CfESEND blog: community and looking forward at City College Norwich

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

At the Centre for Excellence in SEND at City College Norwich, we are looking forward to sharing our next set of webinars. We’ll be sharing our effective practice, top tips, and models, as well as focusing on supporting employers to engage young people with disabilities.

These may be uncertain times, but we’re not putting our young people’s futures on hold. We can start to make plans for their future, and how to engage with employers.

We will be exploring how employers can engage with learners with SEND, the benefits of doing so, as well as understanding what employers really want.

In the current climate, it has never been so important to ensure employers have the tools and knowledge to understand and support the needs of our young people. This is something we are proud to lead the way on.

Creating an inclusive working environment

To ensure inclusivity for all young people, it is vital employers establish positive relationships and provide a safe and inclusive working environment for all, that all employees can access and feel equally valued.

This will enable our young people with needs to be catered for by our working methods and will avoid any feelings of being singled out, and what works well for a young person with disabilities will likely work well for all.

Planning and Preparation for learners to return to the workplace

Firstly, we need to think about the barriers and perceptions and the current impact on our learners with SEND returning to the workplace. Of course, you’ll have first-hand experiences of supporting learners and developing current approaches for learning. The next step is removing barriers for an employer to promote positive engagement with learners. We are currently working with our employers and planning the next steps to return our learners back to the workplace.

We need to think about provision in the workplace and below is just some of the ideas we’re be covering in forthcoming webinars:

 Changes in the workplace:

  • The learner’s understanding of social distancing
  • Washing hands and hygiene
  • Reporting illness
  • Work areas – locations and restrictions
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Parental/carer support and encouragement
  • Workplace mentor

When planning for this these are the factors we are preparing:

How to support int he workplace: rota; designated work areas; draw up support plan from a risk assessment; put reasonable adjustments in place; talk through with young people and employer; review approach regularly

We’re delighted to share feedback from our recent webinars:

Alison, Panda Education: “I found the webinars very helpful, thank you for being generous with your resources”

Denise – “This was an excellent webinar, so good and useful for my practice”

Bernadette M – “I found the webinars really useful and I really enjoyed them”

Kirstie – “Thank you for being very informative, I’m looking forward to the future webinars”

In the coming weeks we will be hosting a couple of webinars titled ‘Supported Internships, working with employers and the community’. The webinars will discuss what authentic inclusion for employers really looks like through our Supported Internship model. Keep an eye on the Centres for Excellence in SEND website for the dates and full details of the webinars.

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