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SEND Everyone's Business

SEND Everyone’s Business

Date: Friday 20th April

Location: University of Derby, Kedleston Road

Forty years after the introduction of the term special educational needs, this conference addresses every teachers’ responsibility to remove barriers and make reasonable adjustments for children and young people with a label of SEND. Moving beyond notions of ‘special things for special children’, the conference focusses on inclusion for all:

- What is inclusion?
- What is the international evidence for inclusion?
- What are the characteristics of inclusive schools, classrooms and teachers?
- How do you embody inclusive practice?
- What is the role of good identification, the SENCo and parents in developing an inclusive school?
- How does art and Lego remove barriers and lead to inclusion?
- How does an inclusive setting support children whose social, emotional and mental health is a barrier to learning?


12:30 Registration and Refreshments
1:00 Welcome 
1:15 Key Note Dr Deborah Robinson
2:15 Workshop session 1
3:00 Refreshments
3:30 Workshop session 2
4:30 Closing notes

Workshops Information

Workshop 1.
Identification of SEND
Paula Nightingale

Paula Nightingale is a head of Inclusion Services in Derby City Council.

Spanning three decades and two countries (Finland and the UK), Paula has worked in a number of schools, teaching, advising and managing across all key phases children and young people described as having additional educational needs with a particular focus on SEND and EAL.

In the early years of her career, Paula qualified as an Early Years teacher (University of Helsinki). This initial teacher education helped her to understand, how children learn and how to support learning, despite the perceived barriers to learning and age of the learner.

Paula is passionate that all children have access to a mainstream curriculum, which includes high quality teaching and specialist support to achieve the best possible outcomes through an education at a school local to the learner.

The workshop

The daily life of SENCO
1. Identification of Need
2. Working through the Graduated Response
3. Working with parents and carers
4. Working with the Leadership Team and the SEND Governor


Workshop 2.
The Creative Therapeutic Gap in Education
Sarah Payne and Becky Morley
Imperative Arts/development

Inspirative Arts have been delivering therapeutic arts and arts therapy services since 2009. The therapeutic approach has informed the training arm Inspirative Development who have been running accredited courses since 2015. This session promises to provide you with an insight into the therapeutic approach used to facilitate experiential learning for personal and professional development.


Workshop 3.
The Role of the SENCo
Dr Geraldene Codina

Dr Geraldene Codina is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby. Her role involves leading the MA Inclusion and SEND, teaching on the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators NASENCo), and leading the MA Education SEND pathway. Previously Geraldene worked at the University of Winchester in the Department for Teacher Education (Initial Teacher Education, ITE), as a SENCo and as a teacher in a special school. Her doctoral research was in reading movement, towards an embodied understanding of pedagogy.

Workshop Description
As Edwards (2016) explains, ‘over the years the SENCo role has shifted from one who “did” to one who now coordinates the collective “doing”’ (Edwards, 2016:82). So what does this change mean for teachers and aspiring SENCos?

This workshop explores the evolving role of the SENCo; how best to work with the SENCo, and for those who might be interested in taking on the role, what does the role involve?


Workshop 4.
The Parent Carer Forum
Chris Bristow

Chris Bristow is a senior lecturer in Special Educational Needs and disability who has worked for the University of Derby since September 2016. He brings Thirty years of industry experience starting life as SEN teacher in North Nottinghamshire in the 1980s. More recently, previous roles being Head of Strategy for SEND at a large East Midlands Local Authority responsible for SEND commissioning, SEND reform and a range of SEND services. Chris has also been an OFSTED inspector and part of Local Government Association SEND expert committee. Chris's area of interest is SEND policy, law and finance and the social justice agenda.

Parents Carers Together are the Parent and Carers forum for Derby city. The Forum is an independent, non-political group that represents parents and carers of children and young people (0-25 years) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who live in Derby. Funded by the Department for Education (DfE), they work on local issues and have input at a regional and national level. They work in partnership with education, health and social care organisations, to get the best outcomes for children and young people with SEND across the city, giving parents and carers a voice and encouraging them to give feedback on a range of issues. They also signpost to services that can offer support and advice. The Forum is a voluntary group of parents and carers who want to make a difference, helping to give all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities the best possible future.

