Devon service eases difficult school runs for children with additional needs

Devon Community Learning Disability Team has been working in partnership with Devon County Council’s Transport Coordination Service (TCS) to help school escorts better support passengers with additional needs.

Community Learning Disability Nurse Laura Bond has been assisting Devon County Council’s TCS Passenger Escort Team Supervisor Vicki Russell to develop a behaviour management awareness e-Learning programme for the passenger escorts who work on school transport.

Through Laura’s specialist knowledge and Vicki’s research into and the construction of e-Learning, the TCS has been able to develop a training initiative which has been rolled out to all Devon passenger escorts. The training will provide passenger escorts with the knowledge and understanding to help them to recognise and apprehend challenging behaviour in order to positively and safely manage a child’s behaviour whilst on school transport.

It is expected that this training will have a positive impact on all children with additional needs who access escorted transport as it will help to make theirs and their escort’s journeys as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Laura said: “This project can help avoid the potential for difficult journeys to and from school and try to prevent any children being suspended from transport – something that can happen when behaviour cannot be managed safely.”

The e-Learning initiative has also strengthened links between the learning disability service and the TCS. The TCS can now access the Learning Disability Team via a single point of contact so that any difficulties experienced with more challenging individuals can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Vicki will also be regularly reviewing and updating the TCS incident forms to ensure their information on challenging behaviour is up-to-date.

Laura continued: “This means if a child comes to our team for some support there may be some relevant information and evidence ready for us to use from the TCS. This in turn speeds up the process so that we can achieve goals for these children earlier.”

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