Accelerator Neurodiversity Support Manager – New Hall – 43385
£31,924 - £36,715
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity
Overview of the job
A sizable proportion of our prison population are likely to have additional needs arising from a range of learning difficulties and disabilities, referred to as neurodiversity needs/neurodiversities. In her 2016 review of prison education, Dame Sally Coates reported that:
- Nearly one third of prisoners self-identified on initial assessment as having a learning difficulty and/or disability.
She recommended that:
- Governors and providers should begin from a planning assumption that there will be substantial numbers of prison learners who will have significant learning support needs. Every prison should adopt a whole-prison approach to identifying, supporting and working with prisoners with learning difficulties and disabilities.
We also know that people with neurodiversity needs in prison can be particularly vulnerable due to their social and communication difficulties, putting them at risk of not coping in a prison setting, being bullied, exploited or manipulated by fellow prisoners and impacting upon their ability to effectively engage with rehabilitation interventions.
The prison environment can also present challenges for people with neurodiversity, e.g. autism (such as impact of disrupted regimes, high noise levels and harsh lighting as well as adherence to rules and regulations that may be difficult to comprehend). These additional challenges may be detrimental to mental wellbeing, cause challenging behaviour and hinder ongoing participation and progress/compliance with sentence requirements.
As there is limited data on people with neurodiversity related needs in the secure estate, one of the key roles of the Neurodiversity Support Manager (NSM) will be to find the best way to collect and collate data at local level and for informing HQ.
There is some effective practice already in place in prisons, for example:
Through Prison Education Framework (PEF) contracts, Governors commission ‘Neurodiversity needs’ screening of newly sentenced prisoners on reception. Information is recorded on the central data system (“CURIOUS”) and used by tutors to identify how best to support individuals who enrol in education.
However, policy and operational experience tells us that we do not currently do enough to support neurodiverse individuals who have additional needs throughout their custodial journey and on release. Support in education for those with neurodiversity is restricted to prisoners who participate in education; no such formal support is offered for those who work in prison jobs (workshops, wing cleaning, prison kitchens). The MoJ (Ministry of Justice) health policy team have recently issued a Neurodiversity themed call for evidence, the overarching aim of which is to improve engagement with rehabilitation processes in the Criminal Justice System.
These experiences have culminated in the concept of trialling a Neurodiversity Support Manager (NSM) post to test out the potential impact of a dedicated post holder whose role is to provide effective support for individuals who need it, irrespective of the nature of their neurodiversity, the organisation which conducted the screening or the previse identity of the tool used.
This role is based in a prison establishment but is not an operational role.
This is post is available on loan, secondment or fixed-term contract, ending 31 March 2022 in HMP New Hall
The job holder is responsible for leading on supporting prison residents with needs arising from neurodiverse conditions. The “whole system” principle is of paramount importance, with the focus firmly on supporting individuals to achieve and progress throughout their sentence. The NSM will liaise with the Learning and Skills Manager (LSM) and the education provider to ensure the individual continues to be supported in the community, including by the probation teams.
Responsibilities, Activities and Duties
The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities and duties:
- Focus is on improving or ensuring that the quality of neurodiversity support and provision is at least good and moving towards outstanding. This to include assessment of quality to inform the prison education, skills and work improvement plan which can be applied across various learning channels, e.g. classroom, industries, work areas, workshops, gym etc
- Develop a neurodiversity needs strategy for the prison, incorporating other strategies such as reducing re-offending, employability/functional skills, safety and/or local security strategy; and work with key stakeholders and prison Senior Management Team (SMT) to implement it, maintain it and update as necessary.
- Provide strategic oversight for the neurodiversity elements within the delivery of the education, skills and work improvement plan, by harnessing the right partnerships within the prison, and by developing the systems and structures to ensure delivery. This should include as a minimum: Curriculum and Learning Progression lead, LSM, Head of Reducing Reoffending (HoRR), Provider education and/or curriculum managers (including regional leads), Employment lead, New Futures Network (NFN) broker, Prison Work Coach, Head of Offender Management Unit, libraries, Information Advice and Guidance (IAG), activities, gym, industries manager.
- Contributing to a “whole prison” needs analysis design and interpretation to ensure site specific macro level data and accompanying qualitative information is available to develop a common understanding of neurodiversity needs of those with neurodiverse needs. This is important as many people within the prison estate may have undiagnosed learning needs due to neurodiverse reasons.
- Examine what is being delivered within the current contract (PEF & DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System)),and explore where service delivery can be strengthened within the existing and future contracts.
- Analyse and evaluate current practice for how neurodiversity provision is tailored to the needs of a wide range of prisoners, including those who are hard to reach, vulnerable prisoners, and those for whom English is not their first language. Recommend and test related solutions leading into an improvement plan in time.
- Work with the HoRR, LSM and the Curriculum Learning and Progression Lead (CLP), Governor, Industries Manager, Activities team and SMT to:
- carry out the self-evaluation and use this to inform the neurodiversity elements of the improvement plan; to understand what good looks like, and to deliver this ambition;
- implement systems and processes (if not already available) to track the progress of prisoners with neurodiversity in work (including kitchen, horticulture, waste management industries/workshops, wing work and orderly/peer roles), analyse data and identify any participation and achievement gaps.
