Transition seminar and launch of new online resources for teachers

5 May 2011

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new resource for teachers on our website.

This resource is aimed at those working with young people with learning disabilities in the education system and aims to provide a one stop shop of information, resources and up to date research. Topics include Inclusion, Mental Health and Well-Being as well as the Transition period to adulthood. The website section came about as the result of the brilliant work Jill Davies and Chris Tanner have been doing with young people over the past few years in schools and colleges around moving into adulthood.

One of the key pieces of work which led to the section on the website was a project called Learning 4 Leadership. It was run in colleges in Hackney and Lambeth to help young people with learning disabilities to take more charge of their lives and develop their leadership and decision making skills. One of the main issues for young people in the transition period is the lack of opportunity they have been given in their lives to plan how they would like their futures to look. The use of person centred approaches is becoming more widespread in schools and colleges, however there is still a long way to go before young people with learning disabilities have the same chances and expectations that other young people have growing up. Having worked in school and college environments, Jill and Chris realise it is vital that teachers are involved in this new way of thinking and working so that it becomes the norm and not the exception for a young person with learning disabilities to have the same life chances that everyone else has.

The Learning 4 Leadership project culminated in a seminar about Transition, held on Tuesday 3rd May to tie in with the launch of the teachers’ resource. Speakers included: Shayne King, who co-facilitated the Learning 4 Leadership programme in Lambeth; Robin Hill, who was one of the young people who took part in the workshops, and our own Hanifa Islam, who talked about her experience going through the period of transition from school into work. Chris facilitated this successful event and Jill and Jayne Carter (Council for Disabled Children) also gave talks about their experiences of working in transition. The seminar was aimed at teachers who work in this field to enable them to network and give them a chance to see some of the exciting projects that the Foundation has been working on around this challenging topic.

Transition seems to be such a difficult period because so many changes are going on in the young person’s life. The change from children’s services to adult services can be very complicated, not least because different services change over at different ages. There is also little information out there for those who care for or work with young people going through transition about what opportunities there are for young people and where they can go to get support.

As a result of the seminar the Foundation is looking into establishing a space for people to network further about transition and offer each other advice and information, as this was something that everyone felt was missing but would be highly valuable to have.

We hope that our new teachers’ resource will help those who were not able to attend the seminar to gain access to new and exciting resources to aid them in their own work.