How to support the Transition to Post 16 Education

The transition from a well-trodden school campus to sixth form or college can be daunting for our children who are visually impaired. They have to learn to navigate a new setting, meet new people and advocate for their needs with new teachers. This can feel like a roadblock to their education and as parent carers we do not always know the best way to help. Even if your child is not changing settings the change in support provided and expectations can be overwhelming.

We put together a panel of experts who shared their experiences and answer questions you may have. Join LOOK mentors Ussud and Alice, mentee Lula and her Mum Jane and Chrissy Harbour, a QTVI from the Manchester Sensory Support Service, who will talk through the change from their perspective. They will be honest about the pitfalls and share solutions they have found along the way.

Important things to know: 

  • Get your child to practice making small decisions so that when they are older, they are ready to make big decisions. 
  • You can take A levels and B tech over 3 years.
  • You can change your mind about your education provider within 10 weeks and go back to your old one. 
  • Changing your mind can be a positive thing. .
  • It is ok to take time to do the next stage, it is not a race, the tortoise can succeed.
  • There is  0-25 SEND provision in acknowledgement that it can take our children longer to get where they want to. 
  • GCSE Maths and English can be retaken as many times as needed.
  • It can be tough but do not give up, change settings if you need to.
  • Your children will find their way- it might take longer, or be more challenging but it is possible
  • Individuals can make a huge difference
  • Victa offers grants for Tech (grant scheme is currently suspended please keep checking for further updates)

Top Tips to pass on to your children:

  • It does get better.
  • Get as informed as you can.
  • Don’t assume that it is going to be as bad as it was in the past.
  • Be determined to take the subjects that you want to take. You might have to fight for this.
  • You can do anything if you put your mind to it. 
  • Encourage high aspirations:  I want to do (anything) how am I going to do it? (anything).
  • Don’t listen if you are told what your limits might be
  • Get involved in volunteering for social life, confidence, and preparation for work.
  • Build your community around you. 
  • Make connections. 
  • Find support from organisations who can help you.
  • Find role models and mentors who can support you.
  • Young Adults still need help- it is ok to ask and say when things are not working
  • Sometimes you might still need your parents to advocate for you

Links:

Victa Student Portal:

Welcome to the VICTA Student Portal (victastudents.org.uk)

Victa Grant Scheme:

https://www.victa.org.uk/our-services/grants

Thomas Pocklington Trust Student Support:

Student support – Thomas Pocklington Trust (pocklington-trust.org.uk)

Guide Dogs:

Education Support | Guide Dogs

RNIB:

Young people | RNIB

RNIB Book Share:

https://www.rnibbookshare.org/cms

Connecting with Others

Henshaws:

https://www.henshaws.org.uk

Outlook Trust:

Vision Norfolk,

Riding with RDA

https://www.rda.org.uk

Theatre Shed:

https://thetheatreshed.co.uk