A Handbook for Inclusion Managers: Steering your School towards Inclusion (nasen spotlight)

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These steps are significant and are worthy of acknowledgement. The P-levels are more useful for tracking progress as they identify smaller steps that children with SEN progress through. In some circumstances this will involve treating disabled people more favourably than other people TDA, Under this legislation schools and local authorities have a duty to develop a disability equality scheme. The procedures set out in the Code of Practice enable you to demonstrate how you have made reasonable adjustments to enable you to cater for the needs of learners with disabil- ities.

You will be required to document the additional and different strategies you have used to support your learners. The procedures in the Code of Practice enable you to demonstrate how you have adjusted your planning and teaching strategies to meet the needs of specific learners. They enable you to document the specific access strategies you have built into your practice to enable learners with disabilities to participate fully in the curriculum and the social life of the school.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments extends to all aspects of school life, including educational visits. Transition meetings with the nursery staff had taken place. The Reception teacher had also visited Khalid to observe and work with him in the nursery prior to transition. It became evident that Khalid had been excluded from the nursery on several occasions due to his inappropriate and disruptive behaviour.

The nursery practitioners considered his behaviour to be high-risk in terms of the safety of other children. Khalid entered the Reception class and immediately challenged the expectations and routines of the setting. The practitioner had considered clear, focused and appropriate expectations for Khalid. These were conveyed to him and consistently reiterated. It became evident that Khalid enjoyed playing to the audience. Here his inappropriate behaviour and reasons for withdrawal were explained to Khalid. Further conversation was terminated at this point and the accompanying practitioner ignored any ensuing outbursts.

Initially Khalid responded by shouting, throwing chairs and biting and these episodes were initially very prolonged. Once Khalid had calmed, the practitioner resumed a dialogue with him, and asked if he understood why it had been necessary for him to leave the setting.

Initially Khalid could not respond and a simple explanation was given to him. Over time Khalid was given the opportunity to explain and discuss his feelings and reasons for his behaviour. He was told that he could return to the setting but if there was a repeat of his inappropriate behaviour he would again leave the setting. Khalid initially challenged these expectations and it was therefore essential that the practitioner was consistent in her approach.

What reasonable adjustments did the practitioner implement to enable her to manage and support Khalid? How did the practitioner give Khalid a voice? How did the reasonable adjustment become a tool for both the practitioner and the child? This strategy encapsulates the principles of the Code of Practice and the Every Child Matters agenda. These are:. The strategy also embraces the principles of the statutory framework for inclusion in the National Curriculum DfEE, , which emphasises the need for schools to develop inclu- sive practices through the identification and removal of barriers to learning.

As a trainee teacher you need therefore to develop positive attitudes towards all children. You will need to be committed to the notion of personalised learning for individual pupils and you will need to have high expectations of all children. When planning lessons it is important that you think carefully about the strategies which you can build into your teaching to enable learners to access the curriculum.

For example, a child with dyslexia may find it difficult to read from white paper but a simple coloured overlay might help that child to read better. The access strategies which you use will depend on the specific needs of the child. A child who has a specific difficulty with number recognition might benefit from a simple number square as a reference point. A child with autism might find it easier to access the curriculum through the use of computer-based resources. Access strategies may constitute minor or major adjustments to classroom practice.

The key point is that you need to do all you can to enable all learners to access the curriculum. Therefore, inclusion does not mean treating all learners equally. Sometimes children will require different provision to access common learning content and at other times different content will be necessary. It all depends on the specific needs of your learners.

As a teacher you will be able to make an informed decision about whether it is appropriate for the whole class to learn common subject matter. You might be able to build in some access strategies to enable your learners with SEN to access the same curriculum as the rest of the class. At other times you will make a professional decision that aspects of the curri- culum may be inappropriate for your learners with SEN and that they require different provision in order to meet their needs.

There is no magic recipe as children are all individual and have different needs. You should therefore have an expectation that all learners will make progress and will make steps forward in their learning, however small those steps may be. The steps may be small in comparison to other learners but for a child with SEN small steps could be a major leap forward.

The P-scales are a very useful starting point for tracking the progress of learners with SEN in Key Stage 1 and beyond. If you have a clear understanding of the steps you want your learners to go through, you can then have high expectations and plan for progression in learning. Armstrong and Lloyd have questioned the extent to which the government has uncritically applied the standards agenda universally to all children.

The Code of Practice provides compensatory measures so that all children achieve the same standards. However, achievement conceived in this way can be seen to create the greatest barrier to success Lloyd, , Current national targets are thus based on an uncritical view of normality Armstrong, , It could therefore be argued that the current national norms need to be critically interrogated for their appropriateness to all learners. This approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs DfES, , 5: 48 and that some children may eventually require specialist support to enable them to make further progress.

However, the Code explicitly states that schools should make use of all internal resources before calling on the support of outside agencies. The graduated response is a model of action and intervention, designed to support children with special educational needs. The Code emphasises that these levels of interven- tion are not usually steps towards statutory assessment described below , nor hurdles to be crossed before a statutory assessment can be made DfES, , 5: This model of action is summarised below. Teachers and practitioners will need to be alert to children who appear to be making little progress, despite specific, targeted intervention within the specific area of weakness.

Targeted differentiation or the use of specialist equipment to overcome barriers to learning might constitute reasonable adjustments to the provision at this stage. In your placement school ask your teacher-mentor for samples of current IEPs. You will need these to inform your planning. Reflect on the set target for individual learners. These should be focused and achievable and additional to and different from the differentiated provision within the class. Are the targets focused and achievable? Are the targets measurable? Are the success criteria clear? Could the targets have been met within normal differentiated curriculum planning?

You may have the opportunity to discuss and contribute to the setting of new targets. Your contributions will be valued. The local authority may provide some services to meet the specific needs of children. Additionally, if a child requires an individualised behaviour management programme or has ongoing and communication difficulties that constitute a substantial barrier to learning, schools and settings may consider intervention at this level. Some children may have sensory or physical needs and therefore require access to specialist services.

At this stage, external specialists can provide practitioners with advice on teaching strategies and interventions and they can support the school or setting with the assessment process. Parents and carers should be consulted throughout this process. Practitioners should not assume that slow progress is automatically a result of a deficiency within the child. The social model of disability has been discussed in Chapter 1 and encourages us to conceptualise disability as a social construct.

This critique opens up a debate about whether the Code effectively labels children as having special needs on the basis of their failure to meet government-defined norms, milestones and targets. The practitioners in the setting noticed that Ben had some speech problems. Observations had indicated that Ben also had low self- esteem. He quickly became upset if he was asked to complete new activities.

The parents were invited into the setting for a meeting. At the meeting strategies were discussed and shared to address the immediate concerns. For example, Ben pointed and said cat. The parents were encouraged to share this strategy with immediate family members and all adults who had regular contact with Ben. How would you ensure that the parents continued to have a voice? DfES, , 5: 54 Essentially the IEP should record provision that is additional to and different from normal differentiated provision.

Teachers should record three or four individual targets and these should be focused and measurable. Teachers should always involve parents or carers in setting and reviewing targets. The Code recommends that IEPs should be reviewed twice a year. The views of parents should be sought at the review point and the SENCO should be involved in the monitoring and review process.

The Code recommends that where possible, children should be consulted as part of the review process DfES, , 5: According to Skidmore, the IEP owes much to an objectives-based model of teaching inspired ultimately by theories of learning derived from behavioural psychology Skidmore, , He emphasises that individualised approaches such as these may act as a straightjacket [sic] upon more creative, innovative approaches to provision Skidmore, , Teachers need to embrace creative pedagogical approaches for all children. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are more likely to motivate all learners.

Intervention programmes to support learning are often identified on IEPs as strategies for raising attain- ment. Teachers and trainee teachers should critically examine these carefully to check that they are relevant and engaging for learners with special educational needs. When you are on placement you will need to find out if any children in your class have an IEP.

