Better Support for Learning – collaboration


Posted by Caroline Danks | Posted in Information for Parents, Parent Feedback | Posted on 19-12-2020

Radical Re-design: parents as partners in effective collaboration for better Support for Learning for Children and Young People with Additional Support Needs

Parents as partners – please read this link.

East Lothian Council’s Education & Children’s Services, Inclusion & Wellbeing Service is embarking on new partnership with Animate Consulting and colleagues, to explore how to deliver better support for learning for children and young people with additional support needs using a collaborative inquiry based approach.

The recent Support for Learning Review identifies the need to radically redesign the way support for learning is implemented. It proposes that the new starting point needs to be ‘all our children and all their support needs’, recognising and addressing the increased complexity and barriers to learning that affect their lives and those of their families, that persist well beyond school and formal education.

In short this includes adopting a more relational and child centred approach characterised by:

  • values driven leadership,
  • an open and robust culture of communication, support and challenge underpinned by trust, respect and positive relationships between children, young people and their parents/carers, school staff and other professionals
  • a recognition that the current ‘narrow dominance of qualification results’ are inadequate measures of success, and
  • a commitment to improvement through experiential learning (learning by doing), reflection and review processes that encourage and support innovation and continually ‘test the gap between intention and reality.’

We believe that children and young people with ASN will make the most of their abilities and potential when they have the encouragement, support and services they need from the range of people who care about them and have responsibility for their development working collaboratively – bringing the best of who they are and what they know together in a safe, appreciative and creative environment.

We know that the ‘support for learning system’ will benefit greatly if a wider range of parents and carers are supported to actively contribute their knowledge, wisdom and experience. We know too that teachers and other professionals need support to consider how to change their systems in order to be more inclusive.

We want to learn how to improve support for children with ASN by focusing on schools in one locality, with the ultimate aim of sharing our learning more widely. We will do this by supporting an effective collaboration between young people, parents, teachers and professionals. Through listening to one another, trying out new approaches and reflecting and learning together, the collaboration will gain an in-depth understanding of what works for young people and their families. This will lead to a radical redesign of the way support for learning is implemented in one area, and lessons which can be learned to inform practice in other areas.

Our approach will include a mentoring programme, that will enable parents to take up their role as partners in the collaborative design and delivery of support for learning interventions for children and young people with Additional Support Needs (ASN). The collaboration will involve parents, teachers and other professionals. It will be informed by bringing in young people voices and supported by an action inquiry process ensuring that we reflect and learn as we design and implement a more relational and child-centred approach.

Action Inquiry (AI Group)

We are keen to form and support an AI Group to co-design the inquiry and are inviting you to join us.

We want the AI Group to include a range of stakeholders who are actively committed and engaged in providing and supporting the learning of children with ASN, including: parents, teachers and pupil support staff, Educational Psychologist; Children’s Services and Third Sector organisations.  We anticipate a group of around 10 people.

We are inviting you because we believe you will enrich our learning journey – we not asking you to ‘represent’ any particular organisational or group perspective, rather to bring your experience, knowledge and wisdom as well as your curiosity to the group. We believe that getting the ‘system in the room’ and sharing our differing experience and perspectives with one another will enable us to better see and understand ‘the whole picture’, and to use this new shared knowledge to find creative new ways enabling children and young people ASN to reach their potential and enjoy enriched and happy lives.

What is the commitment for members?

The project is scheduled to run for 5 school terms, from Jan 21 to June 22, and we anticipate that the Group will meet between 10 & 12 times for 2 hrs over the period, as follows:

  • 3 initial meetings (Jan- Apr 21) to establish the group, get to know one another and agree how we will work together
  • 8 periodic ‘sensemaking meetings’ (2 per term) to review and support the iterative development of the work.

We hope that you will be up for coming on this learning journey with us, and believe that it will both enrich us all as individuals and increase our capacity to work collaboratively to deliver improved outcomes for children and young people with ASN.

Date of first virtual meeting

To get us under way we have identified possibilities for our first meeting, please let me know your availability – 2 – 4pm Tuesday 12th or 10 – 12 noon Thursday 14th January 2021.

If you need any further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or Ian McKenzie, Lead Partner at Animate 07734037844.


NHS Lothian Children’s Services website


Posted by Caroline Danks | Posted in Information for Parents | Posted on 19-12-2020

NHS Lothian is working to create a new website for Children’s Services and all child health information for families living in the Lothian area.  The site will focus on information for children, young people, parents, carers and families about our hospitals, clinics, treatments and conditions, etc. helping empower them with information about their health care, and reduce anxiety by giving young people a place to understand about coming to hospital for an admission, tests, or for a clinic appointment.  The site will launch in 2021 and will also include information about the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.

An online survey is open for children, young people and their parents and carers to help shape the design of the site by sharing feedback on some of the styles the website might take.  The survey is anonymous and will only take 5-6 minutes to complete.  Thank you

Coffee In The Park


Posted by Caroline Danks | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-12-2020

Kate, Zoe and Charlotte will be in the Lavender Garden in the Lodge tomorrow morning (11th December) with their mugs of coffee!  Wee ones welcome!  Feel free to pop along and have a chat, or find out more about the Parent Council. 

Area Partnerships – Connected Communities update and emergency Christmas provisions


Posted by Caroline Danks | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 10-12-2020

Area Partnerships Xmas 20[6278]

Please find attached information provided by our Area Partnership.