Natspec News

The latest edition of Natspec News is now online and ready to read.

Natspec News

The latest edition of Natspec News is online and ready to read

April 2017

Read Natspec News

Role of residential specialist colleges

Natspec, the membership association for organisations which offer specialist provision for students aged 16 to 25, has submitted its response to Lenehan Review of Experiences and Outcomes in Residential Special Schools and Colleges.

We firmly believe that for some young people, residential education represents the best post-16 or post-19 option, if they are to get the preparation they need in order to lead fulfilling adult lives. Students and parents/carers value highly the education and support our colleges offer, and the positive impact they have on their lives.

We have gathered evidence from a variety of sources, including previously commissioned research and surveys, Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection reports and a wide range of documentation submitted by our member colleges. We have also sought the opinions of the young people themselves.

Lenehan Review response

Download a pdf of Natspec's response to the Lenehan Review

  • Please note that the video links are not live as young people’s permission was sought only for the inclusion of their videos as evidence to the review team.

Natspec News February 2017

The February edition is now online and ready to read

Meet David Smith MBE at the Natspec conference

The Boccia champion and double gold medallist, David Smith MBE, will be joining us as VIP guest at the Natspec Annual Conference in March.

An ex-student of Treloar College in Hampshire, the GB Paralympian now has four medals from three Paralympic Games, having won gold in Beijing, and silver and bronze in London, followed by gold in Rio in the individual BC1 event.

Natspec response to Improving Lives: DWP Green Paper

Natspec welcomes the government’s manifesto ambition to halve the disability employment gap as part of its stated commitment to building a country and economy that works for everyone. Our response to DWP’s Green Paper on work, health and disability focusses on how young people should receive the support they require to gain, retain and progress in employment.

Technology makes a difference

Technology impacts on all our lives, but for students with learning difficulties or disabilities, it can be truly life changing. It not only gives them a voice, independence, and autonomy; it also gives access to things that have become part of everyday life – the internet, social media, mobile phones.

Natspec’s Technology Advisory Group (TAG) has just published five case studies, demonstrating different aspects of the role technology now plays in the lives of students and showing how specialist colleges respond to ever developing opportunities. Four of the case studies cover aspects of the curriculum – independent living, recording progress through RARPA, work experience and social enterprise. The fifth outlines an approach to keeping the college ILT strategy up-to-date and embedded across all staff teams.

The TAG, working in partnership with Jisc, aims to promote accessibility and inclusion across the post-16 sector. Membership includes specialist and GFE colleges with a keen interest in making sure they use technology that really meets the needs and interests of students.

Beaumont’s case study on Independent Living shows how using environmental controls allows students much greater levels of independence, and allows them to control everyday equipment such as the TV, as well as heating and curtains

Royal National College for the Blind’s work on Supporting Outcomes outlines their approach to ensuring that their students are confident about using a wide range of technology – including setting up a café where students teach others to use technology

Treloar College wanted students to be fully engaged in RARPA, and found readily available technology to support them to record their own progress

National Star College used technology to support students on Work experience and enable them to carry out tasks efficiently and with confidence

Finally, Beaumont outlines its approach to reviewing and amending its ILT strategy