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Talking Mats wishes to develop its training , products and consultancy in the education market and is seeking a further Talking Mats associate based in their office in Stirling . It is a 2 day a week post funded for a year. If you are interested  and think you have the relevant skills and experience then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  requesting the job spec. Once you have received the job spec and you feel that you are interested then please send a CV and a covering letter outlining how you meet the job specification by 9a.m on Wednesday 3rd of October . The interviews will be held on Wednesday the 10th October in the afternoon.

Involving young people in making decisions that affect their education can be both challenging and time consuming. Margo Mackay has just completed a research project, funded by NHS Forth Valley, which examined whether using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Children and Youth Version (ICF-CY) can be usefully combined with Talking Mats to provide a practical framework for decision making and target setting. It tested whether:

  1. combining Talking Mats and the ICF-CY framework was acceptable to secondary pupils with complex needs, and
  2. using the information obtained from them is helpful in setting targets for their Individual Education Plans

The project found that Talking Mats, when combined with ICF-CY, is a powerful tool with the potential to greatly enhance the nature of partnerships between pupils, parents and professionals.

Thanks to everyone who came to my presentation at the 2012 RCSLT conference ‘Driving Transformation’ I was fortunate to have the new chair of RCSLT Bryony Simpson chairing my workshop and the room was full with over 50 delegates attending.  I told the story of our spin out from the university using a Talking Mat reflecting on the skills we had developed in various  areas e.g. financial planning, intellectual property, marketing , leadership – using the Talking Mat worked well and was a visual and interesting way to discuss business planning! The participants reflected on their own business skills in groups using Talking Mats and this generated discussion about e.g. the value of the mats as a thinking and planning  tool, the challenges of intellectual property, how much risk you take in planning a new venture and what are the most helpful stepping stones – great buzz all around the room and lots of lovely comments

Getting it right for every child is a national programme to improve outcomes for all children and young people in Scotland. It threads through all existing policy, practice, strategy and legislation. New Scottish Government legislation will be introduced to parliament in 2013 which will embrace the key principles of the GIRFEC approach to all of children’s services.

Yesterday (3rd September 2012) Leanne Turner and I attended an excellent conference at Stirling University where a wide range of people explored key aspects of implementing the GIRFEC approach. (Leeanne is Employee Development Officer: Child Protection with Edinburgh Council and one of our accredited trainers)

Talking Mats and GIRFEC: Leeanne and I ran 2 seminars which described how we have worked together to develop symbol sets based on the GIRFEC model to be used with the Talking Mats Framework. We illustrated the seminar with some moving case examples of how Talking Mats has been used to get the views of children at risk. We also discussed plans for future Talking Mats developments and training.

To read one of Leeanne’s case studies click here

We have also had an article published in the Times Educational Supplement (Scotland) about talking Mats being used to help young people set their own targets – click here to download it