Nasen Awards Winners Announced

Who are the winners of this years nasen Awards? Which award did Axcis sponsor and why? Find out here!

Winners video released by nasen

If you’d like to watch the winners video, you can do so here on the nasen website – this video announces all the nominees along with the winners in a beautifully put together short video.

Who won the Axcis award for “Provision of the Year”?

Axcis were thrilled to sponsor a nasen Award again this year. In a previous blog, we introduced the schools which were shortlisted for the Provision of the Year award. We are now thrilled to share with you the winner! Drumroll please….

And the winner is…. Prince Albert Primary School

Round of applause please! We are thrilled for the worthy winners! Here’s a reminder of the reason for nomination:

Prince Albert Primary School have created a bespoke Nurture Group Provision to support children with complex SEND across all year groups. The group has developed into something that provides high quality personalised support for children with significant needs including Autism in a bespoke environment.

What Prince Albert had to say about their nomination:

The staff at Prince Albert work hard to ensure that every child has their needs catered for. We are thrilled that the school is being recognised for its inclusive provision and particularly the work of our nurture group which has been a great success since its implementation.

Who are the other winners?

All the nasen Awards winners are announced in the video (linked above) or if you’d prefer to read through the nominations and winners for each category, you can see them all here on the nasen website.

Why does Axcis sponsor the nasen Awards?

As proud supporters of nasen, Axcis have sponsored this wonderful charity for a number of years now. We feel that they add a great deal to the SEND sector and deserve our ongoing support. We love being involved in the nasen Awards because we know how hard so many of the people in the SEND sector work and want to show our appreciation in any way we can. We feel that the nasen Awards are a great way to do that. We look forward to the 2021 nasen Awards and hope they will return to the all singing, dancing and celebrating evening they were before the COVID pandemic hit! In the meantime, we’d like to extend our thanks to the team at nasen who did a great job of making sure this event wasn’t cancelled in 2020 – a year when education staff need our appreciation more than ever!

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Where can you find Axcis on social media?

Which social media platforms is Axcis Education Recruitment active on? Where can you hear about our latest giveaways, training, special needs resources and SEND news? Find out here.

Facebook

These days, anyone who is anyone is on Facebook, and Axcis is no different! Many of our candidates connect with us on this platform and our aim is to share useful SEND news and resources as well as the odd lighthearted post to keep you smiling throughout the week! Find our Facebook page here.

LinkedIn

This professional platform helps us to stay connected with many of the SEND leaders and influencers in the industry. This means that we are often the first to hear about new reports, research and developments in the SEND sector – meaning we can share them with you! Find the Axcis LinkedIn profile here.

Youtube

Check out the Axcis YouTube Channel and see what our latest video offerings are. From interviews with SEND professionals to SEND information and useful advice on prepping for an interview, we’ve got you covered!

Instagram

We love sharing photos of what our mascot, Axcis Andy is up to as well as celebrating things like teacher awareness days and charitable events we are involved with. Keep up with us in pics via the Axcis page on Instagram. We also love to be tagged in education related content, so feel free to give us a mention if you spot something interesting!

Twitter

This fast-paced news platform has a bit of a blink and you’ll miss it feel! So dip in regularly and keep up with our featured jobs, news and developments in the SEND sector. Feel free to connect with us for a chat using @axcis – we love to hear from you! See below for our latest Tweets:

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

5 COVID safe Halloween activities

Not sure about the safety of traditional trick or treating or having a Halloween party this year? Why not take a look at these other suggestions for COVID safe Halloween activities you can do with the kids instead?

Happy Halloween from Andy and Lionel!

1 Halloween treasure hunt

Why not organise a treasure hunt instead of trick or treating this year? There are plenty of different ways you could do this. For example:

  • You could organise different friends and family in the area to display a letter in the window of their houses – kids take a note pad and pen with them, you provide a map and they have to go and “find” all the letters and unscramble the word to get a prize of an individual bag of sweets when they tell you the spooky word that’s revealed. This could also work around a more condensed school or home setting but perhaps without the map element.
  • Rather than “collecting” letters, you could have children do the above but with spooky Halloween animals/items – for example you could put up pictures of spiders, pumpkins etc. and the children could complete a spooky checklist of all the ones they find before collecting their treat at the end. To add to this idea, you could put a number with each item and ask the children to add up the total to get their prize.
  • Pumpkin trail – why not keep it simple and just take your children for a walk and to see how many pumpkins they can spot? You could award a sweet for each one they find.

