Part funded by the Exeter Primary Support Partnership.
A training course for SENDCOs, TAs, and practitioners responsible for or interested in social, emotional and behavioural development and Parental Engagement is now available through Exeter Consortium. The training runs for two days and covers attachment theory, working with families and the skills necessary to run the six session program entitled Family Workshops.
Trained staff from across Devon have said:
"Fantastic training, we have had groups of 26 parents coming every week and asking for more!”
"I have grown in confidence working with our families."
The training program, Running Family Workshops, is held over two consecutive days and is run by Jan McLean who has delivered a wide range of training and support for social, emotional and behavioural development in primary and secondary schools across Devon.
The course aims to provide a way to link home and school and to extend and complement approaches that support engagement with learning. The recent report, “Cracking the Code” from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission (Oct 2014) recommends the use of tailored strategies to, “engage and help parents to be effective in supporting their children’s learning”. The Sutton Trust released a report earlier this year identifying a connection between children who struggle to manage their feelings and behavioural difficulties and in turn their readiness to learn.
It is imperative to recognise the subtle difference between a parenting course and family workshops. These workshops focus on relationship building, listening, problem solving and mutual support between child, family and school.
On completion of the training participants will be equipped to run the Family Workshop program of six sessions over six weeks. Each session comprises 45 minutes of information sharing with parents, including practical activities and learning about development. For the remaining 45 minutes, the children join the group and parents get the opportunity to put into practice what has been covered in the theoretical session. The onus is on building non-judgemental relationships.
Feedback has been very positive, from families and schools:
"I have changed toward (child name) behaviour and our relationship has improved"
"I found I wasn't the only one who was struggling"
"It helped me to look at behaviour with a fresh view, I can help with his learning without it being stressful"
".. to be reminded that sometimes my behaviour needs to change...."
"Saying things in a more positive way has helped improve his behaviour"
"Really good fun and we have both really enjoyed the sessions"
"(Child's name) has loved me coming into school and he really looks forward to Wednesdays"
Feedback from schools notes that the impact has been, "Fantastic", as relationships between home and school have been developed and improved. Meeting each week also enabled relationships between families to be built as a shared understanding grew through knowing each other better.