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Top Tips – Plan on a Page

Take a look at the Top Tips for creating ‘Plan on a Page’ that were shared at the SENCo Network Meeting.

  • Include photo of child and pupil voice – make it personalised.
  • Need to be conscious of the needs of parents/carers and ensure its ‘family friendly’ and accessible.
  • Share the ‘Plan on a Page’ with parents to show how Best Endeavours have been put in place to support their child/young person.
  • Some settings using plan on a page for all SEND children – positive response from parents. Information is gathered from class teachers to include an overview of provision.
  • In school, children are still able to continue with their normal support in some settings but not all due to staffing restrictions, therefore plan on a page may be needed for in school support too. 
  • Children without EHCPs - some schools have adapted provision maps so that parents can work towards their outcomes at home, meetings are held with parents to share these.
  • Good examples as a model of what schools were looking for – Best Practice examples can be found on the Resources page on the Local Offer/Support for Schools & Settings.
  • Some schools used their LSATs to write the ‘Plan on a Page’ and contact families at home for EHCP children – separate model examples for children coming in to school and staying at home.
  • Complete on a PowerPoint presentation – one slide per student.
  • Remember to include the difficulty in engaging the learner on the plan. 

The ‘Plan on a Page’ should show the Best Endeavours!

Top Tips - Strategies and Best Practice During Lockdown

At the SENCo Network meeting schools shared best practice and strategies they have been using during lockdown, please take a look.

  • Feedback about Class Dojo – a good response from parents has been received; it can be sent to individual parents as well as to the whole class
  • Hold a Teams meeting every morning with all home learners – short teaching session at the start of the day. Use smaller groups on Teams towards the end of the day to review their learning. This is also beneficial for family learning/teaching the parents. The School Office contacts anyone who doesn’t appear for registration
  • Morning register completed virtually through teams – children loving this – continuing to feel like a class and community
  • Using alternative platforms such as Purple Mash, Google classroom, blog, seesaw
  • Able to share videos back at school using dojo which is great for teachers to see how children are doing
  • Regular phone or Teams contact in addition to learning platforms – 2/3 times per week for SEND students
  • SEND engagement is enhanced through the personal contact
  • ‘Doorstep knocks’ with SEND pupils
  • Sometimes hand delivering activities to the home e.g. reading books, fine motor activities
  • Sharing adapted resource packs for parents so they can be done at home
  • Lots of motivational things sent home to encourage the parents as much as the children  
  • Teaching Assistants having Teams meetings with children at home
  • Learning mentor joins with the teams so not 1:1
  • Daily half hour SALT interventions being delivered virtually by Teaching Assistant’s/support staff
  • A couple of settings have sent packs out to parents including overlays etc. 
  • Most children with EHCP in school and offering provision in small groups
  • LSATs have also supported conversations with parents to encourage those with an EHCP to attend school    
  • Joint Teams consultation between home, school, parent and LSAT to support child’s needs.
  • EAL pupils/families having more contact with teachers in order to ensure that they can access the online work
  • Adapting and changing the plan on the page all the time 
  • One school is keen to try to keep the children away from the screen where possible, using practical work, should this be a similar endeavour for schools where children are always at the computer? 
  • More wellbeing activities being planned than normal - Teaching less, more wellbeing focused
  • Use of online intervention from Learning Mentors – ‘Plan on a Page’ indicated needs above and beyond universal offer – LSMs using e.g. Messy Phonics and Bug Club online (paid into the packages)

Supporting SEND Remotely – How to Overcome the Barriers

Barrier Solution

Children/ Young People Engagement in learning
Schools reported that battling engagement was a key barrier.

One of the key priorities to overcome this barrier is communication.

Using videos and audio messages to support children and parents.

Supporting Parents to engage with their child/young person’s learning

Keeping the connection and encouragement ongoing with families, building a personal relationship with parent/carers. This could include weekly phone calls to find out what is working for their children

Providing support where children are saying ‘no’ to parents because they can’t adjust to having to do work at home.

