CfESEND blog: Communities of Practice at City College Norwich

Blog by Elaine Dale, Director of SEND at City College Norwich, for the Centres for Excellence in SEND programme.

City College Norwich has been leading Communities of Practice focusing on working with employers, parents/carers and the community.

The employer inclusive induction workshops and webinars have proven to be a massive success in 2019. We’ve been sharing our inclusive approach to recruitment, the expectations of the partnership between employer, the college and the student/apprentice. Having provided practical examples of how to support the student/apprentice with barriers to learning, it’s enabling employers to better support and develop knowledge, skills and behaviours to become a member of staff who can add value to the business. Early indicators from feedback has suggested that this will impact on thousands of employers taking a more inclusive approach for learners with SEND on an apprenticeship or those undertaking work experience and placements.

For our next webinar please visit the SEND Excellence Gateway website.

Feedback from sessions include:

“Very useful induction tool kit and digital guide for employers. I will be passing this to management to drive inclusive practice and ensure employers have an effective induction and have greater focus on inclusion.”

We have also been exploring our parents/carers engagement with the FE sector to help young people with SEND have the best opportunities to fulfil their career aspirations. As a sector we have exceptionally high expectations for our students with SEND and we want to share this more widely to further support parents and carers.

As a result of our work with parents/carers we have produced a toolkit and digital guide and have been sharing this through the ETF’s workshops and webinars. Find out more about the webinar on the SEND Excellence Gateway website.

Feedback from the sessions include: 

“The resources sent after the webinar were fantastic to see and show how the college is an Outstanding provider. I will be using this to discuss with my team how we can develop our own brochure that provides parents and carers with all their required information in one place and how to engage parents and carers more in our provision and curriculum offer.”

We are just about to offer our third Community of Practice which has been requested by you – the FE sector. You have asked for more support, training and resources for our students with SEND in British Values and their understanding of this and how to keep them safe in their community and at work. Find out more about the webinar on the SEND Excellence Gateway website.

I have been overwhelmed with the sectors positive engagement and it has been a real pleasure visiting providers to deliver a cross-college approach, as well offering individual workshops and webinars. I thank all those who have engaged with us so far, but I recognise there is still more to do and further best practice to share. Of course, we need more FE colleges signing up to all the ETF Communities of Practice across the three Centres for Excellence in SEND to help with stepped change in SEND, and by working together we can have a greater positive impact on our students. 

For further information on our upcoming webinar or to engage with the Leadership Hub and Communities of Practice, please visit the Centres for Excellence in SEND website or get in touch at:


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