Support into Employment – Harrison College
Harrison College provides a specialist business, enterprise, and employability post-16 education provision for students with Autism, Asperger’s, and special educational needs. They equip our learners to be real leaders of the future; driving a new way of thinking and working through our motto, ‘Your Future, Your Choice’. By providing a challenging and future-focused environment placed with the aspirations of the student at its core, they ensure their students are aware of the destinations open to them and are equipped with employability skills, work experience, and life skills. They have built strong partnerships with over 40 businesses, NCS, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, and Sheffield City Region Chambers of Commerce, alongside a range of local charities, providing our learners real-life experiences and opportunities to explore new markets and realise their potential. 75% of their current graduating class are pursuing further education or full-time employment, and the success of their unique model has been recognised nationally through multiple awards. Their ambition is to inspire our learners to be life-long learners, be open to collaboration and welcome diversity and partnership working.
Excellence in Special Schools and Alternative Provisions – Endeavour Academy
Endeavour Academy is a special school located in the London Borough of Bexley and part of the London South East Academies Trust. Our primary objective is to ensure that every pupil develops the skills, behaviours and knowledge to progress into further education and live fulfilling, independent lives. Our pupils come from highly disadvantaged backgrounds with 77.5% of our pupils from deprived backgrounds, 61% eligible for free school meals and every pupil having a statement of SEN or EHCP. Despite the challenges faced, in 2021/22, 100% achieved an English GCSE, 93% achieved a Maths GCSE and 86% of Year 11 pupils met their FFT predictions in English and Maths with 46% exceeding them and a huge 64% making 24+ months progress in reading. In addition there was a 44% reduction in child-on-child incidents and a dramatic drop in Fixed Term Exclusions over a four-year period. We invest in individual needs to ensure every pupil can access the curriculum, regular pastoral and therapeutic support and have the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, such as the ability to access post-16 pathways. They are the only special school in our Trust and are unique in that our staff deliver training sessions and workshops to local schools, which is crucial when the current reality is only mainstream opportunities exist for SEMH children leaving school. Their commitment to staff development is shown in their Gold Award from Young Citizens in Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education and four SLT studying NPQ qualifications, 10 teaching staff completing the Olevi Outstanding Teacher Programme, six TAs completing the Olevi Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme and three unqualified teachers engaged in professional studies. They provide support and encouragement for their staff to ensure their success, reflect the values of the academy to the wider community and their high retention rates demonstrating a commitment to nurturing their own talent.
Most Innovative Intervention – Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship
Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship is a unique school, the only one in the country to provide photography lessons to children with special needs. We cater for pupils between the ages of 3 and 19 with moderate to severe learning difficulties and complex needs. Initially, the photography department was set up four years ago after a pupil asked for the opportunity. Initially, there were three pupils partaking but now, there are close to 50 pupils aged between 12-16 years old who enjoy two hours of photography lessons each week. When they were asked how to make money, the pupils suggested school photographs. After some role-play sessions of setting up a studio, eye contact, giving clear instructions and working on poses and lighting, the small photography team took a school photo of all 176 pupils. This was a success and allowed the purchase of a host of new equipment. The pupils have gone from strength to strength in the last four years. They have won first and second place at the National SEND Photography Awards. They are also managing to make over £2,000 a year from a range of pupil-generated enterprises and projects which have included the creation of a photography calendar as well as photo baubles. The school goes above and beyond expectations because everything is about the children and offering them the opportunity to learn life skills, as well as unique experiences. Not every child is academically minded and with some of their needs really limiting how far they can go in traditional education, they are encouraging and teaching individuals alternative skills such as creativity, eye contact and basic ICT. The Photography Department at Ambergate goes above and beyond expectations because in addition to learning lessons, the children are also being equipped with skills for life. This can make an incredible difference between a life of little or a life of meaningful and fulfilled employment.
Most Inclusive Practice Across a School – St Joseph’s Boy’s School
St. Joseph’s Boys’ School strives to go above and beyond the expectations with a bespoke curriculum designed for each individual child, so all children can achieve their potential. Their Autism Specific Classroom works closely with parents and staff to decide which mainstream classes they would like to attend based on factors such as Essential Skills, OCN or ASDAN. They provide access to a varied curriculum including sensory time, swimming lessons, access to the gym, mindfulness techniques and meditation. They are also committed to creating positive connections between our pupils and those with other backgrounds, through integrating students into drama and game programmes within our ASC and linking with other organisations in the community. They prioritise their pupils’ social and emotional well-being and ensure this is catered for in our daily activities. St Josephs equip our pupils with the necessary life skills to get the most out of their education, such as money management, as well as offering regular talks with our school counsellor. This is coupled with their Green Flag Award scheme and a range of external activities such as Translink, theatre visits and cycling courses. These two years, they have invested in training staff and upskilling them in various skills and knowledge to benefit the pupils from an included environment. Our Investment in our pupils and staff helps to sustain our work and ambitions to reach our motto of ‘Achievement For All’.