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Supporting SEND Students

Students with SEND are the most likely group to be absent or excluded from school according to recent Ofsted findings.  They are also more likely to be NEET and less likely to achieve in their attainment.

It is essential to consider the needs of ALL students particularly those with SEND and how best to ensure careers programmes are fit for purpose for this group.  Within any school or college setting there are students with a range of disabilities and needs ranging from those with an EHCP to those with more ‘hidden’ challenges such as ASD, SEMH issues or dyslexia.

Students with an EHC plan are supported with a much more person centred approach which is designed to meet the needs identified within the plan however this does not always mean effective careers education.

Key Considerations
  • How is written information presented?  Schools have LMI posters, workbooks, quiz sheets and website info supporting careers planning and activity but is it accessible and relevant for all students? Is it available in other formats where necessary?
  • Is the school recruiting a range of employers/alumni speakers who can share stories about their own challenges regarding disability and how they were overcome?
  • Can the careers workshops and activities delivered in different ways for students who may have sensory sensitivity?
  • How is the SENCO contributing to the planning of events?
  • Is the range of industry sectors relevant to the students that they are being delivered to?
  • is information about accessible pathways and supported employment routes being included?


Unless careers leaders are actively coordinating their careers plans with SENDCOs and teachers in ARB units, it’s difficult to say if all student needs are being met.  It is always good practice to involve students in the design and planning of events and co-production with students with SEND is particularly valuable to ensure you are meeting needs

It is essential that students with SEND are given as much support as possible to realise their potential for paid work.  A study by MENCAP cites that almost a third of young people with a learning disability spend less than an hour a day outside their home.