1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Staff training ideas

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by RJR_38, May 3, 2012.

  1. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I have not long started as a SENCO in a school that has not really had the benefit of a regular/consistent one for some time previous to me. As senior leadership one of our main targets for next year is to upskill all staff in this area as currently there is little knowledge etc and so I will be doing various insets on training days and staff meetings throughout the year. I may also get other specialists in.
    My main issue is where to start - what should I focus the meetings on? i have tried asking staff but because most have literally no experience of such issues they don't reallly know themselves.
    I am going to do the first one about differntiation techniques (because there is hardly any in lessons that have been observed) but then I am nto sure where to go from there as I have so much I want do but at the same time I don't want to overload and bore people (as I know not everyone shares my passion for SEN)
    So what focuii would you have for hour long training sessions?
     
  2. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    I have not long started as a SENCO in a school that has not really had the benefit of a regular/consistent one for some time previous to me. As senior leadership one of our main targets for next year is to upskill all staff in this area as currently there is little knowledge etc and so I will be doing various insets on training days and staff meetings throughout the year. I may also get other specialists in.
    My main issue is where to start - what should I focus the meetings on? i have tried asking staff but because most have literally no experience of such issues they don't reallly know themselves.
    I am going to do the first one about differntiation techniques (because there is hardly any in lessons that have been observed) but then I am nto sure where to go from there as I have so much I want do but at the same time I don't want to overload and bore people (as I know not everyone shares my passion for SEN)
    So what focuii would you have for hour long training sessions?
     
  3. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Have you thought about conducting an audit as a stating point and then prioritising your training schedule according to the responses ? You may want to look at the priority need on your SEN record and ensure that staff understand what this is and how to help. You say that you have observed lessons . I would define what you would expecting to see staff deliver as a First Quality Teaching Model which in includes as you say differentiation at the very least. You may want to think about MLD v SpLD or ADHD v BESD . You may want to co opt some staff onto a Steering Commitee for Student Support and deliver training via this group.With respect this is not about you boring folk about championing those with Additional Needs it's about securing entitlement for those students and making staff ( teaching and non) accountable .
     
  4. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Thanks for your insightful reply. You are right - it is not about boring people and I am anxious not to do this as I said - I want to support them in supporting their children. I am used to teaching environments where people would openly say 'Child X is really not able to do this and I don't know what to do'; and everyone would informally and formally pitch in with ideas etc - including the SENCO.
    The staff here have not had that kind of atmosphere or support and in a lot of cases there has been little differentiation other than 'by outcome'. If a child was not achieveing the way that was expected they would passed over to a therapist (we are private and employ therapists directly) and it was expected they would 'solve' the problem. Accountability was not a school issue - only in recently when the new head started by all accounts.
    The staff are very positive, open to new ideas and have said that they would welcome support etc. I did do an audit when I first started (as well as getting as accurate a SEN list as possible) and although we have a lot of varying needs etc there are areas I can rule out for now (such as MLD), you are right so thanks for that.
     
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    You are welcome. I also put to gether an Additional Needs Handbook when I first took up my post although I wasn't called a SENCo as such. It gave the staff some idea of how to recognise difficulties /disabilities and how to address in class . I also gave advice on strategies to help spelling, writing and reading and a ton of other material which hopefully empowered the staff , made them more sensitive to the needs of the students and made them more confident in making reasonable adjustments so those same students were given every opportunity to succeed. Happy to send it if you think it would help. Good Luck to you and your staff.
     
  6. languageisheartosay

    languageisheartosay Occasional commenter

    I like DVD/program/handout+challenge to make sure everyone is paying attention!
    4d.org.NZ might suggest some useful discussion ideas re dyslexia/language, the Numicon DVD could be another idea, or the BT resources schools.

     
  7. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    minnime - that handbook sounds like a great idea and if you wouldn't mind sharing it I would be so grateful. I will send you a message with my e-mail address.
    languageisheartosay (I have always loved your username by the way) I agree with the structure - me talking at people would definitely not be the way to go! I have not heard of that site but I have added it to my list of things to look at this weekend :)
     
  8. I am starting as a SENCO this September so I read the replies to your
    question with interest and gratitude. Thank you everyone who sent ideas,
    they are so useful for us who are new to the role.


