BPCF recently received the following e-mail from Milton Keynes College concerning distance learning courses targeted to Carers, family members and professionals around children and young people with SEND. I've copied it in full below, it a long post but worth reading. Application can be made online at info.mkcollege.ac.uk/distance-learning
I am delighted to inform you that Milton Keynes College offer a range of distance learning courses which may be both relevant and informative to you and other members of the Bracknell Forest Parent Carer Forum. These qualifications are suitable for carers, family members, and associated professionals who are interested in further developing their understanding and awareness of a range of topics relevant to children and young people with SEND. They are also currently available to teachers and teaching assistants within schools, and provide an excellent continuous professional development opportunity for these staff.
These are free courses to study and are available via distance learning, so applicants do not need to be resident within Milton Keynes, as they can be studied at any location within England. Several courses can be studied if desired on a 'back-to-back' basis, although it is not possible to enrol for more than one course simultaneously. They are designed as short courses of between 6-10 weeks duration, are nationally accredited, and can be commenced at any time. The study commitment can vary depending on individual students, but between 3-4 hours per week is a reasonable guide. Assessments for the courses are question based and focus on the content within the workbooks supplied. Students receive a paper based version of the materials and also an online version if they select this mode of study. A tutor is also allocated to individual learners, who can be contacted by email or telephone, and will be able to offer support and assistance as required.
The following courses may be of specific interest to the Bracknell Forest Parent Carer Forum, and cover the following subject areas:
Certificate in Children & Young People Mental Health
This is a six week course. Subject headings are:
Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health in Context covers: Mental health terms; The relationship between mental health and wellbeing; The prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people; Key legislation and guidance related to children and young people’s mental health; Safeguarding; Using legislation and guidance to support mental health concerns; Duty of care; Terms related to prejudice and discrimination; How social and cultural attitudes towards mental health have changed over time; How social and cultural attitudes affect individual perceptions of mental health; How the media can influence attitudes towards mental health; How discrimination can affect the mental health of children and young people.
Ø Understand Factors Which May Affect Children and Young People’s Mental Health covers: Risk factors that can impact the mental health of children and young people; Protective factors; Resilience; Supporting individuals to recognise risk factors and signs of distress; The effects of puberty on children and young people; Identity, self-esteem and body image; Opportunities and challenges young people may face; Different types of bullying; Why some individuals are more vulnerable to bullying and abuse; The impact of bullying or abuse.
Ø Understand Children and Young People’s Mental Health Concerns covers: Short and long-term impacts of mental health; Impact on others of a child or young person’s mental health concerns; Services to support positive mental health; How cultural beliefs and social attitudes can affect expectation of diagnosis of mental health concerns; Importance of support and formal diagnosis; Barriers to diagnosis; Reasons for reluctance to seek diagnosis.
Ø Understand the Impact of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Concerns covers: Behaviour associated with mental health concerns; How children and young people express feelings through behaviour; Harmful behaviour that may be used as a way of coping; Importance of early intervention when there are behavioural concerns; Stress and anxiety; Relationship between resilience and stress; Possible causes of stress and anxiety in children and young people; How stress can be both helpful and harmful; Signs of stress and anxiety in children and young people; Depression; Possible causes of depression in children and young people; Signs of depression in children and young people; How depression may affect children and young people; Other mental health concerns affecting children and young people; Signs and impacts of other mental health concerns affecting children and young people; Mental health crisis or emergency in children and young people.
Ø Understand How to Support Children and Young People with Mental Health Concerns covers: Person-centred support; Recovery model for children and young people’s mental health; Upholding the rights of children and young people with mental health concerns; Strategies to support children and young people with mental health concerns; Creating an environment to promote well-being; Promoting interaction to develop well-being; Respecting self-esteem in children and young people; Supporting children and young people to express emotions and concerns; Services and professionals that support children and young person’s mental health; Importance of early intervention, support and treatment; Care Programme Approach (CPA); Therapies to treat a child or young person experiencing mental health problems; Medication to treat children and young people experiencing mental health problems.
Certificate in Understanding Behaviour that Challenges
Six week course. Subject headings are:
Ø Understand Behaviour that Challenges: This unit considers the difference between conflict and behaviour that challenges, and the difference between aggressive behaviour and assertive behaviour. Learners will examine how behaviour can be interpreted as a form of expression and how it may be a symptom of something else, such as pain, hunger or boredom. The impact of behaviour on the individual and on others will also be considered.
Ø Understand How to Support Positive Behaviour: The unit looks at how to recognise changes in individuals that may indicate an episode of behaviour that challenges, and the importance of identifying patterns and triggers. Learners will consider the importance of supporting individuals and will learn about strategies to support positive behaviour, looking at how behaviour support plans can be used, the importance of person centred approaches and how support networks can help the individual. The legislation that protects individuals who display behaviour that challenges will also be examined.
