26 May

Tom’s work placement story is first step toward improving SEND careers education

Tom Geosynthetics placement

Careers provision for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is complex and unfortunately, lacking. Accoring to the Office for National Statistics, just 17% of young people with specific learning disabilities find full-time employment after leaving education.

The LLEP SEND Survey with Leicester and Leicestershire teachers, students, parents and employers, tells us that they feel more experiences of the workplace and employability skills are necessary to improve careers provision for young people with SEND.

Workplace experiences are covered by Gatsby Benchmarks 5 and 6 (all about the World of Work) in the Careers education guidance for schools.

Following the survey, as part of the Leicester City Virtual Local Offer Live event, we led a session on the SEND Community of Practice that we have created for Leicester and Leicestershire.

We showcased a story of what can be achieved  in terms of work experience for young people with SEND, which we see as a yardstick for the future success of this group:

This video highlights Tom’s journey through a work placement with Geosynthetics and how the Careers Leaders at Dorothy Goodman school supported him and the employer to make the placement a meaningful experience.

It has helped Tom develop his confidence and gain practical skills and experience that can help him to gain an apprenticeship.  Tom aspires to eventually have a paid role within the Church.

Gary McDermott of Geosynthetics is a EAN Enterprise Adviser. He and his team created a welcoming, flexible environment and adapted tasks that Tom could do, building his responsibilities appropriately.  With this support, Tom even grew to enjoy the tasks he hated at first and started to ask for more varied work.

Careers Leaders at Dorothy Goodman supported Geosynthetics to understand what Tom needed and stayed with him until they were all happy that he was confident on his own. A member of the Geosynthetics team acted as a mentor to Tom, which also helped her professional development.

Save the date

The Leicester and Leicestershire SEND Community of Practise’s first meeting, to highlight the focus of the group will take place on Wednesday 30th June at 2.30-3.30pm, online.  I’d like to encourage attendance from all who have an interest.  Please email me Saahera.mahomed@llep.org.uk to be invited during the coming weeks.