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National award handed to Suffolk’s SEND team for teenager support

PUBLISHED: 10:35 06 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:07 06 November 2020

Suffolk County Council has been recognised by SEND charity Nasen for its 16+ guide. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk County Council has been recognised by SEND charity Nasen for its 16+ guide. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Suffolk’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services has been recognised with a national award for supporting teenagers.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for children's services Mary Evans said the SEND 16+ guide was a vital resource for families. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council cabinet member for children's services Mary Evans said the SEND 16+ guide was a vital resource for families. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council was given the gong by SEND charity Nasen, with Suffolk’s award in recognition of the SEND 16+ Transition Guide produced to help teenagers understand the support available as they move to adulthood.

The guide was produced in 2019 by the council’s SEND team in partnership with the SEND Young Persons Network and Suffolk Parent Carer Network, which works with families across the county.

MORE: Suffolk County Council outlines SEND action plan

Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Suffolk has won this award for our SEND 16+ Transition Guide.

“The guide is an essential resource that helps young people with SEND navigate their way into adulthood and it is making a huge difference to young people’s lives.

Anne Humphrys from Suffolk Parent Carer Network said feedback from SEND families had helped develop the 16+ guide. Picture: ANNE HUMPHRYSAnne Humphrys from Suffolk Parent Carer Network said feedback from SEND families had helped develop the 16+ guide. Picture: ANNE HUMPHRYS

“Winning this award is particularly special for us in Suffolk because of the challenging journey we have been on in developing our local partnership and transforming our services for children and young people with SEND.

“We are proud of the work we are doing to support young people in their journey to adulthood and to have our work recognised nationally will spur the partnership on to even greater achievements.”

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The guide was developed to support those aged 14-19 following feedback from families of children with SEND, who said that advice and signposting for support as youngsters moved into adulthood was more difficult.

A second edition was published in February this year with even more information for families, with further work now taking place to develop parent-led workshops.

The guide is available at all colleges and high schools in the county, as well as special schools, pupil referral units and online.

Anne Humphrys, chairwoman of the Suffolk Parent Carer Network, said: “Families told us that having clear and accessible information and advice around transitions was important to them and was something that was missing.

“We are very proud of the joint work that resulted in the transitions guide.

“The feedback from families is that it has made a positive difference to them when making decisions with their young person about their future.”

Julia Ilott, engagement hub manager said: “Young people told us that they rely on their trusted adults, i.e. family, teachers, tutors, support workers to support them through their transition into adulthood and that these people need to be well informed about the process.

“That is why a clear, understandable guide was needed. Young people also wanted to share their experiences of transitions in the guide to support other young people and provide information that would help them to know what to expect.”

The guide is available online here.


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