Ø Understand the Importance of Effective Communication and the Management of Behaviour that Challenges: Learn about how behaviour can be used as a form of expression and the range of communication methods available to support an individual who has a communication disorder. Learners will also consider the barriers to communication and how to overcome them, and the importance of adapting communication needs to suit the individual. The importance of positive reinforcement and how to avoid confrontation with someone who is emotionally agitated will be examined. The support available for individuals with behaviour that challenges, and how to record and report incidents of behaviour that challenges in order to reduce incidents and deal with them more effectively in future.
Ø Understand the Role of Reflection and Support for those involved in Incidents of Behaviour that Challenges: This unit examines the importance of reflection and how it can help to manager future behaviour. Learners will consider the effect of their own reactions to behaviour that challenges and the possible consequences of their actions in dealing with the behaviour. How to support individuals to understand their own behaviour in terms of the events and feelings leading up to it, their actions, and the consequences of their behaviour. Learners will also look at the range of support services offering support for those involved with behaviour that challenges and the support available to maintain their own well-being.
Certificate in Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties
Six week course. Subject headings are:
Ø Understand Specific Learning Difficulties: This unit looks are what is meant by the term Specific Learning Difficulties and how they are lifelong conditions. Learners will examine the characteristics of different difficulties and other conditions that often co-occur with them, and develop an understanding of common misconceptions about them.
Ø Understand the Effects of Specific Learning Difficulties: This unit will help learners to understand how Specific Learning Difficulties affect an individual’s life and the lives of others around them. The strengths and barriers that an individual may experience and how this can affect them will also be examined.
Ø Understand the Diagnosis of Specific Learning Difficulties: Learners will find out about the importance of gaining a diagnosis and gaining diagnosis as early as possible, and the impact of delayed or non-diagnosis. How diagnosis is achieved, and the professionals involved in diagnosis, will explored.
Ø Understanding Supporting Individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties: This unit looks at discrimination that individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties may face, and how to support individuals in work, educational and social settings. Coping strategies and assistive technology that individuals may use to overcome difficulties, and about the roles of professional in supporting individuals, will be examined.
Ø Understand the Context of Specific Learning Difficulties: This unit looks at how attitudes, legislation and services have evolved over time to support individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties. Learners will explore the relevant legislation, guidance and policies, and looks at how these are implemented to support individuals with Specific Learning Difficulties.
Certificate in Understanding Autism
Ten week course. Subject headings are:
Ø Introduction to Autism: This unit provides learners with an introduction to autism, covering what is meant by ‘autism’, theories and diagnosis. Learners will also look at common misconceptions associated with autism and conditions that can co-occur with autism.
Ø Using a Person-Centred Approach to Support Individuals with Autism: This unit covers using a person-centre approach to support individuals with autism, incorporating the preferences and needs of the individual. Learners will also look at legislation and guidance, and the support networks available to individuals and their families.
Ø Communicating and Social Interaction in Individuals with Autism: This unit covers the potential delays and difficulties in speech, language, and social development sometimes faced by individuals with autism. It also covers methods and strategies that could be used when communicating with an individual with autism.
Ø Sensory Processing, Perception and Cognition in Individuals with Autism: In this unit
learners will gain an understanding of sensory processing, perception, and cognition in individuals with autism – including looking at hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity. Learners will also consider how to support the sensory needs of individuals with autism.
Ø Supporting Positive Behaviour in Individuals with Autism: Through this unit learners will understand individuals’ behaviours in the context of autism. They’ll also look at how to support positive behaviour and help individuals to develop coping strategies.
Ø Supporting Individuals with Autism to Live Healthy and Fulfilled Lives: This unit covers how to support individuals through transitions and live events, how to maintain their personal safety, and how to access services, facilities and employment opportunities. Learners will also be assisted to gain an understanding of what it’s like for an individual to live with autism.
Students must be aged 19 years or above, have listed in the EU for the past three years, and have a reasonable level of English language ability in order to undertake the courses. Applicants do not require any specific academic entry requirements for enrolment, and all applications are reviewed on an individual basis to identify any barriers to learning or general eligibility requirements. The courses are available at no cost to the individual, as they are funded by central government, although a £90 withdrawal fee is payable if learners decide to withdraw from a course once commenced. However, we would actively support students to complete their course wherever possible, and achieve an extremely high success rate of approximately 95%.
Enrolment is easy and accessed via completion of the college paper-based application form, which can be obtained by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by online application via our website info.mkcollege.ac.uk/distance-learning.