Ask your teacher-mentor for a copy of the IEPs and look carefully at the targets set for individual pupils. Think carefully about how you might address these targets. Some strate- gies for addressing the targets will already be documented on the IEP but you might have your own ideas as well and these should be shared with your teacher-mentor and parents, if possible. If an IEP review is planned to take place during your placement, ask if you can take part in the review as a silent observer. We recommend this, particularly if it is your first teaching placement. As you gain further experience during your course you might feel confident enough to join in the discussion.

You might need to keep reminding some children about their targets and therefore you would be wise to devise systems for communicating individual targets to children. Statutory assessment This process enables local authorities to consider whether a child with special educational needs requires additional provision. The Code is explicit in stating that the need for a statutory assessment will only apply to a very small number of cases p The school, parent or other agency may request a referral for statutory assessment.

This should include evidence of intervention and progress over time, reports and assessments from external agencies, the views of parents and the child. Schools will be required to demonstrate that they have followed the advice of other professionals with specialist knowl- edge. Requests for statutory assessment may be turned down if insufficient evidence is available. Therefore you will need to be rigorous and efficient in keeping dated records of intervention and assessment.

In some cases the local authority will conclude that interven- tion at Early Years Action Plus or School Action Plus is appropriate or they might suggest alternative ways of working with the child DfES, Schools must consult parents before requesting a statutory assessment. Clear time limits are stipulated to ensure that the process is carried out in a timely manner. This might be an IEP review meeting or an annual review for a child with a statutory assessment. This will present you with a valuable opportunity to observe the way in which professionals from different agencies work collaboratively.

Developing partnerships with parents and carers According to Skidmore , 13 , the Code considerably extended and strengthened the rights of parents through the introduction of Local Authority Parent Partnership Services and the Independent Parental Supporter. These will be discussed further in Chapter 8. As a trainee teacher you are required to develop effective partnerships with parents before you are allowed to qualify. You should communicate effectively with parents by using accessible language, free from educational jargon. It is important that you form effective partnerships with the parents or carers of all the children in your class.

However, it is particularly important that you actively seek the views of parents and carers of children with SEN. The Code outlines the entitlement of parents and carers to have access to informa- tion, advice and support during assessment and decision-making processes as well as their entitlement to express their views about how their child is educated. Teachers should be sensitive to the emotional investment DfES, , 2: 7: 17 of parents and take their feelings into account. The experience of rearing a child with special educational needs can be hugely rewarding, but it may also produce feelings of anxiety.

As a trainee teacher you should focus on the significant achievements of children with special needs and you should communicate these to parents on a regular basis. Try to develop a genuine partnership where both parties respect the views of each other. Avoid being confrontational, especially in the case of children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. You should take seriously paren- tal anxieties and strive to act on these. A simple strategy, such as noting down parental concerns in a meeting with parents, may be all that is required to show them that their views matter.

Undoubtedly, prejudices and stereotypes can influence the way we work with different people. In teaching there is no room for this type of discrimination. All parents deserve an equal amount of time and they all have a right to express their opinion, to be listened to and to have their opinions acted upon. In short, they need to feel that you are doing your very best for their child and that you understand their anxieties. Listening to pupil voice: developing partnerships with pupils Skidmore , 15 states that the revised Code places a stronger emphasis on pupil participation than its predecessor.

The notion of pupil participation is discussed in more detail in Chapter 8. However, it is also briefly introduced here to illustrate its centrality in the Code of Practice. The Code of Practice stresses that: Children and young people with special educational needs have a unique knowledge of their own needs and circumstances and their own views about what sort of help they would like to help them make the most of their education. They should, where possible, participate in all the decision-making processes that occur in education.

DfES, , Teachers should therefore consult with children about their learning targets and take active steps to involve them in decisions about their learning. Pupils should contribute, where possible, to their IEPs and be fully involved in any reviews of their progress. Additionally, teachers should involve children in planning the curriculum and consult them about their interests.

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Effective teachers are able to shape the curriculum around the interests and needs of learners. For some trainees, this way of working will be in stark contrast to their own educational experiences. It might be interesting for you to think back to your own experiences as a learner in primary school.

How often were you consulted about your learning targets? How often were you provided with opportunities to shape your own curriculum? Were you allowed to attend consultation meetings where your progress was discussed? The Code recognises that the emphasis on pupil participation has associated challenges. For example, it might be more difficult to seek the views of very young children or those with severe communication difficulties DfES, , These challenges are discussed further in Chapter 8.

During your teaching placements you should think carefully about how you are going to develop pupil participation for all learners, not just those with SEN. Think of ways to consult with pupils about what they want to learn and try to build your curriculum plan around their interests. If you have children in your class with social, emotional and beha- vioural difficulties you will need to consult with them regularly about the strategies that might be implemented in order to help manage their behaviour.

Regular consultation with pupils minimises the power relationship between teachers and pupils and this can foster produc- tive relationships with pupils. What are the implications of this for the education of learners with SEN? Many of you will experience working in partnership with teaching assistants and other support staff when you undertake placements. It is really important that you think carefully about how you deploy these staff in your lessons. In some lessons learners with SEN can be supported by an adult within a group context.

The adult could break the task s down further or build in strategies to enable specific children to access learning outcomes for the group task s. At other times, it may be appropriate for children with SEN work on a one-to-one basis with an adult, especially if they need to work on specific targets identi- fied on their IEP. You will need to be cautious about the overuse of targeted one-to-one support as this in itself can become a barrier to learning and could be deemed to be exclusionary. It is a question of balance. You also need to ensure that learners with SEN have input from a teacher at times.

As a trainee teacher you need to know all of your pupils. In our professional experience too many children with SEN are not taught by their teachers. We have witnessed them being taught exclusively by support staff and often this takes place outside of classrooms. Classroom assistants can be invaluable in helping you to develop a more inclusive classroom.

However, the ineffective deployment of support staff can be a barrier to inclusion. Think carefully about how you capitalise on the support you have in your classroom. Do you deploy your classroom assistant s to support learning during lesson introductions and plenaries? Do you plan to meet the needs of learners with SEN in collaboration with support staff? Effective teamwork demands greater effort than merely getting along with each other and being polite.

It is about sharing knowledge and skills across the team. Very often, support staff have a deep knowl- edge of the learners they are working with and you need to tap into this to enable you to plan effectively. It is important that you meet regularly with the SENCO to keep them informed about the progress of specific learners and to provide them with opportunities to share their expertise with you about working with learners with SEN.

In addition, find the time to talk to teaching colleagues about specific learners. It is likely that they may have knowledge of the learners you are working with and they may be able to help you in developing strategies for your learners. Remember that there are a range of services and agencies in the local authority and profes- sionals that work for these services may already have some involvement with individual children.

For example, some children may be supported by the educational psychology service, the behavioural support service or other services such as speech and language therapy or the communication and interaction team. Staff from these services may come into school to advise teachers and to carry out assessments on individual children. You are not expected to have specialist knowledge of SEN at this stage of your career, or even as a classroom teacher, but you are expected to work in collaboration with other colleagues.

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Working effectively with colleagues will make the job more enjoyable and rewarding and will be of greater benefit to all learners. Working in partnership with other agencies The Every Child Matters agenda stresses the importance of effective multidisciplinary work- ing practices to meet the needs of specific learners. The Code of Practice DfES, , emphasises the need for a seamless service with the aim of providing integrated, high quality, holistic support focused on the needs of the child.

Different agencies involved in supporting the child therefore need to work collaboratively to ensure early identification and focused intervention, working in partnership with parents and the child. You do not have to work in isolation to meet the needs of children with special educational needs. Some of these needs will be complex and challenging and lie outside the realms of your own professional knowledge. Such services include the following but this is not an exhaustive list. Visual and hearing-impaired support services.

Educational psychologists. Behaviour support services. Speech and language therapists. Cognition and learning support services. Communication and interaction teams. Education welfare service. These may include educational psychologists, the SENCO, speech and language therapists, behaviour specia- lists, physiotherapists, visual and hearing-impaired specialists or professionals from a communication and interaction team. This is not an exhaustive list. Some of these professionals may well be supporting children and practitioners in your placement setting. It would be useful to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss their roles.