2 COVID safe trick or treating

If you are planning on going trick or treating, take a bottle of hand sanitiser with you and encourage children to clean their hands between each house visited, and wear a mask as part of their costume. If you are keen to still be able to offer something sweet to door-knocking trick or treaters this year, why not steer clear of the communal bowl and put out individual sweets instead to help limit the spread of the virus? But how can you do this? Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Put a carved pumpkin outside your home with individually wrapped lolly pops pushed into it (essentially using it as a stand). Children can then take a treat for themselves without touching any of the other lolly pops.
  • Offer sweets such as individually packaged small Haribo bags or fun size chocolate bars. But instead of putting them in a bowl, hang them using some string from a “spooky treat tree” in your garden and invite children to collect one each.

3 Online Halloween quiz

Why not organise a spooky quiz and get a few friends involved via Zoom (or any other video conferencing application)? You could still dress up and put your favourite Halloween music on in the background to give it a Halloween party feel? It could be a “just for fun” activity, or the organiser could have a box of sweets on hand ready to deliver to the winning household. For quiz question ideas, have a look online – the NSPCC offer a short/simple quiz, and this website also has plenty of ready-made quiz questions for you to use.

4 Fancy dress/dance off competition

Don’t fancy a quiz? Why not use Zoom to run a Halloween Fancy Dress or Dance Off competition with friends/family members? You’ll need to assign someone as the accepted judge and make sure they are taking all entries into account fairly but this is an option which may suit younger children more than doing a quiz – after all, who wants to sit still, listen and do writing? Not my 6 year old!!

5 Tricky treat hunt!

In the same way that you might have an Easter Egg Hunt in spring, why not organise a Tricky Treat Hunt for Halloween this year? If doing this for a group of friends and family to join in with, treats should be hidden outside and well spaced out to encourage children to socially distance. It is useful if the person doing the hiding keeps track of where the treats are so that they can give any children who are struggling to find something a helping hand! Children also love a torch! So if you are doing this at night, why not give them a torch each to do their hunt with? (It will also help you to keep track of where they are if you are doing this in a particularly dark area!) Make sure that the children know not to swap torches or treats if doing this in a larger group.

Submit your ideas

If you have any other ideas for COVID-safe Halloween activities, why not add them to the comments below? We’d love to hear from you!

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Preparing for a video interview – top tips

Do you need hints and tips to help you to prepare for an online video interview? If the answer is yes then look no further! Whether it’s Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Teams or any other platform, this guidance will help you to present yourself well and make a great first impression.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Watch! Our latest video offering online interview advice

If you are more of a video content consumer, then you may prefer to watch our latest YouTube offering on how to prepare for a video interview. The link is below. If you’d rather read the guidance then keep on scrolling…

1 – Background

When setting up for a video interview, think carefully about your background – you want to make sure that your setting looks professional, so be careful not to set up your camera with things like dirty washing up or laundry in the background. Do not set up in front of a television (especially if it is on!) and be careful of locations with windows in the background – the extra light will make your face look dark plus you may invite distractions from passers by. Instead, choose a background like a picture (not a mirror!), a plain wall, a bookshelf or some other neutral setting. Sitting outside can be a good option because natural light always looks good, but check the weather forecast because you do not want to end up with a broken phone or laptop if it rains!

2 – Camera angle and framing

When you are setting up your phone or laptop in preparation for a video interview, you should also think about the camera angle. If you find yourself looking down at the camera, it probably won’t be the most flattering angle and if your phone/laptop is too high, it isn’t likely to look terribly professional. Instead, aim to have the camera on your device at about your eye level. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to sit at a table on a chair. Then use books, kids building blocks – whatever you have – to create a stand for your device until the camera sits at about the same height as your eyes. This will create the illusion of sitting across a table from your interviewer and will be the most professional looking setup. You should aim to have your head and shoulders in shot – think news broadcaster and you should get your framing about right.

3 – Internet connection and battery backup

An intermittent internet connection is the nemesis of a video call! It is very frustrating for both sides if the call keeps dropping out/going blank/jumping around or losing audio. It is therefore of great importance to make sure that you either sit near your router or have a good 4G signal to ensure that your video interview proceeds uninterrupted. It’s also worth making sure that you are near a power point as video calls really eat up battery power – make sure you’re plugged in!

