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Westminster Special School

College Park School Federation of Westminster Special Schools
& Bi-borough Inclusion Service

Supporting inclusive routes to employability; The things which make me different are the things that make me ME​​​​​​​

College Park has always considered itself a progressive influence within the fields of special needs education and the promotion of inclusion. It has developed a reputation for research and initiatives that impact beyond its own community to support education and it can now add an international aspect to its work in this space.  

It was with great enthusiasm that Claire Shepherd met with Kumush Atayeva a human resources consultant whose work in Turkmenistan is focused on developing and supporting routes into employment for disabled people back in 2017. And it was lovely to hear an update from Kumush and her work in disability and employment.  

While Kumush was in the UK on a scholarship with the John Smith Trust Fellowship Programme,  she met people from the field of politics and education. Kumush met with Scottish Conservative MSP Jeremy Balfour (the only member of the Scottish Parliament who openly defines themselves as physically disabled). Kumush was specifically interested in HR perspective and how to improve access for employment for disabled people from the perspective of the education system and met with Claire to discuss her views on this.  Claire was heartened to hear that her conversation stayed with Kumush and particularly her mantra that: “The things which make me different are the things that make me ME”. You can read more about Kumush’s work here.  

Kumush is currently working on a social enterprise project to support visually impaired people in increasing their employment opportunities by learning English as an additional language.

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