If anything the programme has triggered some good debates and discussions within our Children and Young People Division on how crucial and relevant MacIntyre Great Interaction work is.
Indeed, adopting the MacIntyre profile in our recruitment process has never felt so right. It is our duty to ensure that all
employees working in services have the right attribute to work with vulnerable children and adults and that we are all trained in recognising and reporting abuse and wrongdoings.
Our ongoing effort to ensure accessible complaint information and access to appropriate training is vital and, most importantly to me, given staff the support to implement what they have learnt in their workplace.
Also crucial, is MacIntyre’s effort to develop the skills of all managers to understand what makes for good practice and to take appropriate actions to make change happen.
On 12 July, all managers from the Children and Young people Division will get together to discuss the challenges faced by our services in ensuring the embedding of Great Interactions across our provision.
One of our challenges is to ensure that the decisions that we take about how best to support the learning of the children and young people are never influenced by negative attitudes and beliefs about the nature of their disabilities, their status as young adults and their place in society, but by informed views of effective teaching and learning. Clearly, staff at Winterbourne View had very negative attitudes and beliefs and had lost complete
sight of what good practice should look like.
An additional challenge for our Division, is to go away from what is called the “Velcro approach”, where 1:1/2:1 support is used intensely in both our schools and college. MacIntyre Great Interactions book states that “we have an obligation to learn how to provide services that promote choices and control”. In our work, it is common to feel that we need to retain a degree of control if we are to adequately “protect” and provide for the Children and Young People in our
I have often observed that many of our children and YP (especially those with very complex behaviour and communication difficulties) rely very heavily upon staff to translate their thoughts, their wishes, etc… Our staff is clearly very skilled in making sense of their particular mode of communication, of understanding the cues, satisfying the needs and of managing behaviour that challenge. This is good but could sometimes be counter-enabling.
Too much reliance on staff means that when interactions are unsuccessful, when we are failing to understand the cues, satisfy needs or manage behaviours, this often triggers irritation and aggression.
For Children and Young People services, one of the key implications of MacIntyre Great Interaction is finding ways of giving more control and greater participation in the learning process, moving the focus away from teaching practices to students learning, away from meeting the ‘coping needs of students’ towards meeting their learning needs.
In our meeting in July, we will explore the importance of making sure that our curriculum offer and interactions
focus on promoting independence at all times and that we are facilitating learning to give individuals more control and reduce dependency through:-
Holding high expectations
Making judgements about when to assist (and checking assumption regularly)
Sharing and agreeing objectives with individuals
Utilising high degrees of responsiveness which are consistent
Respecting learner pace
Giving explicit feedback
As a Head of
Operations, I recognise that our methods/approaches can have a profound impact
on an individual sense of self and social and emotional well being as well as on
their attitudes and beliefs about themselves as a person. Watching Panorama
makes you realise that we cannot afford to get this wrong.