100th #OnePP: In my own words; how a one-page profile helped me

Jenny Carter is a self advocate. As someone who has autism, Jenny found that she was often misunderstood and not always able to get her point across in her work life and in social situations. She wanted to create a one-page profile to help her overcome these difficulties and better advocate for herself and others. This is Jenny’s story in her own words.

Jenny's one-page profile

Jenny’s one-page profile

Written by Jenny carter

My name is Jenny Carter I am 30 years old and I have Autistic Spectrum Condition, Dyspraxia and Epilepsy. Being on the Autistic Spectrum affects me in many ways and can mean that I perceive situations and people and respond to them differently to the way one might expect. For example, in social situations I am very direct. In the past I have gotten into trouble for saying things the way I see them. As I mean no harm when I do this, it can make me feel frustrated or upset when people take it the wrong way.  On the positive side, seeing things differently means that I have a unique perspective on the world and this means that I can sometimes see things before they happen!

I live with my Mum and Dad. I love athletics and was the National Junior Champion for 100 and 200 metres sprinting.  I am a self advocate.  This means that I speak out to help myself and others to have a voice.  I am also a Partners in Policymaking Graduate.  I am one of the leads for self advocacy in Wirral and a Director of Together All Are Able; a Community Interest Company supporting Self Advocates.

I created my first one- page profile myself with help from a friend and colleague, Vicky, in 2012. I wanted people to understand me and what I was saying and I thought having a one-page profile could help me to achieve this. I often felt that people would shout me down when I expressed an opinion and not ask me questions to understand what it was I was trying to say. I wanted a way of explaining to people that they needed to talk to me more before disagreeing with my points.

Helen Sanderson asked to see my first draft one-page profile and she was impressed. She said she could help me improve it so that it achieved more of what I wanted it to achieve.  So in May 2013 Helen and I worked on the sections ‘what is important to me’ and ‘how best to support me’. There had been some confusion between these two points in the first draft and making sure this information is clear is very important as other people can then support you in the way that is right for you.

I use my one-page page profile mainly for work.  I update it myself.  I share it with the people who I am working with and the people who I am to have meetings with. Some of the other people I work with use one-page profiles too and when they do, it always makes our communication with each other so much smoother. I sometimes send my one-page profile by email before I meet someone and I also carry it on my ipad so that I can share it with people in person.

Having a one-page profile has made a big difference to me.  I am listened to more now than I was before.  The Directors that I work with at Together All Are Able tell me if they will be late for a meeting (as this is something that I have stated is important for me to know).  It helps me to feel more in control.  Because it helps me communicate more clearly and helps people to understand me easily I feel that people are more open to working with me now. There are far less situations where I feel upset or misunderstood after speaking my mind and this is a very positive outcome of my one-page profile.





Greater Independence

An example of how this man’s one-page profile has helped him gain confidence and achieve greater independence.

Earl's one-page profile

Earl’s one-page profile

Written by Cat Eglington

Forty-one year old Earl uses our services at The Manor in Brampton, Cambridgeshire. Earl has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida occurs when the bones and nerves of the spine do not fully develop while the unborn child is in the womb. Hydrocephalus is also known as water on the brain.Earl’s one-page profile was developed to share information about himself with anyone who comes into contact with him at The Manor. He has two profiles on the wall in his bedroom, in pride of place for all to see. One is his original colour profile and another is a copy that Earl has coloured in and drawn on himself. Both are on the wall alongside all his pictures and posters.

Earl really enjoyed developing his profile and had lots of ideas that he wanted to share. As he is such a big motor sport fan he wanted a racing car on his profile alongside a picture of his favourite drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Earl’s profile was developed over a relaxing afternoon spent talking about the things that are important to him, his hopes for the future and how it is best to support him. Earl also asked friends what they liked best about him.

Within everyday life Earl’s one-page profile has been used to inform new staff and volunteers how best to support him and to understand more about Earl as a person; his likes and dislikes. The profile acts as a voice for Earl, communicating how he likes to be best supported and for staff at The Manor to understand how to fully support Earl on a day-to-day basis. His more detailed person-centred plan is available for anyone to read who would like to know more information about Earl or as a guide that can be referred to at any time.

