Whilst at university I was twice part of the Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust to Lourdes. Among many wonderful memories, from thirty years ago, was the lunch time one child walked into the middle of the hotel restaurant to inform their carers they had just soiled themselves (different words used) carrying in the evidence. I also ended up in bed with one of the teachers from my former secondary school.
The rather unfortunate bed time arrangement was a consequence of a room with a double bed and two single beds plus two children who were incontinent. The realisation that the best sleeping arrangements involved the children having the single beds and myself and Paul sharing the double bed didn’t take Einstein’s help or many minutes to work out. Over a week of working, praying, eating and partying together you tend to get to know each other well.
The reflection below was shared with us as part of the pilgrimage.
Heaven’s Very Special Child by Edna Massionilla (December 1981)
Getting to Know You
In Special Schools children, some with profound and complex difficulties, are exceptionally well known and supported as individuals. The ethos of these schools, engagement with mutli-disciplinary teams and relatively small teacher to pupil ratios all help ensure that this deep personal knowledge of each child is used to help her/him develop and learn.
In a mainstream secondary school, although the level of need is less, it can be more complicated to ensure children with special education needs or disabilities are known as individuals. The particular challenges the children face need to be sensitively shared with all the staff they come into contact with in their different subjects. Equally, it can be quite a challenge for teachers to keep in the forefront of their mind the different difficulties faced by the pupils with special needs in their classes, as they move from one class to another during the school day.
Every now and again an idea comes along that is simple and simply genius. Kate our SEN Officer, from Blackpool Council, suggested developing a new type of profile to replace the IEP in response to the SEN Code of Practice (2014). Ruth from St George’s shared their approach and Hayley, our newish SENCO, adapted it into the document we have started using this term. The approach is pupil centred and seeks to share, from a pupil’s perspective, their needs and how best to help them. Many pupils with special educational needs or a disability don’t want a fuss, to be singled out or made to feel ‘special needs’. This often increases as they go through their teenager years. The One Page Profile is a sensitive, discreet and highly confidential document.
A copy of this exemplar is available below as a PDF
The process is pretty time intensive for our team of support assistants who sit down with each child and help them compile their profile. The support assistants already know the children well and this obviously helps. It’s a great team effort to produce all the One Page Profiles at the beginning of the year.
A PDF of the guidance to staff about the person centred conversation is below:
The One Page Profile sits within the department’s philosophy for Supporting Students with SEND.
“We are the champions for students with SEND. We aspire to ensure that all our students, irrespective of ability and regardless of anyone’s doubts, achieve their full potential. The motto of the Learning Support Learning House is “Learning Together, Achieving Together” and we fully recognise that some of our students require additional support during their journey with us. Our Learning Support team works closely with our SEND students and colleagues across all Learning Houses by supporting them in a variety of ways including in-class support, withdrawal intervention, exam access arrangements and mentoring. Our approach to SEND follows the recommendations of the new SEND Code of Practice with person-centred planning being at the heart of it. It is our commitment that we do our utmost to support, nurture, challenge and inspire students with SEND working in partnership with parents and carers. We celebrate even the smallest steps of progress, set realistic yet aspirational targets and strive to prepare students with SEND for the next step in their lives. We are privileged to support some of the most vulnerable students in our community for they are the ones we are called to serve.”
“A school is only as good as the progress of its most vulnerable, challenging child” (Packer, 2014)
Once completed the One Page Profile is sent home to the parent along with additional academic information about their child. It is shared with all teachers; many consider it the most useful information that has ever been given about children with special needs.
Please find below the One Page Profile template: