An Evening with Ginny Willis

On 13th November in Guildford, Ginny Willis, the Special Needs team leader from Surrey Careers Service, spoke for around half an hour and her presentation was recorded and is now available to listen to in RealAudio format. There is also a short review of the talk included. In order to listen to the talk, you must have RealPlayer installed on your computer. You can follow the instructions on the BBC Radio 4 website on how to download the free version of the player from RealNetworks. The recording is broken down into x sections. Each section covers a topic or a question. Just click on the title or topic that interests you to start listening.

Read the review of the evening

Ginny talked about the help she and her colleagues can give. For children who have a Statement of Special Needs, the transition to post-16 provision begins with the 'transition review' - the annual statement review which takes place in year 9. A careers adviser will normally attend this review, where the options for the young person after age 16 will be considered. Over the next 2 years the advisers will also have individual conversations with the pupils to discuss their ambitions, and with the family, and they aim to provide the information needed to enable realistic plans to be made.

The options available include: going into the current school's 6th form or attending a 6th form college; a further education college; specialised training colleges such as agricultural college; colleges specifically for those with special needs; or going straight into a job - hopefully one which provides work-based training. Further education colleges run continuing education courses in basic skills such as writing and number work for everyday situations, as well as vocational courses. They have Learning Support Advisers to help students with special needs.

At the year 11 review an action plan will be drawn up for the next stage in the student's education. If it is felt that there is no local provision which will meet the young person's needs the careers adviser can apply for funding for a place in a specialist placement further away, which may require boarding. If the pupil is staying at school post 16 their statement should continue if it is still required. If he/she moves on to college their place is currently funded by the Further Education Funding Council, but from April it will be by the Learning and Skills Council. Advisers also liaise with other agencies which might be involved such as EmployAbility (see later).

Parents can help their children by going with them to visit colleges and talking through the various options. They should encourage the student to be ambitious but also realistic about the choices available. The Careers Service has six offices around Surrey which people can go to for more advice or use as a library to research different career options though reference books, computer programmes and talking to the staff there. Your local careers centre should be in your phone book under Surrey Careers Service, or call 01483-860668.

Listen to RealAudio recording

real audio Introduction; Background to the Careers Service; The Team and Locality Offices; Providing information and advice; working with schools, families and other agencies; . Length 4 minutes 43 seconds.

real audio Funding recommendations; De-mystifying the process; Transition Reviews; Group work in schools;. Length 3 minutes 4 seconds.

real audio Options at post 16: Further Education College; Job; Further Education group at LEA school; Specialist Placement; Supported Employment and Training; Agricultural College; The Continuing Education Programme; Vocational Training; . Length 6 minutes 5 seconds.

real audio How can we best support our son/daughter through the post 16 process?; What happens to the Statement? Funding Changes; The Funding Panel;. Length: 4 minutes 32 seconds.

Review is 2002 Sara Truman. Our thanks to Ginny Willis for giving permission for the recordings to be made available

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