Children with Down’s syndrome in Cheshire and their families will be given greater educational support thanks to a brand new position funded by a £60,500 grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation.
Education advocate Sandy Hayes will spend the next three years working with local nurseries, schools and parents across Cheshire West to identify the individual educational needs of each child with Down’s syndrome and set targets to unlock their potential.
Down’s syndrome is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 in most or all cells.
It is a relatively common cause of learning disability, with around 750 babies born each year in the UK having the condition.
People with Down’s syndrome have a specific learning profile. They share strong visual skills but can have difficulty with their speech production and auditory memory.
The new role will be facilitated by Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group based in Northwich.
CDSSG chief executive, Julie Duff commented: “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.”
Sandy said: “I’m very excited to be taking on this brand new position that will support the education of children with Down’s syndrome in Cheshire.
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.”