On Wednesday 23 October 2013, we had the privilege of a workshop conducted by Mrs Pia Kerridge Michel at Mauritius Institute of Education (M.I.E.), Reduit. The seminar was jointly organised by M.I.E. and Global Rainbow Foundation (G.R.F.) and was introduced on the day by Mr Armoogum Parsuramen, followed by a welcoming speech by Mr Sohawon from M.I.E.

Pia Kerridge Michel is a specialist teacher, head teacher and tutor with the UK Department of Education Training and Development Agency. The training workshop was aimed at leaders namely teachers and head teachers of Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools throughout the country, to help them challenge their planning, strategic thinking and implementation skills in improving the pupils’ learning and well-being. Dr Jean-Marc Michel was also present on the day to provide a helping hand with the workshop.

With integration of group activities and collaborative thinking, Mrs Kerridge Michel shared her knowledge and experience in using a range of tools and techniques to support school improvement planning. First of all identifying who should be involved in the planning; most importantly the school leaders, the parents and the pupils themselves. It was also decided that ideally the multidisciplinary team (i.e. physiotherapist, psychologist, nurse), sponsors and any other staff who play a part in the pupils’ day-to-day lives should also have a say in the planning. Following this, an exercise was performed to establish and agree upon a vision that will drive improvement planning. This involved the delegates reflecting on their vision as leaders, as well as putting themselves in the shoes of the parents and the pupils, reflecting on their respective visions.

By recollecting and celebrating what is already working well in the schools of the delegates present, areas of improvement that can be implemented into the schools’ development plans were identified. These can be set as targets for each individual school to work towards in achieving its ideal vision. The final part of the day involved identifying what successful learning looks like and what it takes to be an outstanding school. By assessing the factors that hinder or facilitate successful learning, positive and attainable aims were developed from these identified blockers and enablers to implement in the School Development Plan (SDP) to help improve learning in schools.

Overall it was a very informative and beneficial workshop for school leaders, with Mrs Kerridge Michel providing expertise advice on improving the school’s development plan to achieve successful learning in SEN schools.

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