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Midstream College

Midstream in Skelmersdale serves young people and adults with learning disabilities. We offer two complimentary day services: Work related education in our Vocational College and work experience in our Social Care/Work Activity provision.

Our Vocational College is an Independent Specialist College with programmes jointly funded by the Education Funding Agency and the learner’s local authority. Our college programmes are quality assured by Ofsted.

To access a place on our college programme an applicant will need to be aged between 16 and 25, have an Education, Health & Care Plan and have the support of their local authority.

To access a place on our Social Care/Work Activity provision an applicant will need to be assessed by their local authority as meeting the criteria for a commissioned place or a direct payment budget. A direct payment budget can be used to purchase a package of days with Midstream.

In addition to these options some young people attend Midstream through an arrangement with their school or college.

  

Who to contact

Contact Name
Midstream
Telephone
Website
www.midstream.org.uk

Where to go

Name
Midstream College
Address
2, Penrose Place
Skelmersdale
Postcode
WN8 9PR

Local Offer

Description

1.         How will the school / college know if I need extra help?

Midstream in Skelmersdale serves young people and adults with learning disabilities. We offer two complimentary day services: Work related education in our Vocational College and work experience in our Social Care/Work Activity provision.

Our Vocational College is an Independent Specialist College with programmes jointly funded by the Education Funding Agency and the learner’s local authority. Our college programmes are quality assured by Ofsted.

To access a place on our college programme an applicant will need to be aged between 16 and 25, have an Education, Health & Care Plan and have the support of their local authority.

To access a place on our Social Care/Work Activity provision an applicant will need to be assessed by their local authority as meeting the criteria for a commissioned place or a direct payment budget. A direct payment budget can be used to purchase a package of days with Midstream.

In addition to these options some young people attend Midstream through an arrangement with their school or college.

 

2.         What should I do if I think I need extra help?

All applicants complete an application form and a safeguarding questionnaire where they explain their needs. Safeguarding information is also requested from social workers, careers advisors, head teachers and medical professionals. The application and safeguarding information help to inform a plan so that an individual’s needs are met.

If we assess that we can meet an applicant’s needs we invite them to attend up to 5 free taster/assessment days. Taster/assessment days are an opportunity for both parties to learn more about each other and agree a plan should a place be agreed.

Additionally, applicants to the college programme are visited in their current school or college setting. This provides an opportunity for Midstream to learn more about the applicant to inform their initial assessment.

3.         How will my course work be organised to meet my individual needs?

The Vocational College programme combines externally accredited entry level qualifications (for example, City and Guilds Skills for Working Life units), numeracy, literacy & IT skills, creative & community based projects, work experience in Midstream’s own work areas and work experience with external employers.

Learners choose the actual days they will attend during the application stage. This means they can create their own weekly plan if they wish to access alternative provision on other days.

Vocational College learners attend between 3 and 5 days a week, 38 weeks a year during term time. We follow the Lancashire school holidays pattern as far as possible.

Learners on the college programme have their own individual learning plan detailing their programme, learning goals and progress. The learning goals and targets are agreed with the learner and their parents to ensure these are appropriate.

College learners with a commissioned place or direct payment budget for Social Care/Work Activity can use this to access work experience at Midstream during college holidays.

Vocational College learners also have the opportunity to access Supported Internships.  On Supported Internships learners attend their college programme at an employer’s premises and have the support of a job coach to learn the tasks their job role.

Social Care/Work Activity clients can choose which work areas to access on which days. This choice is subject to availability. Clients can also work towards entry level units from the City and Guilds Skills for Working Life suite of qualifications.

The timetable is from 9.00 – 4.30pm. However, arrangements can be made for a learner or client to attend for shorter days with their local authority’s/budget holder’s agreement.

4.         How will I be involved in planning for my needs and who will explain it and help me?

Vocational College learners join an induction programme during the first half term which also serves as an opportunity for further initial assessment and agreeing learning goals and targets. Learners are supported by their teacher and learning support assistants in this task. Learners discuss their transition into other years of the programme at reviews and prepare for transition whilst on the programme. In their final year a major focus of the curriculum is the learner’s transition to options after college.

Learners have a review at the end of their first term, in December, and at the beginning of their third term, in April/May. In Years 2 and 3 they have an annual review in their third term. Learners and parents are also asked to complete surveys following induction and at the end of each year.

Social Care/Work Activity clients are supported by their instructor and learning support assistants when they are on placement at Midstream and when making transitions. Clients have reviews approximately once per year.

Review’s are a useful opportunity for everyone involved to recognise what learners and clients have achieved, give feedback on the placement and discuss any additional support that might be needed.

5.         Who will tell me what I can do to help myself and be more independent?

Your teacher, instructor and learning support assistant will help you to develop your independence skills.

