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Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

Seashell Trust

Seashell Trust is an independent specialist school and Further Education College for young people aged 2-25 years who have severe or profound learning difficulties and disabilities.

They have skills and expertise in meeting the needs of young people with one or more of the following conditions - Autism spectrum conditions;

  •  Deafblindness/multi-sensory impairment
  •  Hearing or visual impairment with additional needs
  •  Profound and multiple learning disabilities
  •  Complex physical disabilities
  •  Cortical visual impairment
  •  Auditory processing disorder
  •  Additional medical needs including progressive and degenerative conditions

Joe Booker tutor at Seashell Trust explains below why they decided to use Open College Network West Midlands as the Awarding Organisation above all other options.

“We decided to work with Open Coolege Network due to their flexibility and the bespoke nature of the accreditation that they offered. Most existing courses broadly focussed on learning difficulties but we required a more specific focus on autism with associated learning difficulties. We met with a Business Development Manager from Open College Network West Midlands – Clare Preston, who helped us to plan a bespoke course that perfectly met our needs. Open College Network West Midlands staff have been approachable and helpful throughout. This has resulted in our ability to deliver a focussed course. Our employees who complete the course appreciate the fact that it is accredited by Open College Network West Midlands, rather than certificated ‘in-house’.

The course has been delivered successfully over the last 4 years which has resulted in an informed and knowledgeable workforce. It has been of huge benefit to the learner’s continuing professional development and, most importantly, ensures that our learners are achieving the highest standards of support.

Moving forwards we plan to offer the course externally. We hope that this will be of a benefit to children and adults in other educational and care provisions and that it will also raise the level of understanding in local businesses.”

Seashell Trust has recently applied for and been successful in achieving the standards required to meet our Quality Endorsement Licence (QEL). 

The centre will now be able to put this highly valued quality mark to their existing courses covering a range of areas.  These being as follows:
Meeting the Sensory Needs of Children with Down Syndrome – Duration 2 hours
  • Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) and Functional Visual Assessment – Duration 3 hours
  • Practical Approaches to Meeting the needs of the MSI Learner in Schools and Settings – Duration 4 hours Mobility Training Sighted Guide – Duration 4 hours
  • Mobility Training – Introduction to Long Cane – Duration 2 hours
  • Developing Independent Living Skills – Duration 3 hours
  • Tactile Approaches to Communication – Duration 6 hours
  • Multi-Sensory Awareness – Duration 6 hours
  • Promoting and Developing Functional Listening Skills for MSI and Autistic Children and Young People – Duration 2 hours
  • An Introduction to Disability Awareness when Working With People with a Dual Sensory Loss – Duration 4 hours
  • Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults – An Introduction – 1 day
It is also their intention to add more courses to the QEL scheme as there are potentially other training courses which they would also like to Certificate though this and add this recognition to.
For further information regarding Seashell Trust or our autism-training offering, please visit:



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