The disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on disadvantaged students.
Significant barriers to accessing home learning opportunities due to very early developmental levels of students, fleeting attention spans and the need for high levels of adult supervision at all times.
Families struggling with poor housing, financial hardship and lack of respite opportunities for their young person.
The co-morbidity of complex communication, behavioural, mobility, sensory processing and medical needs present significant barriers to learning for all St Ann’s students.
Strategy aims for disadvantaged pupils – academic achievement
Evidence of impact
Students who are returning to school after long periods of Covid related absence in the Spring and Summer terms 2020 are supported to re-engage in a wide variety of learning activities.
Baseline assessments in the Autumn term 2020 indicate the recovery curriculum required and each student begins to engage in motivating learning activities and makes good progress
Students become more proficient in using their preferred methods of communication.
Good progress from their starting point in terms of their personalised communication MAPP Learning Intention.
Students become more proficient in developing and applying their cognition skills
Good progress from their starting point in terms of their personalised cognition MAPP Learning Intention.
Strategy aims for disadvantaged pupils – wider outcomes (e.g. independence)
Evidence of impact
To address students’ complex postural management issues so that each young person has better access to learning activities.
NHS and School Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists successfully work with class teams and parents/carers to address changing postural management needs of students so that each individual is as comfortable as possible and facilitated to physically engage in learning activities.
To reduce the impact of students’ complex sensory processing difficulties so that each young person has better access to learning activities.
School Occupational Therapist and Speech and Language Therapist successfully work with class teams and parents/carers to assess individual student needs and develop appropriate sensory integration programmes so that students remain calm and are better able to focus on learning activities.
To reduce the impact of students’ complex behavioural needs through teaching co-regulation and self regulation strategies.
The School’s Positive Behaviour Support Team and Occupational Therapist successfully work with class teams, parents/carers and clinical psychologists as appropriate, to review and monitor students’ individual positive behaviour support programmes. RAG data over time demonstrates that individual students are utilising co-regulation and self regulation strategies to reduce the number of ‘crisis’ red episodes experienced.
Teaching priorities for current academic year
Release of members of Extended Leadership Team to work with class teachers and therapists to further develop and implement the newly created five curriculum pathways.To support class teams to undertake baseline assessments for each student and devise personalised recovery learning programmes
To re-visit the Communication MAPP Learning Intention for 2019/2020 and provide repeated opportunities for practising the component skills of independence, fluency, maintenance and generalisation.For class teams and the S< team to work together to assess and promote each individual student’s communication skills and to determine the next Communication MAPP Learning Intention that is most appropriate for each student.
To re-visit the Cognition MAPP Learning Intention for 2019/2020 and provide repeated opportunities for practising the component skills of independence, fluency, maintenance and generalisation.For class teams and the multidisciplinary team to work together to assess and promote each individual student’s cognition skills and to determine the next Cognition MAPP Learning Intention that is most appropriate for each student.
Barriers to learning these priorities address
Supporting students to make good progress against the core curriculum areas of communication and cognition, so that they have a voice, can make choices and are moving towards becoming more independent.Inconsistent attendance at school due to shielding, positive Covid-19 cases, need to self-isolate on more than one occasion, high levels of parental anxiety etcA different learning experience for those students in school, normal structure of school day disrupted and curriculum curtailed eg no visits permitted into local community, sports facilities, FE Colleges etcInability of many students to access home learning opportunities because of the their complex disabilities and family situationRegression experienced by many students because of lack of stimulation and regular targeted input
Cost of additional Teacher and TA release time £5,330
Wider strategies for current academic year
School will identify and through an agency employ a qualified Paediatric OT to work at St Ann’s a total of two days each week.The OT will work with school based and NHS therapists to better meet the postural management needs of students so that improved access to learning is achieved and the student is supported to make good progress.
Ongoing training for all staff in meeting sensory processing difficulties.School will identify and through an agency employ a qualified Paediatric OT to work at St Ann’s a total of two days each week.The OT will work with school based and NHS therapists to better meet the sensory processing needs of students so that improved access to learning is achieved and the student is supported to make good progress.
Ongoing training for all staff in Positive Behaviour Management strategiesThe School’s Positive Behaviour Support Team and Occupational Therapist will work with class teams, parents/carers and clinical psychologists as appropriate, to reduce the impact of students’ complex behavioural needs through teaching co-regulation and self regulation strategies.
Barriers to learning these priorities address
Improving students ability to focus on learning activities and make good progress through having their postural management and/or sensory processing needs identified and met.National shortage of Paediatric Occupational Therapists to support school based access to learningInability of NHS North West to provide a Paediatric OT that the school could ‘buy in’ as in previous years.Logistics of enabling sessional members of wider multidisciplinary team to meet on a regular basis either virtually or in person to discuss student needs
Contribution towards cost of two days a week OT input (through an agency) £14,725
Monitoring and implementation
Ongoing high quality training for a very large staff group consisting of teachers, therapists, teaching assistants SMSA’s and non teaching staff.
Use of INSET days, twilight training sessions, curriculum meetings, morning briefings, multidisciplinary team meetings and online training opportunities.Use of Senior Teaching Assistants to cover teaching staff when appropriate.
Ensuring that each student is placed in the most appropriate curriculum pathway group.Devising a highly personalised learning plan for each student
Whole school CPD on identifying Learner Characteristics of each cohort and consensus on where each student is placed.Highly skilled and experienced members of Extended Leadership Team leading on development of curriculum pathways and personalised learning plans.High quality ongoing training on assessment and implementation for all staff
All students require Occupational Therapy input to meet postural management needs and/or sensory processing needs. Close liaison with parents and carers will maximise the impact of such interventions.
Through employing our own OT (to access school-based learning) we will have the autonomy to maximise the impact of this scarce resource and put in place sustainable, personalised programmes that can successfully support students’ wellbeing and their ability to learn across a variety of different contexts.
Review: last year’s aims and outcomes
Students make good progress against all five of their personalised MAPP Learning Intentions.
Partly achieved up until March 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic, National Lockdown and limited school provision during the spring and summer terms impacted on all aims and outcomes for the academic year 2019/2020.
To work with NHS and school Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to set up new joint PT/OT clinics at school attended by each young person’s parent/carer.
Partly achieved. Clinics were set up and when all parties were present these worked well up until the onset of Lockdown. Prior to this some clinics were cancelled either because the NHS Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist were unavailable or the young person was absent from school
To review and improve the quality, nutritional value and diversity of food provided to students throughout the school day.
Partly achieved through partnership with Chefs in Schools. Following a rigorous recruitment process during June 2020 we were able to appoint an experienced Chef and Sous Chef who began in post at the beginning of the Autumn term 2020.
To recruit an appropriately experienced Occupational Therapist (two days each week) to support school based access to learning.
Not achieved. After identifying a paediatric OT on two separate occasions both fell through before contracts could be set up. The national shortage of OT’s and then the impact of the pandemic meant that we were not able to engage the services of a school funded OT in the academic year 2019/2020. During the Autumn term 2020 the search resumed and we were able to appoint an agency paediatric OT in November 2020