Preparing Teachers for Management and Leadership of Multi-agency Assessment of Vulnerability: building capacity in ITT

Research and Development Award Round 3

What the resource is:
This is a report of a Research and Development project to develop learning materials to support multi-agency working.  It was designed with special attention to the needs of trainees to be supported in work-based learning environments in which the majority of their training is spent.  

The project, from the third round of Research and Development projects, was supported by TDA funding to develop the knowledge base in ITT & CPD and focused on Special Educational Needs (SEN).  The projects featured innovative, exploratory and developmental research.


The aims of the resource:
A main aim of this project was to help Initial Teacher Training (ITT) tutors and school-based mentors to support and prepare trainee teachers to develop the necessary skills to engage in multi- agency working and to prepare them for coordinating and managing multi-agency working, as necessary, within their professional teaching career.


Key findings or focus:
The project produced an interactive electronic resource through which trainees could access material to support their understanding of multi-agency working. The design allowed both presentation of material together with demonstration of the overall architecture of multi-agency working. In addition to this the researchers produced an appendix containing an extensive list of literature and web-based resources relating to multi-professional working.

The researchers found that:


  • Trainees, and often their school-based mentors, had little or no knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of other professionals or of multi-agency working or beyond awareness that multi-agency working was required.
  • There was an extensive tranche of materials available including both academic papers and web-based resources.
  • Many of the materials were impenetrable to readers from other professional backgrounds. Authors had made assumptions and used shorthands such as acronyms, which made the materials inaccessible for entry level readers. This difficulty was not confined to trainees but was   true for trainers as well.
  • The extensive range of materials and need for flexibility meant that paper based materials would not be adequate and that an interactive ICT platform was a requirement for the resource, rather than being merely desirable.
  • The understanding of and support for work-based learning in school was rarely sufficiently developed for the long periods of work based learning in initial teacher training.


The quality, authority and credibility of the resource from your subject perspective in relation to ITE:
The researchers worked iteratively to uncover critical points and systematically to address each of these points using techniques appropriate to each stage. 

These included:

  • A search and search for print and web-based materials.
  • Establishing a multi-professional reference group of critical friends to aid the development of materials
  • Questionnaire survey of trainees focussing on the standard s for Qualified Teacher Status relevant to multi-professional working.
  • Interviews of trainees and school based mentors.


An indication of the strength of the methodology was the way in which findings re-directed the focus at different stages.  For example the discovery that entry level knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of various professionals needed to be made available in an accessible form, the necessity of having an ICT based platform for the materials and the observation that the standard of facilitation of work-based learning needed critical attention.


The implications for ITE tutors/mentors - when and how it could have best impact:
The materials are a useful resource for ITE tutors and mentors and are available from Prof J Davies,; or Dr J Ryan

Facilitation of work based learning needs further development in mentor training.


The relevance to ITE students - how and why it has importance:

Multi-professional working is a requirement for teachers and this resource will be useful in and beyond initial training

It will also be useful for MTL and other Masters work


Reviewed by:
Hilary Constable


Related Resources:
The following might be useful to read in conjunction with this resource:


Summary of websites providing details of relevant occupational roles and responsibilities


A full review of the role of Health Visitors is available at the Department of Health web site


More detailed accounts of the role of the school nurse can be found on:Teachernet and Learn Direct at:

A more detailed description of the role of a Paediatrician can be found  on the healthcareernet website


The role of the paediatric nurse can be found on the Medical Schools and Nursing Colleges website


A more detailed account of the role of Dieticians can be found on The British Dietetic Association website


A detailed account of the role of a Nutritionist can be found on the Nutrition Society website at:


There is a useful A-Z list of conditions on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website


More details of the role of Physiotherapists can be found on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website and on the NHS Careers website


The Royal college of Speech and Language Therapists website provides a description of the role of a Speech and Language Therapist


 A description of the role of Speech and Language Support Workers can be found on the same site


A full description of the role of an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant can be found on the ENT UK website


For an overview of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the roles of CAMHS workers visit the ECM website


A full description of the work of an Occupational Therapist is available on the College of Occupational Therapists website


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) - provide Occupational Summaries for Portage Workers at:


There is further information on the role of the portage worker on the Local Government Careers website


An outline of the role of an Audiologist can be found on the learn direct website  and the nhscareers website


A more detailed description of the role of a Social Worker can be found on the General Social Care Council website


And an outline of the Job of Social Worker can be found on the Connexions website or the Prospects website


An outline of the role of a Social Care Worker is available on the Social Work Careers website

A further description the Job of Social Care Worker can be found on the Connexions website


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) website provides Occupational Summaries for:


Because of the range of counselling available outlines of the role of a Counsellor can be found on a number of websites, for example,  The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the Relate website

The NHS Carers website


Connexions website


A range of professional profiles for people working with the Substance Misuse are presented on the Drink and Drugs website


An outline of the Job of Substance Misuse Worker can be found on the Connexions website


There are 4 levels of teaching Assistant TA1, TA2, TA3 and HLTA (see Skills4Schools website for details of these levels)


The Teacher Development Agency (TDA) provide an overview of the roles of the Learning support staff (TAs, HLTAs and Nursery Nurses)

on their website at:


This site also has information on the roles of other staff, such as:


  • The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) - provide Occupational Summaries for all Early Years Workers in Day Nurseries


The DCFS outline the role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) on their website


A detailed SENCO job description is available on the teachernet website


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) provide a more detailed Occupational Summary for an Educational Psychologist


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) provide the full Occupational Summary for an Education Welfare Officer at:


The role of a Career Advisor can be found on the Connexions website


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) provide a full Occupational Summary for Connexions Personal Advisors


An outline of the work carried out by Pre-school workers can be accessed on The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) website


An outline of the role of YOTs can be found on the The Every Child Matters (ECM) website provides an at:

and on the Youth Justice Boards website

The Every Child Matters (ECM) website provides an outline of the role of the police service, and the particular role of police officers working with YOTs


The role of a PCSO can be found on the Home Office Website


The Every Child Matters (ECM) website provides an insight into how education and training can play an important part in reducing re-offending through Skills and employment


An outline of the role of a Youth Worker can be found on The National Youth Agency website


The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) - provide Occupational Summaries for the professional listed below at:





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Multi-agency; vulnerability; initial teacher training; special educational needs; workplace learning, school based mentoring, online learning, eLearning, cross-professional working, health service, social service, youth justice.