Improving Outcomes for SEND Learners in 2017-18

Strand 2: Study Programmes

ACER and Natspec, in partnership, are pleased to announce their successful bid to the Education and Training Foundation to lead a new project focusing on Improving Outcomes for SEND Learners in 2017-18.   Our project will help providers design tailored Study Programmes that offer pathways to employment and adult life for young people with SEND. This includes support for curriculum design around the needs of young people with SEND as providers prepare to implement the Post-16 Skills Plan; developing aspirational and innovative pathways to employment involving high quality work placements, and working with a range of partners to develop programmes that promote independence and community participation. It also includes developing strategies to improve engagement and attainment in English and maths.

 Progress so far…

The project started in May 2017 with four ‘Networking and partnership development’ events which ran in the North, Midlands, London and South West areas of England.  These open events were an opportunity for SEND managers and practitioners to interact through a range of workshops related to the ‘design and delivery of Study Programmes’. 

Four launch events

  • 6 June: Leeds
  • 8 June: Taunton
  • 14 June: London
  • 29 June: Nottingham

Download the programme for the launch events

Currently… (October – February)

Collaborative working – clusters of providers

We have accepted applications from 15 lead providers to form ‘clusters’, 4-6 providers working collaboratively to share good practice and undertake activities to improve study programmes. 

Each cluster receives £2,500 to work on the project between October and February. Clusters are working on a range of developments within study programmes with the aim of improving their design and delivery.  Examples of the themes being explored are:

  • co-creation (with leaners) of the curriculum
  • Positive progression into Employment through Meaningful work experience for learners with SEND
  • Use of collaboration and differentiated assessment methods to improve progress
  • Transition year – positive transitions and progressing into employment
  • Skills competitions as a means of raising standards
  • Develop and strengthen content and quality of the pre-entry/sensory PMLD curriculum

Webinars, resources and dissemination

Five webinars will be available between November and March on specific aspects of design and delivery of Study Programmes

A bank of CPD resources will be produced for the wider sector. These resources will be made available via the Excellence Gateway and/or Foundation Online.

The clusters will share their learning at four dissemination events in March 2018 – including showcasing the range of resources produced and exploring the effective approaches developed and used in the project.

The project is open to all providers in the FE and Skills sector.

For further information, please contact Clare Howard, Natspec – email: