Support for children with Down’s syndrome granted

The Steve Morgan Foundation has revealed that £60,500 will be granted to children with Down’s syndrome and their families to ensure they are provided with greater educational support.

The aim over the next three years is for Sandy Hayes, Education Advocate to work alongside nurseries, schools and parents to identify the individual educational needs of each child with Down’s syndrome and determine a set of targets to help unlock their potential.

In the UK each year there are 750 babies born with Down’s syndrome, the condition is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 in most or all cells and can be a common cause of learning disability. People with Down’s syndrome have a specific learning profile; they have strong visual skills but can experience difficulty with their speech production and auditory memory.

Julie Duff, the Chief Executive of a Down’s Syndrome Support Group, said: “All children with Down’s syndrome have potential and, thanks to this generous grant by the Steve Morgan Foundation, their potential will be realised. Sandy will go into schools to support children and teaching staff and will give Makaton sign language training to parents and professionals to enable them to communicate effectively with their children. We are so grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation for supporting our project.”

Education Advocate, Sandy Hayes, comments: “I’m very excited to be taking on this brand new position that will support the education of children with Down’s syndrome. 80 per cent of children with Down’s syndrome now attend mainstream primary schools, which is a fantastic step forward for inclusion. I will be working with teaching staff to help them get the very best out of the children.”