The New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network recently hosted a visit from Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, at The Wherry School in Norwich (21 June).
The specialist school for children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders also falls within the Norwich Opportunity Area – a Department for Education-led network of local partners collaborating on activities to increase social mobility in Norwich.
The Minister visited to find out the impact that the work of the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network is having on the school and the Norwich Opportunity Area, as well as how local employers are engaging with schools in the region.
Mr Zahawi met the senior leadership team from the school before meeting representatives from the Careers and Enterprise Company and Norfolk County Council, key partners of the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network. He also met representatives from Adecco, one of the six ‘Cornerstone Employers’ in the Norwich Opportunity Area.
Students gave a presentation to the Minister about autism and talked about what they had learnt from the employers who had visited the school, including the RAF, their Enterprise Adviser Tom Barber (from Spicule Data), Adecco and Norwich City Football Club. The students then got the chance to tell Mr Zahawi their own ambitions for the future before asking him some questions about his role.
Principal Rachel Quick said “The children found the whole experience daunting, challenging and exciting in equal measure. Our over-riding desire is to allow our children to leave school confident about their own abilities and able to live successful independent lives. The support we are receiving from local Opportunity Area officers and advisers, even so early into the story of our school, will strengthen our children and young people’s confidence about their own futures.”
The New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network recruits senior business leaders to work voluntarily with schools, supporting them to develop and enhance their business engagement plans.