This week we are celebrating the opening in North London of Ambitious College, London’s only registered day-college for young people with autism. After a year in temporary premises the College is finally able to welcome students to its new, permanent home at CONEL, the College of Haringey, Enfield and North-East London.
Today, fewer than one in four young people with autism carry on with their education after school. This is something Ambitious about Autism, the charity behind Ambitious College, is determined to change by offering tailored education and employment support for young people aged 16-25 with complex autism in an inclusive, community based setting. Ambitious College is co-located with a general Further Education College, so that students can, with the right support, access the mainstream college, while mainstream learners will have the opportunity to work alongside Ambitious College students. The College also provides in-house autism expertise for their FE college partner.
Change to routines can be very stressful for young people with autism. To help prepare current students for the move, and to ease transition into college for school leavers, Ambitious College have arranged several orientation visits to Pears Campus at CONEL over the summer term. For some, these started as just seeing the outside of the building and have slowly been built up into spending time inside. We hope all the thought and hard work put into the preparation will pay off for students and staff, now that they are finally starting the new term at Ambitious College at CONEL.
A new campus in West London is also under development in partnership with West Thames College at Isleworth in Hounslow.
You can find out more about Ambitious College in this clip from ITV News.