A group of learners visited a care home last month as they took the first steps towards a BTEC qualification which will help them gain employment and independence when they leave school. Just 15% of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment in the UK, but LVS Oxford is seeking to help change that.
LVS Oxford has recently begun offering a BTEC in Health & Social Care, which requires fieldwork at several external locations. Learners visited Marston Court, a care home in Oxford for the elderly and adults diagnosed with dementia and physical disability, to find out what they can expect from their course and get used to visiting other environments. They will continue to visit Marston Court throughout their course, culminating with doing an activity with the residents to show how they can demonstrate care values, and also visit another setting such as a local nursery.
The two-year course, which will help give learners a number of employment options upon leaving LVS Oxford, is a recognised qualification in Health and Social Care settings such as hospices, nurseries and children’s homes. Other units on the course include nutrition, development through life and communication in care environments which will be particularly important to their development in school as well as looking further ahead to future employment.
Jennifer Phillips, who teaches the BTEC Health and Social Care course at LVS Oxford, said: “I was very impressed and proud of our learners. They coped with a setting that was unusual to them and talked to strangers incredibly well. In addition to helping them gain a valuable qualification which will help them gain independence in future life, it will help them to understand how they themselves should be treated”.
The course is one of four new BTEC qualifications to be introduced by LVS Oxford this term as part of the school’s commitment to academic progress and equipping learners to be able to lead independent lives and find jobs or further education courses after they leave school. The other three BTECs now offered are Sport, Business and Jamie Oliver’s Home Cooking Skills, which supported by A-levels, GCSEs and NVQs, ensure the best possible education for learners with autism.
Many of the tasks the students undertake will help build competencies in citizenship, relating to others, managing situations and working as part of a team - all key to being fulfilled and employable adults.