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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.

Key features of successful SEND careers and transition programmes are that they:

  • start careers education early and maintain support until the young person is established in employment.
  • Inform pupils of access to support and appropriate developmental activities (such as career guidance and specific skills training)
  • Include the young person’s family who have insight into the student's skills and can support them through the transition into adulthood
  • Provide employer and workplace encounters including work placements


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.

Opportunities in Somerset

Pop-up shops – all our Special Schools are currently making high-end goods for sale in a series of pop-up shops which run for 6 week periods across different Somerset towns. Schools and students manage and the shops providing excellent work experience.

Supported internships at Hinkley Point C are assisting young disabled adults to enter long term employment. The first 6 trainees have all transitioned successfully to employment.

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. 

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