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Education for the Future: The Changing Nature of Education for Staff in Learning Disability Services

Owen Barr (University of Ulster)
Bob Gates (Thames Valley Univeristy)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 1 April 2008



The importance of effective education for staff working in services for people with learning disabilities has been highlighted regularly as a key strategy for improving the quality of care and services. However, there has also been debate about how this could be taken forward for unqualified staff, within and across professional boundaries. This paper explores the perceived need for education to make a reality of the visions of future services that have been presented in the current learning disability policies in the United Kingdom. It is argued that increased attention needs to be given to recruitment, selection and retention, revised curriculum to reflect policy objectives, shared learning, and partnership between educational and service providers. It is also noted that it is not enough to prepare people who can work competently in existing services; they must also have a contemporary combination of knowledge, skills, values, motivation and commitment that will enable them to develop services over the next 10‐15 years, in line with the vision of existing service policy documents.


Barr, O. and Gates, B. (2008), "Education for the Future: The Changing Nature of Education for Staff in Learning Disability Services", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 18-27.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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