“If the children don't learn the way the college teaches, the college should teach the way the children learn”. Parent
Although some learners were keen to progress to the next level, some colleges did not have any appropriate provision.
This was a particular problem for students taking supported programmes such as ‘Life Skills’ or ‘Independent Living’, many of whom were unable to choose other courses or programmes as they were unable to take part in mainstream learning. While some learners repeated their previous course, others decided to leave college.
“I have serious concerns about the withdrawal of the supported Towards Independence course for the more complex young people. I feel it is discriminatory as it is the only course available to those with high support needs… When I see what a positive experience this has been for my son, the course's withdrawal offers them even less choices and less chances in what is already a narrow choice of options”. Parent
Parents of learners with complex needs suggested that colleges should offer a greater range of courses for such learners as there are often very little (or no) courses for them to move on to. There appear to be a limited range of courses at SCQF level 3. Feedback from Share Scotland suggested that for some courses, the jump onto the next learning level may be too big for some learners. They believe that this is because there are few appropriate courses at SCQF levels 3 and 4, resulting in many learners skipping a level/s and therefore struggling on the higher level course, and limited progression routes.
“No other options were available. I feel now that my son was very "lucky" to have been able to access the two year course…. The College is about to withdraw the course completely at the end of this academic year - with nothing available for learners with significant additional support needs.” Parent
Share Scotland also reported working with learners who had been placed on courses which were a poor match for their individual skills/abilities. They believed this could be due to a lack of knowledge of the learner or lack of appropriate course options, and difference of opinion on the suitability of a particular learner for a specific course (including lack of awareness of the impact of the learner’s impairment).