The Trust is proud to have been recognised as an example of best practice in a book authored by renowned practitioners with decades of experience in special needs education. The book called ‘A guide to best practice in special education, health and social care’ explains the changes in governmental policies across the education, health and social care services and what they mean for young individuals, parents and professionals. The book provides innovative examples of how change is happening on the ground through conversations and case studies with professionals and families.
SW Regional Lead for OHC&AT, Julia James, was delighted that the work of the Trust was included in the book and that work at Bedelsford School, where she is Principal, is also included in the form of an interview and case studies of two pupils at the school. Orchard Hill College is also featured as a Case Study and the book explains how Orchard Hill College Academy Trust was set up.
In the book Julia explains some of the advantages of being part of a Multi Academy Trust:
“More special school places and services are needed and we have, for example, been able to work together with LAs to open satellite provisions for Autism Spectrum Disorder and pupils who have pathological demand avoidance (PDA). We want to develop more outreach through being part of the Trust including developing our own mental health services which we can share with others.”
The case studies featured in the book provide examples of how Bedelsford School has identified the barriers to learning in two pupils. In one example, assistant head teacher Jessica Webb, explains how a pupil was taught to use “yes/no” cards to give a consistent response and was taught to use auditory scanning in a PODD (pragmatic, organised, dynamic display) book to access increasingly complex vocabulary. As the pupil developed their communication skills, they were assessed to have made a huge leap in their cognitive age bracket.
The other case study reported on work done to prepare a pupil for future medical appointments. As this pupil had become very distressed by previous hospital visits, the school helped to prepare a hospital passport which explained how they communicated as well as important medical information that could be shared with the medical staff. The SaLT team also produced a social story based on what would happen in hospital which the school and family read to the pupil every day. The teacher provided the parent with Makaton training for key signs and also engaged the pupil in role play to get them used to what would happen when they were admitted to hospital. Despite the pupil’s initial apprehension, the parent reported that this hospital visit had been much less traumatic than on previous occasions.
It is fantastic that the work of the Trust has been recognised in this book by Dr Rona Tutt OBE and Paul Williams. It has been described as an essential read to those working in schools and professionals across health and social care.
If you would like to find out more please click the link below to the book publisher