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UK Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May – what do you have planned?

Ahead of UK Mental Health Awareness Week next week, we wanted to share with you a useful guide entitled Measuring the mental wellbeing of children and young people in education to help you think about the mental health needs in your setting.

One growing issue relevant to everyone including children and young people – and the main theme for this year’s mental health awareness week – is body image. The CEO of The Mental Health Foundation, Mark Rowland, has recently written a thought-provoking blog regarding body image and the effect of social media in today’s world. You can read it here.

If this inspires you to learn more about mental health to support the students in your setting, you can complete just two 30-credit modules to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs with Real Training. This can be completed in one or two years but with our practice-led learning model, you will be implementing improvements in your setting to make a difference straight away.

The two modules for this qualification are:

Through these modules, you will learn about current issues that could have a potential impact on mental health, including social media, so that you can improve the mental health support in your provision.

Book by 15 May to join our May 2019 cohort and take advantage of the summer holidays to plan your practical projects. For details of other module options or how you could go on to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma or a Master of Education in SEND, please take a look at our dedicated SEND Programme page online.

Join the Dyslexia Guild Conference 2019

One of our sister groups The Dyslexia Guild is holding the Dyslexia Guild Conference 2019 on Thursday 20th June 2019 from 10.00am to 4.30pm at Student Central, University of London.  

If you are a professional in the education sector and have an interest in Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), we would love you to join us.

Network with others from the world of SpLD

Held once a year, The Dyslexia Guild Conference is the opportunity for both Members and Non-Members to meet and network with dyslexia/SpLD specialists. The Dyslexia Guild Conference 2019 enables practitioners to hear expert views and examine current topical issues relating to literacy and dyslexia/SpLD.  

Connect with Dyslexia Action Staff, browse our Dyslexia Action Shop range, hear about research and current topics from our experts speakers, enjoy a networking lunch and take home a certificate for your Continuing Professional Development (CPD – 5 hours).

Take a look at our conference programme here to give you an idea of to expect from the day. Our keynote speaker will be Professor Jeff Bowers PhD around the topic ‘Is systematic phonics better than whole language and literacy’? We also have David Galbraith ‘Psychology of Adult Writing’ and Arran Smith Microsoft UK SEND & Dyslexia Consultant plus lots of celebrations around our anniversaries.

Attending The Dyslexia Guild Conference

Join The Dyslexia Guild today and benefit from joining the Conference at the Guild Members rate.  Along with the reduction in fee you will open up a wealth of other benefits including:

2019 a year of Celebrations

We are celebrating a number of achievements in 2019.  The Dyslexia Guild is 25 years old and we will be including some special celebrations at the conference in June so do not miss out. The Dyslexia Guild organisation was established in the Spring of 1994 and has grown to over 1,400 current members. The Dyslexia Review publication is 50 years old, established in the Spring of 1969 get your celebration issue, join The Guild today.

NPQ funding approved until April 2020

We have heard from the Department for Education (DfE) today that NPQ funding is available for our National Professional Qualifications for the May 2019 intake and we wanted to share this good news with you straight away.

NPQ FundingNPQ funding – Places are available for leaders and aspiring leaders in:

Maintained schools, academies, free schools and PRUs in category 5 and 6 areas

Schools in a MAT which includes a category 5 or 6 area school

Fully-funded places available for NPQML, NPQSL, and NPQH

Book now to secure your place and don’t forget that NPQ funding is not limited to one place per school, so if you are already studying with us, please share this news with your colleagues who may wish to book. If you are looking to book a number of colleagues onto the programmes, please contact our Account Manager, Natalie Rowe, directly on natalie.rowe@realgroup.co.uk or 01273 35 81 92.

The deadline for submissions for our May cohort is 15 May.

Take a look at our dedicated NPQMLNPQSL, and NPQH pages online to find more information. 

The free Access Arrangements Update course is now SASC approved!

We’re happy to be able to share two pieces of great news at the start of the summer term.

Firstly, registrations are now open for this autumn’s free Access Arrangements Update course. Secondly – having taken on board feedback from some of last year’s delegates who need to maintain SASC CPD – we’ve now registered the course with SASC and those completing the course now benefit from three SASC-accredited CPD hours.

