Luminate Education Group has been awarded funding by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), to help improve the prospects of the lives of people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The group is the only education institution in the Yorkshire and Humber region to win the bid and has been appointed as an ambassador, known as a ‘spoke’, to the Centres for Excellence in SEND, working in partnership with local employers to provide opportunities for students in the heritage sector.

Luminate Education Group’s Leeds City College, Keighley College and Harrogate College will deliver two events on opportunities and employability of people with SEND and learning difficulties in the heritage sector. Businesses will learn about the benefits of having a diverse workforce, and receive advice on different approaches to meet the needs of people with additional learning difficulties.

Louise Turner, Director of Inclusive Provision & SEND at Leeds City College, said: “This funding comes at an opportune time when SEND is facing budgetary cuts and constraints. In recent years, we have seen services for young people with disabilities being underfunded to the point where service delivery is not viable.

“This will allow us to promote SEND hubs and services, forge productive links between the heritage sector locally and nationally, as well as expand the opportunities for young people with SEND.”

Since June 2019, ETF’s three Centres for Excellence in SEND have been working with the further education sector to provide support to leaders, managers and practitioners who want to create inclusive workplaces.