CfESEND blog: Supporting high aspirations for learners with SEND

Elaine Dale, Director of SEND at City College Norwich (CCN), for the Centres for Excellence in SEND programme

During our ‘skilled and expert’ CPD sessions we discussed high aspirations. We recognised that having these can be challenging with the diverse community we serve. However, our inclusive practice approaches is the catalyst that drives a whole college approach to inclusion and widens participation. We recognise the talent and attributes of our staff and learner community and our approach enables our diverse community to aspire and achieve.

During our sessions we reflected on our toolkits that underpin our culture of excellence work and to remind us of their effectiveness of supporting high aspirations.


As the end of the summer term closes, we can reflect on our hard work and see where our staff have gone above and beyond exemplary, surpassed expectation and made the learners’ experience better than could be hoped for especially with the challenges we have faced this year.

Here are some of the reflections from staff:

“Some of my Level 1 learners have had a very difficult time transitioning from school into college, whilst also facing difficulties in their private lives. I fear some of them may not have achieved without the help and support given of Learning Support Assistants (LSA’).”

“Learner A has had a successful year having returned to education following a period of mental health difficulties. He has managed his workload very well and completed his coursework early allowing him to finish before the end of the academic year. His assignments have consistently been at merit/distinction. This is a great achievement. I have seen him grow in confidence particularly in recent weeks when he has seen his good grades recorded.”

“Learner B is planning to progress to L3. I am confident that he can cope with the academic workload given the support strategies that has enabled her to focus.”

Working in this sector is really rewarding and providing effective support is key as is having high aspirations. We are proud of providing effective support and are delighted to continue to work with the sector to share and shape learning.

Please also keep a watchful eye on the SEND site on Excellence Gateway for resources, webinars and updates. I look forward to seeing in one of our upcoming webinars but for now, take care and see you soon. 

Ps, here are couple of useful resources from our partners at National Development Team for Inclusion and Whole School SEND:

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