This workshop is chaired by Chris Bristow and features discussion from members of the Parents/Carers Together group. Discussion will focus on working in partnership to improve outcomes for children with a label of SEND. Time will be allocated to understanding the issues that affect parents/carers of children with a label of SEND and the good practice which supports them.


Workshop 5.
Embodying Inclusive Practice
Pete Benyon

Not long after finishing his formal full-time education, Pete took a post as a temporary Librarian at a VI Form College in Staffordshire. In-between the Dewey Decimal System, subject-specific news articles and debating societies, he found his passion for interacting with students and supporting them to engage with their education. This became the start of a vocational journey into learning support, behaviour support, teaching, training and inclusion. Pete’s current role is as an Inclusion and Support Coordinator at Derby College, leading on the development and awareness of neurodiversity. As an Inclusion and Support Coordinator he plans and implements academic support across three large areas of the College, as well as developing projects, resources, marketing, training and practices that support students with Autism, ADHD and related SpLDs. Through this role he leads the AoC Beacon Award shortlisted (2017) project, “Different is Brilliant” which celebrates the different ways of thinking and learning of all individuals. Beyond this, he enjoys speaking at conferences and events across the country, sharing his perspectives of education, neurodiversity and inclusion.

Embodying Inclusive Practice is an active and dynamic session that challenges educators to think about inclusivity from the perspective of neurodivergent learners. During the session individuals will have the opportunity to explore what inclusion means and how it can be achieved. It is not about providing the golden answer or ‘silver bullet’ strategy, this session is about providing professionals with a forum where important questions relating to inclusion can be asked and explored, so that they may reflect on their own pedagogical standpoint moving forwards.


Workshop 6.
SEMH in our schools: What Helps?
Andy Bloor

Andy Bloor is a Senior Lecturer in ITE and SEND at the University of Derby, where he is Pathway Lead for the PGCE School Direct in SEND. Before this, Andy was the ITE SEN Lead at Canterbury Christ Church University where he also worked as an adviser to the World Bank on a project in Palestine on SEN in teacher education. Andy has a background in teaching and supporting children with SEMH, in both a Pupil Referral Unit and as an Advisory Teacher for 21 schools in West London. Andy is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Society of Arts.

In this workshop, Andy will revisit a number of difficulties a child may face and what we as practitioners can do to support our most vulnerable learners with SEMH.


Workshop 7.
Lego Therapy
Wendy Forte

Wendy Forte, Deputy Head teacher and SENCo Ashgate Primary school.

This workshop will explore Lego Therapy as a strategy to support children with social communication. The workshop will provide information regarding the background to the approach, and also practical information about implementing Lego Therapy in an inclusive mainstream primary school.


Workshop 8.
Creating the inclusive classroom
Abigale Watts

Abbie Watts is in the 4th year of her primary teaching career; teaching Year 4 at Grampian Primary Academy in Derby. She has recently completed the National Award for SEND Coordination at the University of Derby and her current role in School includes Phase Coordinator for Upper School and Pupil Premium Lead. Abbie is also studying the Attachment Lead course and has a particular interest in the provision for vulnerable groups of children.
This workshop focusses on ways to effectively create, manage and sustain the inclusive classroom. Focus will be placed on the opportunities, value, benefit and reward, as well as the challenges and tensions associated with establishing the inclusive classroom.

Getting to the venue
The Conference will be held at University of Derby, Kedleston Road Campus on Friday 20th April 2018. Derby is located right in the heart of the East Midlands and easily accessible by road, rail or air.

By Road
The University Campus is located just 8 miles from the M1, Junction 25 and 0.2 miles from the A38.

Please note that free parking will be available onsite, please ask at the security barrier for a parking ticket for the SEND conference.

By Rail
The closest train station is Derby train station; this is approximately 2.6 miles from our Kedleston Road Campus and will take 10-15 minutes in a taxi.

The Unibus runs from the train station to Kedleston road. Please click timetable for details.

By Air
The closest airport is East Midlands, located just 15 miles from the University Campus. This should take around 25 minute by car. Alternatively Derby Skylink operate a 24 hours
bus service, picking up directly outside the terminal building and dropping off at Derby Bus Station. This service runs every 30 minutes during the day and hourly during the night, seven days a week
and takes approximately 40 minutes.

For further information on how to find us and maps and directions please follow the link below


Staying over 

Take a look at this map showing the latest hotel deals close to our venue: HotelMap 

To book a place on this conference, please complete the form below:



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