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Specialist schools and academies trust
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There has been an increase in the number of children in the UK with CLDD. This increase is mainly attributed to progress in medicine that enables children to survive after birth and to live longer.

The Department for Education (DfE) identified that educators were finding it difficult to find effective teaching and learning strategies to meet the needs of children and young people with CLDD.

The learning needs of children and young people with complex learning difficulties and disabilities

The learning needs of children and young people with CLDD are complex. Many are disengaged from learning activities and do not respond to teaching strategies that would engage other children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Children with CLDD need personalised programmes related to their complex difficulties and disabilities, that build on their strengths, however small these may seem.

Developing personalised learning

The DfES commissioned the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) to explore how to develop personalised learning for children with CLDD.

The research team worked alongside educators, families and their multidisciplinary colleagues in 96 schools, including special, mainstream, primary, secondary and early years settings.

The Research Project
Teacher at a table

1. Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities briefing packs
The profile of learning difficulties associated with a range of CLDD, for example, Fragile X Syndrome or maternal drug use. These enable educators to have a clear understanding of a child's difficulties and disabilities.

2. The engagement profile and scale
A classroom profiling and monitoring tool which enables educators to observe, record and chart the engagement in learning.

3. The inquiry framework for learning
Support for educators to explore and develop multidisciplinary personalised learning pathways under 12 different 'inquiry areas'. settings.

Research Project Report Recommendations

Educators involved in this project have embraced new pedagogy designed around the tenet of engagement.

CLDD Report 2011

To aid and enrich student engagement in learning, it’s recommended that schools consider the introduction of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust’s Engagement Profile and Scale: CLDD Report 2011.