Student numbers at a specialist college in North Yorkshire have risen for the third year running following the introduction of the Children and Families Act and the proactive approach of the College and its staff to help special school leavers achieve their ambitions.
The total number of students working towards fulfilling their potential at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate has reached 93, compared to 48 two years ago.
It is the third year running that the College has seen a significant rise in demand for its educational programmes to prepare young people aged from 16 to 25 all with often complex needs take their first step into further education supported by a wide range of embedded therapies and bespoke support packages.
Principal Angela North said:
Our students are each highly individual and do require a very personalised approach to their pathway to adulthood. Over the last couple years we have spent a lot of time working alongside stakeholders to ensure the needs and interests of students can be readily met by the College and to ensure that we continue to evolve our provision to ensure that those young people that prefer to stay in region can do so, and those that might benefit from a residential placement have a range of opportunities to access this.
Henshaws Specialist College works with school leavers to ensure they can continue to progress through education, in some cases enabling a transition to mainstream college and employment, and to gain sustainable skills set for independent living, from cooking to travel.
The Harrogate campus has undergone a period of change over the last few years to ensure it keeps track with the changing needs of students. Historically, Henshaws Specialist College worked with students with visual impairment but its services have developed to support students with a wide range of conditions, including launching The Starting Point, a service for students with autism, and for more profound and complex conditions following a sensory learning pathway.
In addition, the College has launched an outreach centre in Bradford, with seven students who are all working towards achieving supported employment. Henshaws continues to develop relationships with local employers to promote and embed supported internships using its DWP Disability Confident Level 3 status including Disability Awareness Training to work in help and support its employers and their teams. Alongside a similar programme at Harrogate, this has been very well received by employers.
Our employer partners continue to be amazing, our students really thrive as valued members of an inclusive team in the workplace.