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City College Norwich designated a national Centre for Excellence in SEND

Category: City College Norwich, Higher Education, A Levels, Further Education, Special Educational Needs, SEND


The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has named City College Norwich as one of three Centres for Excellence in SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) in England as part of a Department for Education (DfE) funded national programme.

Each of the Centres for Excellence in SEND will concentrate on one of three key practical themes for the programme, with City College Norwich focussing on how to ensure that learners with SEND are progressing into and being present within communities who recognise and embrace their potential.

This ‘community’ strand brings together different aspects of participation and progression– including the transition of learners with SEND from specialist to mainstream education courses, providing opportunities for learners with SEND to engage with employers and the community as part of their learning, as well as putting in place support so that they are prepared to move successfully on to further learning or employment after college.

City College Norwich provides support to more than 1,000 students with SEND each year.  This work includes:

  • Provision specifically designed to accommodate students with SEND, such the college’s Academic Progressions courses, which offer the largest GCSE resit programme in Norfolk.   Tailored individual support allows students whose mental and physical health has been a barrier to achievement in school to retake key qualifications allowing them to progress onto a wide range of vocational courses, A Levels, and work-based learning;
  • The college’s MINT employment service, which has helped more than 600 young people aged between 16 and 25 years old, who have a barrier to work, into sustainable paid employment.
  • Specialist support within mainstream classes, and ensuring appropriate access arrangements for examinations, for learners with learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.

As a Centre for Excellence in SEND, City College Norwich will provide expert support for leaders, managers and practitioners who wish to put learners with SEND at the centre of their organisation, resulting in learners achieving the outcomes they aspire to. 

Each Centre will host a SEND Strategic Leadership Hub to provide leadership support to at least 15 leaders from a diverse range of providers across England’s Further Education and Training sector. In addition, the centre will support 120 managers and/or practitioners within the communities of practice.

The other two Centres for Excellence in SEND are Derby College (focussing on how to ensure that the curriculum always has a clear purpose so that learners with SEND have potential to achieve their aspirations) and Weston College (focussing on how to ensure organisations take care of their staff and all learners with an emphasis on their mental, social and emotional needs)

Corrienne Peasgood, Principal of City College Norwich, said:

“We are proud of the work we do to support learners with SEND to progress on to the next stage of their lives, whether that’s further learning or employment.  Our curriculum services and teaching staff work closely with a wide spectrum of employers, voluntary and community sector organisations, parents and carers, to combine specialist support with tailored learning and experience of work opportunities.  These community links are integral to the support we are able to offer.  Becoming a Centre for Excellence is an exciting opportunity for City College Norwich to share learning from our journey, and to learn from others, as we work together on this important area of SEND practice.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, Children and Families Minister, said:

“My ambition for every young person is that they get a world class education that allows them to reach their full potential. That’s why we are putting £1.2 million into the Education and Training Foundation so that we can help support inclusion in further education, design curriculum and help those with special educational needs into work.

“This investment will help young people with special educational needs strive toward their ambitions, by making sure education is designed with the needs of students in mind.David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said:

“Further education has an essential role to play in ensuring every learner in our country has the maximum opportunity to make the most of their talents, skills and ambitions. It is vital therefore that we place more focus, thought and activity on how we can better support our learners with SEND which is why this new programme is needed. We are pleased to be working on this programme with the three chosen Centres, on behalf of Department for Education and we look forward to supporting leaders, teachers and trainers across the whole sector on making this a success.

Staff working in Further Education can find out more about the SEND workshops and events being hosted at the City College Norwich hub, by emailing [email protected]. Events from all of the SEND Centres for Excellence can be found at https://send.excellencegateway.org.uk/      

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