Following your experience of shadowing multi-agency professionals, carefully consider the ways in which this expertise is disseminated to school-based professionals and the ways in which reasonable adjustments are made to adopt the advice given. Every Child Matters strongly promotes the expectations and value of multi-agency work. In your experience, what do you think are the facilitators and barriers to multi-agency work? Discuss this with a colleague. This article will enable you to critically analyse the inclusion agenda and will provide a critical basis for formulating a critical discussion for an assignment on inclusive education.

When you are next on placement it will be useful if you can collect copies of the IEPs for children in your class. Discuss the targets with your mentor and discuss ways in which you can take account of these targets when planning lessons. Lloyd, C. London: DfEE. Nottingham: DfES. Skidmore, D. Berkshire: Open University Press. Soan, S.

Exeter: Learning Matters. London: TDA. This is a very useful text because it takes the reader through all the key principles of the Code of Practice, as well as covering key legislation. Useful website www. Knowledge or skill gained through schooling or study. Critics of the way in which many educators have approached learning in the past include Claxton , who argues that our school system is based on a nineteenth-century indus- trial model which relied upon a content-driven curriculum where being competent at passing examinations such as the eleven-plus was seen as the passport to success.

At this time intelligence was defined as the capacity of an individual to demonstrate rational thought and translate this into clear logical speech and writing. Gardner says that we all possess a set of different intelligence strengths which we use and apply to learn. How and when we use them determines how we understand new ideas.

Working in partnership with parents

There is no doubt that our views on learning have evolved since the nineteenth century and continue to do so, as evidenced by both the recent reviews of the primary curriculum. The Rose review of the primary curriculum states: The touchstone of an excellent curriculum is that it instills [sic] in children a love of learning for its own sake. This means that primary children must not only learn what to study, they must also learn how to study, and thus become confident, self- disciplined individuals capable of engaging a lifelong process of learning.

Cognitive development The importance of cognitive development to SEN is central in that an inability to function in the cognitive domain is fundamentally linked to learning difficulties. Garner, Cognition is the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of knowledge. It is the ability of the brain to think, process and store information and to solve problems.

It follows that cognition is fundamental to learning. There are several different ways of describing cognitive devel- opment and some of these are outlined below. Our understanding of cognitive development began with the work of Jean Piaget at the beginning of the twentieth century.


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Before this time psychologists such as Freud, Pavlov, Watson and Skinner had concentrated their attention more upon behaviour as the vehicle for learning. Behaviourist theory relies upon observed behaviours and discounts mental activity. For this reason we will concentrate upon cognitive psychology in this chapter. Piaget, the Swiss philosopher, sociologist and psychologist, began studying how we acquire knowledge and understanding of the world. He identified four stages of logical development which he called operations.

He called these operations sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational, and broadly described them in the following way. Sensorimotor 0—2 years Children have no symbolic thought or operations and are operating at a prelogical stage. Children interpret the world through physical sensation, learning to associate actions by trial and error. They are very egocentric. By the end of this stage children have usually acquired some language and can think using words.

Preoperational 2—7 years There is symbolic thought but no operations. They still see the world very much as it appears to them, remain egocentric and have still to grasp logical rules or operations, being able to focus on only one aspect at a time. For example, if shown a short, fat container and a long thin vessel containing equal amounts of water they will identify the tall vessel as containing the most water. Once they can recognise that the two vessels contain an equal volume of water they are moving on to the stage of concrete operations.

Piaget described this as conservation. Similarly, at this stage they do not discriminate between living and non- living things, often attributing lifelike characteristics to inanimate objects. Piaget called this animism. Concrete operational 7—11 years The child can deal with physical objects and conserve information. There is a tendency to lose the animism aspect and to be less egocentric. They retain the need for physical objects to help them to carry out logical tasks.

They are capable of formulating a system of values and ideals. Piagetian theory determines that teaching has to be pitched at the level of the stage within which the child is operating as an individual. It follows that a child with a learning difficulty may be operating within a different stage to their chronological age. There is some debate about whether Piaget underestimates the abilities of children in the reasoning abilities of young children and overestimates those of older children Jarvis, While his ideas are still highly regarded, our understanding of cognitive development has progressed.

The work of social constructivists such as Vygotsky, Brunner and Gardner has widely expanded our thinking about cognition. Although Lev Vygotsky was a contemporary of Piaget, his work did not come to world renown until the s when his work was translated from Russian. While Piaget regarded play as a kind of scientific rehearsal and thought that children would grow out of it once they had mastered abstract thinking, Vygotsky defined play differently, seeing play as a mental support system which allows children to represent their everyday social reality Penn, He saw play as an opportunity for children to construct their learning from the experiences they gained from their surroundings.

He wrote: In play a child is always above his average age, above his daily behaviour; in play it is as though he were a head taller than himself , The zone of proximal development is a theoretical space of understanding which is just beyond the level of understanding of an individual and leads to the area of understanding into which a learner will develop next. Sewell explains this as a point at which a child has partly mastered a skill but can act more effectively with the assistance of a more skilled adult or peer.

The implications for a child with learning difficulties are that this may take considerably more repetition to achieve mastery than might be expected for a child who is learning within age expectations. In social constructivism, language is given a high priority and dialogue becomes the medium through which ideas are considered, shared and developed. This dialogue will usually be with a more knowledgeable other who, in practice, is most likely a teacher, parent, other adult family member and occasionally a peer.

The knowledgeable other uses dialogue to support the development of understanding. This led Barbara Rogoff to define cognitive development as the concept of guided participa- tion. Cognitive development occurs as new generations collaborate with older generations in varying forms of interpersonal engagement and institutional practices Rogoff In this concept the adult acts as a guide to culturally valued practices at a formal level but also allows the child the opportunity to act as observer to informal activities.

Rogoff studied a wide range of cultures and concluded that studying the informal joint teaching—learning that takes place in a society allows children to make sense of their society and advance from the present to a more advanced level of understanding. Learning is then, by these definitions, both an interactive and a social activity.

It is this notion that forms the basis of differentiation in teaching. In planning work for children, a teacher needs to take into account the current state of understanding of the children in question, and plan accordingly and appropriately Pritchard, , This has fundamental implications for the way in which we use intervention strategies to help children with learning difficulties.

We will return to this later in this chapter when considering teaching and learning strategies. By contrast, another approach, building on the work of Piaget, is meta-cognitive awareness. This is the understanding an individual has about their own learning processes. Pritchard uses the example of children being told to Write down these spellings and learn them for a test next week , The instruction relies upon the child knowing what learning strategies to adopt to successfully complete the task. The child needs to select a method that suits their learning style.

This might best be achieved by sharing a range of strategies with the class or group, generating a menu from which the child can, with support, select until the child feels confident to manage this process independently. For example, when describing the typical achievements of a four-year-old in a Western, English-speaking culture in terms of cognitive development Sharman, et al. In terms of social development they are:. Emotionally they are:. However, it is essential that we consider the whole child in context before we come to any firm conclusions about causal effects. In particular, it is important that the child has developed secure and positive attitudes to the adults who are caring for him or her, and has had the opportunity to play with other children.

It is also important to recognise that the brain of a young child shows remarkable plasticity, often allowing him or her to recover from the adverse effects of early life experiences and over- come some of the initial learning difficulty. What are learning difficulties? We need to be clear about what is meant by learning difficulties. The SEN Code of Practice , 86, para says that: Pupils who demonstrate features of moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, require specific programmes to aid progress in cognition and learning.

This definition is generally accepted to be the one by which schools operate. However, it needs more clarity if it is to be of practical use. The characteristics shown below take us much further towards an accurate judgement. The characteristics of learning difficulties Learning difficulties are classified under the following broad headings. Moderate learning difficulty MLD.

Severe learning difficulty SLD. Profound and multiple learning difficulty PMLD. Moderate learning difficulty MLD Pupils with moderate learning difficulties will have attainments well below expected levels in all or most areas of the curriculum, despite appropriate interventions. Their needs will not be able to be met by normal differentiation and the flexibilities of the National Curriculum. Pupils with MLD have much greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills and in understanding concepts.