Earl has become more confident as a person and more goal-orientated since creating his one-page profile and he clearly feels more connected to people in both a social and professional way as they can understand him better. Earl now has a girlfriend at The Manor.

Earls one-page profile sets  out the important information that people need to know to support him well such as; he likes to dress himself; he likes to get up early; he likes to be around people and he likes to read the paper. It also states what is important to him so that support staff know the food, people and activities paramount in his life.

Earl likes to be as independent as possible and he is happy that his one-page profile has helped him to do this. His support team recently helped Earl to order new equipment such as a banana board, a sling and a handling belt. All these items are to help Earl to maintain his independence.

The outcome of a one-page profile for Earl has been better choice and control. He feels empowered by the information he shares and believes that the team around him now understand him better and can help him live more independently as a result.

Feeling valued and supported at work

Corrina wrote this story last year (before the birth of her first child). She shares with us how using a one-page profile in her role as a primary school teacher has helped her feel valued as an individual within her staff team and how it has significantly improved her appraisal and performance management process.

Corrina's one-page profile

Corrina’s one-page profile

Written by Corrina Warren

I am 26 years old and I am a primary school teacher at Oxley Park Academy, I have worked at Oxley Park for five years. I work in Key Stage Two and I love working and learning alongside the children. In June 2013 I am due to become a mum for the first time and I can’t wait for my son to be born.

I have a one-page profile as a member of staff at Oxley Park Academy. As a school we are currently working hard on driving forward personalisation  and the Academy Principal, Cathy Higgins, felt that it was important for the staff to be valued as individuals as well as the children.

We had training on what the purpose of a one-page profiles is and how to develop each section. Cathy then asked us to write our own for us to share with her at our Performance Management meeting. The purpose of doing this was so that Cathy had a greater understanding of the staff as individuals and what she could do to support us and to help develop us as professionals.

Teachers have Performance Management Meetings with Cathy on a termly basis. As part of the review process we share our one-page profiles and update Cathy, where necessary, on any amendments that have been made. Cathy uses the information from the one-page profile to help us set targets as well as offer strategies and guidance in order to help support us as individuals.

For me personally, the ‘Like and Admire’ is my favourite section of my one-page profile. This section reminds me of how I am valued and appreciated by my colleagues and always makes me smile when I read it. However, in terms of usefulness, the ‘How to support me best’ section is the most important. This is the section that is reviewed and updated most frequently and is the most important bit for Cathy to know because ultimately she is the one who implements the support for me.

Having the one-page profile and sharing it with Cathy has meant that she now has a greater understanding of what she can do in order to help me achieve my goals at work and ensure that what’s important to me is being met. Cathy knows that I like structure and for my job role to be clear, because of this I now have a clearly defined job description which outlines my roles and responsibilities. This has supported me greatly as I know who and what I am responsible for and no longer worry about things that are not part of my job role.

I now feel that I am able to confidently approach Cathy if I have any concerns about work and my work/life balance and I use my one-page profile to help me do this. It enables me to communicate with Cathy and share my feelings in a way that I might otherwise find difficult to do. Having the information written down in front of me ensures that I share how I am really feeling and Cathy also keeps a copy of it to keep on file with my Performance Management Meeting notes so that she also has a record of what has been agreed.

It’s the ‘little things’ that make a difference

Ellen's one-page profile

Ellen’s one-page profile


An example of how creating a one-page profile has empowered Ellen to speak out about the ‘little things’ and make positive changes in her life.

Written by Cat Eglington

Ellen is 66 years old and from the North East of England. She has a condition called hydrocephalus which means she has physical disabilities and a learning disability. She lived with her mum for many years, who supported her with all aspects of her life. Her mum cared for her greatly until she sadly died in 2000. At this point Ellen moved into a supported living service to continue to get the help she needed.

Ellen’s health needs had always been a key focus of the support she received but support staff where she lived were keen to use person-centred thinking and felt that developing a one-page profile with Ellen might capture her own unique ways and wishes. They felt Ellen had grown up being such a kind person that she would often agree politely with other people’s ideas and not express her own wishes. They wanted a way to get to discover and record exactly what was important to Ellen – not just what support she needed with her health.

