College for students with learning difficulties praised by Ofsted
A COLLEGE which helps people with learning disabilities has been praised by Government inspectors.
The work of Linkage Community Trust – which has campuses in Grimsby and Louth – has been highlighted by Ofsted.
A report by the education watchdog illustrates the success of individual students in developing skills and entrepreneurial capability, including graduate Matthew Coulbeck, from Tetney, who has Asperger's Syndrome.
After initially going to study in a mainstream college and his placement there breaking down, Matthew, who had aspirations to work in the catering industry, moved to Linkage where his learning needs could be met.
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He said: "I used to feel nervous about everything – new people and new surroundings.
"I did not like working in different environments. But I loved college and felt more and more confident because of the support I received."
Matthew enrolled on a one- year transition course and a bespoke programme was created and delivered by the college's staff.
Matthew's programme included one-to-one support to develop his confidence to a point where he was able to move on to the challenges presented by internal real work environments.
As his confidence grew and his catering skills developed, Matthew moved onto placements in catering with local employers.
He completed his NVQ Level 2 catering qualification three months early, gained a computer literacy qualification and a Level 1 in adult numeracy.
Matthew ultimately applied for a staff position of catering assistant at the Gatehouse Café, in Manby, and, following interview against external candidates, was offered the position.
The report highlighted the benefits of close links with businesses, employers and local community groups and including enterprise-related skills in the curriculum.
Linkage's director of education, Matthew Orford, said: "It is a tribute to the hard work of all students and staff that we are seen as exemplars of good practice, which is not limited to these examples, but can be seen every day on our campuses."