There is a growing body of evidence on effective support for children and young people with SEN in the school/college environment, and some evidence for effective interventions for supporting young people with complex SEN (those with statements of SEN or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans) into employment. However, less is currently known about strategies and interventions that are successful in supporting the broader ‘SEN support’ group – young people with SEN but without a statement or EHC plan - into employment.
This project aims to address this evidence gap by considering existing literature on effective employment-related support for 16-19 year-old learners with less complex SEN (defined for the purposes of this study as the SEN support group).
A key feature of both the 2014 SEND reforms and the government’s ongoing reforms of post-16 technical education is a focus on preparing children and young people for adult life, including employment. This is reflected in both the SEND Code of Practice and in DfE’s recent Post-16 Skills Plan and independent report on technical education, both of which emphasise the importance of aligning 16-19 programmes of education and training with employer needs, so that young people are better prepared to enter and progress in their jobs and careers.
It is in the context of these changes that IER was commissioned by DfE to undertake a Rapid Evidence Assessment focusing on preparation for employment for learners with less complex special educational needs (SEN), aiming to assess which types of provision are most effective at giving 16-19 year olds on SEN support the skills, knowledge and experience they need to progress into work. The rapid evidence assessment (REA) included a formal evidence review of academic literature as well as ‘grey’ literature. In addition, the researchers undertook analysis of the Labour Force Survey, and the Next Steps/Longitudinal Survey of Young people in England (LSYPE).