4 – Appearance

If you are not going to be able to demonstrate your classroom skills as part of an initial interview, then how you look and what you say becomes even more crucial. So take the time to smarten yourself up. Wear something neutral – try to avoid spots, stripes and bright colours – keep the focus on you and what you are saying rather than on your jazzy attire! At least from the waist up… if your legs are not in shot then your interviewer(s) will never know if you have your leggings and crocs on under the table!

5 – Practice makes perfect and eye contact counts!

Eye contact on a video call isn’t the same as it is in person. If you look at the face of the person on the screen, it will not give the impression of eye contact to them. Instead, make sure you periodically look directly into the camera of your device. This will really help to create a connection with your interviewer. It is also a good idea to practice talking to the camera, recording it and playing it back before your actual interview. How does you look? Do you need to smile more, talk more slowly? A quick practice or two will really help you to identify and improve on these things.

6 – Use interview advice and be yourself!

Once you are set up for a video interview, all the standard advice applies. If you find it hard to relax and get in the “zone” for an interview or just need a reminder of what you need to consider to perform well, then this blog might help. If you have never worked in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) settings before, then this advice may also be useful. Lastly, be yourself! It’s the only person you can be so try to relax, be honest and clear with your responses and if the job is right for you then the rest will work itself out.

GOOD LUCK!

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Does my child have ADHD and how can I support them?

If you suspect that a child in your home or classroom has ADHD, this article might help you to decide whether a formal assessment is necessary. We also provide tips on how to better support a child with this condition.

All aboard the ADHD train!

Does my child have ADHD?

It is important to note that there is no one definitive clinical test for ADHD, Many students have problems with self-control periodically and it is difficult to know when this is ‘ordinary’ development or when it could be as a result of ADHD. Clinical and psychological assessment, developmental and psychiatric history and observational reports will be taken into account when making a diagnosis of ADHD. ADHD symptoms must have been present before the age of 12 years, for the duration of at least 6 months, must be occurring in more than one place (for example both at home and school). They must also be inappropriate to the student’s developmental age and must be seriously disruptive to their performance. In a nutshell, diagnosis of ADHD can be difficult – and to make things even trickier, ADHD is commonly seen in individuals who have other developmental difficulties such as ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) or autism.

A quick checklist for ADHD symptoms

However, if you are looking for a brief checklist of characteristics typical of children with ADHD, they may have ADHD if they:

  • have trouble paying attention
  • interrupt or intrude on the conversations or games of others
  • find it very difficult to wait their turn for things
  • talk too much and shouting out answers (possibly before questions are even completed)
  • get up, run around or climb things during class or in situations where they should stay seated
  • squirm or fidget frequently
  • forget things easily
  • become easily distracted
  • lose things such as toys, homework etc
  • avoid tasks they don’t want to do, or do them grudgingly – especially if sustained mental effort is required
  • struggle with planning or organising themselves or activities
  • have trouble following instructions or finishing tasks
  • often seem to ignore or not listen to others when spoken to directly
  • make careless mistakes

Providing support at school and at home

Whether or not a child has had a formal diagnosis of ADHD, if they exhibit the symptoms listed above, they may benefit from an adapted approach at home and/or school.

Supporting ADHD at school

Some of the things you could try doing at school to support a child with ADHD include:

  • Seat them with a less distractible student or on their own
  • Seat them near the front of the classroom and away from windows and other distractions
  • Make a seperate workstation available in a corner/against a wall which they can use if they feel overwhelmed or unable to concentrate
  • Try to let them have a preview of the work they will be doing – this will prepare them in advance and prevent them from feeling uncertain or insecure about what is going to happen.
  • Keep your lesson content varied and stimulating.
  • Varying the tone and pace of your voice can help to keen them engaged with what you are saying
  • Keep learning experiences fresh and interesting
  • Allow opportunities for independent, creative tasks – children with ADHD are often very creative
  • Encourage them to tell you if they don’t understand the work. The key is to reinforce instructions as many times as possible and remain positive at all times
  • If something needs writing on the board, use this as an opportunity to let an ADHD child get up and move around the classroom in order to do something constructive/which is part of the lesson
  • Give them any other jobs/tasks that allow them to move around in a controlled way
  • Break tasks into smaller chunks
  • It can sometimes help concentration to have non-vocal music playing in the background
  • Try to find alternatives to writing where possible if the child finds this challenging – eg recording their work as a video or typing it on a computer
  • Use a “cue phrase” to help if attention seems to be waning – i.e. “wait for it”, “here we go”, “nearly there now!”
  • If a child with ADHD calls out in class, try a general rather than personal reminder that it’s very difficult to teach when people call out.
  • If you are running a reward scheme, establish a private signal in advance with the student so that this sort of development will not win points. For example, visually tapping the reward card/chart
  • After break time, offer a “settle down” activity. It might be appropriate for a child with ADHD to start the lesson slightly before their peers to give them chance to settle and be ready to start learning again
  • Reduce or differentiate homework – it can take a child with ADHD about three times as long to do the same assignment at home when compared to the school setting. It may also be appropriate to offer a homework club at lunchtime and allow them to do their work then
  • Address the student by name
  • Keep instructions short and simple
  • Try to make eye contact so you know the student is paying attention to you
  • Don’t ask why they aren’t doing a task, instead ask what they should be doing to re-direct them
  • Use when, then and either or – for example, “Cooper, when you have put your book away, then you can go out to play”
  • Use praise and rewards generously but specifically – i.e. pinpoint exactly what you are giving them praise for to encourage them to do more of this in future