Empowering parents to support home learning.

Suggested a timetable to some families, but important to note that this is flexible.  

Remotely uploading resources at the same time each day

Being mindful of parents having to support multiple children at home, and balancing work demands.

Access to Technology and IT Skills

Making laptops available to children/families that need them, especially if the child would normally use a laptop in their lessons at school.

Talking to parents about access to the technology and assisting them with accessing programs, helping parents with their own IT skills so that they can effectively support their children.

Providing a personal touch to give advice and support!

Ensuring families have the right devices, dongles for Wi-Fi etc.

For families with no access to technology / low IT skills provide printed work packs.

Live Teaching
Microsoft Teams

Taking time to get used to the Technology such as using Breakout rooms in Teams.

One school advised that they do a live teams meeting, where class children who are in and those who are remote can touch base.   Children have liked it and so have parents it has proved very popular and worked really well.

Working with families to ensure that children have the right workspace or environment for learning.
Having a device free day.

If children are not engaging due to the safeguarding issues/attendance issues encouraging them to attend school.

Spending a week off timetable to support Mental Health Awareness Week – this gives everyone, staff, parents and children time to concentrate on their wellbeing.

Supporting SEND in the Classroom – How to Overcome the Barriers

Barrier Solution
Ensuring children in the classroom are being included Giving children in the classroom the same time and attention as those learning virtually.
Using Teaching Assistants to support children in the classroom.
Providing the correct level of support for children, dependent on class size. Balancing the amount of supervision in small classes/bubbles
Using effective planning to ensure that interventions are delivered effectively; this can be challenging as specially trained staff aren’t in the right bubbles and resources have to be cleaned/quarantined between uses.
Providing the right support for children in bubbles as there are often a different mix of children to their normal class. Ensuring that children feel respected and supported if children in the bubbles change.
Mental Health ELSA Activities have been useful, using them in online lessons and in the classroom.
Having social chat sessions with the class, supporting young people to chat with their friends who are not in school ‘virtually’ using Teams.
Using ‘Bounce back’ to replace one of the PE lessons to focus on mental health. Will use Bounce back again – including using a chart in each session to see how children are feeling and following up on this.  This also helps to monitor children and helps children who can’t communicate how they are feeling very easily.
Space in school & Bubbles

Ensuring there is space in school for interventions.
Efficient planning to enable to SENCo to keep track of children in bubbles, no longer being able to visit classrooms can present a challenge, working creatively to find solutions.


Top Tips – Providing SEN Support for Remote Learning

  • Using Class Dojo or Seesaw to assign different tasks to children in their own portfolios
  • Sent fine motor packs out, pencil grips, bubble wrap and tweezers all dropped off at children’s houses
  • Pens and paper have also been given out to children
  • Differentiated activities provided – additional TA/Class teacher support
  • Making a pre-recording about emotion coaching and zones of regulation training for parents.
  • All remote learning is on website, also option of paper packs – teachers creating a simplified version of the same task
  • For some children ensuring materials are individualised and targeted
  • Setting up teams calls between key staff and children to get to know each other.

All remote learning is on website, also option of paper packs – teachers creating a simplified version of the same task.

Cool Kids Handwriting Sessions.

Free educational sessions for the Cool Kids programme and Occupational Therapy advice regarding handwriting.

Cool Kids movement programme and Handwriting

Session aims:

  • To provide basic understanding of sensory motor development and why it is important to children in school
  • Understanding developmental stages of lying on the back, tummy, rolling, creeping and crawling
  • Understanding the underlying principles of the Cool Kids Programme
  • Identify pupils who would benefit
  • Deliver the programme effectively
  • Understanding handwriting development (OT perspective)
  • Increase awareness of programmes, equipment and adaptations that can be used
  • Incorporate strategies successfully in the classroom

The session will be completed online via the Zoom app, and a link will be sent via email once a place has been confirmed.

Places are limited and must be booked in advance.

