The Fortune College
Fortune College, part of The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy (FCRT), is an Independent Specialist Provider. Included in the provision is a residential Further Education Through Horsemastership (FETH) Course catering for up to 38 young people between the age of 16 -25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, who have a desire to learn in an equine environment. The FETH Course is usually of 3 years duration, 38 weeks a year starting in September. Students learn on and around the stable yard; learning is then transferred into an understanding of life skills in everyday situations. The FCRT is one organisation run on 3 sites in the New Forest. The FETH Course operates a 24 hour curriculum, five days on the equine yard, one day of money management and independent travel, and one day of social activities. Evening social and learning activities including laundry and cooking also form part of the FETH Course.
Who to contact
Where to go
The Fortune Centre Of Riding Therapy
- BH23 8EE
- Age Ranges
- Referral required
The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy (FCRT) is an Independent Specialist Provider. Included in the provision is a residential Further Education Through Horsemastership (FETH) Course catering for up to 38 young people between the age of 16 -25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, who have a desire to learn in an equine environment.
The FETH Course is usually of 3 years duration, 38 weeks a year starting in September. Students learn on and around the stable yard; learning is then transferred into an understanding of life skills in everyday situations. The FCRT is one organisation run on 3 sites in the New Forest. The FETH Course operates a 24 hour curriculum, five days on the equine yard, one day of money management and independent travel, and one day of social activities. Evening social and learning activities including laundry and cooking also form part of the FETH Course.
- Contact Name
- Su Hodgkiss
- Contact Telephone
- 01425 673297
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
16 to 18
Further Education Colleges
- 1.1: How does the College identify those young people with special educational needs and disabilities who have not previously been identified?
A large majority of our students will have an EHC plan and will have received specialist educational support before they apply for the FETH course. Seeking additional support is relevant if it becomes clear that the student would benefit from other services not catered for by college; the such as mental health services.
1. Identification of SEND
- 2.1: If a young person is identified as having SEND, who will plan their education programme?
Before offering a placement to a potential student, FCRT invite the young person for a pre assessment day, prior to offering a residential assessment.Within this assessment period FCRT look at the individual’s ability in area of self care (including washing, teeth cleaning, etc), laundry, independent travel, money management, social skills, literacy, numeracy, equine care and if the young person will follow instructions sufficiently to be safe enough to work with horses. Following further assessment within the first half term, combined with the students own aspirations for the future, their Group Leader will construct a learning plan to suit the needs the individual student.
- 2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?
Parents/carers are invited to attend a two day parent’s programme (one day in year 2 & 3) in the first half of the autumn term. This is designed to inform the parent of the support and work that FCRT do with the students as well as to support the parent with the transition period of their young person into adult life. Holiday goals are sent home with the student to help the parent/carer understand how the student is being supported and to encourage them to join in the learning process of the student.
- 2.3: How will the college balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?
The FETH Course is designed to increase the individual’s independence through their chosen motivation of learning through horses. The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy transfer learning from the equine yard, such as weighing a haynet, to areas of independence such as weighing ingredients in the kitchen. The students learn within small groups of 7 or 8 students with 2 or 3 teachers/assistants working alongside the group. The staff work both on the yard and in the residence so that the transferable skills are fully incorporated into the 24 hour curriculum.
- 2.4: How will the College match/differentiate the curriculum for the young person's special educational needs?
Students work in small groups which are relevant to their equine ability and social skills. Weekly literacy, numeracy, transition and laundry tutorials are delivered on a one to one basis. Cooking sessions are again grouped by ability.
- 2.5: What teaching strategies does the college use for young people with SEND, including ASD, hearing impairment, visual impairment and speech & language difficulties?
The majority of the course is based on kinaesthetic learning and is not contained within a classroom based setting. One yard, more enclosed that the others, is used to accommodate students who prefer a more enclosed environment, while others thrive in a classroom with no walls. Some students benefit from visual aids, particularly for forming new routines. Working with the physical element of the horse and the use of body language, through touch and sight, is an effective way of learning for the student motivated by the horse. The students also assist in the teaching of mounted session to aid their communication skills as well as using the phone and message taking as part of their every day working life when out on the yard. Wireless hearing aids with remote microphones are at times relevant to individual students when riding and when out in the community.
- 2.6: What additional staffing does the college provide from its own budget for young people with SEND?
The Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy specialise in teaching, and take only young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
- 2.8: What resources and equipment does the College provide for young people with SEND?
The horse is the main resource for the horse motivated student. FCRT also have touch screen boards, netbooks, tablets, and keyboards for those with visual impairment and dyslexia. Hearing aids with remote microphones are available when required. Some practical tools, such as wheelbarrows with two wheels, are used for those who lack motor skills or balance. FCRT use many notices and simple charts to help students connect visual information to practical use. FCRT have a high student to staff ratio throughout the learning programme including in the residence.
- 2.9: What special arrangements can be made for the young person when taking examinations?
Any special arrangements that are permitted by an examining board are taken into account as required. For the Equestrian Qualifications GB Limited (EQL) Level One Diploma in Work Based Horse Care students may dictate their answers for the knowledge and understanding questions, either onto a Dictaphone or to be scribed for them. For practical exams extra explanation of the question or time to answer questions may be allocated. If students are taking a practical exam away from FCRT (e.g. EQL Level 1 Certificate in British Horse Society (BHS) Horse Knowledge & Care & Riding Horses), pre-visits to the test centre are arranged so that the student is aware of the layout and facilities before the day of the exam
- 2.10: What accredited and non accredited courses does the College offer for young people with SEND?
· Equestrian Qualification GB Limited (EQL) Levels One and Two Diplomas in Work Based Horse Care
- The British Horse Society Complete Horsemanship Awards: Stage One Care; Stage One Ride; Ride Safe; Stage Two Care; Stage Two Ride and Stage Two Lunge
· City & Guilds Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering
· National Open College Network (NOCN) Functional Skills qualifications: English, Maths and ICT (Entry Levels 1, 2 and 3, and Levels One and Two); GCSE English and Maths (relevant to the student's post school qualification)
FCRT Internal Awards:
· FCRT Vaulting Badges
· FCRT Stable Management Certificates
· FCRT Riding Certificates
2. Support for young people with special educational needs
- 3.1: How will the College monitor the young person's progress and how will the young person and or parents/carers be involved in this, (if appropriate)?
Each student has an annual review which is held in the presence of the student, FCRT staff, parents/carers, LA’s and any other associated professionals. From this meeting the views of each representative is addressed and circulated into the learning programme where relevant. Annual review of EHC plans also are required. End of term reports are compiled and written by the Group Leader at the end of each term.
- 3.2: When the young person's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will parents/carers be involved, (if appropriate)?
Students have core targets which come from the initial and baseline assessments. These are areas of need to be worked on through all aspects of the programme. The students will work towards these core targets through a step by step learning process. Feedback from the end of term report, session plans and holiday goals (filled in by the parents/carers) will inform the Group Leader of the progress made throughout the course, which will inform any new targets being set in all areas of the course.
- 3.3: ln addition to the college's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for parents/carers to discuss a young person's progress with college staff?
Parents/carers are welcome to discuss their student’s progress with relevant staff at any time. The FETH Course Administrator deals with all internal and external contact for the FETH Course students and will be able to find the appropriate member of staff to discuss individual progress in any area of the course.
- 3.4: What arrangements does the college have for regular home to college contact, if appropriate?
Again the FETH Course Administrator is positioned for this purpose. FCRT keep in regular contact with student’s parents/carers
- 3.5: How can parents/carers support a young person's learning?
By attending the parent’s days, taking interest and giving feedback on the holiday goals, attending the Transition Information day and prize giving for the student at the end of the year. Informing FCRT of any changes which may impact on the student’s wellbeing and/or learning supports the students learning.
- 3.6: Does the college offer any help for parents/carers to enable them to support the young person's learning, e.g. training or learning events?
FCRT offers the following:
- Parent’s days with discussions, lectures and information;
- Contact with the ‘Old Fortunate’s Association (OFA) network when students leave the FETH Course.
- 3.7: How will the young person's views be sought about help they are getting and the progress they are making?
Each student has a one to one weekly tradition tutorial which is pastorally focused. The group in which the student is attached for the year have a core group of staff who work closely with the group enabling an open relationship to develop between student and staff.
- 3.8: How does the college assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?
FCRT takes the annual Self Assessment Report (SAR) seriously and seeks feedback from every student and member of staff at FCRT. The student council is also encouraged to highlight areas where improvement may be required. Parents/carers are asked to complete feedback forms after the parents days, and the outcomes of these are incorporated into the SAR.
