Published: 06/02/2018 19:00 - Updated: 02/02/2018 08:43

Charter first for Inverness College UHI

Written byAndy Dixon


Lynette Linton with Craig Lowther (Inverness College UHI), Alan Mackenzie (NIN member) and Professor Chris O'Neil.

A PLEDGE to listen to and respect the views of people with additional support needs has been made by a local college.

Inverness College UHI made the commitment when signing up to the Charter of Involvement.

As part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, it has become the first in the university and college sector in Scotland to sign up.

The college provides education to more than 200 students within supported programmes.

The charter has been written and developed by the National Involvement Network (NIN) and sets out how people want to be involved in the support they receive, the organisations that provide that support and the wider community.

NIN chairwoman Lynnette Linton said: "We are thrilled that Inverness College UHI is the first college and university in Scotland to sign up to the charter and will work with students to improve involvement."

The charter contains 12 statements describing how people with additional support needs want to be involved from having a say on the people appointed to support them to decisions on how the service is run.

Professor Chris O’Neil, principal of Inverness College UHI, said it will draw up an action plan on how it can improve involvement for students within supported programmes.

"It is crucial that all our students feel listened to and respected and the principles of the charter are ones we strive to deliver for all our students," he said.

"We are fully committed to working with all our students to ensure they are at the heart of the plans we make."

The college provides further and higher education. It runs a range of courses for people with additional support needs including Community Link for people recovering from mental health difficulties, its Skillsbuilder courses for people with support needs and its Pathways to Study programmes for people who want to return to work or study.

It also provides a range of wellbeing services to ensure the right practical, emotional and technological support is in place for all students including self-help tools, one-to-one support and short-term counselling.

Since it was published in 2015, more than 60 organisations in Scotland have signed up to the charter, which was funded by the Scottish Government.

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