Person-centred Practices and the Graduated Approach

08 December 2015 | By Tom Waters

In a new blog, Gill shares some thinking about the Graduated Approach in Schools

I am always thinking about how we use person-centred practices in schools and how we can maximize their benefits for everyone. We know that this is an approach that is helpful for all children, young people and staff in schools.

As we know, person-centred practices are a range of practical thinking tools and processes like Person-centred reviews. These tools are essentially methodical ways to ensure that we know what matters to – and for – each child or young person, recognising that each has a unique style of learning, communicating, building relationships and making decisions.

Whilst using these tools can really help with the development of an Education, Health and Care Plan or Individual Development Plan if in Wales, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the power of using them with children and young people who do not have a plan but do need some additional support.

Person-centred practices are a perfect fit with the Graduated Approach to SEN Support. This approach clearly puts the “child and the family … at the heart of the process” and supports the fundamental belief that “all those who teach and support pupils with SEN have the highest aspirations for them”.

So, how can person-centred practices help schools to deliver the Graduated Approach? We have been thinking about this and have recently mapped person-centred practices to the Graduated Approach. We have learnt that, at every stage, person-centred thinking tools can help in gathering information, planning action and review.

Starting with a One-page Profile means that right from the start of the Graduated Approach the child and family are at the heart of the process. Where person-centred practices are used across the school, it may be that more detail may be added to an existing One-page Profile to develop a One-page Profile Plus.

Then at each stage -Assess, Plan, Do, Review – there are a whole range of person-centred practices that can support school staff to learn about pupils, make plans, put this learning into practice and reflect on this. In our tool kit we can have tools, for example, to help us to have conversations about aspirations, explore the best support to pupils in decision making and reflect on progress.

If you would like to know about what we have been exploring about person-centred Practices and the Graduated Approach, please let us know and we will share more of our thoughts!

Gillg@helensandersonassociates.co.uk

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