Supporting ADHD at home

There are many points in the list above that will be applicable at home as well as at school. For example, keeping tasks clear and concise, seeking eye contact when giving instructions and offering lots of specific positive reinforcement as well as opportunities for physical outlet. In addition to the points above, it is well worth parents or carers taking the time to foster a close level of communication with the school. This will allow you to discuss what strategies are working, what is less effective and to try and keep expectations consistent between home and school. This will allow your child to transition from one environment to the other with less stress, anxiety and uncertainty.

Have anything to add?

If you are a parent, carer or education professional with knowledge or experience of supporting children with ADHD and you have something to add to the above, then we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps you’d like to write us a guest blog? If so, check out our guest post guidelines here.

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

The impact on education professionals’ mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19

Education Support is a charity dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the education workforce. They recently commissioned a report into the mental health and wellbeing of education staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. It reveals a profession feeling unsupported and unappreciated. Find out more here.

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

2020 – an unprecedented year for education

In March 2020, schools across the UK closed their doors to the vast majority of pupils as the country went into lockdown. Exams were cancelled or delayed and teachers had to rapidly learn new skills in order to offer distance learning options to their students. Alongside this, many schools stayed open in order to offer a provision to vulnerable and keyworker children. This provision also stretched into school holidays – a time when most education staff would usually have had the chance to decompress and recharge after a busy term. Ahead of schools reopening in September, staff had to undergo training, put new processes and procedures in place and adapt the classroom environment and school policies to give children the safest possible start to the new school year. There has been much focus on the impact of Covid-19 on child mental health – but what about the education staff who have also had so much to deal with this year? How have they coped?

About the report

Education Support commissioned a YouGov Survey to look into the wellbeing of the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. It forms part of the upcoming Teacher Wellbeing Index to be published later this year. The research was carried out with 3034 education professionals in schools and colleges ahead of the end of the Summer term and reveals a workforce who feel unsupported and unappreciated.

Key findings

As cited on the Education Support website, teachers and education professionals were asked if they felt their work has been valued during the pandemic. Whilst feelings of appreciation within their immediate communities was high, this dropped dramatically in relation to external relationships, including government and education departments:

  • 61% felt appreciated by the parents and carers of the pupils and students they have been supporting;
  • 81% by colleagues and 72% by their Senior Management Team. 
  • Only 15% felt appreciated by the UK Government.
  • 18% by the UK’s respective education departments. There are national differences with 43% feeling appreciated in Scotland, 21% in Wales and 15% in England.
  • 12% by the general media.

Alongside these feelings of under-value, the lack of clear guidance and direction from the UK Government emerged as a consistent and dominant theme.​

The urgent need to strengthen expertise and specialist support for staff in schools to maintain and strengthen their and children’s mental health and wellbeing was also demonstrated. Whilst the majority (58%) accessed the support of family and friends to help cope with the pandemic, a quarter (24%) said they hadn’t accessed any support at all.

In terms of skills and attributes most needed now when adapting back to school or college after lockdown, 56% said they felt the ability to quickly adapt to new circumstances was the most important attribute or skill and for staff working from home, 41% were concerned with ensuring pupils and students were safe.

