Using the Engagement Model to Support pupils not
yet engaged in Subject Specific Learning by James Waller

Over the past 18 months, EQUALS has provided this as an online CPD Session. New Dates will be published for autumn 2022; and spring/summer 2023.

To reserve a place please email sarah@equalsoffice.co.uk



EQUALS Online CPD Sessions are 100% FREE for EQUALS Members.



The Engagement Model is now the statutory assessment for pupils working below the standard of National Curriculum and not engaged in subject-specific learning. The Standards and Teasting Agency (STA) originally published The Engagement Model guidance in January 2020. The Model is scheduled to become statutory from September 2021.

We are running this session to recap the main principles from the statutory approach as well as offer some practical ideas around how you might use the model in school for pupils not yet fully accessing subject specific learning.



This session will enable schools to: 

  • identify the relevant cohort of pupils; 
  • use the engagement areas to observe and assess the level of engagement for individual pupils; 
  • support and evaluate the curriculum for pupils not yet engaged in subject specific learning.

The session will cover:

  • Recap of what the Engagement Model is;
  • Exploring what is meant by the term Engagement and each of the 5 areas;
  • Understanding who the Engagement Model is for;
  • Implementing the Engagement Model;
  • Making links between the Engagement Model and the curriculum;
  • Integrating the Engagement Model into your current assessment system;
  • Sharing practice regarding practical use of the model;
  • Reporting progress & Accountability;
  • Ofsted & Engagement.

The session will also touch on the Pre Key Stage Standards for the end of Key Stage 1 and 2, the pupil group they are relevant to and their appropriate use.

James is the Headteacher of Sunningdale School, a specialist school for pupils with Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties and Autism in Tyne and Wear.  Following the publishing of the Rochford Review in 2016 James was involved in piloting the use of the Aspects of Engagement and was an Engagement Model Lead Trainer for the STA approved training on the Engagement Model.

James has developed and delivered workshops on a wide variety of topics related to Severe, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties on behalf of the SENHub in Tyne and Wear, Together for Children, EQUALS and other organisations such as B-Squared.  

James additionally works as a visiting lecturer for the University of Northumbria.

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