Pathways to Employment
Pathways to Employment is an off-site placement for pupils in years 10 - 14, whose needs will be best met by a bespoke programme conducted out in the community. It is a full-time placement that is designed according to the specific needs of each pupil, as defined by their EHCP. It is designed to be a substantive placement for one or more years, not merely a short-term filler.
Pathways will therefore be most suitable for pupils who have struggled to attend or to engage on-site at their previous schools, for whatever reason; and who will learn and achieve more through a vocationally based programme while working towards Functional Skills academic qualifications, when provided with the required social, emotional, mental health and academic support. Maypole’s approach is nurture-based, with unconditional positivity towards pupils.
Conversely, Pathways is not designed for children who are motivationally, emotionally, behaviourally and academically capable of attending a school and studying for and taking GCSEs, who should of course be in an on-site school placement.
All Pathways placements will have the generic aims of developing the individual’s independent living and employability skills, and of maximising their ability and opportunity to gain employment. More specifically, placements will be designed to deliver the outcomes required by the EHCP. Each placement will therefore be unique, to meet the EHCP’s objectives for that pupil, and will be constructed around the pupil’s own aspirations, to maximise motivation and engagement. If the EHCP objectives cannot be achieved with an offsite programme, then Pathways would not be an appropriate solution.
Components of a typical Placement
Most placements programmes will include a mix of some or all of the following, during which the student would be accompanied by one of their staff team at all times.
Developing social skills and emotional understanding
Developing social skills and emotional understanding is normally vital for the successful achievement of EHCP outcomes, and for successful trransition to adulthood; and so is a priority objective that would be worked on throughout each day, directly and indirectly. To this end we would make sure that students’ programmes include regular small group work, both formal and informal, as appropriate. Key initial aims will include building trusting relationships with the staff team, and helping the student to feel truly safe and secure, so reducing the barriers to learning. In the longer term we would progressively work on and develop emotional literacy, and aspects of social skills such as sharing, taking turns and working collaboratively with both peers and adults, as appropriate.
English & Maths Functional Skills Qualifications
Literacy and numeracy skills are vital for independence, employability and self-esteem; and some level of functional skills qualifications are realistic goals for nearly all students. Literacy and numeracy will therefore be an essential element of all students’ programmes. This would include whatever tuition may be necessary to support a future college course or placement.
Vocational / College Courses
Where a student is motivated to engage in a vocational / college course in due course, but has been unable to do so due to the complexity of their needs, we will where appropriate arrange for a place on the course, during which they would be accompanied at all times by a member of their Maypole staff team. The choice of course will not be rushed, and will depend on what is most realistic, and what will best motivate him on an enduring basis. The weekly commitment may vary from 1-2 days / week to start with; up to 3-4 full days / week, if / when appropriate.
Open College Network / BTEC qualifications
A very wide range of course options are available, for example from food hygeine to budgeting to personal hygiene; and many others. The choice of which modules would be best for will depend on what motivates the individual, and on what is needed to help to achieve the EHCP’s objectives.
We would arrange work experience in whatever field would be most appropriate, according to what is realistic and will best motivate each individual. This may attentionally be in any field, from mechanics, to art to design and technology to animal care; to give but a few examples.
Independence and employability skills
In addition to developing social skills, emotional understanding and literacy and numeracy, we would aim to develop a wide range of other independence and employability skills such as using public transport, driving theory, money management and budgeting, healthy eating, planning meals, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, how to search for jobs, how to do job applications, CV preparation, basic networking, interview preparation and interview practice; among others.
Placements would also include PE or sports activities as appropriate, and we can potentially offer a wide range of options, for example from gym to horseriding to football to basketball, among many others.
For off-site Pathways to Employment students, the provision of professional therapy such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy or Psychotherapy will normally be commissioned directed by the Local Authority. However we will be able to arrange this ourselves if necessary, if the LA wishes to fund it. All therapists would be Registered HCPC Members, and the therapist would also provide the staff team with strategies and training as required, and with SaLT input for Annual Reviews.
The balance of each student’s Pathways programme will depend on what will best meet the short and long term objectives of the EHCP, on what will best motivate the student to engage and attend fully, and on any social, emotional and geographical constraints that may be relevant. However not everything can be fitted in at the same time, so the content and balance of the programme will inevitably change with time.
Locations and staff team
The Pathways programme will be conducted out in the community, normally in and around the home area; not on-site at Maypole School, and not at the home. If there where to be any places or areas that must be avoided for any reason, then this can and would be done. The locations used would potentially include vocational training sites, local colleges, local libraries, sports and leisure facilities and work experience locations.
Each student’s Staff Team would comprise of 3-4 staff, one of whom (or two if necessary) would work with them each day; and their programme would be overseen and supported by an experienced teacher of SEMH students. We would deliberately not let the student spend all their time with one favourite staff member (if there is one), to avoid over-dependence on any one person.
The staff team would ensure close liaison between school and home, normally via a daily phone call from the staff team to the parent(s), at the end of each school day. We will aim to work as closely as possible with the parent(s), to maximise our effectiveness as a home-school team.
All fees will be payable termly in advance. A detailed breakdown of how fees income is allocated will be provided annually, and also on request if wanted.
In addition to the cost of the staffing, therapies and facilities described above, the annual fees will also cover all costs of the proposed placement, including any college, exams, therapy, venue hire, IT, daily lunch and daily breakfast costs, for those pupils who would not otherwise get this. The cost of any transport during the school day would also be covered, but please note that this does not include the cost of getting the pupil to / from the designated central location at the start of each day, and getting the pupil back home at the end of each day. These daily transport costs would be the responsibility of the LA, as for on-site pupils.