The Parent Zone
Annual Transition Event
We are starting to plan our annual transition event for National Star students. Whether you are the parent or carer of a first year or third year student, we’d encourage you to get involved with the event, as it is never too early to start thinking about what life after National Star will look like for your son or daughter.
Coronavirus meant last year’s event was successfully held on Zoom. This year, with things starting to look a little brighter, we’re exploring whether we should return to an in-person event at Ullenwood on Friday 8 April. We’re interested in the thoughts of parents before we make our final decision.
Please vote below by Friday 28 January and let us know whether you’d prefer to attend an in-person or virtual event on 8 April.
We know that it can be a hugely emotional time for parents and students when they join National Star. Supporting parents to manage the transition to college helps students to settle in quickly. Parents of first year students often have mixed emotions. For example, you may feel apprehensive about your son or daughter becoming more independent or living away from home for the first time. In addition, you may feel anxious that staff may be unable to understand the complex needs of your child. You may also be feeling excited about what the future holds for your son or daughter. These are all perfectly understandable emotions.
We have years of experience in supporting families during this transitional time in your family’s life. We will be on hand to support you and your son or daughter at every stage. You’ll have lots of questions initially and we’ll do our best to answer them.
Parent Support Forum
We’d encourage you to join our new Parent Support Forum, which meets virtually every six weeks to discuss topics of common interest to National Star parents. In addition, the Forum, hosted on Zoom, gives parents the chance to meet informally and get to know each other better. This is particularly helpful for parents or carers who wish to arrange day trips out or get togethers for students during college holidays.
The Parent Support Forum in April 2021 explored the topic of nutrition and hydration. Parent Governor, Dr Lara Rowlands has written a blog on the topic. Read the Nutrition and Hydration update
The Parent Support Forum in November 2021 gave parents and overview of who to contact to discuss specific issues at college. View the Parent Forum – Communication Channels presentation delivered by Joanne Kingsbury-Elia.
Forthcoming Parent Support Forums
- Tuesday 8 March 2022, 6pm – 7.30pm: Transition from college – the parents’ perspective. It is hoped that parents of several former National Star students will join us to talk about what they have learnt along the way as their son or daughter transitioned from college.
To help you support your son or daughter as they become more independent we have created a collection of resources to help you plan their future. For example, these will be useful as you work with us and your son or daughter to plan their future after their time at National Star.
In addition, we are running a series of online transition events during 2021 looking at topics such as supported living accommodation, building a community support network and finding voluntary and paid work placements.
Email the National Star Transition team to register your interest in attending these events.
Education, Health and Care Plans
The Independent Parental Special Education Advice service is a charity that offers advice and support to parents of disabled children. Specifically, it runs regular masterclasses on the information and EHCP should contain, how to achieve that through annual reviews, re-assessments and appeals.
Grants, Funding and Student bursaries
A portal website that will signpost you to available grants for young people with disabilities.
Gloucestershire-based Barnwood Trust offers a number of grants to young people with disabilities.
Gloucestershire Disability Fund
The Gloucestershire Disability Fund provides grants to people with disabilities of all ages to enhance the lives of people living with a physical, sensory or learning disability.
The Family Fund
The Family Fund helps young people aged 18 to 24 years old living at home with small grants that can be used to purchase digital/computer and sports equipment, grants towards clubs or activities, transport and recreational activities. They also offer grants for young people with disabilities stating college or undertaking a vocational course.
The Government 16-19 Bursary Fund
The Government 16-19 Bursary Fund provides financial help for young people aged 16-19 who face barriers to staying in education. It is available to all 16-19 year olds studying in school/academy sixth forms, colleges and training providers in England. There are two types of bursary available:
- Bursaries of £1,200 a year for the most vulnerable young people who meet the requirements
- Bursaries are based on financial hardship and factors limiting access to education. Applications are open to learners 16 – 25. National Star administers the Bursary on behalf of the government.
If you require any information you should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Rights UK
A national organisation working to strengthen the voices of people with a wide range of disabilities or health conditions.
Learning Disability Wales
An organisation working to create a better Wales for all people with a learning disability.
Support for families
Special Needs Jungle
Parent-led information, resources and informed opinion about children and young people with SEN, special needs, disability, health conditions and rare diseases.
The National Network of Parent Carer Forums is a network of over 150 Parent Carer Forums in England and is funded by central government.
Life after college
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities influences government and local authority policies and services so that they better meet the needs of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.
Social care and housing
National Star’s long-term residential accommodation for people with physical and learning disabilities. It is based in Gloucester.
The National Health Service in England.
A website that helps people with disabilities find work and has lots of useful online employment services.
Incluzy is the UK’s leading disability jobs board.
Guidance for employers
An online job site that matches employers with disabled job seekers.
Business Disability Forum
A not-for-profit member organisation that makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people.
Find out more and apply to National Star
If in in doubt, please don’t hesitate to ring our fantastic Admissions team on 01242 534928 / 527631 or send an email to email@example.com. They will be able to help you, point you in the right direction and share their experiences, enabling you to move forward.