During the Summer Term the Wirral Person-centred Practice Network group met for the second time and was again, well attended. Gill Goodwin and I facilitated discussions regarding what’s working and what’s not working from different people’s perspectives and some interesting issues were raised.
In terms of what is working people mentioned that awareness raising training within a school was very important and when this had been done it lead to a better understanding of person-centred approaches throughout the school. When staff became involved in teaching and supporting a pupil with a One Page Profile there was a better appreciation of its importance and how it had been put together. Some people mentioned the school Educational Psychologist had provided some valuable support helping school staff to draw up the profiles. In one school, pupils were actively asking for their profiles to be changed and reviewed. Ofsted had recently visited a school and were very impressed with the One Page Profiles, particularly the way the views and voice of the pupils were reflected in them.
A couple of people in the group were planning on working with whole classes through a series of lessons with the object being for each pupil to draw up a One Page Profile ready for them to take to his or her next class or school. People were very excited about this and said they would share the learning from this at the next meeting and through another blog. One secondary school had sent out a useful booklet to all their new Year 7 pupils and their parents, due to start in September. This information can then be used to start drawing up One Page Profiles with the pupils.
In terms of what is not working some people were struggling to get all staff to attend the meetings set up to review the One Page Profiles. People felt it was so important to embed Person-centred Approaches throughout the school through building up staff awareness and that this takes time but also relies on a member of senior staff to be on board and promoting this with all staff. Some primary schools have struggled to get all teaching staff in secondary schools aware that a pupil has a profile; again this relies of staff awareness and senior members of staff promoting the importance of One Page Profiles.
I will be carrying out further training in Person-centred Approaches with over 160 people including all primary and secondary school SENCos in Wirral over this next academic year. This training will hopefully go towards preparing people for the new changes in the SEN code of practice. Early evaluation of the work Pathfinders have been involved with indicates strongly that using Person-centred Approaches is a key factor in making the current support system for disabled children and young people and those with SEN and their parents or carer more transparent, less adversarial and less bureaucratic.