The next available sessions to book onto are:

VENUE: Online via the Zoom app          DATES: 19 January 2021        TIME: 13:00 -15:00                  


  • We are able to offer up to two places for this session to your school.
  • We recommend that a Class Teacher/SENCo attends this session, if they have not already done so.
  • Additionally the session will be valuable to any member of staff who will be potentially delivering the group in your school

Please contact Tracey Bowen by telephone to book your place on this training, and provide an email address that joining links can be sent to.

Telephone –  01743 450839

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis

Download the Letter from OT

We look forward to you joining online.

The Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy Team

ELSA – Good News

Against the Covid odds, we were able to train another cohort of wonderful ELSAs in September/October 2020. 15 ELSAs from Telford primary and secondary schools trained with us, along with colleagues from Strengthening Families. We wish our new ELSAs all the best as they take ELSA back into their schools and settings.

ELSA Research

We carried out a little action research into our ELSAs’ perceived confidence and competence in relation to the delivery of EHWB support in schools…

As a collective, our new ELSAs had already completed a significant number of training courses throughout the last year. Generally those with more training rated themselves as more confident in their ability prior to ELSA training.

All ELSAs felt that, through access to the training programme, they gained a better understanding of EHWB issues that children and young people face, as well as feeling more competent in recognising when a pupil is experiencing difficulties.

The greatest positive gains related to self-efficacy in providing small group interventions. It is evident that perceived gains in skill development around offering small group EHWB intervention and support has been significant. ELSAs knowing that they have support beyond training not only from others in their cohort but also in their supervision sessions is likely to play a key role in these scores.

Overall, our research demonstrates that the latest cohort of trainee ELSAs have all increased their knowledge and skills relating to emotional health and wellbeing thus giving them more confidence and competence in their delivery of interventions within their individual settings. This is pleasing to see as the aim of ELSA is not only to train ELSAs about emotional health and wellbeing but also to empower the staff that are going to be delivering it. These results are testament to the efficacy of the ELSA training and programme.

Feedback from the ELSA Training

By the end of their training, our ELSAs felt happy, supported, excited and empowered!

Training opportunities

  • We are pleased to announce the next round of ELSA training will take place in September 2021
  • Email expressions of interest in securing a training place to

You can find out more about ELSAs at


GOOD NEWS: The elsa conference has been rescheduled… new date is 18th May 2021 J

Our first ELSA CPD Conference will now go ahead in May 2021 – in person, we hope!

The ELSA Conference will offer an exciting day of sharing effective practice, with CPD provided by the T&W EP Service and opportunities for ELSAs to discover new resources.

The morning will feature case studies from ELSAs and training from T&W EPS on techniques from Motivational Interviewing and LEGO-based Therapy led by Dr Jane Park.

The afternoon will comprise a resource fair and opportunities for networking.


Cost: £60 per TAW ELSA, £72 per non-TAW ELSA.

10% discount for 2+ ELSAs.

To book your ELSA a place, email:

SAVE THE DATE: For schools and settings newer to ELSA and interested in knowing more about the training, Jane and colleagues will be running another information-sharing virtual ‘coffee morning’ (bring your own J) on 6 May 2021 at 10am via MS Teams for SLT and SENCOs to find out what the ELSA commitment is and what benefits ELSA can bring.

Email for an MS Teams invitation.

Planning for transition and referring to Shropshire Community Health Children’s Occupational Therapy Team.

Occupational therapists work with children and young people to enable them to function to the best of their ability with activities of daily living (occupations) including self-care, play, leisure and school based skills.

The Community Children’s Occupational Therapy team provides care to children and young people across Telford and Shropshire. We accept referrals from parents, health care professionals and education professionals e.g. allied health professional, school nurse, GP’s, community child health paediatrician, teachers, educational psychologists. Our referral form can be downloaded from our website and completed electronically.

Our Early Years and Physical Disability teams can provide advice and recommendations for children with equipment and access needs to enable them to engage and participate within their education settings. Needs may include seating, toilet aids, access to buildings, hoists, moving and handling planning.   Planning for these needs when a child is approaching transition between schools involves joint working from a variety of professionals across different organisations to complete a detailed assessment process, which is likely to take many weeks.

