What training is provided for staff supporting children and young people with SEND?
All staff joining Oak Lodge School follow a carefully planned induction programme. They are allocated a learning mentor and have regular meetings with their line managers, until confident in the role.
There is a comprehensive Continuing Development Programme, with a mixture of whole school training and targeted training according to specific role in the school.
Given the changing profile of the school, whole school training has been tailored to reflect this; for example ‘Meeting communication and language needs’, ‘Managing the Sensory Environment’, ‘Meeting the needs of Visually Impaired and Hearing Impaired pupils’, ‘Meeting the needs of pupils with multisensory impairments’, ‘Epilepsy training’.
Identified staff have received additional training in meeting more complex learning or speech, language and communication needs, from our Speech Therapy team and Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association. Specific staff receive additional training in PECS and Makaton where appropriate. A significant number of learning support staff have received ELKAN training.
Oak Lodge School has on-going support from Hampshire Specialist Advisory Teacher service with further specific training offered to meet the needs of pupils with Physical Disability, Visual Impairment, including use of braille or Hearing Impairment. Identified staff complete moving and handling and additional hoist training.
Leaders and the Pastoral team complete the TEAM TEACH accreditation (positive behaviour management and safe handling course), this is fully refreshed bi-annually with additional regular refresher sessions and/or reflective practice. In addition all staff receive continued professional development with regard to positive behaviour management.
Given the high percentage of pupils on roll with a diagnosis of Autism, Oak Lodge School uses Autism friendly strategies throughout the school. It is a structured learning environment with a high level of visual support, based on the TEACCH approach. A number of pupils have individual work stations or bays as appropriate to meet needs. New staff receive basic autism awareness training during their induction and a significant number have been TEACCH or PAATHS trained.
Oak Lodge School also has support from Hampshire Educational Psychology service, either as whole school training e.g. ‘attachment difficulties’, ‘ADHD’ or as smaller year group consultation sessions to help support individual pupil’s access to learning.
Our therapy team also offer small group consultation sessions as necessary to help staff identify barriers to learning and put strategies in place to help overcome these.