Complex Learning Difficulties And Disabilities Research Project

How to use the resources

Re-engaging students with CLDD in learning
Many students with CLDD are disengaged from learning – actively or passively. To re-engage them as learners, an intensive approach is needed.
In order to progress, students with CLDD need to follow unique learning pathways, which take educators beyond differentiation into personalising learning. At this level of student need, educators need to respond with a practitioner-led, inquiry-based approach.
Collaborating with class teams, families and colleagues from other disciplines
Collaboration is a corner stone of the inquiry approach – with families, with colleagues from other disciplines, with the whole class team, and with the student themself. Insights from one perspective can create success for the student across their whole learning experience.
Working as a team / ensuring consistency
Most people in a class team want the students they work with to achieve, and are willing to change their practice to support how the student learns best. The Engagement profile and scale allows educators to trial different ways of working with students and to collect evidence about which approaches work best for them.
Important aspects of working as a team with the three engagement resources include: 
  • consistency in how a student’s engagement behaviours are interpreted
  • consistency in how educators score the student’s engagement behaviours.
Class teams in the research project found reviewing video of the student engaged in the focus activity was a very effective way of achieving this.
How the resources connect
The three CLDD engagement resources support an inquiry-based approach to teaching students with CLDD. They allow educators to work with students on different aspects of engagement, explore student-centred learning, collect evidence and record progress. 
The resources are:
  • Ten CLDD briefing packs – each includes three sheets at different levels which give an overview of recognised teaching strategies related to disabilities which commonly co-exist in students with CLDD; this is a first step towards personalisation
  • Engagement profile and scale – a classroom profiling and assessment resource which allows educators to explore what engagement in learning is for an individual student; it enables them to develop and track a student’s learning journey within a structured inquiry-based approach
  • Inquiry framework for learning – a resource which provides educators with inquiry starting points to explore as a team how to engage students more fully in learning.

The learner’s voice
Through conversation or observation, depending on the student’s level of communication and understanding, the inquiry approach frees the student’s voice as a learner, allowing them to demonstrate and advocate for the ways that they are able to achieve and succeed.
How long should the intervention last?
Over the research project, inquiry-based intervention was carried out on a short-term basis. Each period of intervention lasted for one term. For many schools this was long enough to gain an insight into ways of engaging students, who had been their priority concerns, in learning. They were then able to move their focus to other students who were disengaged. Others felt they needed a longer period of intervention to explore how their students engaged.