How do I register for the free Access Arrangements Update?

Registration is simple. Simply click on this link and enter your email address, name and confirm that you are an access arrangements professional and you’ll automatically receive a log-in.

What if I am already registered from last year?

Then the good news is you don’t need to do anything at all. As soon as the new JCQ update is released and we’ve created the course, you’ll be sent a reminder and the new course will be in your personal Campus Online dashboard.

I’ve forgotten my log-in details

Again, this is no problem. To reset your password simply visit Campus Online and follow the links and you’ll have access once again.

If I register today, can I see the current free Access Arrangements Update?

Absolutely. For our free course, we give access to registrants for the entire year, so you can go back and check on the details of the current updates at any time. The next update course will be available from early September.

Will I gain a certificate upon completion?

Again, the answer is yes. Once you have completed the different strands (which should take around half a day) you will be able to download a certificate to show you have finished the update.

Can I share this with my colleagues?

As part of our duty to maintain professional standards, we would like this to be accessed by as many people as possible. The only caveat is that this course is intended for qualified access arrangements professionals. This update does not confer the right to carry out access arrangements to those without CPT3A or an equivalent JCQ-recognised qualification.

Whole school training matters for successful inclusion


This article was originally written for and published by the International School Leader Magazine.

Author: Jalak Patel (Senior Educational Psychologist at Real Group Ltd which provides e-learning, training and assessment specialising in special educational needs and inclusion).

As a greater number of international schools adopt increasingly more inclusive policies and practices, the question becomes ‘How can we support all members of our school community to join us on this journey?’

I was reminded of this recently when talking with a head teacher who had been observing the quality of interactions between staff and students in her school. She noted that there appeared to be some staff who naturally adopted a more positive, inclusive manner when engaging with students and others who were less so. Interestingly, she recognised that these differences existed across all areas of the school community.  She wondered if whole school training might provide an answer.

Ask the important questions

For whole school training to have any real impact, my experience has taught me that certain factors have to have been considered beforehand. What does the senior leadership team want to achieve?  Moreover, what do they truly believe in? Before we can ask others to ‘do as we say’, we have to examine our priorities and make sure that they are in line with our purpose. 

Welcoming a diverse range of students into our schools will undoubtedly make our classrooms a more interesting and vibrant place to learn. However, it may also lead to a change in the academic outcomes that many international schools have traditionally strived for. Do we truly value a student’s incremental progress against what they could do last week, last month or last year? Or is the message sent to staff that academic outcomes still outweigh other considerations?

What does whole school mean?

When we say ‘whole school’, how often do we really include the whole school?  When was the last time that you included teaching assistants, school administrators and lunchtime supervisors to whole school training? What about your school caretaker? International schools operate within a wider cultural context, and levels of understanding around interacting with and supporting students with additional needs may vary.  Being able to articulate a shared understanding of inclusion and its importance is an important step when contemplating change.

Including all members of staff in training, while immensely valuable, naturally leads to some logistical concerns: we tend to think of English as our main language of instruction but is it useful to consider whether another language of delivery might be more appropriate for some members of staff?  Is the training being delivered at a time that is convenient for all?  Are part-time staff expected to come? Will everyone be paid for the time they are there? These are all important considerations when we want to maximise the impact of whole school training.  For inclusion to work we need everybody to understand and be on board. 

We also need staff to be able to share their concerns and anxieties in a welcoming environment. For some staff, this may be the first time that they are going to be working with students who require some level of differentiation. For others, they may be concerned that their competence will be called into question. Effective senior leadership, in the form of an open door, a listening ear and a safe space, can help to alleviate these anxieties and lead to solution-focused conversations. 

Embedding good practice

The model of training adopted by a school may go some way to develop not just knowledge and understanding of inclusion but also everyday practice.  We know, from research into good practice, that an effective model of whole school training includes the delivery of knowledge and key concepts, modelling and demonstration, and opportunities for practice alongside developmental feedback, coaching and mentoring. For inclusion to become embedded as part of our everyday values and behaviours, planning effective whole school training should include opportunities for all members of the school community to be involved in these different stages of development.

