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Less than 1 in 5 people with a learning disability work (compared with 1 in 2 disabled people generally,) but we know that at least 65% of people with a learning disability want to work. Of those people with a learning disability that do work, most only work part time and are low paid. Following a recent school survey and interviews with our students 100% said they would like to work.

 

Foxwood Academy has taken on the issue of employability as major theme for the next three years of which the retail outlet plays a significant part. The training and employability skills provided for our students will have long term positive effects for our students’ future.

 

  • To inspire all students to develop the skills, desire and resilience for work.
  • To develop student employability skills in a real work place.
  • To provide on-site retail training opportunities for students.
  • To build partnerships with employers and the local community.

  

The goal of the project is to set up an educational resource for our students as a retail outlet. Unlike a ‘typical’ retail outlet we have had to adapt the unit to make it fit for purpose for our students, including making the premises fully accessible to anyone with physical impairments.

  

We believe that young people who have learning disabilities have skills that can be of real benefit to employers. These young people want to make a positive contribution to their communities – all they need is the opportunity. But all too often their energy goes untapped and their aspirations are left unfulfilled for want of suitable understanding and support. These young people are so full of potential, yet they remain largely excluded from society. Many of our students will face a bleak, lonely and frustrating existence, where their confidence diminishes and their dependence on their families increases. All the promise that these young adults show at a school-leaving age will go to waste because so few training opportunities and supportive employment placements exist.

 

At Foxwood Academy we are looking to equip our students with the skills needed to help lessen that transition and open up the possibilities of employment. Our vision is as follows;

  

We want our school:
  • To educate and inspire all students to develop the skills, desire and resilience for work
  • To build partnerships with long term commitment to each other for the equal benefit of all students.

  

We will achieve this by:
  • Working with parents and students to consider employment as a real option
  • Working with students to show how they can contribute to the wider community
  • Providing a curriculum that focuses on the skills needed (social and employability)
  • Working with employers to provide real opportunities
  • Raising staff expectations about what our students can achieve
  • Promoting inclusion in wider society