Support for SEND

Entering employment is often more challenging for the 14% of young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

However, with preparation, access to a range of opportunities and support, a large proportion of young people and adults with SEND can move into employment.

Evidence from the Careers and Enterprise Company, suggests successful SEND careers and transition programmes all:

  • Start careers education early and maintain support until the young person is established in employment.

All young people require a range of work-related learning opportunities, such as career guidance, work experience and skill workshops. Identifying strengths, ambitions and building confidence can be hard for some pupils, and those with SEND may need more time and help with this - discussing post-school options earlier rather than later is highly beneficial.

  • Inform pupils of access to support and appropriate developmental activities (such as career guidance and specific skills training)

Young people with SEND and their families should be told about any local support and developmental opportunities available to them and where necessary access facilitated.

  • Include the young person’s family

Families have insight into the young person’s unique strengths, needs and capabilities but are also likely to be involved in supporting them through the transition into adulthood. It is important therefore that they are included in preparing the young person for adult life and employment.

  • Provide employer and workplace encounters

Young people with SEND are significantly more likely to be employed in adult life when they have had some form of work experience. SEND pupils benefit most when work experience provides an individualised plan with an assigned mentor in the workplace. If you think your student would benefit from an extended work experience placement, consider traineeships.


Schemes, support and services

Preparing for Adulthood Routes into Work Guide 2018 provides information about options for young people with SEND to help them move into paid employment.

Somerset County Council’s ‘Local Offer’ contains information about supporting SEND persons into work. This includes training opportunities, apprenticeships, traineeships, supported internships and help available form supported employment services.

Shaw Trust delivers a range of employment services to help people with SEND enter and stay in employment.


A selection of schemes for young people with SEND in Somerset

Pop-up shop initiative – all our Special Schools are currently making high-end goods for sale in a series of pop-up shops which will run for 6 week periods across different Somerset locations including Taunton (November –December 2018, Yeovil (April-May 2019), Frome, Bridgwater, Glastonbury. Schools and students will also manage and run the shops as a joint initiative.

EDF Energy HPC and Somerset County Council are now delivering a supported internship programme, with the first cohort of 6 students. The programme is designed for young adults, with a range of disabilities, whose goal is to enter long term employment upon completion of the programme.  The internship supports the transition from education to employment, providing high quality working experience. This is a rolling programme and the aim is to replicate across other business sectors, following a similar model.

South Somerset 14-19 Partnership schools are working with Inspired 2 Achieve to deliver Independent Impartial Advice & Guidance in Fairmead and Fiveways. Focus on developing enterprise and future employment opportunities.

Foxes Academy, in Minehead, offers independent life skills training in residential learner houses, plus the opportunity to learn catering skills in a real operating hotel, with paying guests, where a vast selection of functions take place all year round.

Elmwood school’s Jean Rees Centre, in Bridgwater, offers a post-16 curriculum. The ‘Steps to Employment’ scheme enables all students to continue to learn in English, Maths and ICT whilst developing independent living skills alongside skills for work. The centre also has a Specialist Sensory Room and Movement Room where students can relax and enjoy therapeutic support. 

The curriculum at Avalon School, in Street, is focused on preparing the students for adulthood through employment, independent living and community inclusion. The school runs several enterprise programmes which develop communication and practical skills. Through Enterprise Artwork students have already sold over £4000 of their own works. 

Selworthy School, in Taunton offers two pathways to prepare students for adulthood. A multi-sensory experiential approach enables students to learn everyday life skills to become happy, healthy and safe; whilst preparation for independent living lays a path towards further education, training or employment.