THE Government’s minister for children and families has held a Q&A session with Lakes College learners and their parents to hear about their experiences.
Will Quince MP visited the college at Lillyhall on Monday, February 14, where he met current and former learners and asked them about their time in education.
The minister was joined by Workington MP Mark Jenkinson as they both answered questions that the parents had about their children and the opportunities they would be supported to take advantage of after leaving the college.
College principal Chris Nattress said: “It was a privilege for us to host a visit by the Rt Hon Will Quince MP, minister for children and families, accompanied by the MP for Workington, Rt Hon Mark Jenkinson MP to meet with current and former students with learning differences.
“The minister was able to speak with students, parents, staff and governors about the learning, support and care we provide here at Lakes for SEND and learners with high needs, andtook a very keen interest in our various perspectives and experiences.
“With a green paper for SEND learning in development, this was a wonderful and rare opportunity for us all to engage directly with a minister to speak first-hand about how provision for SEND and learners with high needs can be enhanced and developed.”
A SEND review and public consultation aim to improve support in education, health and care settings, including colleges and further education settings.
Children and families minister Will Quince said: “It was great to visit Lakes College in Workington and talk to parents and staff about support for young people’s special educational needs and disabilities.
“I spoke to one parent who said good quality education is about giving young people the chance to shine despite their challenges.
“This is an ethos that we’re spreading across the country, whether it’s through our reforms to further education via the Skills Bill or as part of the SEND Review, to improve outcomes for all students regardless of their need.”
Workington MP Mark Jenkinson added: ‘I really appreciated Minister Quince taking the time to visit the Workington constituency to speak to parents, pupils and those involved with SEND in further education.
“Both the minister and I heard first-hand the experiences of Cumbrian SEND provision that pupils and their parents had experienced throughout their education.
“They also shared candidly the obstacles that they encountered in finding employment post-education.
“The Government is currently developing a green paper on SEND reform and I am pleased that the minister has taken the time to speak to those who have local experience in this area as the department shapes future policy.”