One of the staff  who supported Ellen (Anne) sat and chatted with her for a couple of hours over a cup of tea. She developed a draft one-page profile in this time. Other staff who know Ellen added in details and information that they knew to be important to her. Her brother and sister in-law checked that they felt the profile captured who Ellen was from their perspective.

Ellen’s one-page profile is referred to every day. It is kept in the very front of her support plan. If agency staff ever need to support Ellen they are asked to read her one-page profile to get a succinct overview of what matters to her and to help them understand how to provide good support. Ellen had a person-centred review recently and the one-page profile informed exactly how the review was planned and delivered.

Ellen’s one-page profile highlighted several things that really mattered to her. She loves the soaps (apart from Eastenders) and in her review it was discussed that she would love to go to see the site of the soaps such as Coronation street and Emmerdale. As a result she has been supported to book a holiday , with a carer and a hire car so that she can go and visit all the TV locations that she loves , including Heartbeat country. The volunteer coordinator has connections in TV and is hopeful of pulling a few strings for a couple of visitors passes. Ellen has in the past been offered holidays and been happy to go, but this time the holiday was planned to completely reflect what is important to her.

Ellen has a package of support that focuses on her health needs but staff now better recognise the things that make a difference. They always pop into her flat around the time of the evening Soaps to make sure she has the right channels on her TV. She sometimes finds it hard to see the buttons on the remote .When supporting Ellen over a cup of tea, staff know to make sure Ellen’s cup is topped up with hot water half way through so she never has to drink a cold brew- which she hates!

Another difference to Ellen is that she attends a nearby day centre and said she particularly enjoys the bingo there. As a result of appreciating this staff are now beginning to support Ellen to attend a regular coffee morning in the village she lives in and to attend the local bingo gala nights.

The process of creating a one-page profile gave Ellen the opportunity to put forward more of her own views when in other circumstances she might not. This has helped her make some plans and changes. It has also meant that attention is given to the “little things” that make Ellen feel happy and valued, whilst still appreciating her increasing health needs. Staff who know her feel it helps keep the balance in her life and focuses on improving the quality of support in the way that matters to her.

Now I’m celebrated for who I am

Mia's one-page profile

Mia’s one-page profile

Through the eyes of a 12 year old. Mia shares with us how her one-page profile has helped her communicate what is important to her and how best to support her well. Her Aspergers means that she can sometimes get worried or stressed by situations and having a one-page profile has relieved this fear significantly as the people around her understand her better. Now Mia is celebrated for who she is – this is Mia’s story.

Written by Mia

My name is Mia and I am 12 years old.  I am a very sporty person and I like swimming and hockey and athletics. I like to be in the school sports teams and be active. I have Aspergers Syndrome, which means that although I am very clever I sometimes get very stressed and worried and don’t understand people always.

I created a one-page profile because my mum wanted to help me to settle into my new school and be happy. I was moving from primary school to high school and this was a big change for me and I don’t like change. The one-page profile was to help the teachers understand me as a person and what was important to me and how to check if I was o.k. as I don’t always show people when I am stressed. It was also to pass information about what worked well for me from my old school to my new school.

Lots of people were involved in my one-page profile, my mum and dad and my sister contributed about what they liked about me, also my Nan. My school teacher was involved and explained what happens for me in school, but most of all I was able to explain what was important to me and what worries me and how to help me with this.

My one-page profile was given to all of the teachers, because of it my new form teacher knew a bit about me when I went to the school for a trial and this helped me feel relaxed. My one-page profile has been used to help teachers put things in place like homework slips to help me get organised. I’m not very good at this sometimes! My mum has come to the school with some teachers and me to add information when things have changed.

I asked my mum what she thinks of my one-page profile and this is what she said:

“The one-page profile has helped people to understand Mia and look for ways in which she is communicating. She is the vice captain of her form class a position of responsibility that she is exceptionally proud of, without the one-page profile teachers would not have known how important this is for Mia.

“Lots of support has been given to Mia around how to make school better for her and most of it has been with Mia at the centre of the decisions which has helped her to gain confidence and manage a very stressful period in her life. Most importantly, Mia is recognised for her talents and abilities and not just her challenges and difficulties.

