The Engagement Model

The DfE has now released the final guidance on The Engagement Model.
The guidance describes the formative and summative assessment of children as “not engaged in subject specific learning”. It will be statutory assessment in schools for those children and young people.

The guidance is an output of the Rochford Review , who have piloted the Model. It builds on the research led for the ‘DfE’, by Professor Barry Carpenter as part of the Complex Learning Disabilities and Difficulties project.

This project identified, through a systematic review of the international literature around learning in children with SEND, that ‘engagement was the single best predicator of successful learning in children with special needs/disabilities’ (Carpenter et al, 2015.)

From this solid evidence based, a pedagogy evolved through systematic research across UK schools, and a series of International trials , which created the Engagement Framework for Learning, ( www,engagement4learning.com) This includes the ‘Engagement Profile’ which aids baseline assessment, and gives insight into the learning pathways of the child with Complex Needs. The Engagement Profile is a classroom based planning tool which links to formative assessment . Both are compatible, and indeed inform , the summative assessment opportunities of the new Engagement Model.

Professor Robin McWilliam , Professor, Special Education and Multiple Abilities at the University of Alabama, USA , and a prolific writer on the subject of  Engagement  said of this new DfE publication ,”You are to be congratulated! In the U.S., we have “alternative assessment” for what, in the U.K., is known as pupils with complex needs. But states differ on what they use and none of them that I know of are focused on engagement. So, well done!

Professor McWilliam and Professor Carpenter, will present further on Engagement for Learning to an International Conference in Turkey in April, 2020 . The UK, which leads the World in so many aspects of special and inclusive education, has a major contribution to make in the area of assessment for children with Special Needs through this ground-breaking work from the Rochford Review.

Engagement Cover Image

Launch of the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People

The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People is now officially launched.

This is a combined launch with the updated Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting People with a Learning Disability.

The link to the download page for both frameworks is here: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/learningdisabilityandautismframeworks

Transition from child to adult health services

A qualitative study of the views and experiences of families of young adults with intellectual disabilities. A new article on this perpetually tricky issue.

Click article image to download and view

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JCN 2019 – Transitions ID and families pdf

New e-learning resource about premature birth for education professionals

For many years I have spoken about the need for teachers to be aware of children born prematurely, and the range of learning needs these children present in all classrooms in all settings at all ages and stages.
Indeed, evidence for the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities  Research Project ( Carpenter et al 2011,;2015) showed that children born prematurely, were presenting profiles of learning need the likes of which we, as teachers , had never seen before. They were  re-writing the Special Needs Registers of our schools.
In training I always advise teachers and school leaders to ask on the admission forms of every school (secondary included!)
“Is there anything in the birth history of this child that we need to know?”
This new resource for educational professionals, developed by Professor Samantha Johnson and her colleagues at Leicester University, now articulates through easy to access , high quality research and practice evidence, why we need a fuller and deeper understanding of how children born prematurely will learn and progress in our school system ,and what some of their learning challenges may be.
The e-learning resource can be accessed online for free here:
It was supported in its development by  Action Medical Research .
There is also a podcast with the editor of the TES about the development and evaluation of the resource and about the educational needs of preterm born children more broadly.
This can be accessed here if you would like to listen:

Designing New Learning Spaces for Children with Autism and Complex Needs

Some years ago I worked with a brilliant Architect, Christopher Beaver, to create new learning spaces for children with Autism and Complex Needs.
The information I used drew on two PhD’s I had been involved with, namely those of Dr Diana Pauli and Dr Tamara Brookes.

Linked below are a series of articles that reflect those discussions, deliberations and developments. These may be helpful in the context of the current expansion of specialist provision

To download these articles, please visit the below website link and click the blue ‘Download’ button.

https://app.box.com/s/2dl0ggl3zdtflgkcjbd4gje7ylmds4pp

Wellbeing Toolkit for Teens – by Dr Tina Rae

A must for all schools, this latest resource out of Nurture UK, http://www.nurtureuk.org) is invaluable for supporting the mental health of Teenagers .

Click below to download and view.

Well Being Toolkit for Teens Info Download

“Earlybird” Book – The Experience of Premature Birth

“Earlybird”  – the first book worldwide for parents and children to explore together the experience of premature birth.

Written by Dr Patricia Champion, MBE , Founder of the Champion Early Intervention Centre , in Christchurch , New Zealand , and an international expert in the field of prematurity.

“All the joys and worries of a prematurely born baby are tenderly and openly addressed in this lovely story as Mum, Dad and Pip welcome little Peri into their nest. This book will be calming and centering resource for families to read with their children following their time in NICU and long after as they continue to embrace their newest family member”.
Professor Linda Gilkerson, PhD. Erikson Institute USA.

The book is available internationally and can be purchased online at: http://www.championfoundation.co.nz

Click the below to download and view the Earlybird information sheet.

Earlybird snippet - download link

Evidencing Engagement: Developing an Evidence Gathering App for Observing Engagement in Early Childhood Settings

Barry Carpenter PhD, Hannah Picken, BA , Jill Wellings BEd, Alan Wood, BSc. (United Kingdom)

This paper was presented to the ISEI Conference in Sydney June, 2019.

Powerpoint (Converted to PDF) - Click the pdf icon below, to download and open.

PDF Download Icon - Link