They may also have associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentration and underdeveloped social skills. Severe learning difficulty SLD Pupils with severe learning difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. This has a major effect on their ability to participate in the school curriculum without support. Pupils with SLD will need support in all areas of the curriculum. They may also require teaching of self-help, independence and social skills.

Some pupils may use sign and symbols but most will be able to hold simple conversations and gain some literacy skills. Their attainments may be within the upper P-scale range for much of their school careers i. Profound and multiple learning difficulty PMLD Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties have severe and complex learning needs; they also have other significant difficulties such as physical difficulties or a sensory impairment.

Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for personal care. They are likely to need sensory stimulation and a curriculum broken down into very small steps. Some pupils communicate by gesture, eye pointing or symbols, others by very simple language. Their attainments are likely to remain in the early P-scale range P1—P4 throughout their school careers i. Pupils with SpLD may have a particular difficulty in learning to read, write, spell or manipulate numbers so that their performance in these areas is below their performance in other areas.

Pupils may also have problems with short-term memory, with organisation and with co-ordination. Pupils with SpLD cover the whole ability range and the severity of their impairment varies widely. Specific learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia. Pupils with dyslexia may learn readily in some areas of the curriculum but have a marked and persistent difficulty in acquiring accuracy or fluency in learning to read, write and spell.

They may have organisational and memory difficulties. Pupils with dyscalculia have difficulty in acquiring mathematical skills. Pupils may have difficulty in understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures. Pupils with dyspraxia are affected by an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement, often appearing clumsy. Gross and fine motor skills are hard to learn and difficult to retain and generalise. Pupils may have poor balance and co-ordination and may be hesitant in many actions running, skipping, hopping, holding a pencil, doing jigsaws, etc.

Their articulation may also be immature and their language late to develop. They may also have poor awareness of body position. Dyspraxia is often known as developmental co-ordination disorder DCD. They may have speech and language difficulties, sensory impairment, physical and medical needs as well as cognition and learning. What examples of struggling learners have you observed?

What were their difficulties? Do they mirror any of the characteristics shown above? Teaching and learning strategies Right up until the late s there was a tendency for special needs teaching to be strongly influenced by behaviourist theories. For example, well-defined objectives were set for teachers and pupils, and systematic methods were available to work towards them Frederickson and Cline, These methods were not without their critics Watson, argues as follows.

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Teachers became more directive, reduced their expectations of the pupils, set undemanding tasks and neglected to foster meta-cognition, learning strategies and generalisation of learning. Pupils became more passive, showed low levels of engagement and low self-esteem, sought a good deal of reassurance and pretended to understand more than they really did.

Curricula were highly organised and tightly planned, yet lacked intellectual coherence or intrinsic interest. Tasks and activities were often solitary with little demand or opportunity for joint or collaborative working. This led to some children with learning difficulties having tokenistic contact with their peers, mainstream teachers receiving very little training on how to address the needs of these children and little or no classroom support being available to children with special needs in mainstream schools even when they had a statement of educational needs.


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To illustrate this point read the case studies below. He was also dyspraxic and often wore a helmet to avoid an injury when he was playing outside. His parents were keen that he should attend the local primary school that his brother attended. Larry mostly enjoyed the company of his peers although they could find his attentions over- demonstrative at times.

This made some children wary of him. This assistant was very diligent but had received no formal training to support Larry. Today we would say that Larry was operating within the lower end of P scales. He worked best with little distraction and had a designated spot in one corner of the overcrowded room. Larry made very little progress in this situation and on transition moved to a special school nearby where he was much happier and made better progress.

Nevertheless the class teacher was prepared to go ahead and she decided to buddy Susan with two other children in the class. It soon became apparent that Susan found the challenging class stressful. She spoke in very simple sentences and found it difficult to follow the conversations of her peers. Once she lost interest in their conversations she began trying to divert their attention by poking, prodding or hitting them. The teacher had devised a simplified set of tasks which, although appropriate for the girl in her special school where she had almost one-to-one support, were too complex to be tackled without any support in the mainstream classroom.

Susan would become distracted by anything around her, including items of simple classroom equipment such as colouring pencils, rulers, scissors or glue, often using them inappropriately. The situation was little better at playtimes when the noise, movement and freedoms of a large area were overwhelming for Susan. The placement lasted for a term but eventually it was agreed that the integration was not successful. Were Larry and Susan receiving appropriate teaching and learning?

What were the barriers to their learning? Was this inclusion? Fortunately, since those times, cognitive psychology has had an impact on teaching and learning for children with special educational needs. For both children the attempts at inclusion failed. Larry did have some support time but it did not meet his needs in terms of skilled intervention or duration of the support.

The school did not have the resources to meet her learning needs and was not able to overcome the barriers to her learning. It also defined more clearly what it meant by inclusion. The principles of inclusion should include being able to identify learning objectives that set suitable learning challenges, delivered in a way that responded to the learning style of the child and their diverse needs and made accessible to the child in a way that overcame their individual barriers to learning. How did this make you feel? Did the person giving you instruction explain things in simple steps you could follow?

Did you compare yourself to others who had already mastered the necessary skills? It is likely that in such a situation you initially needed to practise certain aspects many times to develop your skills base. You may have needed encouragement to believe in your capacity to complete the task. Your instructor may have scaffolded your learning, gradually withdrawing their support as your confidence and skills developed. You may have felt frustration when your skills did not improve as quickly as you would have liked, or your progress was compared to that of others in the same situation.

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We now know that a child with cognition and learning needs requires learning objectives in small achievable steps, encouragement to retain focus on tasks and to build self-esteem, and clear instructions repeated as often as necessary. Learning objectives Learning objectives need to be closely aligned to the stage of development of the individual and should build on prior achievement in terms of knowledge and understanding.

They should be achievable with just the right amount of challenge to allow for success. In practice this will generally involve breaking tasks into very small steps, allowing you to identify any gaps in knowledge and recognise the next step more easily. Teaching approaches Your teaching approaches need to provide encouragement to the child and be delivered using a range of learning styles, which are predominantly kinaesthetic and visual in nature.

Concrete examples of new concepts are more memorable to all learners. This gives a context to learning. Scaffolding as outlined in the reflective task above is a very powerful strategy. You will need to provide opportunities to practise learning and have infinite patience as you are constantly repeating and reinforcing learning. Access approaches There are a number of different access approaches you can use to achieve the above. Peer support is a powerful strategy that is often well-received by a child with learning difficulties. However, there must always be a sound educational rationale behind its use.

There are many occasions where introducing new language in the form of key concepts and vocabulary prior to teaching a new concept to the class promotes independence in the learner who may have difficulty grasping new ideas. This is a task that can be undertaken very well by a support assistant and works well as a group activity. You also need to ensure that the meaning of key vocabulary has been clearly understood before learning about the subject can effectively take place.

Remember to keep your instructions clear and concise. Be prepared to repeat them or to produce them in an alternative format such as pictures. One method is to use visual representations which help pupils to organise their thoughts and communicate meaning. Through this medium we can identify what children already know, and link this to new learning while assessing their understand- ing. Similarly, graphic organisers which help pupils to focus upon and understand texts can be useful.

They help to develop an awareness of the structure of a text by creating a visual representation and can help to organise information and ideas produced in a formal discussion or written text. In this method each organisational element is represented by a key visual which forms a framework helping the pupil to maintain focus and understanding of the structure of the lesson. It also pinpoints any misconceptions and gives a narrative structure to the development of ideas or learning throughout the lesson.

In this way pupils are developing the language associated with classification, making lists, sequencing and prioritising. Mind maps are commonly used in this way as they show how pupils are making connections between ideas and knowledge and how they are grouping these. ICT programs such as Clicker 5 are often used to great effect for this purpose. Children with learning difficulties often have poor short-term memory.

