Working as a Special Educational Needs Coordinator is very much like being a detective.
It’s important to gather much information from the learner, talent coaches, tutors and their assessment - so you can figure out the best plan of support. One strategy doesn’t work for everyone!
When I joined in February 2021, I was super excited to get started as my role was the first of its kind at Kaplan. My job is to deliver an inclusive learning environment, which makes learning accessible to all our apprentices with learning difficulties and disabilities (LLDD), while becoming independent and autonomous in their learning and placement.
Almost all apprenticeships can be made accessible, and being disabled should not restrict peoples’ career choices. It’s possible, for example, for deaf people to work in music publishing, visually impaired people to take apprenticeships in photography and apprentices with dyslexia to support teaching and learning in schools.
- Disability Rights UK ‘Into Apprenticeships'
Since I joined Kaplan, all apprentices (Accountancy and Tax/Financial Services) and non - apprentices that have declared an additional learning need have been contacted and offered support with their exam access arrangements and reasonable adjustments.
When I initially started contacting learners in April this year, there were 433 learners ‘in-learning’ with an additional learning support requirement (Level 2-6 = 154 learners, Level 7 = 279 learners).
To date, we currently have 474 learners ‘in-learning’ with an additional learning support (ALS) requirement (Level 2-6 = 141 learners, Level 7 = 333 learners). We have now contacted every single one of those learners and offered them support, exam access guidance or advice, reasonable adjustments and support plans (if required).
As a result, we have a total of 78 support plans for apprentices and 8 support plans for non- apprentices. Subsequently, we have reduced the achievement gap of LLDD learners and non LLDD learners by 4.7%.
As an educator, we all have a responsibility to support these learners in their apprenticeship journey. I have, therefore, delivered training sessions of the ALS processes, which also includes our main areas of additional learning needs. This is dyslexia, for all apprenticeship delivery teams (Level 2-7) and the four regional teams in faculty.
This ensures we are all working harmoniously and practising the same process to ensure learners are getting the support they need. It’s also important that they are equipped with tools that allow them to identify needs early so that intervention and provision is awarded sooner rather than later.
My aim is for the ALS team to grow and with it the knowledge and understanding of LLDD across teams at Kaplan. I want to ensure all learners with LLDD feel comfortable and confident in declaring their additional learning needs and achieve their apprenticeship without any barriers.
To discover more about our commitments to inclusive learning, please visit our EDI page.