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Person-centred practices


Person-centred thinking tools and practices have their foundation in person-centred planning, an approach to social justice and inclusion originally developed to support people with learning disabilities. The Learning Community for Person-Centred Practices developed the person-centred thinking tools and they are now evidenced-based practice, used in health and social care. The UK government’s policy, set out in Putting People First, is to ‘personalise’ public services, tailoring the service to the individual rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The government expects that person-centred thinking and planning will be mainstreamed in all adult social care as the foundation for delivering personalisation.

This section of the website describes 14 person-centred thinking tools and practices that can be used within schools and colleges. The authors are:

  • Teachers – Vicky Jones from Helen Sanderson Associates, Tabitha Smith, Deputy Head Teacher, Norris Bank School, Cathy Higgins, Principal of Oxley Park Academy, Jane Ralphs, Vice-Principal and Head of Educational Standards, Oxley Park Academy
  • Practitioners – Helen Sanderson and Gill Goodwin
  • Educational psychologist – Elaine Kinsella.

We explain how person-centred practices could be used within education to encourage schools to explore them. This is not a ‘how to’ guide but indicates how the tools benefit everyone, in the classroom, with parents, with staff teams and with Governors and others.

Click on the links below to see each of the 14 tools.


One-page profiles

Communication Chart 1 – How the pupil communicates with us

Communication Chart 2 – How we communicate with the pupil

Learning Log

Good Day/Bad Day

4 plus 1 questions

Working and Not Working from different perspectives

Relationship Circle

Decision-Making Agreement

Community Contributions

Roles and Responsibilities (The doughnut)


Person-Centred Reviews