September 5, 2015

One day training courses to help staff support young people with autism to move from school to college are being hosted across all nine regions in England, on dates in Autumn term 2015 and Spring term 2016, across ten colleges.

Ambitious about Autism, the leading national charity for children and young people with autism, is running the one day sessions, ‘Finished at School: Supporting young people with autism to move from school to college’ to improve the experience of transition from school to college for young people with autism.

The training, commissioned and funded by the Department for Education, follows up Ambitious about Autism’s Finished at School Programme. This project, which ran for two years between 2013 and 2015, helped young people with autism, including those with complex needs, to access further education and training beyond school.

Although the Finished at School Programme had a specific focus on young people with autism, the learning from the project has relevance to other young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The training is being run in all nine regions in England, on dates in Autumn term 2015 and Spring term 2016, across ten colleges.

The training has been designed to help colleges fulfil the requirements of Children and Families Act and the revised SEND Code of Practice. The sessions are open to all further education college staff (including curriculum managers and learning support teams), sixth form college staff, secondary school special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and local authority transition leads.

Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive at Ambitious about Autism said:

“We know from our own extensive research that fewer than one in four young people with autism continue their education beyond school. It is vital that young people with autism are given the same opportunities as their peers. With the right support, they can make successful and worthwhile transitions to college, which is crucial to opening up doors to employment and preparing for adulthood. We are delighted to see so many colleges across the country recognise the issue by hosting these courses.”

Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families at the Department for Education, said:

“It’s essential that young people with autism are supported in the move from school to further education, and eventually into work, to ensure they develop the best skills to help them reach their full potential.

Our SEND reforms are placing them at the heart of a more collaborative system tailored to their individual needs. We’re delighted to have provided nearly £240,000 for Ambitious about Autism to provide the training for staff working with youngsters with autism, to make sure their move from school to college is as smooth as possible.”

Course objectives include:

  • To develop an understanding of the implications of the current SEND policy context for each role in improving transition and outcomes for young people with autism and/or special educational needs making the move from school to college.
  • To identify ways to work effectively with parents and young people to support successful transition.
  • To discuss the role of person–centred tools when working and planning with young people and their parents, developing Education Health and Care (EHC) plans and personalised outcomes.

A copy of the Finished at School guide, which captures the learning from the Finished at School Programme and maps the key themes to the SEND code of practice, will be available for all people who attend this course.

Following the training, each participant will have access to a new online module on person–centred thinking and person–centred tools.

Cost: £20.00 per place.

Places can be booked at

For all other enquires, please contact

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