Achieving for Children (AfC) has recently undertaken a comprehensive review of current post-16 SEND learning provision in the light of the Children and Families Act 2014 and to fulfil its statutory duties under the SEND Code of Practice.  There were 3 key strands:

  • To look at the cost, placements and venues of previous Post-16 SEN and LLDD provision accessed by young people in Kingston and Richmond
  • To investigate the provision for children in Years 9 to 11 in mainstream and special schools and identify their needs
  • To overlay this with the current 2014/15 local offer, in order to identify gaps and to identify what new and further post-16 provision needs to be commissioned and developed locally

The findings and outputs from this review will ensure that more of young people with SEND can be supported into an appropriate adult destination locally rather than having to access out of borough provision, especially residential, which in some cases may not be effective in developing life/employability skills and supporting progression.

Parental consultations held as part of the review confirmed a strong preference for more local provision, particularly employability and vocational provision.  These 2 areas are now priorities for us in Year 1 of reviewing and reforming local provision, in partnership with our providers. As a result, for 2015/16 new vocational programmes have been commissioned and agreed as follows:

  •        Kingston College in partnership with Balance -  Supported Internships: 10 places
  •        Orchard Hill College - Supported Internships and Traineeships for SEBD learners: 30 places
  •        Kingston Adult Education - Steps to Employment Study Programme
  •        Richmond Adult Community College – Study Programme (tbc)
  •        Richmond College - Project Search -10 places
  •        Richmond College - Post 16 provision for SEBD learners (still in negotiation over funding): 10 places
  •        New sixth form at Bedelsford special school set to open in September 2015:  10 places.

AfC will directly support young people with SEND on to pathways to employment through a member of staff dedicated to this role.  Funded through a DfE SEND Employment grant, we have created a post within our Education Business Partnership (EBP) to work with vocational learning providers and employers to create additional opportunities.

This member of staff will also assist providers to deliver work placements by sourcing and preparing employers and help learners transition from learning programmes into employment.  Direct help will be given to young people and their families to understand the opportunities on offer, make the right choices for them and deliver a ‘Youth Contract’-type mentoring offer to support them through their course.

The EBP will also deliver work experience placements to Year 11 learners, working towards as many of these placements as possible being continued the following year as internships or traineeships.

If you have any questions on AfC’s Post-16 SEND Review, please contact:

Ann Mason
14-19 Manager
Achieving for Children providing children's services for Kingston and Richmond
Telephone: 020 8547 6989
Mobile: 07748 658732
Email: ann.mason1@achievingforchildren.org.uk