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Natalie Ghattas – CPT3A

What do you do?

‘I am the general manager of the ABC Diagnostic and Learning Center in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. I carry out assessment, intervention programmes and counselling for all those with learning difficulties.’

Why did you decide to study the Certificate in Psychometric Testing: Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A) with us?

‘I wanted to learn about standardised assessments, place students on the right intervention programme, and provide them with access arrangements that suit their needs.’

What was your favourite part of the course?

‘I particularly liked the practical focus of the intensive face-to-face course. It was so good to work with different people from different cultures and backgrounds. We were learning about special education across cultures; this provided a valuable international forum for comparing practice.’

What impact has it had on your professional life?

‘It has helped me to administer the assessment across my organisation. It has enabled me to approach students; carry out the assessment; and provide feedback to parents too. I manage the assessments and love to do them myself too.’

What can someone who has taken these modules offer?

‘They will be able to provide appropriate access arrangements and identify which access arrangements are suitable for each child to enable them to better function in their classroom setting. It has given me the real confidence to apply assessments to my students and set intervention channels based on meeting their needs.’

Why would you advise someone to take this course?

‘It’s a really great course. It is quite short and efficient and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in assessment and access arrangements.’

Allyson Pulleyn – CPT3A

What do you do?

‘I teach some groups in curriculum support. I also do some learning mentor work, but my main role is as the school’s specialist assessor.’

Why did you decide to study the Certificate in Psychometric Testing: Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A) with us?

‘I’ve always been interested in testing. My background as a mental health nurse is something that we did use as part of our screening and profiling of patients and clients. So, when I moved over to work in a school setting, it wasn’t totally alien to me and I’m quite good at it really. I establish a rapport with students, I also do the initial interview before the assessment, so I can build up a very good picture of need by doing the interview and the testing, which helps us how to decide what access arrangements we need to use for those students who require them. In each instance, I try my best to ensure that all of my documentation is very comprehensive so that there is no doubt that this student needs what they should have.’

What was your favourite part of the course?

‘I really enjoyed the residential part of the course. Meeting people from different educational backgrounds and the face-to-face interaction with the tutors was really good… I got a good feel for what was needed and could ask questions. Any queries that I had, I was able to put to my tutors who I came into contact with on the AAC and the CCET.’

What impact has it had on your professional life?

‘It’s had a massive impact really. My salary’s increased, first and foremost. I’m the only person in the school who can do the testing. So, I’ve become the person who staff come to when they have general day-to-day classroom queries about students who aren’t doing very well. At first, the query has to come through the head of learning support – as I’m not the person who the referrals initially come to as I just receive the referrals. But I love my new role. It’s positive and I really enjoy it.

‘If I had to pare my job right back to just what I want to do, then the testing would be just it. Because I love how I can put the students at ease, which helps them to cope with the elements of pressure on them to obtain the result that they want. Obviously, we need them to be at ease first and foremost, but I really enjoy the testing.’

What can someone who has taken this course offer?

‘It’ll enhance your expertise. It’s quite a specialist role, so it’s really good for the school, as they won’t need to get someone in, they’ll have someone who knows the student, and it’s a truly holistic approach to testing. Obviously, we’re painting a picture and testing’s only one part of it. But it’s a really key part and I also get to know the students; which is good.’

Why would you advise someone to take the course?

‘I think that it enhances your profile within the workplace. It keeps you in touch with current methods of assessment and it’s really important CPD. We all need to be current in our practice. But, ultimately, if you’ve got this, it puts you in a very strong position in the workplace because, usually, you’re the only person in a school/setting who can carry out this work. Of course, schools can pay for an EP to come in (which we used to do before I did the training), but, ultimately, it will save schools money.’

Melissa Skiles – CPT3A

Why did you decide to study with us?

As Head of Inclusion for an international British curriculum school in Dubai, the education and qualification provided by completing this course will help improve provision and support in the ever-changing and progressive private educational sector I work in.

What was your experience of learning with Real Training?

The course has exceeded my expectations – both in person and the online modules.  Throughout the duration of the course, the instructors have consistently proven themselves as consummate professionals but warm in their approach. They have also consistently demonstrated expertise and extensive knowledge of the content and its importance in the realm of education; they do so in a manner that is thoughtful and supportive. They organised varied content with real-world application and taught us the intricacies of such ethical work and practices and how to maintain those high standards.

How has the course(s) helped make an impact at school?

In a sector that is continuously evolving, it is imperative to stay on the proverbial edge of new assessment and understanding of the unavoidable biases within it, which this course helps us to understand, analyse, breakdown, and ultimately for the better of our students, avoid.

My school’s headteacher was excited for me to pursue this course as she knew the benefits for our students would be long-lasting and imperative to their accessibility in GCSEs.

How has the course(s) helped develop you as an educational professional and what do you hope to achieve with the new knowledge/skills in the future?

This is the first course since achieving my professional special education licensure (degree) that has had such a far-reaching impact on my career.  It is the bridge between the information I have learned to access and sharing that information appropriately, responsibly, and in an ethical manner that meets high professional standards.