Describe your organisation and your role?
We’re called Firebrand and #Firebrand because we use it to describe someone able to make decisions quickly, act quickly, move quickly and be very agile. We use a lot of terminology from the digital skills industry. We do expect people to hit the ground running. We are quite a fast-paced company, if we decide to do something it’s agreed on and moved on really quickly.
I’ve had three jobs here at Firebrand. The first was as a learning mentor. I then became a subject matter expert which dealt with curriculum planning and looking after apprenticeship pathways. I looked after most of the Level three pathways for our apprentices. Currently I am Learning Support and Welfare Manager.
I identified a gap in the business. Our training is excellent but I felt that we had key account support looking after accounts which are big enterprises. I felt the learners didn’t have another option. Yes they have skills coaches and learning mentors. I wanted to provide a mechanism by which they could circumnavigate that really for them to get secondary help if they needed it. We weren’t doing a lot with SEND learners. Two years ago I spoke to my boss to say I wanted to set up a learning support department in the future. She said, we weren’t quite there with numbers but she would come back to me. Two years later she came back to say that if I wanted to still do that, it was mine to do.
We have two sides to the department. We deal with all the SEND reasonable adjustment, making sure learners are supported from a disability and learning difficulties point of view. Then we have the other side which is health wellbeing and welfare. So that’s safeguarding, it could be medical conditions, mental health. I’ve just been given another person in my department, Vijay who is working with the SEND learners and I’m breaking off to do more of the safeguarding.