Monday, June 11, 2018

City Council updates travel support system for youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Improvements to a scheme helping pupils travel independently around Nottingham will open up support to more youngsters.

Nottingham City Council has updated its Independent Travel Training (ITT) service, which offers practical help to pupils with SEND.

Youngsters tend to become less reliant on their families to help them get around as they get older, but this can be harder for those who have certain learning and physical disabilities.

The aim of ITT is to:

  • Promote independence and enable students to access positive social activities
  • Increase confidence
  • Help improve social skills and maintain relationships
  • Open up routes to further education, employment and leisure

This is achieved through a training scheme which teaches students:

  • How to cope with traffic and road safety
  • The Highway Code
  • Confidence in using buses, trams and trains
  • Journey planning
  • How to use timetables and visual aids
  • Where to get help
  • Personal safety
  • Money skills

Previously, the ITT service helped pupils on an individual basis and came through direct referrals from schools, colleges, SEN Services and Futures.

Now, ITT is moving to a model of training-up schools and colleges so they can deliver the programme directly to students themselves – which will significantly increase the number of young people who benefit.

 To mark the updated service coming in, a case study video has been produced which explains how ITT works and the benefits it provides. This was successfully launched at Woodlands Academy on 15th May 2018.  Young people who have been trained through the service spoke passionately about how the scheme has helped them and increased their confidence and self-esteem.

Councillor Sam Webster, former Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “With the recent development of our railway station into a transport hub, an extended world-class tram system, and a fantastic bus network that has two award-winning bus operators; Nottingham is one of the leading cities in the UK for public transport.

“Independent travel training is really important to make sure that these are accessible to everyone. It provides young people with tailored and practical help to move around our City safely by public transport, on foot or by bicycle to their school, college or work placement. It also supports young people socially, to access other key services and connect with friends and family.

“Being able to travel independently is an essential life skill. It helps to better prepare young people for adulthood, and for accessing further education and employment by raising their confidence in their abilities.

“Ofsted is placing much more focus on positive destinations for young people so there is additional importance to schools to provide young people with the skills to move on successfully to their post-16 education or into the world of work. We’re keen to help with that in any way we can.”

Schools interested in being trained to deliver travel training for young people with SEND should email itt@nottinghamcity.gov.uk and the travel trainer will contact you to discuss requirements