“What has clearly come out of Mia’s one-page profile is how Mia doesn’t always show how she is feeling and she now has a great group of friends who Mia has shown her profile too and they too ‘get Mia’. School remains difficult for Mia at times but the one-page profile has clearly helped with information sharing, developing strategies and ensuring Mia is at the centre of her life. It has also helped to develop good relationships with family and teachers and I would without doubt recommend a one-page profile to every child in school.”

What makes this pupil tick?

This school introduced one-page profiles to all pupils in Alan’s year. The profiles helped pupils think about what was important to them and what support they needed, not just for academia but to achieve their wider ambitions. This is how one-page profiles and the activities around creating one-page profiles worked for Alan.

Alan's one-page profile

Alan’s one-page profile

Written by Manchester Grammar School

Alan is a Year 10 pupil at MGS. He is one of our top academic performers and is a tremendously talented young man. It was really interesting for us as a staff to see how someone in this bracket would respond to the activities of the one-page profile.

Whilst it is often the case that one-page profiles can help to solve problems, it is not immediately obvious that Alan has any. The hope was that through engaging with the one-page profile process, Alan would take the opportunity to reflect on the position that he is in and set himself some ambitious targets for the short and medium term. It would also be a chance for Alan to put in writing and discuss with his parents and tutor anything that he thought could be improved upon and the part that they might play in this.

Alan said of his one-page profile; ‘It gets people to think about their strengths weaknesses and what they could do to improve themselves. It made them think about what makes them tick and asks them to try to do certain things more often so that they have more good days.’

When talking about his own experience Alan said, ‘Personally I was using it to think about support I might need in subjects that weren’t quite going as well as the rest rather than things that were going badly wrong.’

This was interesting as it shows that even for a top performer the one-page profile could help to focus the pupil’s mind on subtle aspects of school life that might need attention. Alan placed a lot of value in the supplementary exercises that we did beyond the one-page profile. The first of these was an activity where he imagined that he had been sent to the future, first by five years and then by ten years, and wrote a letter to his current self, to explain what life is like there.

‘It made me realise that I haven’t decided what I want to do yet. It made me start to identify important decisions that are on the horizon and made me think about where I might be going in the future’ he said.

The next activity we asked Alan to do was to consider what was working at school and what wasn’t. At a parent – Form Tutor meeting these ideas were discussed and both parties made contributions to Alan’s ideas.

Of the general process Alan said, ‘Working/not working gives the important people in school an idea about how people are getting on. If you’ve written down serious things are not working then parents and teachers would act on it.’

Of his own experiences Alan said, ‘I was struggling with Islam in Religious Studies, especially exam preparation. This was discussed after working/not working and Form Tutor day. My Form Tutor spoke to my teacher about it and it has made a big difference.’

Having a one-page profile at school to think about his academic studies, his relationship with peers and teachers, his future and  to identify what support he needs to achieve what he has outlined as important has been very helpful to Alan. It has given him another way to get his point across and helped him think about his school life and wider life with greater reflection.

One-page profile are being updated throughout the year and Alan is sharing a draft version

One-page profile – A vehicle to talk

An example of how introducing one-page profiles within the school gave teachers a valuable insight into their students, equipping them with information that would lead to better support and relationships.

John's one-page profile

John’s one-page profile

Written by Manchester Grammar School Head of Year

John is a Year 10 pupil at MGS. Academically John did not have a good start to Year 10 and his report at the end of his first term was not as good as we had hoped. His teachers were citing a lack of effort and his exam grades were way down on previous reports. We had hoped that each of our pupils would benefit from the one-page profiles in many ways, but it was a particularly opportune time for John to start the process.

Following his report John was having regular meetings with me (his Head of Year) to discuss his individual subjects and his approach to work. Meanwhile John was completing several activities with his form tutor around our one-page profile programme. It was the one-page profile and in particular the section on ‘What is important to me?’ that was the most useful. John had received guidance about filling in his one-page profile from his Form Tutor and from me. He knew that when he came to explain what was important to him, he was only supposed to include things that either he could consciously control or things that he could control with the help of others.

In ‘what’s important to me’ John wrote,

‘To get a good night’s sleep. I feel I go to bed well too late and then have to get up really early. This affects me in my lessons as I feel droopy and put no effort into my classwork.’

