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Liverpool City Region Careers Hub and Liverpool Hope University are working on a pilot programme to explore careers support that is available to disabled students within a mainstream educational setting.

Research shows that young disabled people face many difficulties in their transitions out of education and they are less likely to be in employment, education or training when compared to their non-disabled peers.

This pilot focuses on the significant number of young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who attend mainstream schools and explores the careers that is available to disabled students within this educational setting. It seeks to capture what is working well in school and the challenges that are encountered by staff, students, and other careers professionals.

A major part of the research that has been conducted to date has concluded that teachers continuous, professional development (CPD) is a key component in being able to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

A solution to be able to upskill professionals’ knowledge was a ‘buddy’ system where SEND career leaders ‘buddy’ with mainstream career leaders to enable key learning and knowledge, as well as provide ongoing support.

Robust buddying principles have been designed so participants have structure and guidance to the programme and Dr Marie Caslin from Liverpool Hope University will lead on conducting the interviews with the participants to measure impact.

The pilot will finish in July 2024 and all evaluations and findings will be published as part of the larger SEND in mainstream research project.

Watch this space to hear the impact that this initiative has had on the quality of careers education for disabled students in a mainstream setting.