SCOTLAND’S first dedicated college for school leavers with complex needs will open in September, the charity behind it has confirmed.
Corseford College in Renfrewshire will begin to address a Scotland-wide void in further education opportunities for those whose needs can’t be met in mainstream colleges.
Operated by Capability Scotland, the facility will offer further education day placements for individuals with complex needs and be based within a wing of the existing Corseford School campus near Johnstone following a £250,000 refurbishment of both the internal and external environment.
Capability Scotland has already allocated 12 of the 15 places available in year one, demonstrating the level of previously unmet need – and is working to finalise funding mechanisms with the Scottish Government, which has indicated strong support.
Brian Logan, Chief Executive with Capability Scotland, believes the model will transform the lives of individuals with complex support needs, as well as their families and support networks.
“We’re delighted with the engagement that we have been receiving from the Scottish Government, empowering us to make Corseford College happen.
“There is a clear and urgent need to address the lack of further education opportunities for so many of our young people in society.
“The default option for those with complex needs is day care. While this is the right route for some, there needs to be greater depth of opportunity.
“We’ve already had a great deal of interest from families all around the country.”
The charity’s vision is to increase to 25 students in year two’s intake, before delivering a strategy for a phased rolling out of similar colleges throughout Scotland.
The college model is being developed around a highly specialised curriculum, one that is designed and developed around the core learning styles that our students will experience. Each student will embark upon a bespoke learning pathway.
“This is not about priming people to enter the jobs market who otherwise wouldn’t.
“While some of our students may be able to do that in time, the college environment will exist to provide opportunities for lifelong learning and for students to develop in the world around them.
“I’d like to also emphasise our commitment to the existing school at Corseford. While pupil numbers have fallen in recent years, the creation of the adjoining college highlights our commitment to the site. We think the new facility will only strengthen the appeal of the school.”
Capability Scotland – which celebrated its 75th-anniversary last year – delivers exemplary care, support and education for disabled children and adults across Scotland.
Founded in 1946, it has always strived to be a major ally in supporting disabled people to have full equality of opportunity and participation as citizens of Scotland.
It now provides direct support to more than 800 individuals through day and residential schools, residential care, housing support services, home care and a range of day opportunities in the community and local Capability Scotland hubs.