Education related inequalities have an impact over a person’s lifespan not just in childhood. Through their programmes, Love Learning Scotland in Lanarkshire focuses on some of the most disadvantaged children who otherwise would face real barriers to accessing education and/or educational activities. They hope to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life.
The organisation provides crucial early intervention and support, offering a pathway to qualifications and employment. Services range from a helpline, education provision, qualifications assessment and self-development. This is delivered primarily via a weekly group structure, but also through more intensive one-to-one support. This initiative can provide a cost-effective solution to the problems encountered by many children and young people with disordered and unstructured lifestyles in disadvantaged communities.
The David Doig Foundation awarded Love Learning Scotland funding to help deliver their project to children and young people with ASD up to the age of 18. Participants on the programme were able to access services, including a helpline, education provision, an education psychologist, qualifications assessment and self-development, through weekly group support and intensive one-to-one support.
Kate a young teenager who suffers from ASD, in recent months has experienced lots of changes in her life; her parents splitting up, moving to a new home and living in a new community. Kate finds it difficult to process new experiences and cope with change. These changes have impacted on Kate’s ability to stay at school and to achieve her National 5 qualifications. Love Learning have been able to support Kate by providing a support worker to help expand her social networks. Kate was encouraged to seek out a buddy; prepare transport times and durations; have supported lunch breaks; identifying out of school social events; and supporting her to achieve a personal development award. With this support Kate has grown in confidence and self-esteem and in addition to taking up an SQA award, she has been volunteering in the Love Learning Scotland offices to gain office management skills. Kate is now much more independent, and is making progress, adapting to all the new changes and opportunities in her life.