Build a specialist further education college in Scotland
  • Petitioned Scottish Government

This petition was delivered to:

Scottish Government

Build a specialist further education college in Scotland

    1. Heather McNaughton-Wilford
    2. Petition by

      Heather McNaughton-Wilford

      Carluke, United Kingdom

Our whole experience of specialist education in Scotland has been lack of choice, and of Local Authorities more concerned with using their own resources than assessing need. We had to sell our home and move from one end of Lanarkshire to the other in order for our son Andrew’s school fees to be paid. Before that, his dad was working day and night shifts to find the money to fund his education. We find ourselves in a similar position now that Andrew is due to leave school and wants to go to college. Motherwell College is one of our local colleges, and described as a “Centre of Excellence”. We were told that Motherwell College did not allow young people with additional complex support needs to choose their own courses. Instead, Andrew’s only option was their Access 8 course, an 8 week course offering "taster sessions" of recreational courses. At the end of this he may have been offered 2 afternoons of similar recreational type activities. Andrew is a bright young man, and wants to continue to achieve and develop educationally. He can take part in recreational activities with his friends and family. Andrew wants to go to college to have a meaningful educational experience!

We then looked at other colleges around Scotland, and it became very clear that there was NOTHING available that could offer Andrew what he wanted and what he needs within Scotland. I then decided to do a bit of research, and have discovered that this has been the case for a number of years. Young people in Scotland used to regularly cross the border to England to access the specialist colleges that exist there. The Scottish Government reviewed this situation and looked at whether we should have our own specialist college in Scotland; the decision was made at that time that additional funding would be provided to local authorities instead. I do not see any evidence that this money has been used to provide an alternative to the specialist colleges. We have visited these colleges and there is just no comparison to the recreational course on offer at Motherwell. Andrew has applied to Beaumont College, which is a bit like Fame Academy! Andrew will have the opportunity to make films, music, dance productions, and continue developing his communication and IT skills. However, this means he will have to live away from home whilst he studies, and we are having to fundraise to pay the fees. Scotland should have their own specialist FURTHER education college, not pockets within colleges where young people and adults with additional support needs are "cared for", and offered life skills and recreational courses. Young people and adults with additional support needs deserve the same opportunities as others; please help our campaign to protect the future of all young people with additional support needs in Scotland - urge the Scottish Government to build our own specialist further education college in Scotland.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Let's double it!

      Heather McNaughton-Wilford
      Petition Organizer

      Hello, thank you to everyone for your continued support and for helping us reach 500 signatures. Please keep sharing on as many walls as you can and asking everyone you know to sign. We're working so hard to make this happen, not just for our own son, but for all the young people and adults in Scotland. We really appreciate how much you have helped us so far; please encourage all of your friends and family to sign, and to ask them to ask THEIR friends and family to sign.

      Thank you :)

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. Retweeted by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol

      Heather McNaughton-Wilford
      Petition Organizer

      We've been tweeting about the petition all day, and Gary from Snow Patrol has retweeted! Please use twitter and your facebook pages to ask your friends and their friends to sign. Thank you so much for those who have already signed :)

    4. We've reached 100 supporters, thank you! But we need so much more!

      Heather McNaughton-Wilford
      Petition Organizer

      We've reached our first milestone, 100 supporters. This is fantastic, but we need much more if anyone at the Parliament is going to sit up and take notice. This is not a new situation, and nothing will change unless we MAKE IT HAPPEN. Please keep sharing and spreading the word. Thank you

    5. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Emma Cobb IPSWICH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      My friend's son deserves to have a decent and equal education regardless of needs

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cheryl Marshall OLDBURY, UNITED STATES
      • about 1 year ago

      because i have a disabled child . too. they are always put second. for them life is crap. as it is.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Claire Dixon REDCAR, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      there should be provision made

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rhona Huish TRANENT, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      My son has aspergers & attends school in England. Leaves in a year but feels he can't go to a mainstream college.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • margaret hillan LANARK, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      Everyone should have choices about the education they receive and it should not be limited because of disability

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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