Change takes time. In the context of a fast-paced school, it can be difficult to recognise and celebrate small steps of success. Having a clearly defined action plan, with sufficient time to implement each stage, and opportunities to monitor and reflect is key. Including everyone in discussions around ‘what works’ and ‘how we can improve’ may lead to some interesting and innovative ideas for the future.  In settings where there can often be a high level of transience – in either the senior leadership team or in the wider school community – it will be important to revisit all aspects of the plan on a regular basis. 

Whole school training is most effective when the process itself is as inclusive as the ethos that schools are working towards; where there is a shared vision held by all, a clear approach for working towards mutually agreed goals, opportunities for solution focused conversations to take place and celebration of all achievements, no matter how large or small!

Key considerations

  • What are your school priorities for the coming year? Consider how inclusive they are.
  • Have you seen examples of good practice that you admire? Speak to colleagues in other settings about how they have achieved their goals.
  • Inclusion doesn’t just happen within the four walls of a classroom. All facets of the school community need to be considered – people, building, teaching styles and learning materials.
  • Be aware of the wider cultural context in which your school sits.
  • To be truly inclusive, there needs to be a shared vision of what inclusion means and what this looks like in your school. Every single member of the school works together to ensure that all learners feel respected, valued and supported to achieve their goals.

What are your plans for World Autism Awareness Day?

In case you hadn’t heard, today is World Autism Awareness Day. In fact, it’s World Autism Awareness Week all this week – is your school doing anything special to mark the occasion? For us, the Autism module on our masters-level SEND Programme is always a popular course and we are busy preparing for the next cohort starting in May.

Stand out by making a difference

According to a survey carried out by the National Autistic Society, 7 out of 10 parents of children with autism said ‘it had not been easy to get the educational support their child needs”. If you think that some in-house expertise in Autism would be beneficial for the children in your setting, you may be interested in our flexible and practice-led Autism Spectrum Conditions module which is possible to complete online within a year.

In fact, you can achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Conditions if you also decide to take a deeper dive into Autism by completing our Evidence and Pedagogy for Inclusion module.

Why is May a good time to start?

You can begin our online modules in September, May and January each year. However, we believe that the May cohort offers some unique benefits:

  • Complete much of the reading and project preparation work during the summer holidays.
  • Implement projects and strategies as soon as you are back at school in the new academic year.
  • Finish writing up your assignments in the Spring term, when there are fewer school commitments.

Visit our page to find out more about the course. To book onto our May cohort, please complete our online booking form and we will then be in touch straight away to progress your booking. You will need to be working in an educational setting and have completed an undergraduate degree to be eligible for the course. However, if you have not completed a degree and are keen to join the programme, you can complete and submit an assignment to show that you are ready to study at level 7 – contact us for more information regarding this route.

Award-winning SEND leadership training for international schools

Last month, Real Training was awarded SEN Resource Supplier of the Year at the GESS Global Awards ceremony in Dubai. In addition to this, our SEND Programme was highly commended in the Special Education Resource category at the Education Resources Awards (ERA) last week. We are so excited to have been acknowledged in these established industry awards as it gives us great confidence that our courses and qualifications are valued by acclaimed leaders and experts in the education sector as well as our own customers.

Of course, one of our latest additions to our established SEND Programme is our International Award in SEN Coordination (iSENCO). This is a unique qualification designed and developed with – and exclusively for – educational professionals working in an international setting.

Course content

The iSENCO qualification aims to develop the delegate’s skills in leading the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision at an international setting. This includes looking at current challenges facing international schools when looking to develop a fully-inclusive setting. Delegates will gain a deeper understanding of how the wider cultural, political, historical and community contexts influence the school’s SEND provision. Through Real Training’s practice-led learning model, delegates will be reviewing current SEND and inclusion policies and implementing strategies to make a difference in their setting throughout their learning journey. Take a look at our iSENCO page for more information on course content.

Suitability for the qualification

iSENCO is an ideal qualification for the school’s SENCO, the Inclusion Manager or maybe a current teacher who is an aspiring leader in SEND. Although they need to have completed an undergraduate degree, they do not need to hold the UK Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), unless they wish to complete an additional module to gain the UK’s mandatory qualification for mainstream school SENCOs – the NASENCO qualification.

