Category Archives: Additional Support for Learning

Parkhill Secondary School: Preparing flexible learning pathways for young people with additional needs

Parkhill Secondary School in Glasgow has developed an exciting and innovative approach to preparing young people with additional support needs for the world of work.  In partnership with colleges and employers the school has established their own Enterprise Academy that provides pupils with  work-based learning opportunities and industry relevant qualifications.

Access the outline of the programme here:

The following film clips outline the format, experiences and impact of the Academy programme :

The school has used the Career Education Standard to reflect on the progress made in delivering against the expectations set out within the standard:

 

 

 

ILF Scotland Transition Fund Now Open!

ILF Scotland has now opened the Transition Fund! The Fund will initially support those aged between 16 and 21, who are at an important transitional stage in their lives.

The Fund will provide short term grants (with £5 million of funding available per year) to young disabled people, providing them with opportunities that facilitate their participation and inclusion within their communities, creating a lasting impact on their lives.

 

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“We want everyone in society to have the same quality of life, and providing support to disabled people is one of the areas we have worked on. This Transition Fund will support young disabled people to take up opportunities to contribute to and participate in their communities, to help them live as independently as possible.

“We have worked directly with disabled people to develop this fund and to ensure that we give people choices and treat them with the fairness, dignity and respect they deserve. I would encourage all those who are eligible to apply for funding to do so now.”

 

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:

“I’m delighted this fund is now open for application. Our Disability Action Plan lists a number of actions to transform the lives of disabled people in Scotland and that includes actions setting out to tackle the inequalities and barriers faced by disabled young people, including tackling social isolation, employment opportunities and improving lives at points of transition.”

Young disabled people will be able to apply to the Transition Fund for a grant to enable them to participate in activities in their communities they have never had the opportunity to before, such as joining a club or a class.

Ryan Cuzen, an individual looking to apply to the Transition Fund, said:

“I see this fund as a positive step forward and a gate opener for young disabled folk in transition to improve their lifestyle and to get out and about.

“I want to be able to try new adult orientated activities, like mixed martial arts, and applying to the Transition Fund would give me the chance to do this.

“The hope is that the fund will give young disabled people, including myself, more confidence and help to develop community social skills.”

Peter Scott, CEO of ILF Scotland, remarked:

“We are thrilled that our Transition Fund is now open, providing a real opportunity for young disabled people to break down social barriers, and to fully participate in their communities, enhancing their independence.

“Disabled people, their organisations and their carers have been at the heart of developing this fund and its implementation. We will continue to work closely with them to maximise positive outcomes and the impact of the Transition Fund for young disabled people.”

To find out more information about the Transition Fund, the full eligibility criteria and how to apply, please go to the Transition Fund section of our website here.

Equality & Inclusion: Good practice exemplars

The following four good practice exemplars have been published on the National Improvement Hub to highlight initiatives that help learners requiring additional support to develop skills and find employment.

Exemplar 1: Enable Scotland’s ‘Stepping Up’ programme

This innovative employability programme offers comprehensive support for young people aged 14 to 19 who have learning disabilities which takes participants from an initial investigation of the world of work, through a process of discovery and planning for their future, to engagement with employers in real workplace settings. Find out more here.

Exemplar 2: ‘Thinking Digitally’ – a new resource

This credit rate module by Lead Scotland allows candidates to develop relevant digital skills and build confidence operating in online environments.  More on this here.

Exemplar 3:  ‘TOPs’ – training opportunities for young parents

This programme run by Rathbone Training, a UK-wide voluntary youth sector organisation which supports young people aged 16 to 24 who have disengaged from society, aims to help young parents in their personal development. More here.

Exemplar 4: ‘Community Action and Leadership Award

This is a course created by the charity Lead Scotland so that more people can learn how to influence change and make a difference within their communities. More information here.

A different perspective

By Cat Thomson, Senior Development Officer, Enquire

The Young Ambassadors for Inclusion are aged between 12 and 18 and represent 22 of the 32 local authorities in Scotland. The group aims to:

  • Share young people’s views and experiences of inclusion;
  • Raise awareness of Additional Support for Learning with other pupils to reduce stigma and improve understanding;
  • Improve school staffs understanding of inclusion;
  • Work together to develop ways to develop and support inclusive education.

They are supported by Education Scotland, Enquire [the Scottish advice service for additional support for learning] and individual local authority staff.

In June, the young people took their messages about inclusion to the Scottish Cabinet.

“We want to be seen as individuals with our own set of unique strengths and skills.”

These are impressive words from Alistair, one of the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion who met Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney in June to share their views on inclusion and support in school.

