Brian Jones's Commendation video transcript

Brian Jones

STEPHEN SMITH: I now have great pleasure in inviting Susan Ambler, Interim Head of Finance, to give the commendation for the conferment of the Honorary Degree of Master of the University to Brian Jones.

SUSAN AMBLER: Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, honoured guests and graduands, it gives me great pleasure to be presenting today Brian Jones, for the award of Honorary Master of the University.

Brian has had a long and distinguished career in the field of Special Educational Needs and is a tireless advocate for better services in education, health and social care for children and young people.

Since 2006, Brian has been Chief Executive Officer for the SENAD Group, based in Derby. SENAD is an independent operator of schools for children and young people with a range of special educational needs. It also runs care and educational homes to support them into adulthood in their own communities.

This nationwide group of schools and adult care homes meets the needs of over 250 young people funded by Local Authorities, Social Services and Health Authorities. The range of special educational needs and disabilities covered is very broad and includes autism, moderate and severe learning difficulties, challenging behaviour and complex communication impairments as well as emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Brian began his career as a teacher and went on to work at CEO and director level within local authorities, the voluntary sector and the independent sector. Before joining SENAD he was Schools and Colleges Director at Scope, the disability equality charity.

Brian is relentless in his dedication, determination and ambition to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our society and their families are treated with respect, dignity and have equal opportunities to maximise their potential.

He has become a highly respected figure within the sector. He was a representative on the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education for Transition from School to Employment. He was also a Member of the Learning and Skills Council’s Forum on Learners with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities. Using his considerable experience, he now works closely with the Department for Education and educational institutions to develop policy and practice that will increase equality for all people with additional needs.

We are fortunate to enjoy Brian’s support in developing our programmes for Special Educational Needs and Disability, enabling our students to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and experience.

He has also been instrumental in helping our College of Education to secure research and income generation projects that have allowed the College to contribute to the local, national and international communities. We look forward to continuing to work with Brian and the SENAD Group for many years to come.

Chancellor, in recognition of his work to promote and ensure equality of education provision for young people and adults, we are delighted to award Brian Jones the honorary degree of Master of the University.

BRIAN JONES: Chancellor, Pro Chancellor, Lord Lieutenant, Mayor of Darby, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, and very importantly the graduands of 2019. I'm very very honoured to receive this award but I do accept it on behalf of the thousands of people – students, parents, carers, families, teachers, care workers, the cooks, the cleaners and the maintenance team – who work tirelessly to maximise the potential of young people with special educational needs and disabilities over many years.

I've worked with many thousands of those professionals in maximising their educational means. I'm proud to have worked with them, many are graduands of the University of Derby and I expect to work with many of the graduands who are here today. I can only applaud your dedication to working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. I am proud with have worked with the graduands and will work with many of the graduands here today. Thank you very very much.

Brian Jones's Commendation video

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