Commenting on the findings, Sinéad Mc Brearty, CEO of Education Support said:

“At a time of economic, social and emotional recovery, the education workforce is focused on supporting children and young people to find their feet, recover learning and re-establish relationships.  Their success in doing this will directly affect the life chances of a generation. Yet at this critical point, we find that those working in schools and colleges feel poorly supported and unappreciated by government in particular.

“There is a clear message here from teachers:  involve us in decision-making, provide clear guidance, give us the time and resources required to support children and young people through this historic event.

“The education workforce has been purposeful and adaptable during the pandemic. It is time now for government to demonstrate respect, value and trust in the profession. Done well and quickly, this will provide a huge boost to morale across education.”

The Teacher Wellbeing Index 2020 will be published in November.  This will be the fourth large-scale survey benchmarking the mental health and wellbeing of education professionals in the UK. The report will reference and broaden some of the findings of this report. 

Read the full report

If you’d like to read the full report, it can be accessed here.

What support services can education staff access with Education Support?

If you are a member of the education workforce and have been struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic, why not take a look at the resources available to you with this wonderful charity? They have support materials available for a range of needs – so whether you are feeling anxious, depressed, or have personal or financial issues that you need help with, why not take a look?

Donate and help Education Support

If you’d like to help keep these essential services running, why not make a donation or do some fundraising for Education Support? Their fundraising page can be found here.

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

What are the nasen Awards and who has been shortlisted for the Axcis award?

What are the nasen Awards? Which one does Axcis sponsor and why and who has been shortlisted? Find out all this and more here!

Lionel is awards-ready!

About the nasen Awards 2020

Each year, nasen host an annual awards campaign, which celebrates the achievements of individuals and organisations within the SEND sector. Each year they round off the campaign with a special banqueting ceremony, which takes place in October, in central London. However, this year things will run a little differently. Nasen have taken the (sensible) decision to cancel the live awards ceremony/dinner. Instead, they are producing a video which will be released on the 16th October and will announce the winners publicly – so watch this space, if you’re a winner, you could be a movie star!

Why have Axcis sponsored an award?

Axcis are long-term sponsors of nasen. We hold this charity close to our hearts and support many of their endeavors, from training and resources to events and campaigns. This year is no different! We are still keen to celebrate the hard work that SEND provisions are making up and down the country – especially considering the additional pressures they have faced throughout the coronavirus pandemic. To reflect this, we are sponsoring an award again this year, just as we do every year! (We don’t mind that we are missing out on a fancy meal.. it’s not about us, after all!)

Who has been shortlisted for the “Provision of the Year” award?

Axcis are sponsoring the “Provision of the Year” award. Here are the schools shortlisted for the award:

Abbot’s Lea School

Abbot’s Lea School and its successful supported internship programme that promotes equal employment opportunities for students with Autism and associated complex communication, learning and social needs. Based in Liverpool Abbot’s Lea is an outstanding school that specialises in the highest quality holistic education for nearly 300 young people, age 3-19 with Autism and associated complex communication, learning and social needs.

Prince Albert Primary School

Prince Albert Primary School have created a bespoke Nurture Group Provision to support children with complex SEND across all year groups. The group has developed into something that provides high quality personalised support for children with significant needs including Autism in a bespoke environment.

What Prince Albert have to say about their nomination:

The staff at Prince Albert work hard to ensure that every child has their needs catered for. We are thrilled that the school is being recognised for its inclusive provision and particularly the work of our nurture group which has been a great success since its implementation.

Meadow View Farm School

Meadow View Farm School caters for up to 36 boys and girls SEMH needs. The aim of the school is to work with the children and their families to help them to learn how to manage their behaviour enabling them where possible to return to mainstream or area special schools. MVFS has a strong belief built around “readiness to learn”.

What Meadow View have to say about their nomination:

We are really excited and have everything crossed, for us, with the nature of the work we do, the nasen awards is really important. We feel really proud to be shortlisted and it reflects the dedication and commitment of everyone at MVFS. I hope for everyone in our community that we are successful next week. This will show that everyone has the potential to achieve and that when passion and vision are combined, the barriers to engagement in education will be lifted. 

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to find out more about the nasen SEND Awards, you can find out all about it, including all the other categories/nominees here. Don’t forget that we also have lots of other things going on with nasen at the moment. You can enter a giveaway to win one of their SEND CPDL Annual Webinar Passes here, or you can watch an interview with their CEO, Professor Adam Boddison here. In the interview, he talks about the COVID pandemic and how schools can safely manage their staffing.

