1st Edition

Enhancing Wellbeing and Independence for Young People with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties Lives Lived Well

By Andrew Colley, Julie Tilbury Copyright 2022
    226 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This unique resource book explores what wellbeing, community participation and independence mean to young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). Bringing together results of an extensive survey of more than 100 schools that teach young people with PMLD, the authors present many innovative ways in which schools are working to ensure young people with PMLD have lives of value that are as rich and meaningful as possible.

    Organised into three cohesive parts, this book provides a comprehensive insight into established theories and current perspectives on wellbeing and independence for people with PMLD before exploring the results from the Lives Lived Well survey and other international research, and then it helpfully illustrates best practice in action with a close look at an established, very successful specialist school.

    This book can be used as a guide, resource and inspiration for adults sharing their lives with young people with PMLD – whether practitioners or parents – and concludes by asking what we can learn from these young people to support us all in living life to the full.

    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Part One

    Chapter 2 What do we mean by wellbeing?

    Chapter 3 What do we mean by independence?

    Chapter 4 Wellbeing and independence in international and UK national policy

    Part Two

    Chapter 5 An introduction to the ‘Lives Lived Well’ surveys

    Chapter 6 The ‘Lives Lived Well’ surveys: Wellbeing

    Chapter 7 The ‘Lives Lived Well’ surveys: Independence

    Chapter 8 The ‘Lives Lived Well’ surveys: Wellbeing and independence beyond school

    Chapter 9 The ‘Lives Lived Well’ surveys: The link between policy and practice

    Part Three Focus on Chailey Heritage School

    Chapter 10 Welcome to Chailey Heritage School!

    Chapter 11 Supporting wellbeing at Chailey Heritage School

    Chapter 12 Supporting independence at Chailey Heritage School

    Chapter 13 Conclusion


    Andrew Colley is former Senior Lecturer in Special Education at the University of East London, UK. He has master’s degrees in special education from the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge and has taught young people with profound and multiple learning difficulties at schools in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

    Julie Tilbury is Lead Teacher for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties at Chailey Heritage School in East Sussex, UK, and has worked in special schools for 30□ years. She has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Birmingham and is studying for an EdD at the University of Buckingham.

    "A great deal of professional attention is rightly given to the physical health of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. As much should be given to their mental health and wellbeing. Afterall, physical health makes life possible, mental health makes it feel worth living! The drawing of information from research and real life mean this book is both informative and practical. Andrew and Julie’s insights act as a powerful enabler for the kind of reflective practice that will create better lives for people to live." - Jo Grace, sensory engagement and inclusion specialist

    "[This book] hits a mark seldom achieved, in not only posing questions related to the position of children, young people and adults with profound and multiple learning difficulties in 21st century society, but also in finding some answers. The book opens with a discussion of current practice, and then explodes into life with the results of a fascinating and wide-ranging international questionnaire which takes in the thoughts of practitioners in 20 different countries. Finally, the authors explore what is possible in one truly outstanding UK educational provision, given the funding. This does not mean that we in the UK should be complacent, for the fact that this school is reliant on considerable additional funding beyond that allocated by the state, tells its own story. Nonetheless, this is a thought provoking and innovative study, and I commend it to you." - Peter Imray, freelance trainer, advisor and writer on SEND

    "The book... is a very useful read for practitioners working with people with PMLD of all ages across the world. With a great number of quotes from professionals working in educational settings and other provisions in the UK but also in 19 other countries this book feels like hearing their voice, getting to know their practice and learning from them. The whole book but especially the third part of it, which describes in detail the exceptional example of Chailey Heritage School (specific filled in profiles are provided) is going to benefit immensely everyone who would like hands-on advice on how to improve the well-being and independence of people with PMLD. The authors have also drawn throughout the book links between research, policy and practice which makes their work of interest to researchers in the field too." - Lila Kossyvaki, Lecturer in Severe Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities