Kirklees College Wins National Award For Inclusion

Kirklees College has won a prestigious national award celebrating the most inclusive practice for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

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Kirklees College has won a prestigious national award celebrating the most inclusive practice for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The college has been given an award in the ‘Inclusion in Further and Higher Education’ category at the 4th annual National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Awards 2018, celebrating the most inclusive practice for young people in schools, colleges, educational settings and employment across the UK, including Additional Learning Needs in Wales.

Kirklees College has launched several initiatives to ensure inclusion for all and successfully help students overcome barriers to accessing education and learning. The college has done a lot of work to recognise students who might struggle and has taken targeted action to help them succeed.

A mentoring team specifically dedicated to offering emotional, pastoral and mental health support has been recruited. A programme to ensure positive supported transition to college from school and ongoing support was launched. A virtual learning environment was set up including a wide range of resources from external organisations such as the Samaritans. Mindfulness mentors work with at risk students. Care co-ordinators have been introduced dedicated to specific vulnerable groups. There has also been a focus on staff development with specific training in areas such as mental health first aid, anger management, stress and anxiety, depression and low mood, coaching and positive listening.

Polly Harrow, Head of Student Support at the college said: “We are delighted to be recognised for our inclusive approach in ensuring that our most vulnerable young people have equal opportunities and positive life chances and are fully included in college life.

“Through dedicated support we’ve witnessed young people who would typically not join or stay in an education settings access and manage courses which lead to success and positive progression. The impact of our initiatives, which go above and beyond the norm, is reflected in the outstanding outcomes for our young people and our significant narrowing of achievement gaps which is still on an upward trend.”

The college’s work to increase achievement, particularly among vulnerable groups has led to high levels of attendance and pass rates for students who are supported including those with high needs, counselled and safeguarded learners, young carers as well as looked after students and care leavers, Kirklees College currently has the highest achievement rates of any general Further Education college in West Yorkshire for full time students aged 16-18.

Kirklees College