My guest blogger today is Emily, Lucy-s Mum. She shares a very important health warning for anyone using one-page profiles in school.
“I’ve just come back from a really positive meeting at school today.
Lucy’s had a one-page profile for several years now and so far things have worked out really well and she’s been supported with understanding and insight. Just before Christmas there were a couple of things that happened in school that had me worried. I realised then that we hadn’t updated her profile for her move from year 7 to 8 and perhaps this was why a few things were going wrong!
The first thing that had happened was when she got an after school detention for being rude to a teacher and not handing in homework ( that she’d done!). When I managed to calm her (and myself) down it turned out she had put her homework in her folder behind another piece of paper and couldn’t find it when she looked in class. She knew it was there and became agitated when it didn’t seem to be, her teacher said she would have to have a break time detention for not doing it and Lucy, unable to cope with the injustice, ended up being rude. She is usually very polite but has been known to get very upset when she feels hard done by! I was concerned that the whole situation could have been avoided if support had been provided to calm her down, to believe her and to help her go methodically through her folder.
The next thing that happened was when she ended up getting a huge amount of homework due in the next day because she hadn’t had support in writing this in her planner days and even weeks in advance . I estimated that this would take her about 3 hours with support and felt strongly this wasn’t a realistic expectation. Again this could have been avoided with a bit of thought!
So it led me to think that Lucy’s profile needed up dating and the teaching assistants working with her for some reason weren’t aware or familiar with the best ways to support her. I’m kicking myself that we didn’t update her one page profile at the end of year 7 but on reflection perhaps it had done it’s job so well in the transition from primary to secondary and Year 7 was so successful that we’d forgotten the importance of keeping it fresh and up to date!
Anyway back to our meeting. I had a really productive hour long meeting with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator and Special Needs Learning Coach. It turns out there’d been some supply staff in who hadn’t had access to Lucy’s profile (no surprise there) and the teaching assistant who has most input into Lucy’s pastoral care had been off for more than half a term. This TA has been fantastic and had been earmarked as the trusted adult available to Lucy if she felt anxious or upset (as outlined in her profile!). We agreed a couple of things straight away that would make Lucy feel more supported and therefore give her more happy, productive days and made it a priority to develop a new one page profile.
So I have learned a health warning about One-Page Profiles. This is that they have ‘use by’ dates and in future I’ll make sure that Lucy’s is fresh and healthy!”
You can see Lucy’s One-Page Profile here: http://www.personalisingeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/PDF29-Lucys-profile-for-school.pdf