Sam McBeth

Name Sam McBeth
Job Title and Organisation Learning Support Co-ordinator at Totton College
Introduction/Background (experience, qualifications, current work/research, etc.)
I have been working at Totton college for over 10 years, providing in class support for learners with additional needs that are on our mainstream study programmes. I also provide support outside of the classroom, working on a 1-1 basis or with small groups in our Learning Support Base. As Learning Support Co-ordinator I still spend much of my time with learners as well as managing and deploying a dedicated and experienced team of Learning Support Assistants. Many of the learners that I support are on the Autistic spectrum and are between the ages of 16 – 19. However, we have a growing number of learners on our 14-16 programmes that I have supported as well as a number of our adult learners.

I have, for many years, also run Social Communication classes for our learners on the Autistic spectrum to help develop their life and social skills in addition to their academic skills.

I have developed our Learning Support area to ensure that our learners always have a safe space to go to and somebody to support them with whatever issues they are having.

I have previously worked in both primary and secondary schools as well as working in a nursing home. I also spent many years working as Rehabilitation Coach for adults with acquired brain injuries.

What does the ACoRNS project mean to you? The ACoRNS project means that I can work collaboratively with other people and organisations, sharing good practice and ideas. Being part of, and being able to have access to, up to date research means that the lives of the learners that I work with can be enriched and more fulfilled. It also means that I can cascade information that I learn down to learners, families, teaching staff and other colleagues to support learner’s development.

Being involved in the project also allows me to act as a voice for my learners and have some input that may influence and implement changes that are crucial to our society as a whole.

Areas of interest Developing and expanding strategies to improve social communication skills and to look at relationships with family, peers and the importance of the role of other key adults in the lives of young people with autism.
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