Achieving for Children (AfC) now has an Independent Travel Training (ITT) programme for young people from Kingston and Richmond. The programme will be offered to young people who already meet the eligibility criteria for SEND Transport assistance.
What is Independent Travel Training?
Independent travel training teaches young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) how to get between home and school independently. The training follows a series of targets and milestones, with the end goal being that the young person achieves independence with their journey between home and school.
What are the benefits?
The benefits reach much further than just being able to get between home and school independently; the parents of young people who have successfully done the training in previous years have said that it has given their children more motivation and confidence - which has fed into other areas of their learning, development and progression towards adulthood.
Preparation for Adulthood
A key aim of the SEND Code of Practice is preparation for adulthood. It’s vital that all young people can prepare to live as independently as possible. Like other young people of a similar age, many young people with SEND will want to get a job when they are older. So getting young people travelling independently between home and school is an important investment, both financially and developmentally; it is a valuable life skill and an essential employability skill – without this, getting employment could be more difficult.
The Travel Trainers
Our team of friendly ITT Trainers has extensive experience in supporting children and young people with additional needs. Their aims are to provide safe, successful and fun travelling techniques to young people.
Achieving for Children understands that ITT may initially be overwhelming for a young person as well as for their parents. We are keen to support each young person’s needs throughout this period, tailoring the training methods used, and will provide information to them in manageable amounts and accessible formats.
The whole travel training process is designed to teach children and young people, who are eligible for SEND Transport assistance, how to travel independently between home and school.
What are the stages of travel training?
Stage 1 - Leading
The travel trainer initially meets the young person at home to lead them on the journey to school or college.
Whilst supervising them on the journey, the travel trainer focuses on teaching and demonstrating independent travelling skills.
Stage 2 - Training
Following the training elements in Stage 1, the goal will be for the student to show the trainer the route and what to watch out for where possible. However the travel trainer will never allow a young person to lead before they have the skills to do this.
The travel trainer will ask the student questions (at opportune moments) to demonstrate their knowledge, for example asking them how to safely cross a side road or what they would do if they missed their bus. The student will practise road safety knowledge and stranger-danger learnt in Stage 1 such as selecting safe places to cross with support from the trainer. As the student grows in confidence, the travel trainer may sit a bit further away, observing and overseeing more, allowingthe student to take charge along more of the journey, trying to only intervene if asked by the student.
Once the trainer feels the student is confident in their skills and knowledge, and can see these have been demonstrated
without support, they will move onto Stage 3..
Stage 3 - Shadowing
The travel trainer already known to the young person will shadow them to or from school, allowing them to lead the journey.
Stage 4 - Judging competence
The final stage of the process is for the travel trainer already known to the young person to swap with another travel trainer so that the unfamiliar travel trainer can shadow the young person on their independent journey to school (without being spotted by the young person). This allows us to fully assess that the young person is following the training when travelling on their own and also allows for an impartial view and a second opinion on the young person’s independent skills, while still being able to support and intervene if needed.
Any parents or schools who feel that they may have a young person ready for this stage or would like to receive more information should contact:
Achieving for Children
email: [email protected]
Phone: 07563 420 679