I am currently employed by Wirral Children and Young People’s Department as an Educational Psychologist and over the last 3 years I have been involved in two important projects. Gill Goodwin and I have worked together on the Transition Plus Project and the TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health in Schools) project. A very important part of both these projects involved training key staff within some schools to use person centred approaches. The idea was to train key staff to use Person Centred Profiles as a way to help children with their transition from primary to secondary school or to consider using this approach when adults were struggling to get the support right for a young person in school.
Over the last 3 years Gill and I have provided training in Person Centred Approaches and provided support to implement these approaches to over 100 staff within over 40 schools in Wirral. Staff who have been trained as facilitators have also been invited to meet together to share experiences and good practice. This group is currently facilitated by Gill and myself and we had our first meeting last month.
It was great to meet up with colleagues in Wirral, who have all completed the 3 day training in Person Centred Approaches in Schools and to hear about what they had all been doing over the last year. We went through the 4 plus 1 questions and shared our experiences; celebrating good practice, sharing our learning and our on-going concerns. People had tried lots of different things. It was clear that One Page Profiles have been particularly useful in helping children make transitions and one of the challenges can be keeping them alive. They are an easy way to share rich information about a child and developing them gives us the opportunity to build positive relationships with children. One of our biggest challenges in Wirral is concerned with raising the profile and awareness of Person Centred Approaches with all staff in schools. This is particularly challenging in larger secondary schools.
At the end of the session people thought about what they wanted to do next and what support they may need with this. It was a positive first meeting and we hope more people will be able to attend out next one in May