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Foundation learning students’ new learning centre comes to life

The centre is based at the college's Art and Design centre, Brierley Hill and was developed as a result of an investment by Dudley Council.

Wendy Stevens, Head of Stourbridge College commented: “This new centre has been purpose built to a specification aimed at supporting students with a disability or special educational needs. It will encourage them to develop their independence in a range of social settings and get the best out of the qualifications they achieve, while preparing them for adulthood and the world of work.

“The centre provides a safe environment for our students to develop their skills, while allowing them to work alongside fellow learners in the college in an atmosphere of tolerance and trust.”

The Independent Living Centre includes a living unit with kitchen, dining and bedroom areas. These will enable students to gain a range of skills including budgeting, planning menus for a healthy lifestyle and carrying out home maintenance.
Classroom areas are available for students to develop enterprise and employability skills as part of their education and vocational training. A quiet room will also allow students to work independently or receive one-to-one guidance on careers,employment opportunities or any other support they require.

Development of the centre was made possible through a £540,000 investment from Dudley Council, supplemented by £75,000 from the college.

Councillor, Sarah Norman said: “We are delighted to support this unit, which we know will encourage learners to develop greater confidence in themselves and their abilities. The learners deserve to be in the best possible environment for success and they are sure to thrive in these exceptional surroundings.”

Guests attending the official opening took a tour of the centre and met some of the students who will benefit from the new facilities. Sarah Norman unveiled a plaque to mark the opening and helped to bury a time capsule put together by the students.

This contained a letter in braille prepared by a visually impaired student and a letter in the Makaton system to highlight communications for hearing impaired students. It also included a Black Country flag, garden seeds cultivated by the students and lists of student names making up the Stourbridge College Foundation Learning Classes of 2015-2016.

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