PAC-UK Pilot Project

Fagus has been piloted in Yorkshire & Humberside with the support of adoption charity. The project was designed to help schools understand and meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma. The PAC-UK educational advisors were working with the Fagus materials to support school staff to set developmentally appropriate goals for pupils.

Impact of materials
One school has changed its entire behaviour policy because of Fagus; they realised the punitive nature of their behaviour system was unfair to implement on a child that was developmentally younger than the system was intended for and therefore changed it to be more flexible.

Using the checklists was hugely insightful for schools in gaining a shared understanding of the child. They have been “incredibly useful” to demonstrate that a child’s developmental age is different from their chronological age.

One advisor explained that staff seem to have a “realisation” about why the child is finding things so difficult: “The penny is not just dropping, but thudding.”

The Fagus goals have fed into Personal Education Plans, Individual Education Plans and annual reviews within this pilot. One teacher decided to use the Fagus goals to replace all the existing IEP targets as they felt that they were much more meaningful.

“Without the guides I wouldn’t have been able to set such a specific goal which was developmentally appropriate.”

Teachers’ experience

The Fagus developmental areas have been extremely useful to steer discussions and categorise children’s behaviour in child-centred consultations. This has enabled a shift from a focus on the ‘problem’ behaviours to exploring possible reasons behind the behaviours. Teachers reported that the Fagus areas helped focus discussion and clarify ambiguity around problem areas.

“[Fagus] gives really clear guideline’s as to where children are in key areas of their development which in turn helps us to set smart targets to individually support that child in appropriate ways. It’s also very easy and clear to use.”
- Primary SENCo

“We worked with the Fagus Coping [guide] and recognised that the student we were working with aged 16 was working developmentally at about age 8. We then worked out what behaviours we wanted to improve and set targets for the next 4-6 weeks. This has resulted in a great reduction of poor behaviours and in particular the flight reactions that had been exhibited. He is very proud that he has not had any after school detentions recently.”
- Secondary school House Leader & Key Worker

“I have found the materials really useful….the materials allowed me to realise just how under developed she was and that I was basically teaching a 10 year old child with the emotional intelligence of a 3 year old! This in itself was shocking but it ultimately allowed me to appreciate how best I could move forward and help her to progress in those areas that were identified through the use of the Fagus materials.”
- Year 5 class teacher

Parent experience
The Fagus materials enabled parents and teachers to gain a shared understanding of the child and to create a joint action plan to move forwards. Within the project this has strengthened parent-school relationships as it brings everybody onto the same page.