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Items filtered by date: Friday, 15 October 2021

Kent County Council Media release: Friday, October 15, 2021

Starting a placement as a teaching assistant through a scheme that helps young people into work has already been life changing for one 20-year-old in Kent.

Fiona Cashman began a six-month paid placement at The Wyvern School – a special school in Ashford that caters for pupils aged three to 19 – at the start of the current school year as part of the Kickstart scheme. The national initiative, which creates new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment, is being promoted widely in the county, including by the Reconnect: Kent Children and Young People programme. The KCC-led community programme aims to help children and young people reconnect with aspects of their lives that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and one of its five aims focuses on promoting economic well-being and boosting young people’s employment potential. 

Fiona is one of 19 young people in Kent who started a teaching assistant placement at a school for pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) this September; 13 more are preparing to start. There are currently 19 additional teaching assistant places available at SEND schools and a further 11 in mainstream schools, but the placements must be started before the end of March 2022. Although the Kickstart scheme is aimed at 16-24-year-olds, participants must be 18 to start a placement in a school.