University of Edinburgh

Self-Evaluation by Peripatetic Sensory Services

Quality Assurance in Education Authority Peripatetic Sensory Services

KEY AREA 4 Learning and Teaching

Aspect 4.1 Quality of support for the teaching process

Ref: HGIOS performance indicators 1.3, 4.4, 5.3

Some features you might look for:
Theme i Staff roles and responsibilities

a) Service staff understand fully the nature of learning in children/young persons with hearing/visual impairments and this understanding informs practice (e.g. for children/young persons with hearing impairments the development of language (oral and/or sign) and the impact of language across the curriculum is addressed).
b) Service staff are fully conversant with: national education guidelines, pre-school to post-16, as relevant.; their education authority's policy on inclusion; local mainstream practice; schools' development plans. This knowledge informs practice throughout the Service.
c) All personnel associated with the Service fully understand the role and responsibilities of the peripatetic teacher of children/young persons with hearing/visual impairments.
d) Mutual respect and trust are engendered and underpin all working relationships (e.g. pupil/teacher, Service teacher/class teacher, Service teacher/members of other agencies.
e) Staff take active responsibility for liaising and collaborating with mainstream colleagues in the planning and preparation of IEPs/an elaborated curriculum.
f) Staff take responsibility for liaising and collaborating with all associated specialists (e.g. teacher of support for learning, guidance teacher, mobility officer, speech and language therapist, etc).

Theme ii Planning, practice and evaluation

a) At times of transition, Service staff actively plan and support the transition between pre-school centres and schools, between schools/resource bases or other forms of provision, and from school to further education, training or other services.
b) Pre-school home visiting teachers plan IEPs taking into account: the needs and communication mode of the individual child/young person and the wishes of the parents in this regard; the curriculum framework for the pre-school years or other curriculum framework; the range of professionals involved in setting targets.
c) Service and mainstream staff take full account of the barriers to learning which a child/young person with sensory impairment encounters. Appropriate elaboration, and alternative teaching approaches, formats and communication strategies are provided in order to meet individual identified needs (eg; with children/young persons who have a visual impairment, use of braille/large print/audio tapes and appropriate technology).
d) Assessment of progress following intervention is coherent and on-going.
e) Within a mainstream environment a range of teaching approaches and options is available which can be matched to the needs of the child/young person with sensory impairment: direct tuition, co-operative teaching, support for class teaching and/or advice to mainstream colleagues.
f) Intervention by Service staff ensures that targets, tasks and activities proposed by mainstream staff are well matched to the needs and aptitudes of children/young persons with sensory impairments; that resources, including ICT, are well chosen; and that teaching approaches are such that the children/young persons are likely to achieve the targets set.
g) Staff carry out self-evaluation to identify both their strengths and the areas of practice and/or knowledge which may require development and improvement. Staff have information about the sources of advice and support which are available to them from within the Service and from other sources.
h) Staff's record-keeping on all aspects of their work follows practice guidelines, is up-to-date and comprehensive. The records are available for consultation with parents/carers, children/young persons, mainstream colleagues and other associated professionals (e.g. health and social work personnel).

KEY AREA 4 Learning and Teaching

Aspect 4.2 Quality of learning

Ref: HGIOS performance indicators 1.1, 3.2, 4.7

Some features you might look for:
Theme i Quality of child's/young person's experiences

a) At option time, children/young persons are fully consulted about their curriculum choices and their experiences and interests are taken into account.
b) Children/young persons are enabled to achieve their full potential, experiencing the successes appropriate to their talents, abilities and long term needs. For children/young persons with hearing impairments this may include the acquisition and development of alternative communication approaches and skills (e.g. Sign Language).
c) The identification and development of alternative learning techniques results in children/young persons demonstrating self-confidence and high self-esteem.
d) With support, children/young persons establish clear learning goals and are successful in attaining them. IEPs, Forward Plans and/or Action Plans are instrumental in this process. Care is take to ensure that the support provided does not intrude upon peer relationships or decrease the child's/young person's independence.
e) Children/young persons are encouraged and empowered to become actively involved in their own learning and are able to think independently. They are able to manage their specialist equipment/systems and to interact effectively with associated support personnel.
f) Children/young persons are given opportunities to discuss their learning with adults and have developed confidence in their ability to do so.
g) Service staff use praise effectively to encourage children/young persons and to give them confidence in their ability to succeed.
h) Communication systems are in place to enable all children/young persons to participate fully in all matters that concern their education and social welfare.

Theme ii Meeting learning needs

a) Prior to a placement or transition, Service staff liaise and collaborate regularly with mainstream staff and make them aware of the barriers to learning associated with sensory impairments. In-service training is provided if required.
b) In classrooms, children/young persons are positioned appropriately, with adequate resources to meet their physical needs and to maximise access to the curriculum. The operation of any specialist equipment used is monitored to ensure optimum benefit. 
c) Children/young persons are given opportunities to develop skills which will help them to access learning (lip-reading, braille, note-taking, signing, working with communicators/interpreters, etc.)
d) Service staff contribute to the development of a school ethos which encourages and implements effective inclusion, provides children/young persons with opportunities for full social integration with peer groups and ensures equality of opportunity.
e) Children/young persons have opportunities for social interaction, if they wish it, with peers who have similar impairments. Staff provide opportunities for dealing with PSD issues specifically associated with a child's/young person's sensory impairment.
f) Children/young persons have a clear understanding of the roles and functions of support specialists with whom they come into contact (e.g. speech and language therapist, specialist careers adviser, mobility officer, educational psychologist, etc.).