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Watch! Exclusive COVID and School Staffing Q & A with nasen CEO Professor Adam Boddison

This week, Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive for the charity nasen was kind enough to spend some time answering our questions relating to school staffing and the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more and watch the full video here.

Who is Professor Adam Boddison?

Adam is the Chief Executive of nasen with responsibility for strategic direction and operational delivery across the full breadth of nasen’s activity. He is the main point of contact for the board of trustees and has a close working relationship with the Department for Education (DfE). He has supported the DfE on operational concerns relating to COVID-19 through his role as Chair of the National SEND Reference Group.

Who are nasen?

The National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen) is the UK’s leading organisation supporting those who work with or care for children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities. Nasen supports all staff including SENCOs, leaders, teachers, governors and teaching assistants in meeting the needs of the pupils in schools and other settings through promoting education, training, and development. Axcis has been supporting nasen for a number of years and our relationship has gone from strength to strength. From sponsoring key events and exhibitions to contributing to publications and the SEND Gateway, a valuable online resource for SEND professionals, Axcis is pleased to be affiliated with an organisation doing such great work.

COVID-19 and School Staffing Q & A with Professor Adam Boddison

With many schools concerned about how they can meet the needs of their students during the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked Professor Adam Boddison if he could spare some time answering some of the questions we are being asked by the schools we work with. How can they safely use supply staff? What questions should they be asking agencies? And how can they keep themselves, their students and the wider community safe during this difficult time? Adam has the answers!

Watch the video here!

WIN a nasen Annual Webinar Pass!

In this interview, Adam tells us all about the nasen Annual Webinar Pass which usually costs £200. At Axcis, we are thrilled to have one FREE PASS to give away to one lucky winner. Find out more about this giveaway and enter here for your chance to win it.

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Axcis October Giveaway: Building Positive Behaviour

Our October giveaway offers you the opportunity to win a copy of Graham Chatterley’s recently released book entitled “Building Positive Behaviour”. This is a fantastic resource that offers supportive, practical advice for managing challenging behaviour.

About the Prize

In Building Positive Behaviour, Graham Chatterley aims to get educators looking behind what is causing challenging behaviour by breaking down many of the potential causes. The book then offers a scaffold and sequence to build it all back up to meet the individual needs of all pupils. We should never be satisfied with some children falling through the cracks and with the right ethos and culture, they won’t. The change in this culture starts with staff. By increasing understanding of why challenging behaviour occurs it not only benefits the children but the staff also. Many staff take poor behaviour personally when in reality they had little to do with it. Children develop many survival strategies that often come in the form of a mask. This book will help staff to see behind that mask and hopefully reduce the need for it. With an empathetic approach based on validating children’s feelings rather than fixing the behaviour the side effect is calmer classrooms and better learning for all.We have the blocks, let’s build them! Instead of dealing with what’s in front of us. with a rewards and sanctions based approach which will work for the majority. Let’s use a sequential approach that works for all. The Strugglers, the Disruptors and the Disengaged alike. The ‘Sequential Approach’ offers another way that many educators have been looking for.In Building Positive Behaviour, Graham Chatterley challenges the reactive nature of those traditional systems in favour of a proactive response to behaviour, based on identifying and meeting the needs of the minority of pupils who find school sytems overwhelming. The book is overflowing with pupil examples of where the sequential approach has been used to positive effect , providing the reader with a scaffold, areas to prioritise, a sequence to follow and resources to help implement. This book is suitable for any educators who want a culture of prevention rather than cure.Graham is open and honest about his initial struggles trying to find his way in teaching and how that turned around, who were his inspirations and examples of people/schools who are doing it well right now.Anybody who wants to learn more about what is behind behaviour, looking for a blueprint of how to create a positive learning culture for all or anyone who is curious about their being another way, then this is the book for you.

This is a brilliant, honest, brave, well-informed and eminently practical book. Graham has drawn from his wealth of experience in mainstream schools and alternative provision as well as his deep knowledge, to produce a really helpful guide to working with pupils who present what we sometimes call “challenging behaviour” (Graham prefers the term “dysregulated.”) Giving many examples from his own broad experience, Graham, who openly admits he didn’t always get it right himself, explains how and why a sequential approach can work to produce ‘calmer children, calmer classrooms, more learning.’ Every now and then he interrupts himself with a ‘Pause for Thought’ question, inviting us to reflect on our own practice. Particularly timely in 2020, as our children return from lockdown, this is a book for all seasons. I wish it had been around 30 years ago, because I too didn’t always get it right.