We can help them to store information by using visual aids, modelling the actions we want them to engage in and by repeating instructions ourselves then asking the child to repeat them back to us — rather like the way in which we might repeat a telephone number to commit it to memory. Alternatives to written recording It is often the case that children with learning difficulties find written recording methods overwhelming.

Figure 3. The range of strategies includes:. Which have you seen used in your placement schools? Were any not used? Did you see any other strategies used? Which were the most successful? Suggestions for teaching and learning strategies with key visuals and graphic organisers. Use graphic devices within text: for example, highlighting, underlining, arrows to connect ideas, bullets and numbers, and space. Practise sorting, sequencing and ordering anything from objects to information according to different criteria. Encourage pupils to explain their thinking.

Provide opportunities for pupils to construct visuals that reflect their thinking and understandings. This strategy is particularly powerful where pupils have to explain their thinking to others and compare their format with visuals produced from the same text by other pupils. Identify the strategies the school used in the teaching and learning of these children. Was the school justified in its use of human resources? Were these children experiencing an inclusive education? Additionally, one of the pupils had dyspraxia and medical needs.

The second child had dyspraxia and some issues with behaviour. Each child had some support hours attached to their statement which the school, in consultation with and agreement of the parents, decided to combine, giving almost full-time support coverage in lesson times. The parents of each child supported this approach, acknowledged its value and reasoned that it would help to foster independence while one-to-one support would be more likely to increase dependence on the support assistant.

These included one-to-one with the support assistant to practise skills and develop vocabulary, working as part of their peer group, peer tutoring for basic skills practice, taking part in class lessons both with and without the support assistant. Both children attended a before-school movement programme for children with dyspraxic tendencies run by another support assistant.

These offered challenge to the individuals in small but realistic steps. One of the children had very low self-esteem in reading and showed no interest in mark-making when they arrived in the class. This child made significant progress and by the end of the year was able to compose a simple sentence. Within the next year the child progressed to writing a paragraph unaided. Both children also took part in school residential visits and the life of the school.

Self-esteem and inclusion for the child with learning difficulties Both children in the case study made very good progress with their learning. Each success was celebrated and shared with parents as soon as possible. One of the children needed to receive praise very discreetly while the other was happy to be praised in a more public manner. They were fully included in the life of the school and looked forward to coming through the door each day. Visitors to the class rarely noticed the children were receiving addition support. Other children welcomed them as fully participating members of the social group and treated them as equals, often offering discreet support and encouragement if necessary.

It is important to recognise that children with learning difficulties are little different to other children in the class. They do compare themselves to their peers, and the role of the teacher is to facilitate understanding and acceptance of all class members. It has considered a range of theories about cognition that inform current thinking about how children learn. This led to a discussion about key theoretical approaches and how these could be put into practice for children with learning difficulties, and then offered a range of teaching strategies to support teaching and learning.

They show a marked improvement in the inclusive practices that exist today. Find out what strategies have been identified on this IEP. In consultation with the class teacher consider if these are working successfully and discuss the next steps the school intends to take. Oxford: Oneworld. London: DfES. Norwich: TSO. Nottingham: DfES Publications.

Frederickson, N. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Gardner, H. London: Heinemann. Abingdon: Routledge. Jarvis, M. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes. Penn, H. Pritchard, A. Learning Theories and Learning Styles in the Classroom. Abingdon: Fulton. Rogoff, B. This award is always a particular highlight and the young people proved more than worthy winners. To read the full list of winners and find out about who the judges were please click here.

Since its launch in , Talk Boost has reached over primary schools nationwide - training more than teachers and teaching assistants to support over 10, children aged 4 to 7 years with delayed language. Talk Boost, developed by I CAN and The Communication Trust, is a targeted intervention which supports language-delayed children aged years to make significant progress with their communication skills. Through targeted work,Talk Boostcan help pupils improve their communication skills by months following the week intervention - on average over three times the 'normal' rate of progress.

General classroom communication skills have also been shown to improve following the programme. For more information on Talk Boost, please visit here. To view the full press release, please click here. The new Children and Families Act - given royal assent on Thursday 13th March, will mean changes to the law to create a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities. The Act also covers a number of other issues realating to children's welfare. You can read the full press release from the Department for Education here. This paper evaluates the positions adopted by the Trust on the legislation when the Bill was first introduced into Parliament in February , against the progress made on those issues over the course of its passage.

You can read the Children and Family Bill Review paper here. Whitehouse, our public affairs consultants, have also produced a wider overview of the Children and Families Act and its consequences which is available in this Policy Digest. If you have any questions about any of this information please contact Jo Bolton, Project Officer on jbolton thecommunicationtrust. Delegates and speakers from both health and education came together to share evidence and best practice, in preparation for the upcoming SEND reforms. There is also information offering examples of local best practice from across the country and an in depth look at the commissioning developments happening in the North Yorkshire area currently.

There's also a presentation highlighting key messages from the Better Communication Research Programme and one from the Department of Health focussed on service integration. We have made all these materials from the conference available online via our SEND Reforms pages here. A full report on the key themes and messages from the day will also be available shortly and we'll update the page with the link to that a soon as it's available. Professional Advisor Speech and Language Therapist - deadline extension! There may be flexibility to where this post is based.

Please note in your application if you would like the option of home working to be considered. Options of part time working may also be considered. Do you want to be part of a fantastic team and help deliver our strategy? We need an excellent Professional Advisor to work collaboratively delivering our government funded contract.

Coming from a speech and language therapy background and with experience working with school age children, you will provide high-quality expert advice, develop accessible information, learning materials and resources and ensure effective evaluation of this work across the areas of primary and secondary education. Please click here to download the application pack.

Closing date for applications is 10am Thursday 11th September. Interviews will take place in London on Tuesday 16th September. The Children's Trust is the UK's leading charity for children with brain injuries, providing expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at their national specialist centre in Tadworth, which supports children and families from across the UK.

They are looking for a charismatic and driven Head of Communications and External Affairs to join The Children's Trust, ensuring the delivery of high quality, integrated communications and increasing their brand and profile. This is a great opportunity for someone who's keen to be part of an inspiring, family orientated organisation, working in an environment characterised by its warmth, innovation and fun. For more information please click here. Auditory Verbal UK are looking for a driven and enthusiastic Head of Fundraising and Development to join their small national charity at an exciting stage in their development.

Auditory Verbal UK makes a huge and life-long difference to deaf children and their families. They teach deaf babies and children to listen and speak, so that they can achieve their full potential in life. With centres in Bicester and Central London, AV UK supports families from across the UK and trains professionals working in the hearing impairment sector so that many more can benefit.

You will be responsible for developing, leading and implementing the charity's fundraising strategy and contributing to the development of strategic partnerships with those providing services in the hearing impairment sector. Closing deadline is Thursday 10th July. Please click here to view the advert and please click here to view the full description.

In addition to presentations by staff from specialist SLI teams, the following key note speakers will be in attendance Please click here to find out more. To find out more please click here. The SEN Code of Practice is an essential document for practitioners, service providers, local authorities, schools and families and outlines to everybody involved in supporting children and young people with SEN what the law says they have to do and how they should be doing it.

This is a vitally important opportunity to make sure children and young people with SLCN have their needs met with the reforms making the most significant changes to SEN law in 30 years. In our response we welcome the improvements that have been made to the Code from the indicative draft, including its focus on putting children, young people and their families at the centre of the process and the recognition of communication and interaction as one of the four areas of SEN.

Our response also focuses on some key areas we feel the Code is lacking, and with particular consequence for children and young people with SLCN. These include concerns around the structures of accountability within the Code to ensure families have a clear route of redress if things go wrong, the lack of guidance for settings and professionals there is on early identification throughout the Code and issues around the responsibilities within joint commissioning as outlined in the Code.

To find out more and read our response in full please click here. We've also prepared a key issues document outlining the above and more key areas in summary, you can access this here. If you would like to read the draft Code of Practice document itself, please click here. This and further information is also available on our policy page here.

Since the Trust began we have developed resources covering a range of topics on speech, language and communication and for a range of different people including teachers, Senco's and parents. Traditionally we've been fortunate to have funding to send these resources directly to the people who need them at no cost to our audiences. At this time however, due to reduced funding our stocks are running low and we are currently pausing this service.