During the meeting, 11 members of the group shared findings from their work. They were keen to raise issues they think it is important for policymakers, local authority staff, school leaders, teachers and support staff to hear and reflect on when making decisions about support for pupils with additional support for learning.

One of the first questions the Ambassadors considered was what inclusion means to them. Their comments make for interesting reading. Many of the young people saw inclusion as a positive thing making pupils feeling safe, accepted, and treated equally. Common messages were “everybody [should be] included in education regardless of need”, “being able to work together with a range of people”, “everybody involved, nobody left out” and “not being defined by any difficulties you have”.

A small number of Ambassadors talked about inclusion adding additional pressure to young people but the universal message was how incredibly important it is to young people to feel listened to, understood and supported. Comments included: “It’s good when we are listened to and asked what we need”, and “When staff have an understanding of different additional support needs and can understand certain behaviour it helps them understand why young people may act in a particular way.”

What works less well is when pupils feel excluded or unsupported: “Many class teachers and other staff do not have awareness of additional support needs, what that means for us and how to support in the classroom”, and “Pupils need access to all areas of the school and curriculum.”

A number of pupils wanted to encourage schools to give pupils with additional support needs the same opportunities as other pupils and not to make assumptions about their abilities, highlighting that sometimes trying something and not succeeding is better than not trying.

Key themes

Some of the themes they identified from their work included: raising awareness, friendship and belonging, positive attitude and support.

Raising Awareness

“Whole school awareness of ASN can support much better understanding and reduce stigma and isolation”

“Taking opportunities to share that people are different and you should not make fun of them.”

Ambassadors recommended that all teachers should have training on inclusion and the different types of additional support for learning pupils may have and how this might affect them in school.

They felt more could be done in primary school to raise awareness of additional support for learning and called for zero tolerance of bullying of pupils with additional support needs.

They suggested holding pupil conferences, taking part in national awareness weeks, putting on school assemblies led by pupils, or developing awareness raising days about specific issues such as mental health or LGBT.

Friendship and belonging

“I didn’t really feel part of mainstream school.”

Ambassadors called for schools to help young people feel more confident, build friendships and feel included. Schools should provide opportunities to take part in activities with peers.

Positive Attitudes

“Don’t segregate pupils with needs.”

“It helps to be patient.”

As one Inclusion Ambassador said to John Swinney: “We need to create positive stories about pupils with additional support need rather than focus on the negatives.”

Ambassadors felt schools should focus on raising awareness of the range of reasons a pupil may need support and how this might make a pupil feel in school, while also encouraging a more positive view of additional support needs.

“Supportive teachers in mainstream are crucial”

“Teachers need qualifications to work with pupils with additional support needs and medical needs.”

“Staff off and no replacement really affects learning”

Making it easy for pupils to ask for help and offer the right support

Sharing information about how pupils can ask for help and having supportive and empathetic teachers who can support pupil’s emotional issues was highlighted as helpful to encourage young people to ask for help when they need it.

Ambassadors stressed the importance of schools listening to pupils about the type of support they wanted in school. They also highlighted the impact of crucial support not being available to help them get the most out of school, with many reporting support had been reduced due to budget cuts. Others shared experiences of inconsistent staffing, and highlighted the impact this had on their learning and school experience.

Ambassadors encouraged schools to have a range of options for collected pupils views, including focus groups and questionnaires.

What next?

The Young Ambassadors for Inclusion are planning to create a pledge that schools can use to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion. They will also be involved in developing a support pack for schools, including a short film to raise awareness of inclusion, the range of additional support needs and the impact on pupils and their families.

This article also appears in August’s Children in Scotland magazine.

www.enquire.org.uk @ASLadvice

DYW Interesting Practice – Sanderson High School: Tailored learning pathways to meet the needs of all

Winners of the Scottish Education Awards 2017 – category:  Employability across Learning!

A whole school approach to DYW offers learners at Sanderson High School in South Lanarkshire a wide variety of career related and work-based learning opportunities that aim to inspire the exploration of future pathways.  The learning experiences within and beyond the curriculum not only provide learners with a significantly enhanced skills portfolio, tracked and referenced through profiling, but also ensure meaningful connections with the world of work and accreditation in the senior phase. As part of this approach the school created the subject ‘Education for Work’ which now forms part of the core curriculum at all levels. 

The school has also developed a Position Statement which states that “all young people will learn about the world of work; and where appropriate all young people will participate in suitable work experience; and all young people will have a clearly defined and individualised pathway from S1-S6, resulting in sustainable, meaningful post-school destinations.”

Staff use the entitlements from Career Education Standard 3-18 (CES) to ensure these aims are put into practice and audit the skills the young people are developing. For example, staff in each subject area match their curriculum and teaching and learning approaches to the relevant entitlements from the CES and the appropriate skills . The school has a good range of work placements for young people in the senior phase, which provides them with an excellent experience of the world of work and which links well to the curriculum.

There is also a close partnership with Calderglen High School on the implementation of DYW with learners taking up  volunteering opportunities at Sanderson HS.   Video clip: Volunteering at Sanderson HS

Find out more about the schools DYW approach by accessing the Interesting Practice in Skills DYW – Sanderson High School summary information.

Learning Families – Intergenerational Approaches to Literacy Teaching and Learning

“All of the programmes featured in this publication by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning  share valuable experiences and lessons. They reflect a view of effective learning families whereby each child is a member of a family, and within a learning family every member is a lifelong learner. Among disadvantaged families and communities in particular, a family literacy and learning approach is more likely to break the intergenerational cycle of low education and literacy skills..” (Elfert and Hanermann 2014)

http://uil.unesco.org/fileadmin/keydocuments/Literacy/en/learning-families.pdf

https://familylearningscot.wordpress.com/

Are you ready for the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014?

CYCJ_logoThe Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice could help 

The Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) supports improvement for young people who offend, contributing to better lives for individuals and communities by…

Providing advice and support

Their multidisciplinary team provide support to those who need it, from advising on individual cases to service and organisational level development. 

Events and training

Events and training opportunities are a regular ‘free of charge’ fixture of the CYCJ calendar, and include topics like the Children and Young Person (Scotland) Act 2014 and how it will impact on you and your organisation. This includes the role of the Named Person, Child’s Plan and links to local services like EEI (Early and Effective Intervention).

IVY (Interventions for Vulnerable Youth)

The ground-breaking Interventions for Vulnerable Youth Project (IVY) is funded by the Scottish Government to meet the needs of high risk young people Find out more at www.cycj.org.uk/ivy

A guide to Youth Justice in Scotland: policy, practice and legislation

CYCJ produces guidance to youth justice in Scotland, incorporating the latest legislation and policy changes. Download the current sections at www.cycj.org.uk/youthpracticeguide.

To find out more…

CEITIDH – FIRST GAELIC COMPUTER VOICE

Ceitidh Computer Voice

Ceitidh is now available from CALL Scotland’s Scottish voice website alongside “Heather” and “Stuart”, the two Scottish computer voices. Heather and Stuart are also licenced for the entire Scottish Public Sector.

The new Gaelic computer voice is licensed for the Scottish public sector, so it can be used by students in schools, colleges and universities, NHS patients, and employees in the public sector. CALL also has permission to distribute the voice to charities.

The Gaelic voice works on Windows and Macintosh computers and can be used to:

  • read Gaelic web sites, ebooks, textbooks, SQA exam papers and other curriculum resources;
  • check writing, emails, and social media posts – proofreading by listening can improve spelling and grammar;

The voice will be particularly helpful for Gaelic speakers with dyslexia, reading difficulties and visual impairment, but it should also be useful for anyone learning or working in Gaelic.

LEARNING IN CARE REFERENCE TOOL

LEARNING_IN_CARE
Click to open pdf

This document aims to support care staff working collaboratively with education staff to support children and young people with their learning in the care setting. It recognises that care staff are already supporting children and young people’s learning in care, and aims to provide them with practical examples which will assist services to further improve learning outcomes for children and young people across care and education. The examples of learning experiences which follow are organised in the 3 key curriculum areas which are the responsibility of all: literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.

Click here to open the document as a pdf.

Click here to discuss this in the Inclusion Hub on GLOW.

Voice Assisted Technology for Gaelic

The world’s first Scottish Gaelic Computer Voice is now available from CALL Scotland’s Scottish Voice web site. The new Gaelic computer voice is licensed for the whole of the Scottish public sector, so it can be used by students in schools, colleges and universities, NHS patients, and employees in the public sector.

Ceitidh is available from our Scottish voice website alongside “Heather” and “Stuart”, the two Scottish computer voices.

The Gaelic voice works on Windows and Macintosh computers and can be used to:

  • read Gaelic web sites, ebooks, textbooks, SQA exam papers and other curriculum resources;
  • check writing, emails, and social media posts – listening to what you have typed can help improve your spelling and grammar.

The voice will be particularly helpful for speakers of Gaelic with dyslexia, reading difficulties and visual impairment, but it should also be useful for anyone learning or working in Gaelic.

The development of the voice was funded by the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, SQA and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The voice has been created by CereProc, the world leading speech Synthesis Company in Edinburgh, working with Michael Bauer of Akerbeltz.

Read more at http://www.callscotland.org.uk/blog/filte-gu-ceitidh-a-chiad-guth-gidhlig-airson-coimpiutair/.