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Finished at School

Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

Access all areas: How do we make further education accessible for young disabled people?

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Welcome Welcome to the Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012.

nes CBE Lord Clement-Jo

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism. We provide services, raise awareness and influence policy. Our ambition is to make the ordinary possible for all children and young people with autism. We are committed to ensuring their voice is heard and considered at every stage of policy development. This evening’s lecture considers the important issue of access to post-school education and training opportunities for young disabled people. Through the Finished at School campaign, Ambitious about Autism found that less than 1 in 4 young people with autism continue education beyond school. Only 15% of people with autism are in full-time work. This is unacceptable and represents a huge waste of potential. We have three excellent speakers to give us their ideas for unlocking this potential: a young campaigner, a Minister, and the United States Government’s lead on policy for young disabled people. I look forward to hearing the views of young people, college staff, employers, policy-makers, parents and others on this topic as I chair the debate following our speaker’s contributions. Thank you once again for participating in this evening’s lecture, which we hope will take us a step closer to opening up access to all areas of education to young disabled people. Lord Clement-Jones CBE President Ambitious about Autism

CMG Trevor Pears

“We “ are delighted to be supporting this series of annual lectures, which we hope will create a space for academics, policy-makers, practitioners and parents to come together to debate the broader issues that are of vital importance to the special educational needs and disability sector.” Trevor Pears CMG Executive Chair Pears Foundation


Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

Running order



Welcome from Lord Clement–Jones CBE, President of Ambitious about Autism


A short film about access to education beyond school for young disabled people


Leo Capella, Disability Rights Campaigner, talks of his experiences in education and his hopes for the future


Dr Alexa Posny, United States Assistant Secretary for Special Educational Needs, gives her view on improving access to post-school education


John Hayes MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, talks about his plans to improve accessibility and launches the College Inclusion Charter


Lord Clement-Jones CBE will take questions and comments from the audience


Drinks reception


Event closes

Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

Speakers Rights Ca Leo Capella, Disability


Leo Capella is currently a Clerical Assistant in the Department of Environmental Health at Uttlesford District Council and sometime disability rights activist. Diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome around the age of five he received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics at the University Essex and a Masters in International Security from the University of Warwick. He became a student union representative at the University of Essex serving on the National Union of Students Disabled Students Committee for one year, getting the committee member of the year award for 2008. He then became an Ambassador at Skill, the National Bureau for Students, while undertaking postgraduate study.

er for John Hayes MP, Minist ills an d Further Education, Sk Lifelon g Learnin g John was elected to Parliament in 1997 as MP for South Holland and The Deepings. He was Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1999; Shadow Schools Minister in 2000; and Assistant Opposition Chief Whip. He also chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability. John became Shadow Minister for Vocational Education in 2005. In May 2010, he was appointed Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In July 2012 he also became a Minister of State in the Department for Education with responsibility for apprenticeships, careers guidance and vocational education. 06

Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

nt Secretary Dr Alexa Posny, Assista United States for Special Education, ion Department for Educat Dr Alexa Posny is the Assistant Secretary for Special Education in the United States Department of Education. Appointed by President Obama in 2009, and confirmed in post by the United States Senate, Alexa oversees the Office of Special Education Programs, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. She previously served as the Commissioner of Education for the state of Kansas, overseeing a state education budget of over $4.5 billion. Prior to this, she was Director of the Office of Special Education Programs for the United States Department of Education, a position in which she assisted state and local efforts to provide effective education for all children and young people with disabilities.

Introducing the Finished at School campaign

Thank you to all our Finished at School campaign supporters


The Finished at School campaign was launched in October 2011 with an aim to secure more and better educational options for all young people with autism aged 16–25. We want to enable this group of young people to develop new skills, gain employment, live more independently and ultimately to live the life they choose. The campaign is led by Ambitious about Autism but is a coalition of 23 organisations from across the education and voluntary sectors and is also supported by 13 further education colleges. Together, we share a belief that with the right support young people with autism can learn, thrive and achieve. Latest figures suggest that less than 1 in 4 young people with autism continue education beyond school which we believe is unacceptable and needs to change. There are some examples of excellent education provision for young people with autism who are over 16 but these are few and far between. The vast majority of colleges want to support young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, the problem is that the current system creates too many barriers. Through this campaign we hope to reduce as many of these hurdles as possible.

The Finished at School campaign has four distinct goals: „„ A clear legal right for young disabled people to access educational support up to the age of 25 „„ A funding system that gives young people and families more information, choice and support „„ A cross-government focus on outcomes and destinations for young people with autism „„ A further education workforce with the skills to support young people with autism to achieve their ambitions

The campaign has been welcomed by Government and we are working in partnership with them to influence and improve the offer to all young disabled people when they leave school. Policy reforms across government must be co-ordinated and address the significant gap in the quality, quantity and diversity of post 16 education. Put simply, too many young people with autism find their education finishes once they leave school and together we want to change that.

If your organisation or college wants to support this campaign please email: or you can add your personal support on our Finished at School pledge board which is at: 08

Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

ges e l l Co

College Inclusion Charter

College Inclusion Charter ...................................................................... is ambitious for learners with autism. We aim to provide outstanding teaching and learning focused on progression. We will work with our partners to ensure that by ................................ our college demonstrates that we:  Understand and recognise the rights and needs of learners with autism by listening to their

   

  

views and those of their family, personalising their programmes, and supporting them to reach their chosen destination Meet and exceed our legal duties to make reasonable adjustments for learners with autism, through actively removing barriers to accessing learning Create a whole college culture and ethos of inclusion and high aspiration, leading to progression and positive outcomes for all learners Effectively support transition for all learners, both from school to college and from college into living, learning and working as independently as possible Ensure all college staff have an understanding of autism, and that teaching staff draw on specialist expertise to effectively adapt the curriculum, and develop inclusive teaching methods for learners with autism Adopt a flexible approach, enabling learners to progress and gain meaningful qualifications in the settings and time frames that work best for them Run a social support programme, developed in partnership with external agencies, to enable learners to enjoy the broader social life of their setting and community Follow the principals of design for inclusion in developing the environment, facilities, and social space of our college

We will evidence this by:  Building an action plan for delivering this charter into our strategic plan

The College Inclusion Charter has been developed as part of the Finished at School campaign. It aims to support further education providers to improve their offer to young people with autism and other disabilities. A copy of the College Inclusion Charter is on the following page. It was developed with learners, college staff and principals, and disability organisations. We would like to thank the Association of Colleges in particular for its support in developing and disseminating the charter. We want as many colleges as possible to sign up to the College Inclusion Charter and commit to delivering quality education opportunities for learners with autism and other disabilities.

Through our website you can: „„ Download a copy of the College Inclusion Charter and get your local college to sign it „„ Find out how to get support in improving the accessibility of your college „„ Join our campaign to get more colleges signed up

Please visit to get involved. 10

Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

 Publishing the results of a satisfaction survey for disabled learners, including the numbers

and destinations of disabled college leavers  Delivering an annual report to Governors on progress against each of the areas above  Ensuring our learner voice strategy effectively engages with learners with autism and

responds to their views

Signed by College Principal:


Signed by Chair of Governors:


Address The Pears National Centre for Autism Education, Woodside Avenue, London N10 3JA Telephone 020 8815 5444 Facsimile 020 8815 5420 Email Website Charity number 1063184 Registered company 3375255

Published: May 2012 012 Finished at School: Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012

Pears Annual Lecture 2012 programme  

The programme from Pears Ambitious about Autism Annual Lecture 2012: 'Access all areas: How do we make further education accessible for youn...