Closing the gap

Closing the gap

‘Closing the Gap – video has the power to transform practice…’

The VIG/VERP Conference at the University of Strathclyde last week brought together over three hundred professionals involved in working with people, in the education, health and care sectors, from as far afield as Finland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

VERP (Video Enhanced Reflective Practice) has been used at Chailey Heritage School now for two years, to enable teaching and support staff the opportunity to improve the quality of their interactions with others through critical analysis of their own practice – using video clips.

With participants moving from ‘reluctance to resilience’, the programme has produced some amazing results and it is symbolic of the way forward in professional development at the school. Last weeks’ conference included some thought provoking workshops including one about a VERP project to enhance Intensive Interaction in a special school for children with PMLD and Autism, by two Speech Therapists in Finland.

Intensive Interaction was developed to meet the learning needs of children and adults who are still at early stages of communication, cognitive and social development. In the presentation the therapists briefly described Intensive Interaction and it´s principles and benefits for people with complex communication needs and their communication partners. Then they described the first year of a three year VERP project with a special school for children aged 5 – 17 years with ASD and learning disabilities. In the project they combined basic training in Intensive Interaction with methods of video-based active support on-site.

The outcomes for staff and pupils were remarkable. VERP is a means to enable improvement multidisciplinary working across a workforce, and the ideas exchanged at the conference were of great interest and benefit to those attending. The poster presentation given by Paula Marten and Zubeida Dasgupta attracted lots of interest, and once again, Chailey Heritage was ‘on the map’ as an education provider where innovative professional practice is actively supported and encouraged!


Working in partnership with

Chailey Heritage Foundation works in partnership with Chailey Clinical Services, part of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. They provide medical intervention, clinical expertise and a range of therapies on-site for our children, young people and young adults.