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Speaker Biography

Alison Boulton

During her career in education for people with learning difficulties and or disabilities, Alison has seen enormous change in attitudes and expectations. Not long before she started teaching, the ‘mentally handicapped’ were deemed ineducatable. Now we promote employment and independent living for people with learning difficulties. Alison believes that further education has had a significant role to play in these developments, being outward looking and responsive. Her own work has included teaching and managing in FE, advising and inspecting in FE and adult learning, supporting self advocacy groups and working with a wide range of disability organisations. She was principal of a specialist college when the Further Education Funding Council took over responsibility for FE.

Now as Chief executive of the Association of National Specialist Colleges (Natspec), local authorities are back in the picture and we are building links with a new range of partners. They have gone full circle – but she hopes the wheel has carried on turning and moving forward, so that the legitimate aspirations of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities will be realised.


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