• Phil Packer

BRIT enters into a special relationship with Natspec – the voice of specialist further education

We are delighted to be forging a special relationship with Natspec who are the voice of specialist further education.


Natspec is the membership association for organisations which offer specialist further education and training for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.


Their vision is that all young people with learning difficulties or disabilities can access high quality education and training, which meets their individual needs and supports their aspirations for skills, work and life.


Natspec promotes specialism and personalisation within a diverse range of further education and training provision for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This education should broaden their choice, support their aspirations, represent their best interests and provide a social return on investment.


There are 108 Natspec College members and, with the support of Natspec, BRIT will be inviting every college to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge; our feelgood February fundraiser to support and improve young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.

“Natspec’s vision is that all young people with learning difficulties or disabilities can access high quality education and training, which meets their individual needs and supports their aspirations for skills, work and life.


As part of our core activities, we provide opportunities for students to engage in inter-college activities such as the Natspec Games and Student Parliament. We also contribute to the work of other organisations who seek to improve the lives of people with disabilities.


We are thrilled to be forging a special relationship with The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) who are determined to deliver their annual inclusive BRIT Challenge to support and improve the mental health and fitness of young adults throughout the UK. The BRIT Challenge has been designed so that students and staff of all abilities can take part.


BRIT partners with national governing bodies across the education, sport and charity sectors in order to invite every UK university, college, specialist college and Students’ Union to enter teams in the BRIT Challenge and encourage student and staff participation.

Teams taking part in the BRIT Challenge will be invited to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT. This is a fantastic opportunity for students and staff at our member colleges to take part in an innovative and inclusive team challenge, raise funds for local, regional or national charities and develop close relationships with local universities or FE colleges who are also taking part in the BRIT Challenge.


I urge all of our members to enter teams in the annual BRIT Challenge and also identify representatives to join the BRIT Specialist Colleges Steering Group so that we can share ideas on great ways to take part, fundraise and engage our students and staff.”

Clare Howard

Chief Executive

Natspec

Through their core activities, Natspec;


1. Support and inform their members to raise the quality of provision. They provide guidance, briefings, events, conferences and networks to their members. They also help their members provide advice and guidance to young people, their families and supporters.


2. Advocate for their members and influence policy. They represent members to government, funding agencies and other stakeholders, including through the use of student voice. They promote the work of their members through their directory, website, e-newsletters, social media and articles to highlight the positive difference members can make to the lives of young people with SEND.


3. Support the wider FE sector. They provide training and development through TechAbility and the Natspec Transform service. Their projects and partnerships support professionals throughout the sector. They provide opportunities for students to engage in inter-college activities such as the Natspec Games and Student Parliament. They also contribute to the work of other organisations who seek to improve the lives of people with disabilities.


Natspec members believe that young people with learning difficulties or disabilities should be encouraged to have high aspirations for the future, and should be able to choose the college that will best enable them to achieve their goals.


Natspec’s Member colleges provide:

  • Challenging but safe adult environments which encourage students to develop personally and socially

  • Specialist multi-disciplinary teams with expertise in teaching, learning support, therapies and assistive technologies which enable students to learn effectively

  • High quality, personalised Study Programmes linked to Education, Health and Care plans, which support students to achieve their aspirations for work or higher education; living more independently with greater choice and control; having friendships, supportive relationships and being involved in the community, and leading a healthy lifestyle

  • Opportunities for students to develop their communication skills, express their views, and make choices and decisions.

To promote continuing improvement and innovation, Natspec’s member colleges:

  • Work in partnership with students and their families, with other members, with other education and training providers, and with local and national agencies

  • Ensure that staff are suitably experienced and qualified and have regular opportunities to update their professional practice.

For more information, please visit the Natspec website. You can also follow them on Twitter, facebook or Linked In.