My Independence: ASDAN’s person-centred programmes mapped to preparing for adulthood pathways
Changes in the SEND landscape are gathering pace. In March 2023, ministers set out their plans for SEND reform. The government plans to introduce new National Standards for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which will set clear expectations of what good looks like in identifying and meeting needs, and clarify who is responsible for delivering provision, and from which budgets, across the 0-25 system. These National Standards will be supported by new SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) practice guides for schools and other providers.
ASDAN is well placed for change. Building on the solid foundations from our Preparing for Adulthood programme, our innovative My Independence programme strengthens our offer for young people with moderate and severe learning difficulties, and creates an innovative course for learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
We, and the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), who collaborated with us to produce My Independence, have high aspirations for all young people with SEND to have every opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes.
My Independence is a suite of four innovative programmes catering for learners working from pre-Entry level to Entry level 3:
- Exploring Aspirations: for learners aged 11–14
- Transforming Aspirations: for learners aged 14–16
- Realising Aspirations: for learners aged 14+
- Supporting Aspirations: for learners with PMLD, all ages as appropriate
My Independence programmes have been mapped to the four nationally-recognised preparing for adulthood pathways, enabling education providers to link learning opportunities to an individual’s education, health and care plan (EHCP) outcomes.
There are over 220,000 young people in England between ages 11 and 25 with an EHCP and many more with additional needs across the UK.
Written by NDTi and the Council for Disabled Children, the four preparing for adulthood pathways and their aims are:
- Good health
Exploring how an individual can keep well through a healthy lifestyle and by getting the right kind of support, including positive behaviour support.
- Friends, relationships and community
Exploring how an individual can develop and maintain friendships and relationships, and become an active citizen in the communities they are a part of.
- Independent living
Exploring how an individual can develop independent living skills in order to maximise their independence in the future.
Developing work-related skills, raising aspirations and preparing young people for their next steps towards employment.
The government’s new SEND and AP improvement plan states that ‘with earlier identification and evidence-based provision, delivered through new National Standards, more children and young people with SEND will fulfil their potential and be set up for long-term success.’
ASDAN’s My Independence framework can both inform the development of outcomes and provide evidence of a learner’s achievement.
The programmes’ outcomes are based on what needs to be in place for a young person to plan for the future and make a successful transition to new opportunities in education, in the community, on training programmes, employment or in supported living.
My Independence aims to promote inclusion, extend and develop learning opportunities beyond school or college, and provide good plans for the support required to make this a reality.
A person-centred approach
ASDAN’s My Independence programmes are based on a person-centred approach, starting with what is important to and what is important for the individual and finding a balance between them, in order to have good life outcomes across the four preparing for adulthood pathways.
Working in this person-centred way of continuously listening and learning, ensures that the young person and their parents/carers are at the heart of all decision making and planning. This person-centred approach provides opportunities to engage directly with young people to discuss their needs and plan how they can achieve the best possible outcomes for them.
ASDAN’s My Independence programmes are complimented by a person-centred planning toolkit, which can be used across all four programmes and supports teachers to help plan a student’s future within a range of different life situations.
“My Independence gives students confidence in their abilities.”
Phil Brunton. Nurture Lead from New Barn School, expressed how My Independence sky-rocketed their students’ self-belief and social skills, enabling them to continue their education and thrive in the community.
“Students find the My Independence activities achievable and have become more self-sufficient with their learning,” said Phil. “We deliver three of the four My Independence programmes – Realising Aspirations, Exploring Aspirations, and we’ve recently started Transforming Aspirations because the others have worked so well.”
Not sure which My Independence programme to choose?
We’ve created an interactive PowerPoint quiz to help you identify what programme would best suit your learner(s). Download this learner profile tool PowerPoint, answer the questions and get a recommendation for which My Independence course suits your learners best based on their needs.