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Suffolk Inclusion Week

The first ever Suffolk Inclusion Week ran 7-11 November 2022. The idea for the week came from our SEND Young Person's Network - a group of young people with SEND who help us shape services across Suffolk. They told us they wanted to feel safe, welcome and included within their local communities, to celebrate those places within their communities where they did feel included, and to encourage more organisations to learn from these examples.

Our Engagement Hub team worked with these young people to build a map of welcoming places across Suffolk, and developed a “top tips” list to help businesses and venues become more welcoming to those with SEND. You can view the interactive map and top tips here.

The week also provided a fantastic opportunity to work together, with schools, community organisations and young people sharing their experiences and good practice tips. Our five topics for the week focussed on early years provision, safe and supported spaces, post-16 provision, education and inclusive practice.

We shared content created by young people with SEND, their families and those working with them on our Suffolk Local Offer social media channels throughout the week, including:

C2C, Suffolk’s Children in Care Council

Education setting staff talk about the Keys to Inclusion training

The Inclusion Mindset

Families talk about their experiences with the Early Help Team

Students at Doucecroft Special School talk about how communities can support people with autism

Children and young people with SEND tell us how professionals can best support them

A Suffolk SENCO talks about inclusive practice in her school

The Inclusion Quality Mark

A young person talks about the SEND Young Persons Network

One of our specialist providers talks about their inclusive practice

Young people with SEND talk about what makes a good school day for them

We also invited settings and organisations to make inclusion pledges using an online form.

Early Years and 0-5

Early Years SEND and inclusion pledge poster for early years settings.

A conversation talking about inclusive practice with Ivana Barron from the Early Years & Childcare Service SCC and Jody a parent, Emma, SENDCo and Therasa Manager, from Shotley Kidzone

Francesca and Sophie - parents, talking about their experiences of working with a Healthy Child Practitioner and the Health Visiting Team

A conversation talking about inclusive practice with Ivana Barron from the Early Years & Childcare Service SCC and Rachael,  SENDCo from Anglia Sunshine Nursey in Sudbury.

Anglia Sunshine Nurseries nasen Early Years setting of the year award nomination

A conversation talking about inclusive practice with Ivana Barron from the Early Years & Childcare Service SCC and Dawn, SENDCo from Victoria Pre-School in Lowestoft


Safe and Supported

Children and young people with SEND and their families have told us they want to feel safe, welcome and included within their local communities.

They have also given us a list of actions you can take to help them:

  • Staff say hello and smile
  • Make it clear who to speak to if there's a problem or you have a question on a worry
  • Show me around in person (or via an interactive video)
  • Having a buddy or someone to show me / be able to give me time
  • Helping me when there are large groups or crowds
  • Have a clear set of rules and expectations for your venue on display
  • Help me to listen properly to instructions

With this in mind, we have started building a map of places young people have visited and told us about their positive expereince. 

View the map.

Want to know more about our Young Person's Network and how to get involved?

Jess from Suffolk County Council Engagement Hub talks about the SEND YP Network, and their Safe and Supported Project. Voices from YP are included, sharing their experiences as well as comments from organisations who have received their ‘Anyone is Welcome’ sticker.

Jess Walker from the SCC Engagement Hub and Sharon, from Geek Retreat, Ipswich. Celebrating inclusivity and receiving the ‘safe and supported’ logo from the CYP SEND Network

Kelsey, a member of the Youth Parliament speaks with Jess Walker from the SCC Engagement Hub to talk about making Hidden Disabilities Visible.

Watch Ambitious about Autism’s Youth Patrons explain what its really like being autistic and how you can support autistic people.

This video was created thanks to support from MariaMarina Foundation.


Post 16

Lydia, a Young Persons Worker shares how she supported a young person from school into FE. The young person Ellie shares with us her experience of this.

A conversation with Logan a young person, Gary Yates Youth Support Worker and Rose from LifeSkills training provider. (This provider is no longer operational).

Our Transitions Guide includes lots of information to support transition from age 16. It covers information on key areas such as:

  • Education
  • Training
  • Work and leisure
  • Health and social care
  • Contact details for key services

Download Suffolk's SEND 16+ Transitions Guide here

Tips for employers

Tips from Young People in Foundation Learning at Suffolk One for employers taking on young people with additional needs.

View the document here.

Yojo Careers and Apprenticeship app

This app has been designed with a team of young people and is made for young people. It puts the world of work in your pocket, so you can focus on the future even when you’re on the move.

Inclusive Practice

The ideal children's worker

Children & young people in Suffolk tell us how adults can support them best, be they a teacher, social worker, doctor, nurse, mental health practitioner or any other type of children's worker.

These are the qualities that make the most difference to children's lives. Include them in your job descriptions, recruitment and training of staff to ensure that children and young people are supported by the best.

The ideal worker was created with the Children & Young People, Action & Transformation (CAT) Network, by a group of young people who had experiences of mental health services in Suffolk. For more details visit: www.thesource.me.uk/CAT

This video was created by students at Doucecroft School and shared with Suffolk County Council’s Engagement Hub Team. It is aimed at adults, organisations, professionals and anyone in the community who would like to know how best to support an autistic young person.

Lou Pattinson; SENCO speaks about Inclusion in her school.

Parents talking about the support they have received from the Early Help Team

Colin Newton and Claire Darwin (PEP - Suffolk) provided challenging ‘Keys to Inclusion' training for educators from a range of backgrounds in Lowestoft, Suffolk. Wonderful and moving engagement the whole day and the promise of increasing mainstream inclusion in Suffolk.

'Keys to Inclusion' brochure

This resource sits alongside the 'Keys to Inclusion' training that has been delivered with education setting and SCC colleagues across Suffolk over the last couple of years. The brochure is full of examples of inclusive practice across Suffolk that has taken place after the 'keys' training.

You can also visit the Suffolk County Council website for more information.

'The Inclusion Mindset - Suffolk Inclusion Project', to find out more about the 'Keys to Inclusion Project' training and how it can be used to support primary, secondary and FE students with distressed behaviour and challenging relationships.


Jamie Hudson, Whole School Inclusion Teacher speaks about the Inclusion Quality Mark as well as insight from SENCos and children.

Stop the Hate

Students from West Suffolk College Foundation Learning talking about how they feel when they experience hate crime in the community due to their disability.

What is a good school day like?

Young People from Woodhall Primary talking about the little things in their school day that make a difference.

Read the young people's views.

A video for families of children with special educational needs or disabilities. It explains the statutory SEND Information, Advice and Support Service in Suffolk, what they do, how they work and how to contact them.

Raedwald Trust – The trust shares their inclusive practice

Beccles Primary School SEND Young Person Network


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Featured Links

Anyone is welcome

A map of places young people have told us they feel safe and supported
Find out more

Organisation Pledges

What organisations in Suffolk are doing to be more inclusive
Find out more

Pledge Form

Make a pledge or share good practice
Find out more
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