Running a Person Centred Review
Here at Norris Bank, we hold SEN Reviews every October and March. All children at School Action meet with the class teacher to evaluate the IEP and agree new targets. Those children at School Action Plus and those children who have a Statement have a more formal Review meeting. This involves me as SENCo and all Outside Agencies. Obviously, the class-teacher, parents and the pupils themselves are involved.
Up until now, I have chaired the meeting and it has run along ‘traditional’ lines of discussing progress through reports, comments and IEP targets which have been set previously are then agreed.
However, as part of our journey to a more personalised way of learning, this October we held two Reviews with a very different agenda and format.
The same people were present as at a ‘traditional’ Review: teacher, parents, LSA, SENCo, pupil, Headteacher. We were very lucky to be joined by Helen Sanderson as well.
The meeting was split up into distinct sections:
Part One formed a very positive start, whereby everyone in the room wrote down on a large sheet of paper all the things that they liked and admired about the pupil. This was not just covering academic issues, but also social issues, and positive views on their appearance, manner and relationship with others. This proved to be very important for the pupil themselves; they could see that other people did really think great things of them.
We moved onto the main section of the meeting, which proved to be an amazingly constructive and indeed cathartic session. All of us had a large sheet of paper split into two: ‘What is working’ and ‘What is not working’. We spent time completing this large sheet on our own, and we found that everyone was being very honest about how the pupil’s challenging behaviour made us feel, and how it affected how we worked.
From this we analysed the different responses, and found that there were indeed common threads in both sections. There were approaches and strategies that worked really well for this pupil, and that these approaches worked well for everyone involved with the pupil, both at home and at school. We then looked at the aspects that caused us and the pupil difficulties, both at home and at school. Once again there were common threads that appeared on everyone’s sheets. We spent valuable time discussing these concerns, and then built these into very personalised, appropriate and applicable targets for the new IEP.
Usually, the targets would be decided before the meeting; this was a real departure to go into the meeting without targets. In fact it is far more sensible as then these targets can be discussed and agreed by everyone, and therefore the targets would pinpoint the real areas of concern.
The meeting can be summed up in the words of the class teacher who stated that
‘I found the meeting amazing. I feel like I have turned a corner with him.’
So where do we go from here? The usual minutes have to be typed up on the official paperwork and submitted to the Authority. But more importantly for us is the immediate impact the meeting had on all of us. Having this opportunity to really open up was very liberating. It means that targets are really personalised and meaningful, as well as being clearly understood by all involved with the pupil. We will develop a more detailed One Page Profile to support the pupil on a daily basis, and especially for when new teachers and adults come in to work with him. This Profile will clearly reflect the strategies that do work best, and gives adults and the pupil to work at their very best.
We will certainly repeat this type of Review again in six months time. We have all learned a lot form the process