3. The young person's progress.
- 4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of young people with SEND?
The FETH Course is set up to incorporate emotional and social development through the residential component and the high student to staff ratio. FCRT has qualified nursing, counselling and theologically trained full time staff within its body as well as a range of experienced staff who work alongside the students to use the horses to promote emotional and social development.
- 4.2: What support does the college put in place for young people who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support young people to avoid exclusion
FCRT specialises in Equine Facilitated Education and Therapy (EFET). The young people are motivated to work with and succeed with horses. This enables them to become receptive to advice to make positive choices to meet the needs of the horse, their own needs, and the needs of others in an equine environment. This then makes them receptive to advice in other areas
Each student has an allotted FCRT Transition Guide who works alongside the group and has one to one tutorials with the student. The role of the FCRT Transition Guide is to transition the student into the course as well as out to the community at the end of the course.
The FCRT Health Care team gives extra support to students and to staff supporting students with behavioural issues beyond the normally accepted expectations. FCRT is equipped to manage students with behaviour issues as part of its expertise as an Independent Specialist Provider.
- 4.3: What medical support is available in the College for young people with SEND?
FCRT employs two nurses, two physiotherapists, and a large percentage of staff hold first aid at work certification. External support is sought as necessary.
- 4.4: How does the College manage the administration of medicines?
FCRT complies with all UK standards set to manage and administrate medication including controlled drugs. Each working shift in the residence has a member of staff trained to administrate prescribed medication.
- 4.5: How does the College provide help with personal care where it is needed, for example, help with toileting, eating?
As part of the full residential assessment which takes place before any student is offered a place on the FETH Course the potential students are assessed in all areas of self care. Self care skills are very much incorporated into the FETH Course. The Group Leader assigned to the student on admission writes a self care plan with learning goals for the student and areas where the student requires support. Self care skills are primarily taught on the stable yard with the use of horses where the student is motivated. Skills learned are then transferred to the residential environment. For example an everyday task such as washing a horse’s tail transfers to washing your own hair.
4. Supporting the young persons wellbeing
- 5.1: What SEN support services does the college use, e.g. specialist support workers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?
This is dependent on the needs of the individual student. FCRT accesses outside specialist support when required if it does not have a staff member with the particular skills
- 5.2: What should a parent/carer do if it is considered that a young person needs support from one of these services?
In the first instance contact the FETH Course Administrator and the Group Leader of their student. This may also be brought up in the student annual review.
- 5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?
The FETH Course naturally incorporates speech and language and occupational activity throughout everyday in timetabled sessions which are mostly but not exclusively on the yard. FCRT employs physiotherapists who work with the students in vaulting (mounted gymnastics) sessions, in a mounted (riding) session and if required on the ground. If extra speech and language therapy is required then it is externally sourced.
- 5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?
Firstly speak to the FETH Course Administrator and the Group Leader of their student. This may also be brought up in the student’s annual review
- 5.5: What arrangements does the college have for liaison with Children's and Adult's Social Care services?
Many of our students have social services involvement and are partly funded by social services who then come to the annual reviews. The college work with social services when helping the young person transition onto residential or supported living Post FETH Course.
5. Specialist services available / accessed at the college
- 6.1: What SEND training is provided to teaching staff?
New staff members follow an induction programme to cover all areas generally experienced when working with student on the FETH Course. Further training includes Health and Social Care qualifications, PTTLS, DTTLS, behaviour management, first aid training, administering medication, and the use of Equine Facilitated Education and Therapy (EFET).
Annual Equality and Diversity, and Health and Safety training is compulsory for all. Fortnightly staff meetings are accessible to all and an opportunity to incorporate staff training and discussion relevant to individual student needs.
- 6.2: What SEND training is provided to support staff?
New staff members follow an induction programme to cover all areas generally experienced when working with student on the FETH Course. A selection of the above qualifications and training will be undertaken depending on the areas in which the individual staff are working.
- 6.3: Do teachers/lecturers have any specific qualifications in SEND?
This varies depending on the role of the teacher and the individual. The team of staff working with the FETH Course students have a range of relevant qualifications.
- 6.4: Do learning support assistants or other staff have any specific qualifications in SEND?
This varies depending on the role of the support assistant and the individual.
6. Training of college staff in special needs
- 7.1: How does the College ensure young people with SEND can be included in out of College activities and trips?
