Progression beyond school is variable for young people with learning disabilities

Release Date: 23 August 2011

Source: Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

Country: United Kingdom

A report released by Ofsted today indicates that councils are failing to prepare young people with learning difficulties and disabilities for adult life after they leave school. The report Progression Post-16 for Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities found the range of opportunities to stay in education and for training beyond secondary school varied too widely between areas.

Jill Davies, Research Programme Manager of the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities says: 

“Our own experience, based on extensive work in schools and colleges, supports the findings from the Ofsted report that, after they leave school, opportunities for young people with learning disabilities are limited.

In an education culture that is focused on results, access to courses can be extremely variable, leading to some young people facing discrimination. As a result, many young people with learning disabilities can miss out on taking courses because it has been assumed that they are unable to sit exams, or there is a belief that the course isn’t ‘appropriate’ for them.

Young people with learning disabilities do not get the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers when it comes to work experience and employment. It is essential that we raise the aspirations of children with learning disabilities, their families and teaching staff to focus on finding a job after leaving school.

At the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, we have worked hard to influence this culture change through our leadership workshops, individual planning with families, and our work with the Government’s Getting a Life programme to help people with learning disabilities move onto paid employment and full lives when they leave education.”