Bromley and Bexley college campus takes award for helping SEND students find work

PUBLISHED: 12:35 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:35 02 April 2019

Panel judge Anna Theakston, Dimitrios Alexiou of London South East Colleges, and actress Sally Phillips. Picture: Michael Wheeler

Panel judge Anna Theakston, Dimitrios Alexiou of London South East Colleges, and actress Sally Phillips. Picture: Michael Wheeler

A college campus in Bromley and Bexley has won a major national communication award.

Actress Sally Phillips helped host the awards ceremony which saw London South East Colleges’ Nido Volans centre be named College of the Year in Pearson’s Shine a Light Awards 2019.

This national award scheme, now in its seventh year, celebrates innovative work and excellent practice in supporting the communication development of young people.

The Nido Volans centre provides special educational needs and disabilities provision to students with moderate to complex needs.

Several employability programmes with clear progression routes into employment are run, plus a personalised curriculum to support 80 young people with more severe and complex needs.

The college focuses on developing communication skills that are expected in the workplace.

It also supports students so they can establish these in college by working in the shop and kitchen/café on site.

And then, more fully equipped than before, they can go on to utilise the essential skills they learned in work placements.

As a result, an impressive 50per cent of students on the supported internship programme go into employment, against a London average of just 6pc.

Rhona Sapsford, assistant principal of SEND at London South East Colleges, said: “This award reflects the very hard work of our staff and students.

“Being able to communicate effectively is key to helping students reach their potential and enables them to progress into fulfilling work after college.

“I am grateful to the whole team at London South East Colleges – and to all our partners, including Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust for their dedication.”

Sally added: “I have seen for myself the huge difference expert intervention and support provides for children, like my son, Olly, particularly at a time where we face a nationwide shortage of speech and language therapists.”

Robert Reilly-Craig, head of clinical assessment at Pearson, said: “It is critical that we understand the challenges faced by those who have speech, language and communication needs, as well as the solutions that can help them. These awards enable us to showcase best practice and inspire others to improve their practice.”

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