The intended outcomes from LINK19 College are to increase the opportunities for employment and independent adulthood for a range of young people with significant needs whose statutory education was within a specialist setting.
“In 2014 the DfE legislated to restrict local authorities in their funding of special schools in respect of 19 to 25 year old students. This restriction effectively prevents special schools from routinely enrolling young people aged 19 to 25. This was in support of the objective of the SEND reforms to prepare young people for adulthood. Allowing students to potentially remain in a single setting from age 5 to 25 could severely prejudice their chances of preparing for employment and independent living, and would simply push back the ‘cliff edge’ described by many parents when their children leave education.
Requiring young people to move into further education if their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans are continued post-19 is far more likely to prepare them for adulthood. This provision, where appropriate, should include opportunities to experience the world of work, develop independent living skills and make independent choices and decisions in an adult context.”
‘Funding guidance for young people 2017 to 2018 Sub-contracting control regulations from 1 August 2017’ Paragraph 32.
With regard for the guidance published by the ESFA ‘Funding guidance for young people 2016 to 2017 Sub-contracting control regulations from 1 August 2016 July 2016 - version 1’ LINK admission criteria is as follows:
LINK19 College is a Specialist Post-19 Institution for 19 to 25 year old learners. LINK19 College offers full-time study programmes that provide individualised learning experiences. These develop key employability and life-skills for learners with a range of significant learning needs, including communication and interaction (C&I). Learners may have associated conditions such as an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), epilepsy or other health needs. Learners are likely to require a flexible level of support to meet their assessed needs.
LINK19 College provides day placements that are funded by a Local Authority (LA). The admission of learners with EHCPs to Specialist Post-19 Institutions is a decision for the LAs who have statutory responsibility for arranging learners' provision were appropriate.
LINK19 College is based in Gravesham within North Kent College’s Campus, and therefore caters primarily, but not exclusively, for Kent Local Authority. Parents are encouraged to work closely with the LA representative at the start of the transition process, thus flagging potential admissions well in advance.
The admission criteria for LINK19 College include:
- Learners are only eligible for a place if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan and LINK19 College has been identified as a suitable placement named in the learner’s EHCP.
- Learners are only eligible if LINK19 College is suitable as a provision for the learner.
- Learners are able, with support, to develop key employability and life skills.
- The nature of the learner’s needs and previous educational experience are not detrimental to the safety and well-being of all learners educated at LINK19 College.
- Learners' needs and educational requirements cannot be met in mainstream provision.
All places are subject to availability of funding and higher needs funding eligibility criteria. Staff at LINK19 College will assess learners who are referred in their existing provision (if possible) before their place is confirmed to ensure that the college is able to meet their needs. Formal risk assessments may be necessary to identify the medical or care needs of an individual learner in order to determine suitability and/or compatibility with the needs of existing learners.
Learners and their parents will be given the opportunity to visit the college before being admitted.
The number of commissioned places will be reviewed and agreed with KCC on an annual basis to match demand and capacity, and to enable future forecasting for cohorts of schools leavers. Admission will be for learners whose EHCP name the college and are subject to individual statutory consultation. Where the college is unable to admit, responsibility for the learners’ placement will remain with the local authority.
Learners will have access to a range of class-based settings and provision provided by external partners, such as through long-term work placements. In most circumstances this would be for a maximum of three days per week. Work placements are a structured study programme for young people aged 19-25 with an EHCP to achieve sustainable employment, by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace.
Learners will have identified learning goals and aspirations that will allow them to access opportunities to experience the world of work, develop independent living skills and make independent choices and decisions in an adult context. With this aim in mind, it is not envisaged that all learners will remain in LINK19 College from the age of 19 until they are 25 years of age. The college will work with learners on an individual basis to access employment where possible.
Learners will develop employability skills necessary for securing, keeping and being successful in a job. These skills support learners to develop essential transferable skills such as making critical decisions, the ability to solve problems, and develop respect for example.
Independent life-skills are supported through discreet sessions designed to help learners develop independent living skills. Areas covered will include, personal hygiene, cooking, eating and nutrition, money management and community access.
Learners access accreditation ranging from Entry Level 1-3, Level 1 -2 (including GCSE )courses. LINK19 College is committed to the continual improvement of learners’ English and mathematics levels of attainment and increasing learners use of both English and mathematics in a functional, meaningful way.
LINK19 College is staffed by highly qualified and experienced practitioners, including support staff with job coach training, who work together to realise each learner’s prescribed outcomes and onward destinations (as outlined in the learner’s EHCP).
LINK19 College’s main purpose is to empower learners to make progress with confidence for the next stage of their lives, with learners making choices about the direction they want their lives to go in.
For further information, please contact LINK College on 01322 629733.
Refusal of Admission
The company directors reserve the right to refuse admission in the following cases:
- Places are fully subscribed and admitting learners over this number would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources
- The provision would be inappropriate for the needs of the learner
- Admission of a learner would compromise the Health and Safety of learners and/or staff within the provision, or, would seriously compromise or disrupt the education of learners already within the provision