SEN provision aims to cater for students with additional needs looking to develop their employability skills and knowledge. We aim to provide safe and supportive work placements for students, enabling them to learn and develop freely at their pace whilst having the opportunity to develop their interpersonal and workplace skills. Extended Work Placement opportunities are sourced with appropriate employers who can provide the necessary support required by students’ with needs. The individual needs of the students, along with appropriate support guidance notes, are relayed to the employer in order to enable maximum support whilst on placement along with the potential for placement success. By providing access to work placement opportunities in line with students visions and aspirations for the future, we endeavour to inspire independence in students with additional needs whilst optimising the potential for positive progression routes to be identified.
Sam Dear is a former pupil who attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and Sixth Form College. Sam participated in Changing Education’s Traineeship Programme as part of an alternative curriculum offer throughout Key Stage 4. Below, Sam and his parents have provided an account of their experience of the Traineeship Programme and the positive impact this had on Sam.
“We can all relate to getting really excited about something in life, be it a favourite sports event, concert or special night out. We jump out of bed in the morning with an added energy and we smile at the thought of the events ahead. We perhaps don’t all get quite so excited about going to work, but just imagine if you could combine your favourite interest with a work experience – wow!”
Now you can start to imagine the wonderful opportunity afforded to Sam to gain his work experience at Cruise and Travel in Macclesfield. So what could have been a very daunting experience for a boy with Asperger syndrome was turned into a wonderful opportunity to combine Sam’s special interest in travel with a valuable life experience.
Sam has absolutely loved every moment of his time at Cruise and Travel, where he has been accommodated in such wonderful fashion by the excellent staff. They in turn have been surprised and delighted at Sam’s passion and energy for all things travel related. As Sam comments:
‘’Going to work placement was such an exciting opportunity for me and I can’t wait to go back again. I found it really engaging, as it’s something I always wanted to do. Everyone was lovely and it brought a huge smile to my face.’’
The work experience provided to Sam has been great for building his self-confidence, esteem and his understanding of the world outside of school. Indeed it could also provide him with a great incentive to go that extra mile in his school studies to enable him to pursue a future career in travel, which I’m sure he would passionately embrace.
If ever there was an advert for the success of work placements, then this picture of Sam should fit the bill perfectly – a happy boy and a thoroughly happy work experience!
Benefits to schools and colleges
- Bespoke packages available, taking into account the individual needs of schools and students, matching provision to desired outcomes
- Qualifications available to match a wide range of abilities
- Employers sourced who have experience of or who are open to supporting students with needs, providing appropriate levels of care and guidance
- Appropriate safeguarding measures in place to ensure that students are safe and supported whilst accessing placements
- Regular reviews of placements along with appraisal feedaback providing means to inform targets / action plans for improvement
- Placements sourced in line with students’ visions and aspirations for the future, helping to identify possible progression routes