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Creating accessible opportunities through the success of virtual SEND work experience

Choices College started as a Work Experience pilot in 2005 and we have remained true to our routes ever since. In response to COVID, the College has developed a virtual work experience programme for school aged students aged 16-19 with SEND. In partnership with Springpod, we developed bespoke modules specific for young people with SEND needs.

The virtual work experience course is a real asset for schools and NHS Trusts, as we can now provide an introduction for learners before they start face to face work experience.

Lindsay McCafferty, Regional Manager

The virtual work experience programme is tailored to young people with a disability and can be adapted for students and teachers. Students have quizzes, videos and text that are all interactive to enable students to learn at their own pace. With the range of modules included, teachers can plan lessons in advance or work through the whole programme at their own pace. Modules include support with travel training, money management, professional development and what life is like working within the NHS.

Choices College have dedicated Work Experience Leads that coordinate relationships between local SEND schools and their local NHS Trusts or businesses to deliver virtual, face to face or a blended programme delivery. Having this invaluable staff support means that schools and placement partners save time and resource developing relationships. Our staff complete all support requirements and evaluations of the programme.

Benefits of virtual work experience.

  • Virtual work experience is a steppingstone or accessible version of face-to-face work experience.
  • A teacher can deliver this to a class as a whole and students can complete independently.
  • No pressure to complete all the modules. Teachers and students can adapt the modules to suit their needs.
  • College Staff are available to support when needed whether this be through email, telephone, or support in the classroom.
  • The work experience brings a shared team environment between the NHS and local schools.
  • Students can transition to the Supported Internship when they leave school. 

We have linked up with new schools and NHS Trusts all over our region due to the flexibility of a virtual work experience programme” Jack Brown, Work Experience Lead.

Get involved

The virtual programme sets an early foundation for students moving into a face-to-face placement or a supported internship. Support is always available virtually and we can also set up face to face visits. At the end of every year, we have a certificate celebration for the students which includes some free goodies, which they will love!

If you would like more information on how to get involved with work experience at Choices College, contact your local work experience lead.