He also wrote,

‘To get a healthy breakfast. Usually I don’t get breakfast because I don’t put the effort into getting breakfast. During some lessons I can only think about getting some food at break or lunch and therefore my classwork suffers.’

This gave me as John’s Head of Year an immediate insight in to the problems that John was having. As John always seems like a cheerful and awake young man when I see him it had never occurred to me to talk to him about sleep and his diet. The one-page profile gave me a vehicle to talk about these issues with John and very quickly I was able to gather some more information around the subject. It turned out that John was only having breakfast one school day per week and that he was rarely in bed before midnight. All of a sudden it was not surprising that John’s concentration in lessons and the quality of his work had deteriorated. In ‘How best to support me’ John had simply written,

‘Send me to bed at a reasonable time so I am allowed to have a good night sleep.’


‘Either give me some breakfast or remind me to get breakfast.’

This is very simple advice that I have acted upon. Whenever I see John in school I make sure that he has had breakfast and check what time he went to bed. I have also asked his brother to keep an eye on him as well. When parents were shown the one-page profile there was an opportunity for John and his Form Tutor to discuss these issues and suggestions with them face to face.

Using John as an example, the one-page profile process has resulted in the school receiving some very important, yet simple information about a pupil. Parents, teachers and the pupil were then able to work together for a solution to the identified problem.

A snapshot of me

An example of how this one-page profile has helped Mark direct his own support. Ensuring that the people in his life are introduced to, and therefore connect with, his positive traits as well as understanding how best to work with him to do the things that he states as important.

Mark's one-page profile

Mark’s one-page profile

Mark is an intelligent 62 year old man who prefers to initiate conversation or physical contact with you. He will approach you if he wants to hug or talk to you. But he can become agitated if he’s not in the mood to interact. Mark sometimes uses Makaton (speech, signs and graphic symbols) to communicate but he’ll understand if you ask questions and use short sentences.

His one-page profile was developed to share basic snapshot information needed to support him in the best way possible because he has some behavioural patterns that can be avoided if the correct measures are followed. Whether at home or out and about, he prefers to be served food and drink before others and likes to have things done as quickly as possible. We provide support staff with more detail in his behavioural support plan.

Mark is not in contact with his family, so all decisions are made through his support workers, advocate and his Social Worker. This is also how we created his one-page profile.

All support staff, agency staff and relief staff have read the document. It is kept with Mark’s support plan and also on his bedroom door. The profile is updated every three months. It shares the things that people like and admire about Mark, such as his generosity, helpfulness, his sense of humour and the fact that he blames the cat for everything. As well as capturing the information people need to know to support him well, it also presents these positive attributes so that people can connect with Mark on a personal level.

All staff members are fully aware of Mark’s support needs after reading his full support plan. But Mark’s one-page profile has enabled support staff to really focus on what is important to him and the copy on his bedroom door constantly reminds them of this. For both Mark and his support workers this is a great help because it informs them of his weekly activities alongside his daily planner. It is extremely important to know how and when to initiate contact with Mark as this can determine Mark’s reaction and cooperation.

Overall the one-page profile has proven itself to be a great tool in providing as much information as possible about Mark in a very short but detailed document. It is very useful for relief/agency staff members who only have a limited amount of time to find out as much information as possible about Mark and to support him in the right way.

Who decides a child’s potential? 4 benefits to using one-page profiles in School

Cathy Higgins

Cathy Higgins

Written by guest blogger Cathy Higgins, Head teacher at Oxley Park Academy

I’ve always found it strange when people talk about a child reaching their full potential. What is their full potential and who exactly decided it? It strikes me that by identifying this invisible finishing line and then pushing a child right up to it and nothing more, we are seriously underestimating what is possible.

I’ve worked in education for 30 years and have been Head Teacher three times. In 2005 I was appointed to Oxley Park Academy before it had even been built and was fortunate enough to take Headship at a time when I could influence its shape from the bottom up; quite literally – I was on site with a hard hat helping design something wonderful for our community!

When we opened in October that year, we had 100 pupils. We now have 550 and a waiting list but our size isn’t the only thing that has changed. In July 2011 we converted to academy status. We are still a state school but rather than taking direction from our local authority, we are funded centrally which means we have the freedom to develop the curriculum and to allocate money to the areas that we know supports our pupils, staff and community best.  In short, it has allowed us to be more person-centred and using one-page profiles with all 550 of our pupils is one of the ways that we do this.

