Tradition dictates that the CEO writes the end of year blog so it’s rather daunting that Sarah has asked me to do so this year (no pressure!).
I have been in post for a year now and what a truly memorable year it’s been! I remember distinctly preparing for my interview and being fascinated by references on the website on DNA, Great Interactions, PBS (Positive Behaviour Support) etc and thinking wow how radical and innovative MacIntyre’s approach was in the way staff engage and communicate with people they support…. there is nothing better than experiencing this first hand and since starting I get to see daily our ethos, values and Great Interactions being practiced in so many creative ways.
My role evolved and changed very soon after starting so in addition to overseeing No Limits and MacIntyre’s school in Wingrave, I now also have oversight of the MacIntyre Academy Trust (we have 3 Academies currently). Bringing all our education services together has led to greater collaborations – the students across all our education provisions have an eclectic mixture of needs so we have differing pathways of learning which are based on the needs of our learners…
My first year has had so many memorable moments and it’s hard to know which ones to share as I am spoilt for choice, but here are a few…
Whilst visiting our No Limit’s office in Leicester, I was so proud seeing the journey our young learners have made, not forgetting the curry night where lots of money was raised for our garden project!
During my visit to MAP it was lovely to see that learners really are at the centre of everything we do and that they are supported in lots of different ways whilst finding what the right way is for them.
Setting up an Academy from scratch is a huge task and staff did a sterling job in ensuring that we were ready to open our newest Academy, Quest in Rugby, in September. I saw how the behaviour of concern shown by of one of our students was managed exceptionally well using Great Interactions.
The Roadshows brought me face to face with so many amazing frontline staff who do such an incredible job every day; seeing the smiles of the people they support spoke a thousand words (dressing as a carrot was a new experience too for me!)
Watching James (who was a 6th form student) make a delicious lunch at Endeavour house, in Oxford, and seeing staff using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) symbols and signing to support James to gain more control over different aspects of his life was Great Interactions at its best!
MacFest at MacIntyre school in Wingrave was a ‘mass’ of Great Interactions; the picture attached says it all. What a truly wonderful day it was as parents, children and young people, our staff and the wider community, came together to celebrate the work of the school.
I am delighted with the progress on the implementation of Intensive Interaction and in particular the number of staff becoming Competent Practitioners. Fiona Veitch, our school Principal has also completed this award; another great illustration of leaders leading by example. Further proof of the wonderful work that the teams have done around Great Interactions is evident in our many ‘Good’ Ofsted outcomes and the reduction of behaviours of concern across our education provisions.
I often find that I don’t always get the chance to properly take in all the fantastic work that happens within our services. It’s a priority for me going into the New Year to make the time and hopefully see many more of you in your settings first hand.
I want to thank all MacIntyre staff for their hard work during the year. We’ve had so many success stories. I have been inspired hearing about people’s achievements, which are only possible because staff give so much of themselves to ensure that people get the best possible support.
I have to mention the inspirational team of Directors and Sarah who have been so welcoming, supportive, encouraging and giving of their knowledge – they are also very tolerant of my many failings e.g. I have very little sense of direction or memory of facial recognition and names, which has led to some interesting interactions!
Across MacIntyre we have had some significant achievements in 2017 and I am confident we will continue to achieve more for all of our children, young people, adults and their families in 2018.
I know many of you will still be working but for however long a break you get, I hope you enjoy a well-earned rest over Christmas and have a very happy New Year.
Director of Education, Children and Young People Services