It’s been one year since we launched our ambitious new Nurture programme for young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).
We’ve worked with local authorities and families to provide bespoke post-16 day provision and to develop the new PMLD programme in a new Nurture Centre.
Here’s a summary of Bev’s ethos of what makes a quality PMLD provision.
1. Get the intent right from the start. The rest will follow.
One of the first things that Derwen College did, was to ensure we had a robust intention for our curriculum and provision. We started with a strong framework of exactly what preparing for adulthood and quality of life looks like for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Students are at the centre of everything we have developed or implemented.
2. Advocate for what is right for the students, even when this looks very different from what is right for other students at College.
The college was clear from the outset that the Nurture Programme may need to look radically different from other pathways in the College. I was given the freedom to implement the curriculum in a way that we could successfully plan and record the small, incremental steps that this cohort of students make.
3. Look for excellent support and expertise.
There are more and more opportunities for people with extensive PMLD education experience to share their good practice. Since starting my role, I have been able to attend expert-led PMLD conferences and be part of the Natspec PMLD forum.
4. Pace yourself – it won’t all happen at once.
Setting up within the Covid-19 pandemic has meant some frustrating delays on the delivery of key equipment. Creative and positive thinking from the wider college team meant that we were able to achieve quality outcomes, in line with the students’ long-term goals, in the meantime. However, it was a great feeling when were able to tick them off as achieved following delivery!
5. Be creative about what transition looks like.
For our young people, who can often have life-limiting conditions, transition won’t always be about moving into independent living, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be ambitious and imaginative about what the students can work towards. A good outcome for a student may mean being able to cope with increased spontaneity whilst still living at the family home. Every student is an individual, with individual needs and outcomes, and we are ambitious for our students.