SEND advocates visit Falkland Islands to promote inclusive education and support for all students.
Weston College SEND Centre for Excellence has been selected to provide support for the Falkland Islands' education provision, carrying out a SEND review across Primary, Secondary, and Post-16. This exciting opportunity commenced virtually in October 2022, allowing both educational providers to establish a collaborative relationship in preparation for a visit to the Falkland Islands in March 2023. The aim is to create transformational change in inclusivity.
The focus of the visit will be to support the Falklands in developing a whole-college approach to inclusivity, considering how SEND learners are supported, meeting local community needs, and delivering high-quality teaching, learning, and assessment. The team will also provide training in supporting children and young people with Autism, those with Social Emotional and Mental Health, and creating accessible classrooms that meet the neurodiverse needs of young people.
This exciting opportunity is the first international SEND review taking place, and Sir Paul Phillips, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group along with other Senior Managers within the Faculty of Inclusive Practice, are leading the final preparations for the visit. The visiting team includes Sam Mayhew, Nicola, Leila Morne, and Zoe Bodley.
On Wednesday, March 15th the team will start the journey from Brize Norton to the Falkland, spanning over 7,000 miles and taking roughly 18 hours to complete. After departing from the Royal Air Force base, the aircraft heads south towards the Atlantic Ocean, after several hours, the plane will finally approach the rugged and windswept Falkland Islands, emerging from the clouds to reveal the stark beauty of this remote archipelago. As the plane descends towards Mount Pleasant Airport, the Weston College team will catch glimpses of the island's rocky coastline and vast open spaces, before finally touching down on the tarmac to begin their adventure in this unique and fascinating corner of the world and to start this unique opportunity to share best practice on the international stage.
Sir Paul Phillips, the Principal and CEO of Weston College, expressed his excitement for the opportunity, stating:
"We are thrilled to have been commissioned to support the Falkland Islands' education provision. Our team of experts has been working hard to prepare for the visit, and we are confident that we will be able to share best practice and create transformational change in inclusivity. We believe that every young person should have access to high-quality education and support, regardless of their needs, and we are proud to be able to share our expertise on the international stage."
The team passing on their knowledge are:
Sam Mayhew, Weston College’s Director of SEND, who has worked within the field of SEND for over 25 years and has 20 years of experience within a further education college. She has progressed in her career, working directly with learners, developing high-quality individualized support programs that enable learner independence and lead to ambitious sustainable progression outcomes.
Nicola Lace, Weston College’s Senior Operations Manager for the Faculty of Inclusive Practice, who specialises in implementing innovative curriculums and sustainable employment opportunities for SEND learners.
Leila Morne, an Advanced Autism Practitioner and Lecturer in Autism at Weston College and University Centre Weston, who leads a team of highly qualified autism practitioners in a delivery model addressing the social, emotional, and communication needs of over 150 learners on the Autism Spectrum.
Zoe Bodley, Weston College’s Strategic Lead for Foundation Learning, oversees the entry and pre-vocational curriculum for SEND learners at Weston College and is passionate about ensuring all SEND achieve their full potential and that inclusivity is at the heart of all decisions and processes.