New sensory learning base officially opens

A new sensory learning base for students with Profound and Complex Learning Disabilities (PCLD) has been officially opened at Weston College.

The centre is the final part of a £1million investment that provides high quality facilities.

The new base opened its doors to students in September 2014 at the Knightstone Campus in Weston town centre, meaning students with PCLD no longer have to leave the local authority to receive specialist support.

Ben McConkey, the College’s strategic lead in inclusive practice, said: “In the past, students with PCLD may have had to leave the local authority when they finish school to access the specialist education and support they require.”

The Sensory Learning Base provides students with an individualised high quality multi-sensory programme.

Ben McConkey said: “Our programmes will help young people develop the skills to lead a more independent life, access their community and develop and maintain relationships with family and friends through a wide range of sensory experiences and holistic approaches.”

Weston College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips OBE described it as a ‘vital’ facility for the area.

He said: “It’s a far cry from when the College first opened its doors to a small group of teenagers with learning difficulties and disabilities back in 1981.

“We now have more than 1,000 learners receiving support on further education and higher education courses across all sites.

“This is a vital new facility for the local authority that will support some of the most vulnerable young people in our community and I look forward to welcoming new learners to the College.”

“The Sensory Learning base will work in collaboration external agencies to ensure every individual receives outstanding support and positive outcomes.” 

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