- Ensuring individual prisoners’ neurodiversity related information is shared with relevant prison teams (e.g. the allocation team) and key educational/healthcare providers’ staff appropriately and lawfully, as well as probation/offender management teams. This will involve understanding the respective responsibilities of each agency towards this cohort to ensure a coordinated “whole prison” response.
- Ensure any neurodiversity related information goes with the prisoner should they be transferred to another prison or hospital during their custodial sentence.
- Devise means of collecting and collating data at local level and for informing HQ.
- Case manage prisoners who require additional support to ensure it is both appropriate and helpful. This includes assuring the work of PEF, IAG and any other educational suppliers’ support plans and flag any issues with the LSM. It will involve working with the prisoners’ keyworkers to ensure that support needs are identified and recorded e.g. reasonable adjustments. It will also mean supporting prisoners supported by Challenge, Support & Intervention Plans (CSIP) or Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) case management e.g. by attending case reviews and informing care / intervention plans. This work requires sensitivity as it is essential to avoid creating additional vulnerabilities for people through a perception of being “labelled as different”.
- Develop and maintain links with healthcare & social care teams to link assessments, developing a set of common standards across the teams.
- Work with peer mentors to ensure that any peer mentoring schemes are working effectively for those with additional needs.
- Ensure that the needs of neurodiverse prisoners are considered in terms of availability of activities, appropriate adaptations as required and sufficient places by working with the LSM, activities and industries managers.
- Neurodiversity needs coordination across industry and partners- work with induction, career advice and NFN to agree what a learning plan could look like to measure individuals progress to a career destination
- Provide regular feedback to HMPPS HQ and the prison HoRR. This to include learning on the development of the role, good practice within the prison, data and evidence to support Spending review and delivery toolkits.
The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary. Significant adjustments may require re-examination under the Job Evaluation Scheme and shall be discussed in the first instance with the job holder.
- Seeing the big picture
- Changing and Improving
- Delivering at Pace
- Managing a Quality Service
- Experience of operating in a specialist neurodiversity role, e.g. in the community adult further and education skills sector.
- Knowledge of Ofsted’s further education and skills criteria for prisoners with additional needs and how these apply in the prison context.
- Experience of working with senior leaders and frontline practitioners.
- Experience of setting goals and achieving targets.
- Experience of implementing change.
- Strong written and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Experience of working within the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities field
- Experience of working in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders
Essential Qualification: Level 4 Certificate in Supporting the learning of learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
Essential Qualification: PGCE, Cert Ed or Level 5 in Education and Training.
Desirable Qualification: Level 7 Diploma in Assessing and Teaching Learners with Dyslexia, Specific Learning Differences and Barriers to Literacy
If successful candidates will need to complete vetting at enhanced level. You will need to demonstrate/ provide evidence of:
Confirmation of right to work
Confirmation of ID and address
Countersignature (where relevant)
Health check (where relevant)
Criminal record history of spent and unspent offenses
Information held by local police force.
The umbrella term used to refer to the group of conditions that fall under the broader category of Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). These include Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDDs) which generally include: Learning Disability, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD, aka Dyspraxia); other common conditions, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, including ADD), Autism Spectrum Conditions, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD, including speech and language difficulties),Tic Disorders (including Tourette’s Syndrome and Chronic Tic Disorder) and cognitive impairments due to Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
A webinar will be held to provide more information on the role, the project and what its like to work in HMP New Hall. For information on how to join, please contact Krovina, Abbie <Abbie.Krovina1@justice.gov.uk>
Working Arrangements & Further Information
Some of MoJ’s, including HMPPS, terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Standard working hours for this post are 37 hours per week excluding breaks which are unpaid.
If you are a current NPS employee, this vacancy may be available on a Loan basis for up to 2 years. Applications are invited from suitable qualified staff.
The Loan/Secondment is subject to the approval of the selected candidate’s Business Unit, which should be obtained before confirmation of appointment.
-The holiday year runs from 1 March. If you work a non standard work pattern your leave entitlement may be expressed in either hours or days as appropriate. Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro-rata basis and you will be advised of your actual entitlement on appointment. If you were appointed internally and your leave was previously calculated in days, this will continue to be the case.
Bank, Public and Privilege Holidays
You are entitled to 9 days (66 hours 36 minutes) in recognition of bank, public and privilege holidays. These hours are added to your annual leave allowance. There is a requirement to work some public and bank holidays subject to your shift pattern and the operational needs of the establishment
-The Civil Service offers a choice of two pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
Work Life Balance
-HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS) is keen to encourage alternative working arrangements. Work life balance provides greater opportunities for staff to work more flexibly wherever managers and establishments can accommodate requests to do so. HMPPS offers flexible working subject to completion of a satisfactory probationary period and NVQ
Season Ticket Advance
-After two months’ service, you’ll be eligible to apply for a season ticket advance to purchase a quarterly or longer-period season ticket for travel between home and your place of work
For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
-HMPPS is committed to staff development and offers a range of training and development opportunities, including areas such as Equality and Diversity, Dealing with Challenging Behaviour, Suicide Prevention and Anti Bullying Programmes
-There are opportunities to access promotion programmes and HMPPS provide a variety of training appropriate to individual posts
-All staff receive security and diversity training and an individual induction programme into their new roles
-All candidates are subject to security and identity checks prior to taking up post
-All external candidates are subject to 6 months probation. Internal candidates are subject to probation if they have not already served a probationary period within HMPPS
-All staff are required to declare whether they are a member of a group or organisation which HMPPS considers to be racist
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.
There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.