Cross-Team Meetings: Supporting our future apprentices


What is your position within Busy Bees Education and Training?

Sam: I am the Head of Operations and the SENCO within Busy Bees Education and Training.  As Head of operations, I have direct and indirect line management of the Operations team who deliver training to learners within the care sector.  As SENCO, I lead the SEND provision supporting learners who face challenges to progress and achieve utilizing the resources we have available.

Lauren:  I am a Development coach for Yorkshire, focusing mostly on Early Years training.  As Development coach I work directly with the learners on my caseload and support them through their qualifications.  As assistant SENCO I support other Development Coaches and the team to ensure that we are supporting all learners within their areas of challenge.
Why is it important to have an effective SEND provision as a training provider?

Lauren: We strive to offer training that everyone can enjoy and achieve. Having an effective SEND provision allows us to be able to meet individual needs and tailor plans, teaching experiences and opportunities to each learners needs.

Sam:  We believe everyone has the right to learn and achieve. However, for learners who face challenges, they may need additional support and/or reasonable adjustments in order to be able to do just that. By having an effective SEND provision, we are able to fulfill our commitment to learners and provide them with a tailor-made learning experience supporting them to learn and achieve.  
What are Cross Team Meetings?

Lauren:  Cross team meetings are weekly meetings involving a representative from various departments reviewing new applications. As a group we to come together to discuss the needs of learners and how we can best support them. Gaining insight from each other’s experiences and knowledge.
What departments are involved in the Cross Team Meetings?

Sam: The phrase ‘Cross Team’s’ means just that…Cross Team working. Operations, Quality, Systems and Compliance and Recruitment are all involved in contributing toward the meeting from their own expertise.  When all contributions are considered, we are then collectively able to make informed and joint decisions to move forward in the best interests of the learner.
Why do individual needs, need to be explored at application stage?

Lauren: We want our learners to achieve their goals and to ensure success for each learner we need to have the best start, by looking at each learners needs at the beginning of their learning journey, through initial assessments and skill scan. We can see if there are any needs to be met and begin putting a tailored plan in place from the very first session, agreeing any reasonable adjustments that need to be put in place, making the first step into learning a supported one.
What are reasonable adjustments?

Sam: Reasonable Adjustments are tailored made amendments/conditions made to a learning programme and/or environment that support a learner to have the same opportunity as another learner who does no face challenges.

For example, where is it is identified within a learners initial assessment they have a challenge with their visual information processing speed, a common reasonable adjustment is to allow the learner extra time. This extra time can be added to the overall length of stay, to a functional skills exam and End Point Assessment component.

By having this extra time, it provided them the same opportunity as a learner who does not face a challenge in this area. By providing this reasonable adjustment the learner has a fair chance to achieving as the same rate as other learners.
What are Initial Assessments?

Lauren: Initial assessments are a collection of different assessments that look at learners English, Math, ICT, and Cognitive skills. These then gives the Development coach an idea of what understanding a learner currently has around those subjects. This then allows us to support the learner in achieving their functional skills. We also have a Skill Scan which allows the learners to assess their knowledge and work based skills before beginning their training, these shows the Development coach any areas the learner needs more support in. We have recently begun working with Cognassist, each learner is asked to complete a neurodiversity assessment to support them with life and academic skills.
What is Cognassist?

Sam: Cognassist is a neurodiversity assessment which reports on eight domains of the brain involved in thinking and learning and can be used to help identify and develop personalised learning strategies. The eight domains are:

  • Verbal memory
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Visual information processing speed
  • Non-verbal memory
  • Executive function
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Visual perception

If a learner identifies in any of the above area’s strategies are provided to help support to develop and manage in these areas. Common reasonable adjustments are also provided to influence and support the learners and us in the best way forward to provide support and tailor their learning journey.
What are the types of reasonable adjustments and support that has been put in place for learners?

Lauren: Reasonable adjustments could mean a longer length on program to complete a course, additional time for exams or it could be attaining tools and resources such as over lays and coloured paper. Ultimately it would depend on the learner and their needs.
What impact been from holding Cross Team Meetings?

Sam: Many learners have started their learning journey in the right conditions with their own individual learning needs identified prior to them starting. Due to this, learners have gone on to learn and achieve, succeeding in their learning journey, progressing and developing within their career goals and ambitions.

We have many learners progress onto further and higher education because of the positive learning journey that have experienced. Learners who face challenges have been and continue to be provided with strategies to support them to build and develop in identified areas impacting their work and home life and educations overall.

As a provider, the impact of Cross Team Meetings have supported us as an organistion to reflect of the reasonable adjustments we have been able to provide and support us to adapt our teaching and delivery to suit individual needs.