We'll be checking our stock levels and looking for solutions to ensure we can still share our resources with the people who find them of most use whilst this is on pause. In the meantime you can still download every resource we have developed for free from our Resources section. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on enquiries thecommunicationtrust.

They have been asking to hear from a wide range of people and organisations on their opinions about what PHF should be doing. To help them generate ideas and learn more about the contexts they are working in, they have been inviting people to complete the statement - 'PHF should We have submitted a response to this, written by our Professional Director, Wendy Lee, please click here to view.

Please click here to view the PHF blog on this review. The Council for Disabled Children have four new exciting job posts which are now open for application. Please see below for more details on the roles and for the job application packs. Do feel free to circulate details of the posts to your contacts if appropriate. For information on these vacancies, and other positions offered at CDC, please visit their website.

Are you training to become a speech and language therapist? Do you need accessible resources that provide CPD opportunities? This accessible resource is particularly useful for those who are training to become speech and language therapists as it helps demonstrates what SLCN looks like and the booklet offers some questions for reflection on top of the DVD to aid understanding. The DVD includes clips of 8 children, from the ages of 4 to The clips demonstrate needs relating to speech, talking including grammar, vocabulary, narrative , comprehension and communication skills such as non-verbal skills.

It also helps to develop the skills of the viewers in observing and reflecting on SLCN and gives students the opportunity to understand SLCN more effectively and how this may apply to their work. The Communication Trust is constantly looking for ways to improve our resources and the ways in which we offer our services and communicate with our stakeholders. To this end, we've designed a survey to help us understand who makes use of our services and what they think of them. Register your interest for the new Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tools The Progression Tools aim to support teaching staff to identify children who may be struggling to develop their speech, language and communication skills.

They can also be used to track progression of these skills over time or following interventions. They aim to provide a relatively quick way of determining where children are against where they should be for their age and provide more information about how these vital skills are progressing. The Tools are not a diagnostic tool and do not in any way replace the detailed speech, language and communication assessment by a speech and language therapist that some children will need. However, they will give you information to help decide whether children would benefit from a targeted intervention or whether they need specialist assessment and support.

The run will begin at For more information visit www. The National Literacy Trust's spring conferences aim to support schools in their strategic planning to embed literacy in the teaching and learning cycle through a whole-school approach, in line with the new National Curriculum for A range of experts will analyse research and share best practice at each event, providing literacy professionals with valuable support and insight.

Full details of speakers can be seen on the National Literacy trust's conference pages. Educating Yorkshire show highlights difficulties faced by young people who stammer. The British Stammering Association BSA , the UK's national stammering organisation, has applauded Channel 4's Educating Yorkshire show for highlighting the need to support young people who stammer in the classroom and through specialist speech and language support.

His Assistant Head teacher, Mr Burton, is supporting him and tries a range of unusual tactics to help improve his fluency. Cherry Hughes, Education Officer at BSA, says: "Stammering is not well understood and sometimes is mimicked and a subject of mockery in society. It is refreshing that Educating Yorkshire has highlighted the impact of having a stammer at school and provides a platform to talk about ways to support young people like Musharaf. We've launched the evaluation survey now too so we'll be able to update on the impact and feedback from schools about the day soon.

However, if you are a school who wants to take part or know a school who deos- it's not too late! The reosurces will remain available throughout the year for schools to access when they need them. RCSLT and The Communication Trust fear that, if the speaking and listening assessment no longer contributes to a grade, speaking and listening will be given less emphasis in the classroom. This will diminish the role and importance of spoken language, which is the foundation for literacy.

The organisations are particularly concerned about the impact on students with speech, language and communication needs. Some of these students will perform better on reading and writing than on speaking and listening. Others, however, will perform better on speaking and listening - perhaps because of the support they have received in school. It would be unfair for the hard-won spoken language skills of students in the second group not to be reflected in their grades.

The School Years Developmental Journal is designed to help parents, young people, teachers and other practitioners record, celebrate and support learning and development. It also helps everyone to share information, supporting a key working approach. Young people may like to make the Journal their own when they reach an age where this is appropriate.

The Journal is particularly useful if a child or young person has an additional need or disability. The School Years Developmental Journal follows on from the Early Years Developmental Journal and includes behaviours that most typically developing children and young people show during their time at school and beyond, i. This contains additional information about how the Journal can be used in school settings. Greater Expectations studies 12 key indicators to determine whether children in this country are still experiencing inequality and disadvantage.

The report focuses on the immediate action that is required to address the poverty and disadvantages that surround and embed in children's lives today. This is having a huge impact on all areas of their lives from early years development through to their education, health and housing. The report also illustrates how there is a lack of ambition for children growing up in this country compared to other nations and is causing children to suffer unnecessarily and carries the risk of these disadvantages being embedded in our society. Together with Pearson Assessment we are running these awards to recognise teams, settings and individuals across England who support children and young people's communication needs.

This year two new awards categories have been introduced to widen the scope and offer other services a chance to showcase their best practice. The Working Together Award and Children's Workforce Award will sit along side popular categories, such as early year's settings, schools and colleges and innovation which have been retained. A new award has also been introduced to celebrate the launch of our new initiative the 'Communication Commitment'. This year applicants will also have a choice of how to submit their application - by video, poster or written format.

The National Literacy Trust is recruiting for some exciting new programme manager posts! Deaf children are some of the most vulnerable and educationally disadvantaged children in the UK today and yet serious cuts to the vital public services they receive are taking place. The successful candidate will motivate our network of campaigners to influence local and national decision makers to stop this. The closing date for applications is 2nd January.

As part of the discussion, she is keen to find out about the messages parents need to have to effectively support their young child's speech, language and communication development. This applies to all parents, but she is particularly interested in what will work for parents in areas of social deprivation. We're aware that in many areas there have been long-standing and successful initiatives about working with parents to promote the speech, language and communication of their babies and young children and we're keen that the Department for Education can harness any available information.

This will really enable us to inform the Department's thinking and we're really keen that tried and tested approaches can be well-represented. No Pens Day Wednesday , a national speaking and listening event organised by The Communication Trust, is now in its third year. We now have over 1, schools signed up to No Pens Day Wednesday - why not join them! We've got lots of exciting new materials ready now to help take you through your day. You can access all these and more by registering on our website here- www. This accessible and cost effective blended learning solution will allow practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds, to study their mandatory and optional units, be assessed and accredited online.

This in turn will enable settings, through a better qualified workforce, to provide high quality early education in relation to children's language and communication. We are now entering into the exciting stage of procuring a provider for the online learning, assessment and accreditation. If you would like to submit a proposal please click here to download the full brief which contains further background information, criteria and milestones.

All proposals must be submitted to Emma Hickley ehickley thecommunicationtrust. The programme will fund up to 30 projects supporting disabled children and young people across England. The programme is looking for applications from organisations to undertake projects that will:. Further criteria and information on how to apply is available at www. The debate was prompted by a request from the Communication Trust and provided an opportunity for MP's from across the house to debate this specific issue. Members present all showed a detailed knowledge of the issues and especially in the context of the Children and Families Bill and SEN reforms that are happening at the moment.

During the debate Robert Buckland MP addressed a number of issues - to access the briefing please click here. A full transcript of the debate can be found here. This meeting gave the opportunity for representatives from the Communication Consortium and others in the sector as well as interested parliamentarians and peers to probe the Minister on aspects of the Children and Families Bill that they have concerns about.

Questions asked of the Minister at this meeting again built on The Trust's areas of concerns as outlined in the third reading briefing. The Minister gave full responses to all the questions asked and representatives from the Department for Education were present taking notes on concerns raised by the sector. The Trust will be following up with all the MPs and Peers who got involved in both the Westminster Hall Debate and the SLCN working group over the next few weeks to ensure the quality debates that came out of this day will positively influence the content of the Children and Families Bill as it progresses to the House of Lords and improve the provision of speech, language and communication support for all children and young people.