In September 2011 we employed two people to drive forward our approach to personalisation. We don’t have Special Educational Needs teachers here at the school because we see every child as having individual requirements and we firmly believe that by adopting person-centred practices within our school’s culture, we can support and teach each child well.

One-page profiles celebrate the individual gifts and talents of our pupils. They also capture the essential information about what is important to and for each child and it is this that enables us to support and encourage them far beyond any pre-determined potential.  The profiles are stored in each classroom and electronically. They are added to continuously and redeveloped in full as pupils move to the next year group. Being able to dedicate time and resource into embedding these types of person-centred thinking practices into our school’s culture has been one of the most powerful outcomes of our academy status. The benefits for our pupils, teachers, parents and community (after all – each and every empowered child will be taking these values with them for the rest of their life) as a whole are magnificent.

Here are the four main benefits we have experienced by using one-page profiles:

1)      Better Understanding: To be truly person-centred we have to treat every child as unique, special and with unquantifiable potential. One-page profiles encourage pupils to think about what is important to them and empowers them to tell us how we can support them best.  The ‘what people like and admire about me’ section is exclusive to each child and encourages us (parents, teachers and classmates) to celebrate their individual skills and gifts.

2)      Better relationships: Children can often act differently at home and at school and by bringing parents and teachers together through a child’s one-page profile we can improve our understanding of them and support them better. The pupils themselves have learnt to celebrate their individuality and support each other, forming better and more positive working relationships with their peers and teachers.

3)      Good education: We believe every child has the right to a good education. A one-page profile highlights how we can support a child to learn well. It might lead us to use special equipment to aid with maths or communication or it might be as simple as encouraging them to ask questions or ensuring they have somewhere quiet to sit and concentrate. Whatever the profile identifies we are able to respond.

4)      Reflection: Both pupils and teachers have reflection time at Oxley Park Academy. We see this as vital for learning and progression as well as good mental health and wellbeing.  The profiles helped us to identify the need for this time (highlighted as something that is important) but they are also a tool that we reflect upon.


Getting the right support for you

An example of how Karen, who lives in her own home and receives 10 hours of support a week, uses her one-page profile to direct her support. Karen experiences periods of feeling low and having what is important to her and how best to support her as well as what people like and admire about her on a single sheet of paper helps to lift her mood and keep her on track at work and at college.

Karen's one-page profile

Karen’s one-page profile

Written by Tracey Gudgeon, Care UK

People describe Karen as a hardworking employee, great friend and someone who will always make time to sit and chat. Karen has her own home, which she is very proud of and loves the fact that she lives only two doors away from her best friend who she spends a lot of time with.

Karen receives 10 hours support each week to help her maintain her tenancy and to support her emotional wellbeing and health via support with menu planning and cooking.

This time last year when Karen’s service was being reviewed, the people working closely with her reported that her self esteem was very low. This meant that Karen was not going out and meeting her friends, keeping on top of her housework and not eating properly. It was also starting to have an effect on her job and college as she was struggling with timekeeping, was tired and finding it hard to concentrate.

The review highlighted that what wasn’t working was that when Karen was receiving the 10 hours support in the week she was asking staff to play jigsaws or just sit and chat. The team were not clear on their roles and responsibilities and Karen did not understand the purpose of her support and the outcomes which were expected, and what the support was funded for.

Karen and her team got together and created a one-page profile, highlighting Karen’s important to’s and important for’s. Karen really enjoyed doing this and was also happy to go further by creating a “Feeling Good” document with photos of how she looked and felt when she was looking great and had her hair done , nails painted , pretty clothes on. Karen also wanted photographs of her house in it when it was tidy. She asked if her staff would use it when she was beginning to get low as a gentle reminder of how much better she felt when things were going well.

Karen’s one-page profile has been paramount in informing the support she receives and therefore ensuring she not only keeps her job, continues to be a great student but also maintains her tenancy. Karen’s staff team now know what is important to her and how best to support her well and use the one-page profile to help Karen keep on track and keep achieving her goals.