On 5th November 2015 the Independent Travel Training Team, part of Solihull Council, received a prestigious National award for “Best Sustainable Travel Initiative in the Community”. The team beat off tough competition to gain national recognition for their work which results in children and adults with special needs travelling independently by foot, bike or public transport. The Award was presented by Modeshift, the UK’s leading sustainable travel organisation endorsed by Department for Transport for the delivery of travel planning.
Independent Travel Training Programmes aim to support children and adults with learning disabilities or special educational needs to learn to travel independently using public transport. There are lots of best practise schemes across UK, and Open Awards are delighted to support our centres with these innovative and inspiring programmes.
Independent Travel can be a life changing step for learners who have never experienced it before and it is widely recognised that it can be a leap of faith for both the learner and their family’s to undertake the training. There are risks associated with travel for anybody and those risks can be heightened when you have a learning disability or special education needs. However, with benefits such as increased independence; increased choice of where to study or work; increased opportunities to socialise and increased social and communication skills, Independent Travel Training is an opportunity for learners to show parents and professionals what they are capable of and raise aspirations for their future.
Travel Training schemes vary in approach and model but tend to cover similar areas of learning, including:
Preparing for a Journey
Learning a Route
How to use Public Transport
‘What if’ Scenarios
The Solihull Travel Training Team has recently joined the Open Awards family, delivering their Level 2 Unit “Introduction to Training for Travel Trainers”. Open Awards have seen an increase in the use of this unit over the last few years, with several centres delivering it to enhance their Independent Travel Training schemes and support their assurances that their staff are appropriately trained to manage the risks associated with teaching independent travel.
To continue to support this important agenda, Open Awards are working with experts from the world of Travel Training to develop a suite of new qualifications (at Levels Entry 3 to Level 3) that will accredit the learners for their life-changing achievements and continue to support the professionals that deliver these programmes.
Open Awards Nina Hinton states: ‘We are delighted that Solihull Travel Training Team has had their hard work and this fantastic scheme recognised nationally as an example of best practise and we look forward to continued working with them as they progress their scheme’.
For more information on Open Award’s Level 2’ Introduction to Travel Training’ unit or to discuss the new qualification developments, please contact Nina.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 494 4352.