Workforce Development - CPD cycle in schools

Staff working in schools should be supported to have a good knowledge of the equity, diversity and inclusion priorities, effective inclusive practice, and how to identify and support children and young people with additional needs including SEND.  
This is crucial for them to be effective in their roles and to be successful in enabling children and young people to have the best life they can and achieve the best outcomes they can. A regular cycle of workforce development is important to achieve this outcome.
Governing Boards, Head Teachers and staff should be aware of:
Their statutory responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

Their health and safety responsibilities for staff undertaking the moving and handling of learners with physical disabilities.

  • All staff have received the free SLCN Communication Friendly Setting training writing be specialist teachers and speech and language therapists (SaLT) available through SISS (
  • Staff have received training in youth mental health and understand the impact of poor mental health on pupils' well-being and engagement.
  • Staff are trained in nurturing approaches, attachment and trauma informed approaches, emotion coaching, managing relationships and restorative practice, as well as training to help staff understand the functions and causes of behaviour and classroom management approaches.
  • Staff are trained in emotional regulation strategies and there is a whole school approach e.g. Zones of Regulation.
  • All staff have accessed the free 'Making Sense of Autism (MSA) Training' via the SISS Autism Team.
  • Staff who work predominantly with autistic children access AET Good Autism Practice (GAP) training. As best practice in secondary schools a member of every department is trained at this level.
  • All senior leaders have accessed AET training for senior leaders as best practice (old tier 3). 
  • All staff are trained in SEND identification of specific learning difficulties in relation to literacy, maths, fine and gross motor skills including dyslexia, dyscalculia and developmental coordination difficulties.
  • Training is planned for specific sensory and physical impairments and the use of hearing aids when required (this may be requested through the SISS Sensory and Physical Impairment Team, Royal National Institute of Blind People.
  • There are systems in place to disseminate training to wider school staff.
  • Staff skills are routinely and regularly audited and further training is offered to staff groups and individual staff when required (e.g. using the AET Autism Competency Framework, Speech, Language and Communication Framework).
  • School leaders ensure that the curriculum plans for, and values, discussion and debate and teaches respect for all voices and contributions; leaders know that all staff include this in their lesson planning.
  • School staff know how to provide a nurturing, communication friendly classroom.
  • School staff value talking for: living, learning, life, fun and success for the future.
  • School staff understand how a range of special educational needs may be a barrier to learning and can impact on mental health and wellbeing. 
  • Staff know that autism can vary in its presentation and awareness that some young people, particularly girls, may mask their difficulties in some environments.
  • Staff are aware of other conditions which often co-occur with social communication difficulties and autism and have awareness of the impact these conditions may have on young people.
  • They understand that social communication needs can be associated with high levels of stress and anxiety and know how to identify the early signs of this occurring, and the likely triggers.
  • Staff know that young people with autism often have disturbed and erratic eating, sleeping and toileting routines which have significant effects on their physical wellbeing and may affect their actions and learning.
  • Staff are supported to have a broad perspective on autism by reading or listening to accounts from autistic people, parents and other family members.
  • Staff understand the importance of listening to the voice of the child or young person and their family, to help identify strategies to support them and build on their strengths and goals as an individual.
  • They know that autistic young people are much more likely to be teased and bullied and take steps to prevent and manage bullying.
  • Staff are aware of the importance of building on strengths and interests to motivate and encourage young people with social communication difficulties (including autism) in their learning.
  • They have knowledge of alternative forms of communication, other than speech (e.g. objects, photos, symbols, pictures) and how a young person may benefit from being taught to use them.
  • Staff know that predictability for all young people is supported by clear routines and expectations. The use of visual prompts and resources helps to clarify these.
  • Know how to differentiate positive reinforcement to take into account the young person's social communication needs.
  • All school staff understand reasonable adjustments are a statutory obligation in disability law.
  • Staff are given encouragement and opportunities to discuss concerns, problem solve and provide support both practically and emotionally to each other.
  • There are planned opportunities for key staff to share good practice with staff from other schools. Senior staff actively promote and facilitate these networking and mentoring opportunities.
  • There are processes in place in school for sharing information with all staff regarding individual young people's SEN needs, for example One Page Profiles.
  • Staff mental health needs are monitored and supported. 
  • Support systems form a coherent continuum which allows graduated provision to be matched to the needs of individuals or groups.  
  • Education off site
  • Access to Nurture groups
  • Small group and individual teaching
  • Access to interventions / counselling
  • Curriculum and timetable modification
  • Adaptations to transport for school trips and visits
  • Proactive planning for non-routine situations to inform individual adaptation or preparation
  • Access to low distraction areas and workstations
  • Opportunities for sensory regulation activities