Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough successful special support project continues despite funding loss
A charity has pledged to help students with special educational needs in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough with a one-to-one project help despite funding cuts.
More than 500 school children have been helped by Teamwork Trust's transition programme spearheaded by John Akers, who works with individual students on getting ready for leaving the education system.
Teamwork Trust, a Northamptonshire charity which helps adults with mental health needs, learning and physical disabilities, set up the project - to bridge the gap of support in schools and colleges in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.
The first three years funding, provided by Children in Need, has come to an end.
Former teacher and Teamwork Transition officer, John said: “Although the Children in Need funding has ended, we have made provisions to ensure that the project continues.
"We will now offer these services under Teamwork’s general programmes which means that even more children will benefit from the support in the future.
“There is a significant lack of transition support in Northamptonshire because of county-wide budget cuts, and some schools have been unable to provide the essential and comprehensive support that children with special needs require – that’s where I have come in."
As part of the Children in Need funded project, John had worked closely with teaching staff to identify and assist pupils in Years 11 to 13 who need extra help planning their future post-school.
An Isebrook College spokesman said: “John’s invaluable support to our learners has been of real benefit. We have seen their confidence, communication skills and independence grow, and they’ve gained a real awareness of the working world.”
A survey of students revealed the social impact of the project with 80 per cent of students were 'more confident about searching and applying for jobs and training' and 92 per cent felt 'equipped with the skills for them get a job'.
John added: “I have worked with students with a range of disabilities in small groups and 90 children more intensively on a one-to-one basis, to provide a programme of work experience and education projects so that the prospect of leaving the structured school system is less daunting.
"There has been a wide range of disabilities, from Asperger’s to hearing difficulties, and the programme has made a huge difference.”