Video Interaction Guidance in education

What is Video Interaction Guidance?
Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) is a helpful way of working with education staff or parents. It helps promote good communication between them. When staff communicate better and feel more attuned to the children and young people they work with they:
  • Feel better about the relationship, particularly when this has become more difficult;
  • Feel better about themselves as a practitioner, feeling more motivated and confident in their role;
  • Manage difficult behaviours or difficult situations more effectively.
There is a growing body of evidence that supports VIG as an intervention. It is recommended in 3 NICE guidelines: Social and Emotional Wellbeing (ages 0-5 yrs); Autism: Management and support of children and young people on the autism spectrum; Children's attachment.  For more information please visit the website:

It uses short clips of video of adults and children/young people interacting. The method is very positive. The adults focus on moments when the interaction is successful in order to learn from it. VIG looks at the impact of responding to the child/young person's lead or initiative rather than always directing. It is a reminder to us all of the importance of responding to the child/ young person's initiative in interaction, even when more structured adult directed programmes are embarked on.  

VIG has been used in a wide range of situations
It can be used to think about concerns about specific children/ young people (e.g. the learning mentor who is really concerned about how withdrawn a particular child is; the teaching assistant who wants to help a child become more confident and independent) or about concerns of a more general nature (e.g. how the teacher can manage more effectively the behaviour of the children in their class). It can be used within the class or family situation where the interactions between staff or parents and the child have become negative and difficult. 

What happens?
I come and visit the member of staff  to clarify what their concerns and goals are.  Parental consent is sought.  I then come and take a short (usually only 10 minute) film of the staff member and the child together. It works best if this is something more fun and enjoyable. The films are kept for the duration of the intervention on an encrypted laptop and are wiped from the camera's memory, in line with the guidance from AVIGuk.   I then edit the film to find a few very short clips that show moments of successful interactions that link to the member of staff's goals. I then come back to look at the clips with the member of staff.  I help them spot what it is they are doing well and how they can do more of that. People usually report that three cycles of filming and looking at the film together are enough to lead to change, but sometimes it take longer.  The work is evaluated to demonstrate value for money. 

How does VIG work?
  • We only look at what the person is doing well - this is empowering and motivating and makes change more likely
  • It helps the person understand how they can further build your relationship with the child in order to meet the goals they have set.
  • A personalised approach which builds on your unique style of parenting.
  • With my help, you are able to take the lead and discover new things, rather than being told by someone else.
  • By seeing yourself doing things successfully you are actually practising doing them, making it more likely you will do them again!
"As a professional who has been working with teenagers for many years, I am always conscious that there is more to learn. Taking part in the VIG process has been a terrific way of learning - my professional practice has improved as a direct result of this. My most recent teaching observation was graded 1, and the quality of the 1:1 interactions - in particular the communication skills that were evident in these - was mentioned as an example of best practice. The impact of VIG has been overwhelmingly positive and I am now looking to make VIG available to members of my team", Learning Support Teacher