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Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, West Midlands

From the classroom to the Boardroom – Education is the route to employment

A common error we see towards people with SEND is that the level of support
shrinks as they mature. moving from the classroom to the boardroom is not a seamless experience for those who have special Educational needs and /or disabilities.

On the whole Primary education is improving its response to early intervention and support. However, as children approach
secondary school this support can and, in many settings, does disperse.

Depending on the needs and the individual this support can continue to wane
and at the point of employment, there can be little to no support for adults
with special educational needs and/or disability to access personally
meaningful employment.

Once they reach the employment stages, people with disabilities are offered
few opportunities to access employment and once there, support to improve
their skill sets can be limited.

The current issue we face as a society is we are using a one-size fits all solution.
This causes too many people to fall behind, highlighting a break in the route
from the classroom to the boardroom.

 

Let’s take a look at the journey from education to employment:

During primary school, the offering of further support for students with special
educational needs is an improving picture. However, as people mature it’s
apparent there is less support for SEND students.

Many parents approaching secondary school tend to worry or struggle to find a
school with adequate support for their children. This is becoming an even
bigger issue due to shrinking school budgets.

As school budgets get smaller, there is more of a strain on resources, making it
more difficult for schools to allocate necessary support.

While there is limited support during secondary school, by the time students
reach the stages of further education support tends to dissipate.

If there isn’t a review of the route to employment for people with special
educational needs and disabilities, we are going to have a constant dropout
leaving individuals with SEND potentially feeling isolated and displaced in society.

 

Why is there a break in the pipeline?

Schools have experienced a range of changes in recent times, which has
resulted in a reduction in overall budgets, In some cases reduced local
authority support. Both of which has been accompanied with mainstream
schools receiving and supporting more complex children with smaller budgets
creating a difficulty to meet demands.

 

Why is it important to fix the route from the classroom to the Boardroom?

Having a sense of belonging and purposefulness is a desire for us all. All of us
want to contribute to the world and feel that we belong to a wider circle and
purpose. This desire is no different for people with Disabilities and those who
need additional support to contribute in a ‘typical’ world. This need can go
unmet for many as the world neglects to make purposeful and co-ordinated
routes for individuals with SEND.

Not only is this important for the individual, as representation matters. It is
also important for developing inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.
Without a clear and well thought out route from Education to work people
with SEND are unable to contribute and the world of work is losing talent and
diversity which we know can and does strengthen ethos and innovation in any
organisation.

To hear more about our thoughts regarding disability in the workplace. Listen to a part of this interview completed with https://www.globalprocessing.com/ where we discuss disability employment in a corporate world.

 

How do we create the routes needed?

We are currently in difficult times, with multiple sectors struggling with
government funding. Creating a fix in the route to employment will not be an

overnight success. However, if the correct strategies are put in place, we can
overturn the issues we are facing. Additionally, as much as the education
sector has a lot to do, employment opportunities need to be created. We need
to focus on ways to incorporate a different approach to working, and career
support for SEND Young people and adults.

 

The Essential Education Group can complete audits to ensure your school’s SEND support is creating life long impact and opportunities.

  • Do you regularly audit your SEND provision?
  • Do you audit your staff’s knowledge, confidence, and application in the
    classroom?
  • Do you know the local picture of SEND and what this may mean for
    changing cohorts?
  • As a leader have you identified what good/outstanding SEND looks like
    for your school?
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