Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2022

DYW - Interesting practice: Tailored learning pathways to meet the needs of all - Sanderson High School

What is this?

​Sanderson High School for learners with additional needs in South Lanarkshire has taken a whole school approach to Developing the Young Workforce (DYW).

Who is this for?

​This exemplar will be useful for practitioners involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda.

​Sanderson High School for learners with additional needs in South Lanarkshire has taken a whole school approach to DYW by offering a wide variety of career related and work-based learning opportunities that aim to inspire the exploration of future pathways. This has been recognised by the school winning an award at the Scottish Education Awards 2017 in the 'Employability across Learning' category. It supports professional reflections around the Career Education and Work Placements Standards as well as School / Employer Partnerships.

How to use this exemplar

This exemplar aims to inspire reflective thinking by practitioners engaged in curriculum development. You are invited to use this exemplar to reflect on the following questions:

  • In what ways does the curriculum provision and timetabling in your establishment incorporate career education for all learners?
  • To what extend are partners involved in delivering meaningful, work related experiences for learners, the delivery of skills and qualifications as well as prospective career opportunities?

Explore this exemplar

What was done?

The learning experiences within and beyond the curriculum not only provided learners with a significantly enhanced skills portfolio, tracked and referenced through profiling, but also ensured meaningful connections with the world of work and accreditation in the senior phase. As part of this approach the school created the subject ‘Education for Work’ which now forms part of the core curriculum at all levels.

The school also developed a Position Statement which states that “all young people will learn about the world of work; and where appropriate all young people will participate in suitable work experience; and all young people will have a clearly defined and individualised pathway from S1-S6, resulting in sustainable, meaningful post-school destinations.”

Staff used the entitlements from Career Education Standard 3-18 (CES) to ensure these aims were put into practice and audited the skills the young people developed. For example, staff in each subject area matched their curriculum and teaching and learning approaches to the relevant entitlements from the Career Education Standard (CES) and the appropriate skills. The school has a good range of work placements for young people in the senior phase, which provides them with an excellent experience of the world of work and which links well to the curriculum.


Aims about inclusion, equity and equality included:

  • that skills and qualities that pupils with additional support needs can and will bring to the workforce are recognised
  • that all pupils know why they are learning skills, and that they know when, where and how to apply them and in a variety of settings and that they have the confidence to do so
  • that all staff know that they are responsible for developing the young workforce, and that it is no longer just the responsibility of a ‘careers worker’ or Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

What was the impact?

The school continues to be committed to developing the qualities and values in our young people which ensure they become active participants in their local communities. A range of partnerships will provide pupil-centred placements with local businesses and colleges, backed up by teacher involvement that is focused on planning for the integration of skills in lessons.

Additional material

A close working partnership with Calderglen High School was developed through the implementation of DYW with learners taking up volunteering opportunities at Sanderson High School.

Watch the YouTube video about volunteering at Sanderson High School.


Word file: Sanderson High School