Purpose of the consultancy:
The key purpose of a consultancy visit is to support your school in developing a whole school approach for mental health and emotional wellbeing for students and staff. As part of this, the visit will also pay special focus on supporting children with emotional and mental health difficulties. If schools are interested in applying for the Trauma Informed School Award this can be discussed. The visit is not an inspection, it is an opportunity for the school to show case the excellent practice it has in place and to identify areas for future development. Working with an experienced educational consultant you will have the opportunity to reflect on the next steps in the school’s development to ensure that all children and young people are supported to be mentally well and to live life well.
At the end of the visit the school will receive an independent report to celebrate success as well as identify areas to further develop. It will also consider the progress towards the Trauma and Mental Health-Informed Schools award and, if required, a recommendation as to anything they need to do further to satisfy the criteria.
Framework for Consultancy
Consultancy begins with a telephone conversation with the Head teacher or nominated Senior Leader in the school. During the conversation the scope of the consultancy is agreed and schools will provide the consultant with basic essential information. The dates for the visits will be agreed. Most schools will have two half day visits. These are usually 3 months apart. Following the first visit schools will have a number of agreed action points that they want to work on. The second or any subsequent visits enable schools to demonstrate progress in these areas and benefit from the advice and guidance of the consultant. Schools will receive a detailed report following each visit. The consultancy focuses on the way in which the schools are implementing the TISUK model of Protect, Relate, Regulate and Reflect and the way in which practice is embedded throughout the school.
Planning for the Visit
All activities both before and during the visit will be directly linked to the implementation of the Protect, Relate, Regulate and Reflect checklist.
Schools will need to provide a number of documents 5 working days prior to the visit. These include;
- Exclusions data
- Newsletters /website links
- Ofsted report
- Behaviour/relationship policies
- Completed implementation checklist (self – assessment)
- Finalised visit day timetable (based on suggested one)
During the visit
The visit provides an opportunity for the school and the consultants to work together to evaluate the journey the school has taken to support children with emotional and mental health needs and to consider the way in which it supports adults working in the school to be emotionally healthy. The following activities will take place during the visit;
- Discussion with Head teacher
- Discussion around governance and the knowledge and understanding Governors or Directors have regarding being a Trauma Informed School.
- Discussion with SLT lead for behaviour and care guidance and support in school
- Discussion with pupils, ideally some who have engaged in support programmes and some who have not
- Discussion with adults working in the school, this should include teachers and non-teaching staff as well as the TIS practitioners
- Observations of unstructured times, transitions, breaks, entry into school
- Observations of children in pastoral environments
- Review use of assessment tools used linked to social, emotional and mental health
- Discussion regarding Case Studies / good practice examples
- Feedback – A opportunity for the school to celebrate the achievements so far and consider next steps. Schools are also encouraged to feedback on the visit and discuss any further support they may feel beneficial.
Visits will start with an orientation tour, observations of the children arriving at school and a discussion with the head teacher. They will end with feedback to senior staff. Schools are encouraged to plan the timetable for the remainder of the day to reduce disruption to the working day.
After the visit
School’s will receive a report within 7 working days which summarises the outcomes of the consultancy visit. This will also make clear any recommendations regarding ‘readiness’ for applying the TIS UK Awards.
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