Person Centred Planning is at the heart of reviewing pupil progress at Crownbridge Special Day School, Torfaen. This model has transformed their learner review process and includes information from the pupils, parents and a range of partners. Crucially, this approach has improved pupil performance.
Number of pupils: 95
Age range: 3 - 19 years
Date of Estyn inspection: March 2014
Context and background to sectorleading practice
Crownbridge is the only special school in Torfaen, and includes a satellite site at Penygarn Primary School (Pontypool). Just over two thirds of pupils are of statutory school age. Pupils’ needs include severe learning difficulty, profound and multiple learning difficulty, autistic spectrum disorder, as well as various genetic disorders, sensory difficulties and challenging behaviours.
At Crownbridge, we became increasingly aware that pupils with complex learning needs were not able to take a full part in reviewing their progress. This is because, the review process, as an annual event, recorded only a ’snapshot’ of their progress.
We realised that the reviews did not meaningfully capture the perspective of pupil, their parents or carers, or the views of the key strategic partners who work closely with the pupils at the school. We therefore asked two HLTAs to research the potential of various models. We adopted Person Centred Planning (PCP) as this was the most appropriate model for our needs. We provided whole school training on how we would use this model.
Nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice
Our initial improvements to the review process were successful. However, as we became more experienced in this methodology, we realised that we could make even better use of person centred planning if it became an intrinsic element to all our work at the school. With this in mind, we developed person centred planning to be a central thread through all the planning and reviewing activities at the school, so that
individual pupil pathways were designed using this framework.
Over time, the same methodology developed to form the basis guiding staff professional reviews.
Impact on provision and learners’ standards
Our whole-school approach to person centred planning has fundamentally altered provision at Crownbridge. This is because we now start all individual provision planning by seeking out information from pupils, their parents and the wide range of partners involved with them. We listen to the other people who know our pupils and this helps us understand better their interests and what motivates them.
We have realised that the constantly evolving, rich picture of what is ‘important to’ and ‘important for’ the pupil, and ‘what is working’ and ‘what is not working’ form the most useful basis of individual programme and pathways planning. Now, when we plan for pupils’ needs, we have much broader information about them. Our improved information informs medium and short term planning and interventions, including the planning of timetables. We now have quality information about individual pupils’ learning styles and experiences and consider this to provide a balanced curriculum provision. This qualitative approach, combined with effective use of quantitative information about pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills, means nearly all pupils make excellent progress in meeting agreed targets.
We evidence this improved pupil performance with rigorous monitoring and evaluation of pupil attainment data in ‘key skills’. We also survey the views of parents and other partners who work with our pupils.