The British Academy of Childhood Disability currently has a survey around research priorities for children affected by neurodisability; we'd be really keen to have speech, language and communication needs and the priorities for children with SLCN represented in the responses, so if you can, please do take the time to respond around issues for children with SLCN.

The aim of the Childhood Disability Research Priority Setting Partnership PSP is to identify the unanswered questions about the effectiveness of interventions for children and young people affected by neurodisability from both patient and clinical perspectives. Interventions can take many forms; they include mainstream and alternative treatments and therapies, social interventions, changes to the environment, and any other ways we could change something to make a difference.

The plan is to then prioritise those unanswered questions that young people, parents and clinicians agree are the most important to create a 'top 10' important research topics. The phonics screening check will be delivered to Year 1 children the week beginning Monday 17th June. We have produced a guide to support teachers delivering and interpreting the phonics screening check to children with speech, language and communication needs SLCN.

The guide will help teachers to deliver the check but also has lots of useful tips and advice to support the overall literacy development of children with SLCN. Please click here to register your details and download the booklet free of charge. At the request of The Communication Trust, Robert Buckland MP has secured a 90 minute Westminster Hall debate on 'The education of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs'. It will take place at 9. The debate will be a chance for parliamentarians to show their commitment to the issue, and will also give them the opportunity to discuss speech, language and communication needs SLCN specifically in the context of the Children and Families Bill which has just gone through third reading and report stage in the House of Commons.

This is a rare and exciting opportunity for our issue to get the parliamentary scrutiny and attention it deserves. This is a really important time for the sector and the timing of this Westminster Hall debate represents an brilliant opportunity. We will provide an update on this page about the key outcomes and themes that come out of the debate the week beginning 24th June. To find out more about our policy work please click here. We've responded to a number of consultations released by the Government recently including the proposed changes to the role of the local authority in early education and childcare.

We've recently been working with Early Support who have commissioned us to organise the update of some of their online information resources. To find out more about their work please click here. We're currently looking at how our website works and how people use it. We would really like to know your views by filling out our quick survey, which will only take a couple of minutes.

This will help us in the future provide more information that you want to see and we'll aim to make the site easier to use. Please click here to complete the 5 question survey. On Monday 25th March we launched What Works , a database of interventions for practitioners working with children with speech, language and communication needs SLCN. Developed with the Better Communication Research Programme , Work Works currently has 60 interventions on the database.

These were chosen following extensive consultation with practitioners and a thorough literature review. We will now begin a one-year prototype phase where we will be asking for feedback from users to help us to improve the database. We would be very grateful if you could spread the word to your colleagues to let them know that the database has been launched and to ask them to share their thoughts by completing the online questionnaire here.

At a time when commissioning of services is becoming more complex, any resource that supports this process is going to be vital. To view and register to use the database please click here. If you have any questions, please read our Frequently Asked Questions document here and please click here to view the press release.. The Communication Trust welcomes the drive for improving qualifications for the childcare workforce, but urges the government to ensure that they have a clear focus on how best to support children's speech, language and communication development.

For our full response to the More Great Childcare consultation click here. The programme, Talk of the Town , was developed by The Communication Trust, a coalition of nearly 47 voluntary and community organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. Talk of the Town offers a whole school approach to supporting speech, language and communication.

It aims to facilitate early identification, encourage joined up working and improve outcomes for children with speech, language and communication needs SLCN. It addresses the high level of poor language that exists, especially in areas of social deprivation. The programme is an integrated approach to supporting children's communication development. As spoken language skills are thought to be a prerequisite to developing literacy skills, supporting language development is important in supporting children's attainment.

The programme supports universal workforce development so teachers so are able to accurately identify pupils with SLCN, which can be difficult in schools with high levels of poverty, as those with moderate but not severe issues can often be overlooked. The programme provides targeted training for teaching staff through part-time speech and language therapists, to deliver evidence-based interventions for raising attainment.

It also supports leadership to embed a sustainable, long-term strategy to support all children's communication needs. The work grew out of a pilot in Wythenshawe, a deprived area of Manchester, funded by the Department for Education.

This showed promising results but the evaluation was mostly qualitative. However, the underlying interventions supported as part of Talk of the Town are those that have been identified through the Better Communication Research Programme as having good evidence of impact for more information, see our What Works database.

The Communication Trust will recruit 62 primary schools, 31 of which will be randomly allocated to participate in the full model for two years and the other half will receive training in just one of the interventions. The language and literacy skills of pupils in both groups of schools in both will be measured. Welcoming the news, The Communication Trust's Director Anne Fox said : "This grant will enable the sector to evidence the link between speech, language and communication and educational attainment.

With the current emphasis on evidenced interventions and attainment this will support third sector organisations to access commissions in the evolving education landscape longer term". Queen's University Belfast will undertake the independent evaluation. Trust call to schools to commit to communication The Communication Trust has released a paper which calls for schools to do more to emphasise good speech, language and communication.

A Generation Adrift draws together research which shows that many children and young people are not being adequately supported to develop good communication skills and children with speech, language and communication needs SLCN are often misunderstood or missed altogether. It shows that high numbers of children living in poverty have SLCN and one-third are not working securely in speech, language and communication when they reach five-years-old.

As well as highlighting these problems, the paper also brings to light solutions such as the What Works database, which will be released in the coming months. The Trust believes communication should be at the heart of schools policy in order that every child can achieve their potential academically, socially, emotionally and in their future career. It is developing a Communication Commitment to help schools assess their needs with regard to communication and signposting them to effective resources from the Trust and its Consortium.

For more information, click here. Download a copy of A Generation Adrift here. You can also read our press release here. This research is the most signifcant of its kind into the needs of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs SLCN and their families in the UK and the strategies to support them which can help. Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said; "This landmark research is to be welcomed by all those committed to supporting children and young people who struggle with communication.

This significant investment in research now needs to be brought to life in the places where children spend their days. This should happen during their initial training as well as during their continuing professional development, especially as children's needs change over time and in different situations. The Communication Trust and members of the Communication Consortium were among the stakeholders involved in the research programme which ran from The publication of the research is the final activity of the Department for Education's Better Communication Action Plan, introduced in response to the Bercow review of children's speech, language and communication needs in The other activities included the appointment of a Communication Champion, the establishment of a Communication Council and a national year of communication, the Hello campaign, run by the Trust in , the full evaluation of which is now available here.

The Signalong group has undergone a major reorganisation and has identified a new potential funding stream. A new Board of Trustees will be entering negotiations with a local educational foundation with a view to securing the longer term future of the Signalong system of sign supported communication for children and adults.

The Signalong charity is now restored to full working operation. The Trust's response to the Education Select Committee report. On Wednesday 19th December the Trust welcomed the Education Select Committee report on the proposed changes to special educational needs provision and urged the Government to implement the committee's recommendations in legislation as an urgent priority.

In welcoming the Committee's report Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, said; "The Communication Trust welcomed the opportunity afforded when the Department presented the draft clauses of the legislation to the committee for scrutiny. Changes of this magnitude deserve careful consideration. We were concerned that some of the changes proposed might damage the levels of services children and young people with SLCN currently receive. We are delighted that the Committee heard those concerns having listened to the views of children and young people as well as their families and those who work with and represent them.

Their recommendations should now be implemented and a draft bill introduced without further delay so that services for children and young people across the country can be better suited to their needs". To read the full press release please click here. For more information, please contact Anne Fox on office hours or afox thecommunicationtrust. Goodbye Hello - Hello Strategy The Communication Trust celebrated the end of by publishing the evaluation of the Hello campaign and announcing its new five-year strategy. Although the national year of communication is over, the Trust will continue working to make sure speech, language and communication remains a burning issue.

Our plans include making sure anyone working with children has the skills, knowledge and confidence to support children in developing good communication as well as identifying and supporting those with SLCN. We will be calling on all our Hello supporters and consortium members to join us on this journey to keep the importance of children's communication on the political and educational agenda. Our press release can be viewed here.