JOHN COSGROVE, RETIRED HEADTEACHER, AUTHOR

How to enter

To enter our free monthly giveaway and be in with a chance of winning this great prize, you can either take a quick peek at our Facebook page, Tweet us, or sign up on our website for work and you’ll be in with a chance to win. Follow the link below and you’ll be sent to our third party giveaway page (run on there to keep things fair and square) – where you can choose your method of entry and get your name in the hat for your chance to win.

ENTER THE FREE GIVEAWAY HERE

Are you looking for SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Individuals with autism “left stranded” during COVID-19 pandemic (guest post)

Our partners at the National Autistic Society have kindly provided this guest post for the Axcis blog.

The coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone. But it’s left many autistic people and their families completely stranded. Its unprecedented and extensive impact on autistic people across the UK, has greatly affected their lives, routines and wellbeing. In order to highlight the impact that the coronavirus has had on autistic people, we at The National Autistic Society have partnered with Ambitious about Autism, Autistica, Scottish Autism, and the Autism Alliance, to produce a report that outlines this devastating impact.

Left Stranded highlights the many challenges currently faced by autistic people. Findings from the report include that, between June and July:

  • 9 in 10 autistic people worried about their mental health during lockdown; 85% said their anxiety levels got worse.
  • Autistic people were 7 times more likely to be chronically lonely than the general population; and 6 times more likely to have low life satisfaction
  • 1 in 5 family members responding to the survey had to reduce work due to caring responsibilities.
  • 7 in 10 parents say their child has had difficulty understanding or completing school work and around half said their child’s academic progress was suffering.

The responses show that coronavirus and the lockdown deepened existing entrenched inequalities. The disruption, uncertainty and pace of change triggered huge levels of anxiety and for some was made worse by the withdrawal of support from social care, education and mental health services.

Call for action

Left Stranded calls on the UK governments to create an action plan to protect autistic people and their families from any future waves of the pandemic, and to address existing inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic by investing in support and services.

We welcome you to sign our open letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, calling on him to invest in autistic people’s futures, ahead of the Spending Review this autumn. This would cover social care, health, education, transport and shopping and set out how the governments will avoid using the powers in the Coronavirus Act that limits councils’ duties to support disabled people.

Case Study

Since March, Sylvia White has been shielding at home in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland with her 20-year-old son Luca. He is autistic, has learning disabilities and requires a lot of support. Yet Sylvia has seen this support drop away during lockdown and has been desperately trying to fill in the gaps. She felt like she couldn’t go on, like there was no-one to run to.

Sylvia, who is 53, said: “I’ve been shielding with Luca since March, we were practically house bound with no support. I’m on my own and he needs 24-hour care. In normal times he would attend a day service five days a week and go for respite 36 overnights a year with a council run service. But both these services have been suspended due to the pandemic and I’ve been told there won’t be respite for the foreseeable future.  
 
“I understand why the day service isn’t running as it’s not possible to socially distance. But his respite care is given in a self-contained bungalow with one member of staff and there’s no sharing of facilities. I feel we’ve been abandoned. 
 
“The last four months have taken a toll on both of us – I’m on my own since my mum died just before lockdown – and my mental health has really suffered. I need a rest – Luca doesn’t sleep well and we’re up most mornings between 4 and 5 am. Earlier this month I really didn’t know how I could continue. I couldn’t see a way out.
 
“Fortunately, we have now had some good news. Luca now has two carers coming to the house and we’ve now got extra funding for them to support him overnight. It’s not ideal having someone in my house and I have to leave when they are here otherwise it wouldn’t work for Luca, but it has made things a lot better. I know there are many other autistic people and families struggling out there and hope sharing our story will mean we’re not forgotten.”

Further information

  • For information, guidance and tips about coronavirus, visit the National Autistic Society’s Coronavirus Hub
  • For confidential support and advice, including our Autism Helpline, visit the Help and Support section of their website.

Are you seeking SEND work or staff?

If you’re looking for a SEND teaching or support job in England or Wales, why not register with Axcis, the SEND recruitment specialists? Or perhaps you need to recruit staff for your school or provision? If so, why not take a look at the Axcis Website, or get in touch today to find out how we can help?

Top
%d bloggers like this: