This week, Tara Elie speaks to the truly inspirational RIP STARS:
Here’s how the Disabled Young Researchers describe themselves:
We are a group of disabled young people aged 17 – 25 from Coventry, UK. We have been trained by Anita Franklin and Geraldine Brady (Coventry University) to be researchers. We lead our project – research by young disabled people for disabled young people. We have a voice and we want to give a voice to other disabled young people. We want to use research evidence to improve the lives of disabled young people.
Each member of the groups has a story to tell, from their own, personal experiences of how young people with disabilities are treated in schools and colleges.
Joe is Director of Learner Services at Bridgend College. After realising that Primary teaching wasn’t for him, he did some work experience as a teaching assistant in an FE college, working with learners with complex needs and emotional and behavioural difficulties. He loved this work so decided to do a PGCE. After projects with young people with autism, he moved to Wales to join the team at Bridgend FE College.
How might a young person with additional needs find the FE environment particularly challenging?
Joe thinks that the structure and operation of FE colleges are so different to schools that it can cause issues. For example, a lot of FE colleges cannot offer a 5-day provision and the timetable is looser than in a school. There won’t be a school bell or a uniform and teachers aren’t addressed as Mr., Mrs., Sir or madam. It’s essentially becoming an adult with all the challenges that presents to young people.
There’s also a perception that the support for young people in FE college won’t be as personal as at a school. Joe works with staff, parents and carers to dispel this myth and ensure these young people receive the care and attention they need.
How do you work with parents in an FE setting?
Joe says that the biggest difference is in how they build relationships with parents and carers. They take time to understand what they need and make sure there is a face and a name of someone they can contact. Joe has been involved in
going out to coffee mornings in local schools
providing information which is accessible
He is particularly keen on the use of technology and produced a virtual, 360 degree tour of the college campus so that prospective parents and students could begin to explore the environment from home.
What does an inclusion-focused college look like?
Joe’s college mission statement is:
‘Be All That You Can Be’.
What that looks like is different for all of us. Inclusion is how the college responds to the students’ prior achievement, how it looks at programmes which are fully inclusive and allow learners to work at t level which is appropriate for them. That will be different in maths to an independent living qualification and you need to start with the person, rather than the subject. Then you can work back to define what provision will help them to meet their needs and to progress. As a result, Joe is cautious about how he uses transition information and tries not to let it govern the way provision is designed.
What needs to be done to ensure no learner arrives in FE without the support they need being in place?
Joe believes that early intervention is crucial. It’s vital to build relationships with learners, parents and feeder schools as early as possible and to help you ensure you have the skills and knowledge necessary to support new learners in your staff before its needed. The curriculum offering also needs to be fluid and responsive to the needs of the individuals you are catering for. It’s also important to consider what other services might be needed – for example in the ‘third sector’ (voluntary sector).
It’s essential that everyone involved understands their role in supporting the young person.
There is a huge amount more detail and examples in the episode so do listen right to the end!
Colleagues from many areas including The Police, Social Services and Education joined the conversation and over the summer we are presenting some audio clips from the event so everyone can benefit from the conversations which took place.
We are calling these weekly episodes, ‘Pivotal Summer Shorts’. This week we feature some opening remarks from delegates as well as Paul’s introduction. Then we listen in to one of the sessions, all about self-harm.
We hope that hearing from the first Pivotal Conversations conference will inspire you to get involved with the forthcoming events which will take place in the new academic year 2015-16.
Newly-created Pivotal Podcast Pocketbooks are now available from Amazon. There will be a huge range of Pocketbooks from Pivotal Education, starting with the edited transcripts of some of the most popular episodes of the podcast.
The idea of releasing written versions of episodes came from listeners who wanted to be able to make notes and use the content in different ways. If you would like a particular episode to be converted into an ebook, please let us know!
Our topic of the week is scripted behaviour interventions.
This time, Paul and Kevin discuss one of the fundamental building blocks of classroom behaviour management – scripted interventions.
This is a type of intervention you would use when a pupil has ‘dug their heels in’. After trying a few small nudges, you aren’t getting anywhere and it’s time to turn to your pre-planned script.
The script gives you are clear plan of how you can get into the interaction with the pupil, deliver your message and then get out, with your dignity and the child’s intact. The script gives you all you need to be sure you can make this positive intervention in no more than 30 seconds.
Surprisingly, it is possible to use the same script with all children – they value the concept of teachers using a predictable approach, ensuring fairness and equality.
Memorising the script once you have structured it is the easy bit. Good schools and teachers use the same script, the same process in the same order whenever it is needed. Paul has used the same script in all appropriate circumstances for over 20 years. He has also seen amazing transformations in schools where a single script is used consistently…
This week’s episode is about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Behaviour Management. Please add you suggestions to the wall below or use one of the voicemail hotlines at the bottom of the page and we will mention everyone’s on the show.