The Hello evaluation can be viewed here. A summary of our strategy can be downloaded here. If you were a supporter of Hello , and want to shout about its successes, you can download our toolkit here. Communication Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who need augmentative and alternative communication AAC , has this month launched their AACknowledge website bringing AAC information and evidence together in one place for the first time. The AACknowledge website will increase awareness of relevant evidence through a bibliography of published research into AAC.

Please click here to read the full press release. Look who's talking - new films for parents released. We have launched a series of four short films, highlighting how young children aged learn to speak, listen and interact with their parents or carers. Available here , the four films cover the months, months, and years age ranges with actress Kathy Burke providing the 'voice' of the child. They highlight what children respond to and what they struggle with, for example enjoying it when parents get down to their level but finding it hard to follow lots of instructions.

The films were commissioned by Jean Gross, formerly the Government's Communication Champion for children, to form one of the legacies of the Hello campaign national year of communication run in partnership with the Trust. Each film ends with a series of take-home messages for parents. A guidance document for the early years workforce, available here has been produced supporting them to use the films. To read the Trust's full press release, click here. Led by the Centre for Social Justice CSJ , the new study will look at the fundamental causes of poverty and social breakdown, which the CSJ has identified as welfare dependency, family breakdown, educational failure, drug and alcohol addiction and serious personal debt.

The study will run until and is likely to report back ahead of the next general election. To read our press release, click here. For more information about the study, visit the CSJ's website here. Shine a Light Awards: Winners announced. The winners of the Shine a Light Awards have been announced at a glittering award ceremony, hosted by TV and radio personality Paul Ross. The awards, run by The Communication Trust and sponsor Pearson Assessment, rewarded more than 25 individuals, teams and schools for their work in supporting children and young people's communication development, particularly those with speech, language and communication needs SLCN.

To read the official press release, click here. Case studies of the winners are available here. Trust attends Charity Times Awards The Communication Trust is celebrating after being shortlisted for two awards for its work during the Hello campaign, the national year of communication. Communication coalition chosen to support local authorities in providing quality early years' education The Trust has been chosen as a 'recommended supplier' for local authorities looking at boosting the skills of the children's workforce in their early years' settings to deliver the 2-year-old offer.

Ten Local Authorities have already begun piloting the government's legal requirement to ensure that specified two-year-olds will be entitled to 15 hours of free early education a week. No Pens Day Wednesday - resources still available. More than 1, schools signed up to put down their pens and pick up their language as part of No Pens Day Wednesday during October.

Even if you didn't have chance to run a No Pens Day this year, the resources are still available on the website so you can run your day any time that suits you best. There are lesson plans, activity templates, assemblies and much more. Please e-mail enquiries thecommunicationtrust. Communication Matters welcomes AAC inclusion in Clinical Advisory Group's recommendations for specialised services Communication Matters, the lead UK organisation dedicated to supporting children and adults who use augmentative and alternative communication AAC , has welcomed the Government's decision to accept recommendations that specialised AAC services and equipment should be nationally commissioned from April It is also calling on the Government to adopt a costed and evidenced solution, developed in partnership with Jean Gross CBE, formerly the Government's Communication Champion for children, which would result in a phased approach to commissioning of specialised AAC hub services.

To see their full statement, click here. Phonics Check - please give us your feedback. In June , all children in Key Stage 1 undertook the phonics check. In order to support teachers and school staff to administer the test for the first time and to interpret the results for children with SLCN, The Communication Trust published Communicating Phonics. The Trust also developed a number of factboxes for professionals and parents on the key principles behind the test and how to develop the literacy skills of children with SLCN. Your feedback needed - We're keen to receive your feedback on the Phonics Check generally and impact on children as well as your thoughts on the Communicating Phonics guidance.

Click here to fill out our Phonics feedback form. Once completed, please return it to lmilford thecommunicationtrust. Your views will directly inform our work, thank you! Literacy: Heart of the Curriculum, Manchester, 28th November As the new National Curriculum gathers pace, consortium member National Literacy Trust is organising a conference for all practitioners to explore current developments, practice and innovation in the creation of a curriculum with literacy at its heart.

Day 1 - November 13, 12222

Speakers include Professor Robin Alexander who will explore the importance of talk and language development both within literacy and its vital role across the curriculum. Click here to book. Shortlisting took place earlier this month and the judges have made their choices. Over the next week, we will be sending out invitations to the awards ceremony, which will take place at Pearson's headquarters in Strand, London on November 21st.

We're also delighted to announce that the celebrity host at this year's award ceremony will be television presenter Paul Ross. Mr Ross has formerly been a journalist and radio presenter, and is perhaps best known as showbiz reporter on This Morning. Thank you to everyone who helped us spread the word about the Shine a Light Awards and bringing in some interesting applications.

Keep watching the website - we'll announce the winners after the award ceremony! The Makaton Charity is looking for 4 - 6 individuals to join and expand their dynamic board of Trustees. Unusually for a charity, they're largely self-funding, which means your 'day job' skills could prove highly valuable.

The Makaton Charity would be especially pleased to hear from you if you can offer the following:. The above qualities are desirable rather than mandatory - it's fresh thinking they're after. And while experience of governance would be an advantage, training can be provided.

For more information, please visit www. There is still time to book for our Cracking Communication Conference taking place in Manchester on Tuesday November 13th. The event is aimed at helping schools to support outcomes in children and young people by enhancing and promoting good communication skills.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to choose from eight practical workshops delivered by sector professionals and there will also be an exhibition, giving the chance to network and see resources firsthand. To view our full press release, click here. For more information about the conference and to see a full timetable and list of workshops, click here. Building on the success of the Voice for Life events held earlier this year in Southampton, Leicester and Stockton on Tees, more events will take place at:.

The programme for Bristol will be available in mid-September at www. The Communication Trust has today 3rd September welcomed theChildren and Families Bill, highlighting that the proposed changes with the right implementation could positively impact on the 1 million children in the UK with speech, language and communication needs SLCN , and their families. The Trust has welcomed the emphasis on joint commissioning of services, the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans, giving parents more choice through personalised budgets, as well as through a local offer to parents of children with SEN, including those with SLCN.

However, it has highlighted the challenges and difficulties in implementing these. To read the full response, click here. Anne says: "I am delighted to join The Communication Trust at this exciting and challenging time. Moving forwards, the Trust will work to ensure children's communication is a burning issue. We will do this by sharing what works for all children and those with speech, language and communication needs SLCN to the widest possible audience.

To see the full press release, click here. Back by popular demand, the Shine a Light awards are looking for teams, settings and individuals across the UK that exemplify best practice and excellence around supporting children and young people's communication and those with SLCN. The awards are becoming a flagship event in the speech and language calendar, thanks to the huge success of last year's awards run as part of the Hello campaign national year of communication. Over applications were received and our judges had the mammoth task of whittling these down to just 12 winners and 23 highly commended awards.

They were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries and this year we have added new categories to give more teams and individuals the chance to shine including the 'Innovation Award' and 'Youth Justice Award'. Our press release about the launch of the awards is available here. To find out more about the awards, or to download an application form, visit the website.

Want to feel inspired by last year's winners? Click here to read their stories. The deadline for entries has been extended to Wednesday 10th October to give more time to those who have just begun the new term. We hope to see you at the Shine a Light awards ceremony on Wednesday 21st November at Pearson Assessment's headquarters in London for a night to remember! Leading communication coalition welcomes Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum report The Communication Trust, a coalition of nearly 50 voluntary organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication, has today 27th July welcomed recommendations from the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum to improve health-related care for children and young people and address long-standing system issues.

To read our full response click here. The Communication Trust has reiterated today the vital importance of good spoken communication skills and interaction, in light of today's Ofcom's findings that more people are sending text messages instead of having face-to-face conversations. Wendy Lee, Professional Director for the Trust who was interviewed on BBC Breakfast this morning, says: "We cannot underestimate the importance and value of face-to-face communication.

While technology plays an important role in our lives, it is vital that children and young people develop good social interaction skills. Children learn to communicate through face-to-face communication and interaction with adults and this provides excellent opportunities to develop a wider vocabulary.

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