In order to allow sufficient time for assessments to be completed and the Occupational Therapy recommendations to be implemented prior to the child starting at their new education setting, please endeavour to send referrals to the team in the January/February of the calendar year that the child is due to transition.

This same process also applies to children who are remaining in the same education setting but moving to a different classroom; where their accessibility or equipment needs may change or require a review.

We look forward to working with you to ensure that the children across Telford and Shropshire are able to access and engage with their school environment; with the aim of enabling them to achieve their potential.

If you are unsure of whether a referral needs to be made, please call the Occupational Therapy Advice Line on 01743 450800 and we will be happy to assist you.

Shropshire Community Health – Children’s Occupational Therapy

Download: OT Referral Form


ISF – Inclusive School Forum

Would you like to join the Inclusive School Forum (ISF) Panel?

We are looking to recruit new panel members for the Inclusive School Forum. The panel meets once a month on a Tuesday morning (currently virtually). The purpose of the panel is to provide an opportunity for peer to peer support, challenge, advice, outreach and access to high needs funding, without an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is a school led panel providing the opportunity to share and develop best practice and to be included in developing an inclusive education system within Telford and Wrekin so that children with increasingly complex needs can achieve and succeed within mainstream schools.

If you would like more information about the ISF or to register your interest in joining the panel please contact us by email at:

For more information about ISF, including the support it provides, upcoming dates and request forms please take a look at: ISF Local Offer.

Wellbing for Education Return

Mental Health leads in schools have now had training on the Wellbeing for Education Return (WfER) programme which commenced during the Autumn term 2020, with 2 webinars delivered on several occasions by Darren Lennon (Head of the Linden Centres and BSAT team), Mike Lane (Senior Educational Psychologist) and Sian Deane (Future in Minds lead).  

The WfER programme supports staff working in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures some children, young people, families and staff may be feeling as a direct result of this pandemic as well as to any emotional response they may still be experiencing from bereavement, stress, trauma, or anxiety over the past months.  This is particularly important now as we go back into a national lockdown and we think once more about how to support our community now and on return back into schools and colleges.

The content covered was as follows:

Webinar 1

  1. Whole School/College Implementation
  2. Neuroscience – Understanding Learning And Growth; Wellbeing, And Resilience
  3. Actions To Build Resilience And Wellbeing
  4. Implementation Of Actions Across The Whole Of School/College Life

Webinar 2

  1. Bereavement And Loss
  2. Understanding Anxiety, Low Mood,
  3. Supporting Recovery from Anxiety and Low Mood
  4. Stress And Trauma: Supporting Recovery

The presentation talked about the 5 KEY PRINCIPLES to recovery.

  1. Put emotional wellbeing first for everyone
  2. Reaffirm schools strengths and core values
  3. Place relationships front and centre
  4. Reaffirm safety and routines
  5. Acknowledge loss, change and bereavement

And attendees also learned about Psychological First Aid and the 5Rs:

  • Help the relationship,
  • Listen and reflect carefully, 
  • Recognise and look out for needs and cues,
  • Support regulation of emotions so that things are manageable and in so doing support new habits of resilience.

The Mental Health leads have and will be attending 3 supervision groups (via MS teams) facilitated by an Educational Psychologist, a representative from BSAT and the Mental Health Support Team.  The first supervision group was on 08.12.2020 and the following two supervision groups will be on 02.02.2021 and 16.03.2021 at 1:30pm till 4:30pm.

This is an opportunity for Mental Health Leads to reflect on their practice, share challenges and successes, and top up their own emotional wellbeing reserves in a safe and supportive space. 

Susie Fagan (from TPS) provided the following feedback after just ‘one session’ which beautifully expresses the benefit of this ongoing support:

“Thank you so much for the session on Wednesday.  I found it really useful and it gave me lots of ideas for how our school can begin to support the students’ mental health and making a clearer pathway for referral and support!  I look forward to the next supervision!”