Sun, 15 Jul 2018
THE Castle School in Donnington has scooped a national award for an innovative scheme to help young people with special needs into work.
The school, which caters for children with complex learning difficulties, has been named the SEND Careers Provision of the Year award by the Careers & Enterprise Company, a national network set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work.
The Love Lane school won the award for its World of Work (WOW) programme, which supports careers education and helps young people into the world of work.
A record number of more than 200 nominations were submitted for this year’s nine award categories, which were decided by a panel of independent expert judges.
Castle School assistant headteacher James Whybra said: “The team are passionate about what they do and that is visible on a daily basis to all they work with.
“To win this award is a fantastic recognition of all of the work that goes into supporting students in to paid employment.
“For us, winning give us a great opportunity to share what we do in the hope that it will inspire others and continue to improve good practice across the SEND sector and beyond.”
West Berkshire Council executive member for children, education and young people Lynne Doherty (Con, Northcroft) said: “The WOW programme at The Castle School is truly inspiring.
“The team is totally committed, providing strong support to students and employers, which has been critical to their success.
“Their unfaltering belief that any student with the drive and desire to work can gain paid employment, regardless of personal challenges, makes them not only a force to be reckoned with, but a most worthy winner of this prestigious award.”
The Careers & Enterprise Company was established in 2015 to help to create high-impact careers and enterprise support for young people.
Its chief executive, Claudia Harris, said: “Preparing young people for the fast-changing world of work has never been more important.
“There is incredible work going on in schools, colleges, employers and more across the country.
“We hope these awards are a small way to say thank you and shine a light on this amazing work.”
Horizon Community College principal Nick Bowen, who judged the event and also sits on The Careers & Enterprise Company’s headteacher advisory group, said: “This year we had a record number of entries. It was a real challenge to pick the winners because of the amazing quality of entries.
“This is a testament to the increasing excellence of careers provision and partnership across the country.
“The Castle School should be very proud of themselves.”