown by the staff is clear for all to see. They have received training to a high standard and are very professional in their care of service users who present a diversity of learning and physical disabilities.
Visitors to the Forum were kings of the road on Saturday when they had the chance to meet the people behind the wheels of the East Coast Truckers.
Lucy Wright Monday, August 20, 2012
Trucks lined up outside the Forum from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and people could sit in the cab, talk to the drivers and listen to live music.