The educational special needs teams at Gwynedd & Isle of Anglesey County Councils have been working with CPI for around 10 years, after identifying a need for consistent training across all of the areas’ schools.
CPI training was already in place in some schools and so positive results had already started to be seen. The desire for further good outcomes across the Welsh regions led to CPI being commissioned to deliver behaviour and de-escalation training that would cater for the 119 junior schools and 17 secondary schools across both Gwynedd & Isle of Anglesey.
When the training began it was in the form of CPI’s generic MAPA® programme, which changed to the Pivotal MAPA® programme when that was introduced for schools.
Now, the authorities are in the process of transitioning to Safety Intervention, CPI’s new and upgraded version of MAPA® which has new elements such as the popular trauma content.
Over the years both Gwynedd & Isle of Anglesey authorities have had 8-10 trainers at any one time. While those individuals may have changed, the number of trainers has been kept steady to ensure a consistent level of delivery across the schools which vary from small rural schools with about 20 pupils, up to larger secondary schools with 1,000 pupils.
Thanks to the consistency of delivery across all the schools the headline impact has been that the number of physical interventions has been reduced considerably.
Training and Mentoring Teacher for the council’s Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion team, Bethan Page Hughes said: “I personally find the training and each renewal gives you a boost of confidence. I know the support I’m providing schools is within the guidelines as well as adhering to the Welsh Government’s guidance. Essentially, the training provides you with the confidence to know that you’re doing the right thing both in terms of the staff member and the pupil.
“There’s a similar impact on the pupils because when the staff member feels more empowered and confident, children feel better knowing there is a calm, consistent approach.”
The next need identified was that to have some of the training materials translated into Welsh.
“Because both Welsh and English are our official languages, we need to be able to offer as much as we can in both languages,” Bethan added.
“CPI was prepared to help us with that and so now we have some materials translated into Welsh and it’s really encouraging to know that they’re looking into what else can be translated to support us further.
“We’re also now looking at adding in Classroom Culture training to the other CPI programmes we currently deliver.”
How CPI has helped: Feedback from other trainers
The training centres around developing a whole school approach which ensures consistency for pupils, staff and parents.
It enables staff to label various levels of behaviour and to consider using supportive strategies in order to minimise disruption.
It enables staff to think about behaviour proactively and learn how to de-escalate situations. This raises their skill set and staff feel more confident when dealing with various behaviours.
It centres around the needs of a child and is therefore helpful in depersonalising situations. This means better experiences for both staff and pupils.
It guides staff members to make informed decisions when dealing with risks and when making support plans for individuals.
It guides on procedure on recording incidents using the right definitions and therefore enabling us to offer a concise and informed incident reporting system.
The focus on restorative practices is beneficial in order for pupils to develop their emotional intelligence and for staff to offer solutions and repair and improve relationships.
It helps us as a professional service to facilitate schools to create supportive plans rather than to discuss problematic behaviours without solutions.
I like the fact that I can make use of the website and support line if I get stuck. The information shared is practical and user friendly. The newsletters are also handy.
We as trainers have been able to have input into the task of re-drafting the LEA’s Physical Intervention report. The report now uses the same terminology used in Unit 8 and 9 and places more importance on planning post incident.