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Witherslack Group | Witherslack Group | Lupton, Carnforth, UK
Diverse Company of the Year

We are Witherslack Group and we provide inspirational education and care to children and young people, resulting in life-changing experiences and countless stories of success.

We are the leading provider of specialist education and care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties (autistic spectrum disorder; Asperger’s Syndrome; speech, language and communication needs), ADHD and complex learning needs.

Our track record of success and sector-leading Ofsted judgements has been achieved through an ethos of high aspiration, placement stability through our ‘team around the child’ approach, unique in-school therapy solutions and our inspiring environments. These all combine to optimise life opportunities for children and young people, give confidence to parents and carers, and deliver unmatched value for local authorities.

Our focus on support, care and acceptance allows each young person to develop as an independent individual, equipped with the knowledge, experience and life skills to look to the future with increased confidence and aspiration. We are truly proud of the role we play in changing the lives of young people and helping them to realise their full potential.

Our people are central to everything we do – the dedicated and passionate teaching, care and therapeutic professionals who combine to create a unique and inspirational environment for every child. Their commitment and ability to genuinely connect with each child allows us to achieve long-lasting outcomes and fulfil the ambitions of our young people.

Most importantly though, we go the extra mile for all of our young people to ensure that their time in our schools and children’s homes gives them the foundations and ambitions to achieve in their futures and create their own story of success.

In 2013, we identified that there was a massive gap in terms of accessible advice and support for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs. We saw first-hand the struggle and battle they faced to find the right support, advice and school for their child and we felt that as a member of the SEND community we should do more than just provide school and homes for the children and young people placed with us.

We decided that we should commit to a long term plan that would involve forming partnerships with the leading charities in our sector to deliver the highest standards possible of advice, support and training. We felt that we should make this one of the key pillars of our organisation, alongside the education and care we offer. We would make it our priority to help as many parents and carers as possible so that they could find the right path for them and access the support and guidance that they need to allow their family to find the future they deserve.

From our Chief Executive down, our whole organisation committed to being relentless in our pursuit of helping across the SEND sector. We knew it would take time to build up awareness and contacts but 6 years later we are now reaching thousands of parents, cares and SEN professionals each year with a wide variety of free training, podcasts, conferences and resources. We have two principles – that everything we do should be world class and involve partnering with leading experts in their field, and that we should completely remove all barriers to enable as many people as possible to receive benefit.

We know we cannot completely solve people’s problems but we do believe we can help give them understanding, support and hope and that we can bring them together with others so they feel they are not just the only ones going through this. We have seen so many people find the right way forward and their children going on to realise amazing things and we are just thrilled to have been able to help in any way we can.

Our appetite to do more grows and grows, we feel lucky to have the resources and reputation now to consider even more developments in this area. As well as our regional parents and carers conferences, we are now planning the first national SEND Expo for parents and carers and want to establish a network across charities and sector related organisations to amplify all the great work that is being done and the impact that can be made for so many families.

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