What is Corseford College?
Corseford College offers opportunities for post-school education to young people in Scotland aged between 18-25 whose needs can’t be met in a mainstream college. It will deliver for these young people opportunities for lifelong learning while supporting them to develop in the world around them.
The college model focuses on bespoke curriculums, developed alongside our students’ individual requirements. Each student will embark upon a learning pathway, there will be many opportunities for social and peer interaction and all students at Corseford College will focus on promoting independence in whatever way is suitable for them.
The first of its kind in Scotland
Specialist further education college provision is a proven and successful model in England. There is also significant growth in this area, with 127 specialist colleges now operating in England and Wales. Over the past five years, there have been 51 young people going from Scottish schools to England to attend a specialist college provision.
Corseford College is offering the same opportunities to young adults with complex needs in Scotland for the first time. Our vision is that every young person in Scotland has the opportunity to continue their education post-school should they wish to and this is the first step toward that vision.
What are the future plans?
Capability Scotland wants to be able to offer college-style education to all young people with complex needs whether that be in Greater Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee or anywhere else. We want to ensure that regardless of where a young person comes from, they would be able to access a college that meets their needs, offers them opportunities for personal growth and to do this in their own communities.
The Scottish Government has committed to an initial two years of funding for Corseford College and Capability Scotland will direct a further £250,000 of fundraised income towards the project over the two-year pilot. During this time we will be exploring how funding can be accessed in a sustainable way by students and how we can develop the model to replicate it across the country.
We hope this partnership with the Scottish Government will lay the foundations for that to happen, and once the model of specialist further education is embedded in Scotland, we and others will be able to move forward offering opportunities to deliver further education for more young people.
A word from our new Head of College
Liz McConnachie arrived in the summer to take on the role of Head of College for this exciting new provision. Liz has an extensive background as a senior leader in further education both in Scotland and overseas. She has been involved in the development of innovative colleges previously breaking new ground with an additional needs college in Abu Dhabi and a women’s college in Saudi Arabia.
“This college is an absolute necessity for young people throughout much of Scotland who require additional support in further education.
“While there are very admirable provisions in place in Scotland’s colleges, complex special needs are not accommodated for and we have found that many young people fall by the wayside after completing school because there is no further education provision that can directly cater for their needs.
“The Government’s backing of Corseford College is welcomed and we must now demonstrate how and why similar set-ups are required in other parts of Scotland. The initial work we do here will amplify the need for this change in the Scottish education sector.”