Physical Intervention Policy Change
In 2011 Nottinghamshire County Council published a policy entitled ‘Keeping Classrooms Safe for Teaching and Learning – Physical Intervention Policy’. The policy provided schools and associated services with guidance on the use of physical interventions to manage the risks presented by young people’s behaviour in classroom settings. The policy advocated the use of a model of training known as MAPA (Management of Actual and Potential Aggression) which is a licensed BILD (British Institute of Learning Disability) accredited model of training. The license to deliver MAPA training was originally granted to the Local Authority by an organisation known as Positive Options. The license and trademark of MAPA is now owned by CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) who have continued to endorse the Local Authorities delivery of MAPA for the past four years.
A recent change in stance by CPI have led officers to the conclusion that it is now in the best interests of the children and young people of Nottinghamshire, and of the staff who work in Nottinghamshire schools, to move away from the MAPA model. This paper outlines the rationale for arriving at this decision, and describes the new, alternative arrangements which have been put into place.
DfE draft guidance, which is due for publication in October 2018, entitled Reducing the Need for Restraint and Restrictive Intervention – Children and Young People with Learning Disability, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Mental Health Difficulties * highlights to commissioners of training that, ‘there are no universally accepted standards for the use of restraint or training’ (para. 48), and that any accreditation is voluntary, and non-statutory. It is the view of officers that whilst it is important that the Local Authority’s policy and practices continue to work to the BILD code, which is recognised to be the ‘Gold Standard’ in this field, it is no longer necessary or cost-effective to have the BILD kite mark.
When CPI initially acquired the license for MAPA training they were in agreement that the Local Authority’s MAPA team could continue to deliver training in the way they had prior to CPI’s acquisition of Positive Options. However, at the latest annual review of its licence, CPI were insistent that if the Local Authority was to continue to deliver BILD accredited MAPA training then it would be necessary to adopt the use of CPI’s teaching work-books, power points and a specific style of delivery. It is the view of officers that such a change in stance would have significant impact on the delivery, content and cost of training for Nottinghamshire’s schools.
By moving away from the MAPA model there will be an initial cost saving of between £8-10K, for the costs of the license and annual updates for trainers. There are other potential cost benefits to the Local Authority as the license placed restrictions on where training could be delivered. Having this restriction removed opens up opportunities to work across county boundaries and also across services. If in the academic year 2017/2018 the Local Authority had adopted the CPI Workbook model of delivery the additional costs would have been in the region of £27K, based on the number of people trained. This is a cost that officers do not believe is good value.
The DfE draft guidance states that any training commissioned, “…has been devised by experts with a successful track record of working in the relevant specialism.” (para.49). Whilst CPI have determined that the model of training delivered in Nottinghamshire can no longer be referred to as MAPA, it is the view of officers that existing practices in Nottinghamshire are compliant with the DfE guidance. Our model of delivery and its content has seen the Local Authority receive National acclaim for best practice being asked to run a workshop at the annual BILD conference in 2012.
• In the light of these changes the Local Authority will rename its physical intervention service to be known as the Coping with Risky Behaviours (CRB) service. This service will continue to be part of the group of services collectively known as Psychology Services.
• The CRB service will review and re-issue its guidance, resources and model policy for schools to reflect these changes.
• The CRB service will continue to deliver advice, guidance and training into schools and settings, and in so doing will continue to work to the BILD code of practice which is regarded as being the ‘Gold Standard’ for best practice in this area of work.
• The CRB service will be responsible for informing schools and others of these changes.
• Any further developments in the advice, guidance and resources made available to schools by the CRB service will also be made available to Nottinghamshire’s Safeguarding Children’s Board.