Act now for a chance to learn more about SEN – for just £36 including lunch!

There are just four days left to secure the early bird price for this year’s Towards a Positive Future SEN conference in Newbury.

The conference takes place on June 16th and I’m honoured to be one of the keynote speakers,. NAS president Jane Asher will be leading a Q & A session and other speakers include special needs, legal, education and disability experts.

The conference is for anyone who lives or works with children and young people with SEN and disabilities. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about how to help your child or children you care for and to speak to other parents and experts.

There will be separate seminars dealing with dyslexia, autism and the implications of the green paper. See the full programme details here.

Early bird tickets are just £36 for parents – which considering most conferences are into the hundreds is an incredible deal. Early bird professional tickets are £72.

Book now to avoid disappointment. The event is at the Arlington Arts Centre in Newbury and parking is free. Lunch and refreshments are included.

The conference is sponsored by, among others, SEN Magazine and Pearson Assessment.

The conference organiser, Janet O’Keefe, said, “This conference will focus on what we know works and how this can continue to work whatever the future political or legal system we find ourselves under in the coming months and years. Our aim is that parents of children with special educational needs and the professionals that support them are as informed as possible about the Green Paper, forthcoming changes and future implications on health, education and social care funding so that they can navigate the system successfully.”

For online booking, click here

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1 Comment

  1. Pam Szadowski

     /  May 16, 2012

    Overhaul of the SEN system

    If you don’t work in education and your family has never been affected by special needs of any kind, these statements on the news are probably just background noise. Listen up. If you have a child or grandchild in school, even if they don’t have special needs, it is going to affect them.

    • “.No statements for children whose needs are due to social deprivation. No statements for children whose needs are due to emotional problems.
    • Not giving statements to these children will not make their problems in school go away but will remove the extra funding to provide extra support and significantly extra staff to help them. The class teacher will be even more stretched. There will be a detrimental effect on everyone in the classroom.

    • It is going to be more difficult to get a statement (which ensures financial support for the school) for a child.

    • It is very difficult to get a statement of special needs; the only way to make it more difficult is by excluding children with the kinds/level of difficulties who currently receive a statement. There will be less money paid to schools to support these children but it is naïve to think that their difficulties will go away.

    • One assessment to determine whether or not to issue a statement.

    • It is difficult to imagine how a single assessment could identify children who have a range of needs which individually would be manageable, but which together are complex and challenging. These complex and challenging profiles are typical of children with high functioning autism. Is that the intention? By not recognising these difficulties, will it remove the onus on government to provide the necessary support and financial provision. Obviously this will not make their needs go away

    • If financial support is provided, the new system will give the parents choice on how that money is spent”

    This decision will be beneficial for parents who are able to conduct the necessary research to find the best school to meet their child’s needs. It will be beneficial to parents who have the money to top up their funding to pay for a place in a private school. The idea is that there will be less conflict between parents and the local authority, but the levels of conflict are unlikely to be reduced if the assessment process is inadequate to recognise the difficulties of high functioning autism.

    The current system is adversarial and it is very unlikely that this will change unless more funding rather than less funding is directed towards children with special needs. What is needed, is not just a change of system, but a change of mindset. The current attitude seems to be, “How little can we get away with doing/spending?” To really move forward, what is needed is a different attitude, “How much can we do to help these children and realise their full potential?”

    Views expressed by Mother of 3 including 2 sons, one with Aspergers and one with significant Dyspraxia/ LSA in a mainstream secondary school

    Reply

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