Monday February 29th
Chris Humphreys, Head Teacher of Foxwood Academy
Many people have heard of Foxwood Special School but its conversion to Foxwood Academy has given it access to extra funds from sources other than the Local Education Authority and enables it to be involved with projects such as the SEARCH programme. The main goal of SEARCH is to secure employment for students as they approach the leaving age at Foxwood Academy (19 years). Everyone has the right to work but those with learning difficulties and disabilities need special help to find work and develop skills appropriate to their potential. Currently, only 7% of people with learning disabilities are in work, despite the UK having an unemployment rate of less than 8%. 98% of students at Foxwood Academy say that they want to leave to move into paid employment and the SEARCH project helps them to do so. SEARCH is a one year (final year at Foxwood Academy) transition programme which provides training and education leading to paid employment and is situated on-site at Nottingham City Hospital. Participants are known as interns. They attend the host business site, to learn employability skills in the classroom and job skills during up to 3 internships. Continual feedback from managers, co-workers, SEARCH instructors and job coaches, with the internee, plan the steps needed to achieve the goal of getting paid employment. Foxwood Academy keeps records of the number of former internees who have obtained full-time employment and the figures indicate the success of the SEARCH programme.