The FETH Course incorporates weekly independent travel as part of the money management sessions. Weekend social activities and evening activities aim to include the student in the community in order to reduce vulnerability. Individual community involvement and trips also occur throughout the year including hosting cream teas, village fairs, involvement in local charity sporting events, and camping trip.
- 7.2: How does the College involve young people and/or parent/carers in planning activities and trips?
It is part of the curriculum for students to be involved in planning activities and trips.
7. Activities outside the college including trips
- 8.1: How accessible is the building for young people with mobility difficulties including wheelchair users?
FCRT has wheelchair ramps into the main buildings and the lower ground floor of the main residence. FCRT are unable to accept wheelchair users on the FETH Course or any young person whose mobility would prevent them from being safe when working around horses.
- 8.2: Have adaptations/improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?
Notices and charts are changed to adapt for individual need. Hearing aids with remote microphones are used around the horses when required.
- 8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?
- 8.4: How does the College ensure that all the facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?
FCRT caters for children with physical difficulties (for example those who require a lift to access the horse, and side walkers for safety) who attend weekly riding therapy sessions.
- 8.5: How does the college communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?
FCRT facilities are physically accessible for parents, including the viewing gallery to the riding arena. FCRT is able to take on the role of applying for benefits if the parent’s literacy level is unable to understand or reply to the paperwork required.
- 8.6: How does the college communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?
Having one point of contact (the FETH Course Administrator) is helpful in such a situation in order to build up a closer connection with the parent/carer and aids greater understanding. FCRT may organise a time to ring or meet the parent/carer which is convenient to both parties in order to aid communication. Outside support would be sought if the language barrier prevents understanding on either side.
8. How accessible is the college environment?
- 9.1: What preparation will there be for both the college and the young person before he or she joins the college?
The residential assessment period gives a prospective student a clear idea of what the FETH Course involves as well as time for FCRT to prepare for the individuals need. FCRT has a parent/carer hand book and a student handbook to try and answer questions which may be asked and to help prepare all for the FETH Course. Keeping in touch days are held every term for students who have been offered a place on the FETH Course and are awaiting the start of the Course. Continued contact from the FCRT Admissions Administrator is helpful to answer any questions that may arise before the student starts the FETH Course.
The long term aim of the student is noted during the assessment period and information is accessible to all relevant staff when preparing for the students admission.
- 9.2: How will the young person be prepared to move on to the next stage within the college?
Weekly tutorials with the student’s FCRT Transition Guide, who works with the group of students and has one to one meeting with each individual. It is the role of the FCRT Transition Guide to help the student transition onto the course as well as to the next placement.
Annual reveiws of the EHC plan and annual reviews involving social services also work towards the young persons next step.
- 9.3: How will the College work with the organisation(s) to whom the young person will progress?
Much of FCRT’s assessment work will be noted in social services care assessment and plan which will form the basis of the next support stage for the individual. FCRT assists the student to visit future placements or examples of future placements, in order to aid the student to form a good understanding of their options with regard to their next placement.
- 9.4: How will the college prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?
Much of FCRT’s assessment work will be noted in the care plan which forms the basis of the next support stage for the individual. FCRT assists the student to visit future placements or examples of future placements, in order to aid the student to form a good understanding of their options with regard to their next placement
9. Preparing to join the college / next stage of education
- 10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if a parent/carer wants to discuss something about the young person or is worried?
The Admissions Administrator before admission
The FETH Course Administrator once the student is at FCRT
- 10.2: Does the college offer any specific support for parents/carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)
FCRT work closely with student’s parent /carers and seek to support them during FETH Course breaks when necessary by offering strategies to aid situations. The FCRT Director is on call at all times. Due to the nature of FCRT staff are available 24 hours a day in term time and daytime hours throughout the FETH Course breaks.
- 10.3: What arrangements does the college have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?
The Transition Information day is an opportunity for parents to meet a range of agencies that may be of help to them in preparing for their student’s transition to adult life. The day has received very good feedback from parents in the past.
- 10.4: What arrangements does the college have for feedback from parents/carers, including compliments and complaints?
Parent’s day, review meeting and holiday goal feedback are all ways in which FCRT try to access parent/carer feedback. FCRT has a complaints procedure and are dedicated to providing continued good service which put the needs of students first.
10. Who can parents contact to discuss a young person?
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