Support Disabled Students in Scotland

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Created April 6, 2011 by Lesley

Education

From April 2011 Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities has gone into liquidation with immediate effect – taking Skill Scotland with it (since Skill Scotland was a branch of Skill, without separate legal identity).

Skill Scotland supported many thousands of disabled people to get the best out of learning, training and employment opportunities, across Scotland. Originally this was done on a small scale with input from individual Skill members then, since 1997, with an office-based team of experts offering information and advice to individuals, as well as key policy and practice guidance to staff and institutions.

Skill Scotland events have included national conferences, seminars, disability training sessions, information stalls, & public events giving a hearing to the 'student voice'. A wide range of people have participated in our activities over the years: disabled learners (and disabled volunteers, trainees, job seekers & employees); staff from colleges and universities; staff from Social Work & careers services; staff from key government departments and public bodies; and MSPs.

Although Skill Scotland had already received agreement for a continued grant from the Scottish Government for 2011-12, the legal technicalities mean that the office in Scotland are unable to receive this money as the company no longer legally exists.

As the previous Skill Scotland staff team, we are hoping to make arrangements over the next few weeks to carry on the work – possibly either by setting up a new Scottish charity, or by having our core functions taken over by an existing, sister charity.

We know that there remains much important work still to be done, to support disabled people to make the most of learning, training and employment opportunities in Scotland (especially in the context of the new Equality Act, as well as the pressures and changes across the education sector). We are confident that we have the skills and experience to make a significant contribution, and would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have supported us over the years. We hope to be working with you again in due course, albeit with a different branding!

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR SETTING UP A NEW SUPPORT ORGANISATION FOR DISABLED STUDENTS IN SCOTLAND.

There are currently 139 signatures for this petition:

  1. Nancy Macdonald Edinburgh UNITED KINGDOM
  2. Hazel Johnston UNITED KINGDOM
  3. Edwina Fearnley Leeds UNITED KINGDOM
  4. Linda Berry Southampton UNITED KINGDOM
  5. Barbara Waters Thames Ditton

    There is so much more Skill Scotland team cen do, if everyone works together I am sure a solution can be found in scotland

  6. Rhys Handley UNITED KINGDOM
  7. Margaret Petrie Edinburgh UNITED KINGDOM

    Skill provided much needed support for disabled students

  8. Melanie Paterson UNITED KINGDOM

    I am very dissappointed with the closure of 'Skill'. From my own experience of accessing education from primary through to higher education there is a clear gap in organisations that activately support and challenge disability discrimination in education.

  9. Catriona Scally Seafield UNITED KINGDOM

    I have always found this a positive and successful service.

  10. Collette Coll Aberdeen UNITED KINGDOM

    We have relied heavily on the training, support and advice given by Skill to support our disabled students. The absence of Skill will leave a worrying gap in FE and HE.

  11. Margaret McKay UNITED KINGDOM

    SKILL Scotland have been involved in significant and powerful work over the years. Supporting and encouraging individual learners, and helping individuals aspire to achieve both personally, academically and professionally and at a structural level have been lobbying for equality of access on a national basis in Scotland and indeed across the UK.

  12. Heather Forbes UNITED KINGDOM

    We need this within our Education System. It must be protected.

  13. Pam Williams UNITED KINGDOM

    there is a real need here why is it that those doing the best job are the first to lose funding?

  14. Matt Vickers UNITED KINGDOM

    Shameful that such an effective organisation doing wonderful work should be axed. Bring it back to Scotland, please! Their resources were invaluable and of the highest quality – and very necessary.

  15. Helen Searle UNITED KINGDOM

    A very valuable service. Still, what do disabled people matter to this government?

  16. Michelle Newstead UNITED KINGDOM

    I hope you can continue on with your good work and help those who need it most

  17. Kirsty Reid UNITED KINGDOM

    I agree that there is a need for student support services such as this.

  18. Ida Männistö FINLAND

    I agree. I am an international university student, beginning my studies in Scotland this month.

  19. Sara D UNITED KINGDOM

    It’s imperitive support for people with long-term conditions are allowed an “equal playing field” to their peers in a competitive economy and work force. Scotland is revelled the world over for an inclusive and quality education system for all and I for one would love to keep it that way!!

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