Supporting Special Schools and students with SEND
Only 6% of SEND students end up with meaningful employment although 65% want a paid job (Mencap 2017).
At Inspiring the Future, we think it is important for all young people to regularly engage with employers. Bringing employers and role models in can help to broaden horizons and show young people what real possibilities within work. Teachers have also told us that these activities can help by:
- Giving students and parents confidence that work can be a positive and rewarding experience for their loved ones and showing them what real possibilities exist within work.
- Showing real examples of employers who engage and actively champion employees with a disability
- Showing the range of routes into different careers and jobs including apprenticeships, employer training schemes, university or employment.
- Working alongside programmes and resources that provide more in-depth support for transitions for SEND students
Connecting students to relatable role models
Our volunteers are very passionate about sharing their stories, and among over 50,000 volunteers we have nearly a 1000 role models registered with Inspiring the Future who would love to talk about working with a disability.
Here are some of the reasons why our volunteers have told us they want to share their stories about working with a disability:
- “My disability meant that I missed a great deal of school and have therefore always had to work hard, but this has given me a determination always to punch above my weight. I passionately believe that we can all be the best we can possibly be and that the only thing that truly holds us back is confidence. I can be crippled by lack of confidence, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway has been a lifelong mantra that I would love to share.”
- “I’m a wheelchair user and so am a professional who happens to have a disability. I’m also a School governor in my spare time. One thing I would like to achieve is to breakdown any misconceptions about whether people with disabilities can work and whether it would be difficult to work alongside them – it wouldn’t and it isn’t! :)”
- “I am disabled; I am profoundly deaf. I may therefore be inspiring for disabled people or for those who may have preconceptions about what disabled people can and cannot do.”
- “Growing up I felt like I never met someone with problems like me and I would be so, so proud to make at least one child who may have struggles feel like that dream in their head can come true.”
- I also suffer from dyslexia, a hidden disability that too few people have any knowledge or appreciation of. It’s something I am happy to talk about, including the challenges I have overcome, and continue to overcome within my career and personal life as a result of it.
How do schools support students with SEND via Inspiring the Future
Inspiring the Future has worked with a number of schools to support students with SEND to meet employers. Here are two case studies to show some of the activities run: