Achieving for Children Ltd (AfC) who provides SEND transport for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames has been providing an Independent Travel Training (ITT) program since it was first piloted in October 2014. The pilot project was delivered by Balance Community Interest Company*, based in South West London, which had already achieved great results when offering similar schemes elsewhere, and was initially only offered to children living in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
Due to the successful results seen during the pilot phase, we have so far managed to extend the scheme each year by securing extra funding, and this year we hope to be able to offer this scheme to more children across both boroughs.
Getting young people travelling independently between home and school is such an important investment – it is a valuable life skill, an essential employability skill, and independent travel will provide so many opportunities for these young people, not least increasing confidence in their abilities as well as supporting their future development.
Quote from a parent
We had a few weeks of travel training with Balance which went well. For the record, they are extremely thorough and quite professional and I would definitely recommend them. XXX made good progress and has been “signed off” to make the school journey independently.
A key component of the SEND reform is preparation for adulthood. It is vital that all young people with SEND are suitably prepared to live as independently as possible. Many young people with SEND will aspire to employment as their adult destination of choice. A vital employability skill is the ability to travel independently – without this, employment is very difficult, if not impossible. In SEND transport, we are seeking to divert resources wherever possible away from purely providing transport, to supporting independent travel.
All Travel Trainers have completed an accredited Independent Travel Trainers qualification and are fully Disclosure & Barring Service (formally known as Criminal Records Bureau) checked.
A Travel Training Coordinator and a team of three travel trainers are currently working alongside a number of children with special educational needs living within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, so that they can learn to travel between home and school by themselves. This team of Independent Travel Trainers have extensive experience in supporting children and young people with additional needs. Their aims are to provide safe, successful and fun travelling techniques to children and young people.
Balance understands that Independent Travel Training may initially be overwhelming for child/young person as well as for the parents. However, Balance are keen to support child/young person’s needs during this period and provide the information in an accessible formats.
The whole travel training process is designed to teach children and young people how to travel independently to and from school.
Any parents who feel that their child may be ready for this stage or would like to receive more information should contact:
Phone: 020 8547 4708
More about Balance CIC
*Balance currently provide a number of support services to children and adults with disabilities, and to adults with learning difficulties which include; independent travel training, supported employment, supported living, residential care, community activities, mental health employment support and Asperger services. Balance is jointly owned by Pure Innovations Ltd. Pure Innovations is a like-minded organisation based in Stockport, who provides similar services to Balance and share in their ethos. For more information please look at the Balance CIC website (opens a link to an external website).