Ivel Valley

Careers Programme

Preparing for Adulthood, Careers and Employment Programme

The Children and Families act 2015 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015 define four outcomes essential for preparing a young person for their adult lives. These are:

  1. Further education
  2. Independence
  3. Good Health
  4. Friendships, relationships and being part of the community

This document explains what students, their families and professionals can expect Ivel Valley School to do to support students to prepare for their adulthood in each of these areas.

Ivel Valley employs a Transitions Coordinator who can provide information about future options and opportunities to students and their parents/carers from Year 9 onwards and support in contacting, visiting and applying for potential post Ivel Valley provisions.  This is done through annual reviews, individual consultation with students and parents/carers and transition information sessions.

As well as supporting students, parents and carers to identify the most appropriate post school  options, Ivel Valley arrange and support with transition visits, meetings and the clear and thorough handover of information.

The Sixth Form Curriculum is designed in accordance with the ’16-19 Study Programmes Guidance’ (2018) and, together with a deep understanding of individual learning needs and aspirations, is used to plan:

  • Structured, challenging and functional learning programmes which help prepare students for adult life, including vocational pathways.
  • Programmes which aim to develop students’ character, skills, attitudes and confidence to support progression.
  • Programmes to develop independent living skills.

Ivel Valley works with SEMLEP (South East Midlands Learning Enterprise Partnership) to work towards fully meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks, which are recognised as the standard for good career guidance in schools.

Ivel Valley also works closely with SEN Personal Advisers from the Authority that the student resides in (e.g. Central Bedfordshire Council, Hertfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council). The Advisers provide impartial information, advice and guidance on careers and education and meet regularly with students from year 8 onwards.

1. Further Education and Employment

Post 16 students have the opportunity to participate in various link courses, visits and taster days to appropriate local provisions. These courses are planned by the school in partnership with local Further Education Providers (currently local colleges and farms) and consideration is given to individual student aspirations and those of their families, as well as their interests and strengths, when planning link days. These link courses provide students with the experience of a different learning environment and contribute towards them developing their thoughts about future options, as well as offering additional vocational learning that cannot be offered in school.

We are very active in providing support to gain access to work, wherever appropriate, by means of  apprenticeships and traineeships as well as employment that might develop from work experience and voluntary work.

Work Experience

Where appropriate, a variety of opportunities are planned for students to participate in meaningful work experience and work related learning, which enable students to explore the work environment and potential employment options.  Students’ aspirations, interests and abilities are considered when planning work placements, which include:

  • Extended Work Experience placements (up to one day per week for the academic year)
  • Internal work experience placements (TA, admin, maintenance etc.)
  • Enterprise activities
  • Voluntary work (grounds work, care)
  • Visits to local businesses
  • Visits to school from local employers

Ivel Valley seeks to actively engage parents/carers in the development of careers provision. Regular careers updates together with requests for assistance with careers events are provided through the school website. A database of parents/carers/alumni able and willing to support with events and other planned activities such as work experience is maintained and updated by the Careers Leader.

Granting and refusing access

We will always try to provide access wherever possible.  Access to students may be granted/refused based on the following criteria;

  • The needs of the students
  • Suitability of the timing against the needs of our curriculum
  • Nature of the request from the provider
  • Quality of previous interactions with our students

This list is not exhaustive and each access request will be considered on a case by case basis.  The decision to grant or deny access to students will be made by the careers lead. 

2. Independence

Independent living skills are an integral part of the curriculum and Ivel Valley has a strong focus on teaching independence as appropriate to each individual student. Frequent trips to the local community provide the opportunity to teach and reinforce independence skills that include the ability to keep safe.

The college has an Independent Living Suite equipped with assistive technologies

Ivel Valley have a close relationship with Children’s Social Care Teams as well as Adult Services and liaise with parents/carers about the support which may be available from Social Care, particularly as students move into adulthood.

3. Good Health

Good health is also a fundamental part of the curriculum throughout the school, with healthy eating and exercise being important topics; the latter being supported by PE lessons as well as targeted MOVE, Hydro and Physiotherapy programmes where appropriate. Additionally, as part of the annual review process, the school Nursing Team provide a report on medical needs and we support with signposting to Adult Health Services.

The college has a fully equipped fitness suite and food technology room to facilitate the healthy living aspect of our curriculum.

4. Friendships, relationships and being part of the Community

Students are supported to use community facilities and public transport appropriately and as independently as possible. This includes local shops, library, cafes and sports facilities (gym and swimming).

Over the years was are proud to have developed our own comprehensive travel training programme. This enables our pupils to unlock the opportunity to learn and navigate safe travel around the local area and beyond.

Sex Education and Relationships is part of the curriculum and is delivered according to individual student needs with a highly personalised approach.

Monitoring, review and evaluation

The Careers Leader is responsible for the monitoring, review and evaluation of the programme. Activities that form part of the Careers Enterprise, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme are evaluated and information is used to inform planning for the next year. Evaluation focuses on how effective the event/activity has been in helping students to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Our annual report for CEIAG draws information from:

  • Student, parents, staff and business surveys
  • Meetings with the external Careers Adviser
  • Evaluation of activities as and when they happen for one off activities
  • Evaluation of on-going activities at the end of the academic year
  • Student feedback e.g. careers day evaluations
  • Information on intended destinations
  • NEET and destination data

This is then turned into a detailed improvement plan, which will be linked to the overall School Improvement and Development Plan. The Careers Leader reports annually to the school governing body.

The Careers Leader for Ivel Valley School is Roger Williams (Assistant Headteacher) who can be contacted at roger.williams@ivelvalley.beds.sch.uk or by telephone on 01767 601010.

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