Book now for the May cohort

If you are ready to book yourself, or a colleague, onto the iSENCO course please complete our simple booking form today and we will be in touch straight away to progress your booking, ready for the May 2019 cohort. This is a great month to start, as the delegate will have time to complete much of the reading and assignment preparation over the summer holidays and therefore be ready to implement positive changes in their setting in the new academic year.

Bring access arrangements services in-house with Real Training’s CPT3A qualification

Are you looking to become a qualified Access Arrangements Assessor ready for the next academic year? With our intensive CPT3A qualification, you still have time.

Our Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A) comprises the Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET) and the Access Arrangements Course (AAC) to meet the Joint Council for Qualification’s (JCQ’s) requirements for qualified assessors, as long as you also hold a qualification to teach.

How can you benefit from the CPT3A qualification?

There are many benefits to the CPT3A qualification – not only for the educator completing the course but also for the educational setting and the children who attend it. Upon completion of CPT3A, you will be able to:

Dates and venues

If you’re looking to be qualified to apply for access arrangements in October, we recommend our CPT3A intensive route – one of the 3-day intensive CCET courses in May, followed by the 1-day intensive AAC in June or September – this should allow you to be qualified in time.



If these dates or venues are not suitable, please take a look at our dedicated CPT3A page online for details of all available intensive courses. Alternatively, CCET and AAC can be completed as online modules, to be started as soon as you are ready.

If you wish to discuss the CCET or CPT3A study options in more detail, please contact us. 

Join us in May for the Cognitive Abilities Profile training

Join us in London on 15-16 May to learn about an alternative and unique way to effectively assess your student’s progress.

Our Cognitive Abilities Profile training is designed to train education professionals in how CAP can be used to structure an in-depth individualised assessment for students from early years into adulthood. During the 2-day course, you will cover a range of topics including:


  • The principles, key questions and concepts of dynamic assessment and how they apply to CAP.
  • The different models of cognitive processes and the seven functional domains of cognitive abilities.
  • The contents of the CAP toolkit and how to use this to develop informed and effective interventions.

We advise you to purchase a CAP toolkit in advance of the event. This can be purchased on the Dyslexia Action Shop website.

The course is open to anyone who works in the learning and development of children, adolescents and adults, and is particularly relevant for psychologists, therapists, teachers and SENCOs. Book now to attend our 2019 course on 15-16 May at the Novotel London City South hotel. 

To find out more about the Cognitive Abilities Profile training, please visit our dedicated CAP course page online. Alternatively, you can ask our course advisors any unanswered questions by contacting us.

Save time and money with our CCET training

We have been told that staff training often gets overlooked as this is something that can be seen as an avoidable expense. But what if staff training actually saves you money, meaning that you have extra budget to spend on other important areas?

CCET Training – what is it?

Every school needs to undertake student assessments during the year – tests to assess for progress as well as for special needs. Many schools invest in Educational Psychologists (EP) or Specialist Teachers to carry out these tests on the school’s behalf. However, did you know that our Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET) qualification trains educators on how to carry out these services in-house? This can, therefore, lead to reductions in spending on outsourced services or perhaps simply means you are able to afford more meaningful services from your EP or Specialist Teacher, rather than just the standard assessments.

Who and how?

The CCET training is an open-access course so we welcome applications from any of your staff members. However, it is worth noting that the qualifications they hold in addition to CCET will determine which tests they will be able to purchase from the test providers. Please contact us on 01273 358080 for further advice on this.

Our qualification can be completed flexibly online with full tutor support. Alternatively, we offer several 3-day intensive courses for those wishing to fast-track their learning. There are still a few places remaining for our upcoming courses in London and Birmingham this month:

If you are interested in either of these courses, you can book now via our simple online booking form. For further information regarding the course content, please visit our dedicated CCET page online. You can also visit our Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A) page if you are interested in your colleague also becoming a qualified Access Arrangements Assessor.

Since we launched CCET in 2006, we have trained over 2500 teachers, SENCOs and other professionals and they are now carrying out educational testing for their schools in the UK and all over the world. If you are interested in investing in in-house expertise in this area and have unanswered questions, please contact us.

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