In countries around the world where inclusion of primary aged children with Down syndrome is now commonplace, the expectation of many parents/carers and children is to continue inclusive education throughout their school and adult lives.

For example, in the UK, an increasing number of secondary schools, and further education colleges, as well as employers, are now learning to make the necessary adjustments required to enable the inclusion of people of all abilities. Such education establishments are improving in the same way that primary schools did during the last 25 years in the UK. 

Given a little training in avoiding difficult or immature behaviour, engaging the young adult in meaningful activities and understanding the specific learning profile of individuals with Down syndrome, schools and colleges all over the country are making reasonable adjustments to the way that they work. 

Colleges have now been brought within the remit of legislation relating to special educational needs and disabilities and must do their best to ensure that students’ needs are met and must plan and deliver appropriate support.

Importantly, students with Down syndrome and their teachers, teaching assistants and parents/carers have reported and demonstrated how good practice can benefit not only the inclusion of a young adult with Down syndrome but also impact positively on the whole community.

Curriculum and assessment

The curriculum for young adults with special educational needs or disabilities should include the opportunity to progress and to obtain a qualification or accreditation.

    It is important to check with the college what types of qualification could be available to suit the individual young person with Down syndrome.