College learners have specific learning goals linked to independence and these are reviewed on a daily basis with you learning support assistant.

6.         What should I do if I’m worried about something?

College learners have a teacher and work area instructor. You will also have a learning support assistant you can talk to. If this isn’t appropriate you can speak to the College Manager, Operations Manager or College Principal/Chief Executive.

Social Care/Work Activity clients will have a work area instructor. You will also have a learning support assistant you can talk to. If this isn’t appropriate you can speak to the Operations Manager or Chief Executive.

7.         How will I know if I’m doing as well as I should?

Learners on the college programme have their own individual learning plan detailing their programme, learning goals and progress. Learners carry out a daily review with their learning support assistant. This is an opportunity to reflect on the skills they have developed and the targets they are working towards, specifically:

-           Numeracy, Literacy & IT skills

-           Employment Skills

-           Vocational Skills and

-           Independent & Social Skills

We encourage all learners and clients to discuss their progress and any issues concerning Midstream with their family. We can use a communication book or a tablet computer to share information between Midstream and home. We use text, photographs, picture exchange system (PECS) and Widgits to support communication.

Parents can visit us at any time to discuss progress and see learners and clients work.

We have an annual presentation day where learners and clients will be presented with their externally accredited certificates.

Additionally, in the college, we celebrate achievements with events such as a learner of the week award, end of year events and a graduation ceremony.

8.         How can I get help if I’m worried about things other than my course?

Midstream’s policies, environment and ethos promote a person centred approach where all clients and learners can develop their skills in a safe environment.

Midstream takes its commitment to safeguarding very seriously. All staff, external support workers and volunteers must produce an Enhanced CRB/DBS form, attend an induction and agree to our procedures.

Learning support assistants also provide support for personal care and safeguarding needs. This includes the administration of medicines and first aid.

We monitor attendance and behaviour carefully and work with yourself, your parents and other professionals to implement strategies should these become a concern.

We ensure that a person understands the outcome and consequences of the decision they are making. We work with families and other agencies, for example social services, to ensure that decisions are not made in isolation.

9.         Are there staff in school/ college who have had special training to help young people who need extra help?

Midstream has been operating since 1995 and has developed expertise in a range of learning disabilities and certain health conditions including autistic spectrum disorder, Down’s Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, epilepsy and communication difficulties. A nurse is available on site.

10.       Can school/college staff get extra help from experts outside of the school/college and what are their qualifications?

We work closely with health professionals from NHS Trusts to integrate therapeutic interventions into learners and clients daily activities.

 

11.       If I have difficulty taking part in school/college activities what different arrangements can be made for me?

Midstream takes its commitment to equal opportunities very seriously. All learners and clients are given equal access to opportunities and off-site activities in either the Vocational College programme or Social Care/Work Activity. We ask permission for learners and clients to participate in off-site activities.

Every effort will be made to ensure you can participate.

If, however, you do not wish to participate we will agree alternative arrangements.

12.       What help is there to help me get ready to start college?

All learners and clients attend taster/assessment days to help to prepare them to start with us.

Some schools and colleges also arrange work experience weeks or link programmes which help their students make the transition to us.

For Vocational College enquiries please contact the College Manager or for Social Care/Work Activity enquiries please contact the Operations Manager.

Midstream is open during the week all year round and anyone is welcome to make an appointment to visit and find out more. Alternatively please visit our website.

Local authority careers advice services (for the college programme) or social services (for Social Care/Work Activity) can provide further information.

Midstream is a member of Natspec (the Association of National Specialist Colleges) which can also provide further information. The Natspec website address is www.natspec.org.uk.

13.       I am coming to college or staying at school to prepare for employment – how will I be supported?

The Midstream curriculum is designed to develop independence, vocational and employability skills. Midstream’s social enterprise delivers products and services to the general public and organisations. As such, learners and clients are likely to be interacting with the general public and representatives of organisations during their daily activities.

Learners and clients develop their skills in a working office, garden centre, cafe, kitchens, horticulture unit, arts & crafts studio and classrooms. The skills developed in these areas include:

-           Catering & hospitality

-           Retail & customer service

-           Horticulture

-           Office & reception

-           Arts & crafts.

14.       Where is it located, and what areas does it cover?

Midstream is located on one site in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. As a day only service our learners and clients need to be able to travel to and from their home or accommodation daily. Exceptions to this are where we are delivering Supported Internships where college learners will need to be able to travel to and from the employer’s premises daily.

Midstream

2 Penrose Place

Skelmersdale

WN8 9PR

01695 555316

www.midstream.org.uk

Local Offer Age Bands
Young Adults (16 to 25)
Primary (5 to 11)
Secondary (11 to 16)
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