    RJR 38, have you thought of IDP (Inclusion Development Programme)? It was
    first developed by The National Strategies and was designed to provide
    training materials for mainstream teachers for children in with difficulties in 4
    areas:

    1) Children with Speech, Language and Communication difficulties (SLCD),
    2) Children with Behavioural and Emotional Difficulties (BED),
    3) Children with Dyslexia and
    4) Children with Autism (apparently it is estimated that 1 in 100 children
    have autism in the UK.)

    They have produced DVD material with information including mini video
    clips showing professionals talking and offering practical advice as well
    as mini case studies and quizzes. I am not sure where you can get these
    DVDs now - The National Strategies do not exist any more. However
    many local authorities have produced their own Professional Development
    material based on IDP. Leicestershire County Council is quite good. If you
    go to this site

    http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/education/going_to_school/special_education_
    needs/sen_sip_materials/sips-inclusion-development-programme.htm you will
    find a lot of information.
     
  9. All this specialist information is only for people lucky enough to work with one child or simalarly disabled children at a time. ALL special needs children have some sort of difficulty taking information in, processing information or expressing information. The techniques for helping these areas are useful in many situations. Get someone in to explain Erikson's theory of development as well as Maslow. Gettraining on brain function. Get training in speech pathology.
    ABA. For heaven's sake tell them about ABA! And also tell them that it is their job to <u>advocate</u> for children. That it is the school's job to identify need and to MAKE the system work. Tell them about AYP for heaven''s sake, explain to them that it is not their job to accomodate children but to move them FORWARD. Assessment, find one or devise one that tracks real skills and gives useful information.

    ABA - applied behaviour analysis
    AYP - adequate yearly progress
    Advocate - to identify need and to access services
     
  10. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Thanks evisimigdala - now you remember it I remember doing some of those IDP things myself at a previous school when I was a teacher and seem to remember I thought they were deathly dull and not very useful or practical... my memory could be playing tricks on me though so I will definitely take another look as some of the video clips in particular could be useful. (To be fair it could also be the person who was delivering the training was boring...)
    To the next poster (I am really sorry I can't see your user name) I think that the staff have had training linked to Maslow previously and I to be honest I am not sure I could advocate ABA - we have one child who is temporarily with us who has her own 1-1 ABA trained assisstants and so as a result I have done quite a bit of reading about it - from what I have read and seen happening with this child I disagree with it - it seems to make them into very 'parroted' type children who are only able to apply their knowledge in a specific situation and not across the board. Watching the assistants with her also reminds me of training a dog..... I know the class teacher isn't particularly impressed with the method either but it was a short-term arrangement and the child will not be with us next year. Perhaps it would be better for children with needs that are different to hers.
    I also am unsure as to why you say that specific training is only useful for those teachers who are able to teach 1-1? I have taught in a mainstream class (with high % of SEN) and a MLD unit - and in both places the training I had had on various 'conditions' was vital in a) helping me to understand the children and b) provide for them the best way I could. We should be differentiating the curriclum for these children as best we can, not trying to shoe-horn them in to a narrow version of it or maybe I misunderstood you?
     
  11. jenjen-uk

    jenjen-uk New commenter

    Hi, I've worked as an ABA therapist for 7 years both at home and in a range of schools - it really is worth a second look. As it is based around the ideas of systematic learning and positive reinforcement, its principles can be applied to many children, not just those on the spectrum!

    I can see how it might appear to be like teaching children a script, but the reasoning is that they learn the basics and then generalise them when they have the ability to do so.

    Admittedly, not all programmes are run well, but those that are can be incredibly beneficial, particularly with school support. PEACH are a charity that are happy to come into schools and offer training (and not just re: ABA but other intervention techniques too).
     
  12. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Hi jenjen,
    thanks for this insight - it is something I find interesting (after working with lots of AD chidlren in t he past few years and only just coming across ABA this year). I suppose it was the generalisation thing that concerned me - the child I have seen is unable to generalise anything she ha 'learnt' so far and she has been doing ABA for 9 months now. I am never one to rule anything out completely as I am well aware that different things work for different pupils. I will definitely look into PEACH though and see if I can find a good example of ABA working (after all it could be that the one example I have seen directly is being done badly etc - I wouldn't know)
     
  13. jenjen-uk

    jenjen-uk New commenter

    Yes, that doesn't sound like a great example you've got!

    Glad to help, it's something that doesn't work for every child but can genuinely be life-changing (when done well!)
     

Share This Page