Sen.se is a collaboration between special schools and specialist provision within Somerset supporting them gaining entrepreneurship.
Partners
For this project local and District Councils worked with local estate agents from the towns within the school’s geographies, creating a steering group.
Venues
Secured the support of Somerset County Council and Taunton Deane Borough Council and local estate agents. These partners negotiated with local landlord to provide spaces for free.
Shop interior design planning
schools set a challenge of designing and then presenting their shop interior for the steering group to vote on. Shop design is then decided upon, all schools and students were then given an element of the shop for them to create from the chosen design.
Product design
Students taught about the types of products they could sell and the times of the year that these products would be best to sell. students also taught calendar related products, price points, material costs and other key work-related elements.
Shop work
The final stage for the students was for them to take an active role in running the shop. For this to happen a rota was developed, so that each school would be able to man the shop at a time that would work for them and the students. This then meant that those students who were interested were able to get vital work experience at the shop and develop the skills required to do this effectively. This included communications skills, handling money and time management.

Resources needed

• Time to work with external partners .
• Staff to train students
• Staff to support students in the shop.
• Materials to make items.
• Facilities/resources to make items.
• Venues to be able to sell items from.
• Transport
• Till and money float

Evidence of success

Prior to the pandemic the pop-up shop had opened in 3 different locations around Somerset and this has allowed them to offer the three key aspects of the project to every school in the partnership. This has then allowed them to ensure that every learner has had the chance to develop a wide variety of skills.
students to develop their skills quicker, feel more confident and most importantly feel more confident about getting a job and having the motivation having completed the project.

Difficulties encountered

Ensure that you have got all the moving parts in place prior to starting the project. The shop venues, getting in the relevant resources and materials and being able to get students and items to the shops take more time than first thought.

Potential for learning or transfer

Sen:se would be very keen to be able to reach out to or have contact with partners who are already doing this work, or are seeking to start similar work.
they have now gained lots of experience around the financial needs to run such a project and the large partnership network required to get such work up and running and would be keen to hear from others and support them on their journey.

They are also keen to work with others who have worked on similar projects to cross reference findings and see how they could work together to develop their projects further.

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Main institution
Somerset County Council
Location
Dorset and Somerset, United Kingdom
Start Date
February 2018
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

Jacob Coburn Please login to contact the author.