KEY AREA 4 Learning and Teaching

Aspect 4.3 Assessment

Ref: HGIOS performance indicator 3.4

Some features you might look for:
Theme i Mechanisms for assessment

a) Methods and materials used for assessment of coursework and attainment are standardised and suitable for use with children/young persons who have sensory impairments. They are available in a range of formats and languages.
b) Assessment includes assessment by competent specialised staff of the child's/young person's additional communication skills.
c) Service staff undertake on-going assessment of the child's/young person's developing skills and compile a comprehensive and accessible profile of their progress. This informs and directs forward planning and target-setting.

Theme ii Additional features of assessment procedures

a) Information about the special arrangements available to examination candidates with sensory impairments is disseminated to mainstream colleagues.
b) If necessary, additional evidence of the child's/young person's progress towards participation in national assessment procedures is recorded. The purpose of this is explained to the child/young person, parents/carers and mainstream staff. Effective use is made of the information.
c) Assessment includes audiological or functional vision elements in order to provide the data needed to apply national guidelines on assessment of children/young persons with sensory impairments.

Theme iii Service responsibilities

a) Learning outcomes and progress are reviewed regularly by Service staff. Progress reports are compiled to complement mainstream practice, including Future Needs Assessment, and are communicated to all relevant personnel, including parents/carers and children/young persons, using appropriate formats.

KEY AREA 4 Learning and Teaching

Aspect 4.4 Links with parents/carers

Ref: HGIOS performance indicators 3.5, 5.2

Some features you might look for:
Theme i Dissemination of information to parents

a) Full and balanced information about the sensory impairment and its implications for the learning and teaching process are available for parents/carers.
b) Full, unbiased information about the options available for educational provision and support is supplied by a multi-agency team which includes a member of the Service staff. For parents/carers of children/young persons with hearing impairments, this information includes information about the communication options available.
c) Information for parents is provided in appropriate formats and languages (e.g. signed videos, brailled documents.)

Theme ii Contact with parents/carers

a) Families of pre-school children, if they require them, are offered regular home visits by a member of the Service staff.
b) Procedures are in place for regular reporting to parents/carers about the child/young person's progress.
c) Parents/carers are consulted about changes to policy or practice which will affect educational provision for their child.
d) Parents/carers are fully informed about the levels and patterns of support which their child receives from the Service and participate in all planning/review meetings.
e) Parents/carers have opportunities to liaise with all staff, including non-teaching staff, who support their child.


KEY AREA 4 Learning and Teaching

Aspect 4.5 Support for children/young persons with sensory impairments: additional features

Ref :HGIOS performance indicators 4.1, 4.2, 4.3

Some features you might look for:
Theme i Personal and social development

a) The pastoral care of children/young persons with sensory impairments is enriched by awareness-raising activities undertaken by the Service to ensure that all mainstream agencies and personnel associated with the child/young person are fully aware of the nature and implications of the sensory impairment and its implications for inclusion.
b) Children/young persons have access to appropriate personal and social education programmes and to counselling/dialogue/discussion with adults who also have hearing/visual impairments.
c) Children/young persons have opportunities to develop good interpersonal relationships with mainstream peers. This is initiated/enhanced by provision of awareness-raising activities for all children/young persons who are given opportunities to learn about sensory impairment and, where appropriate, to learn Sign Language.
d) Children/young persons with sensory impairments are encouraged to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and are supported if necessary.
e) Children/young persons with sensory impairments are encouraged to take part in activities organised by voluntary non-statutory groups such as NDCS and RNIB.
f) Children/young persons with sensory impairments have opportunities, if they wish, to communicate with other young people who have hearing/visual impairments. If necessary, they are provided with advice on acquisition and installation of the necessary equipment (e.g. textphone, internet).
g) Service staff and other personnel recognise that children/young persons with sensory impairments often experience fatigue and that opportunities to relax and have some degree of privacy are important aspects of their personal and social development.
h) The network of support provided is regularly reviewed with the child/young person to ensure that he/she is neither overwhelmed by support nor becomes over-dependent on it.

Theme ii Confidence and self-esteem

a) As early as possible, the child's/young person's opinions are sought and mechanisms are put in place to involve them in decision making.
b) The child/young person has an understanding of his/her rights and responsibilities appropriate for his/her age and level of maturity. Confidence and self-esteem are enhanced by this understanding and by the knowledge that their opinions and judgements are valued.
c) The child/young person is aware of anti-bullying, anti-harassment and equal opportunities policies and practices as they relate to both school and home.
Theme iii Quality of vocational guidancea) The vocation guidance offered is relevant to the needs and achievements of children/young persons with hearing/visual impairments.b) During the process of vocational guidance the full range of support mechanisms and resources is deployed.

Theme iii Quality of vocational guidance

a) The vocation guidance offered is relevant to the needs and achievements of children/young persons with hearing/visual impairments.
b) During the process of vocational guidance the full range of support mechanisms and resources is deployed.