Children's Needs Are Top Of Conference's Agenda

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Children's Needs Are Top Of Conference's Agenda

Date posted: 20 February 2012

The current challenges facing professionals working with children with special educational needs and disabilities will be the focus of debate at the University of Derby on Saturday (February 25), when it holds its first conference dedicated to the subject.

The conference, which has been organised by leading researchers and experts in the field of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), including those at the University of Derby, aims to address the challenges faced by educational practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and teachers working with children and young people with these difficulties.

Around 50 professionals are expected to attend, but the one-day event is open to any member of the public who wishes to learn more about:

  • overcoming barriers through multi-sensory lessons
  • using IT to support dyslexic learners
  • the politics of special education

They will also hear from keynote speakers Janette Ashworth, founder of The Trust Centre, and Lorraine Peterson OBE, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN).

Janette Ashworth has worked closely with leaders in the field of paediatric acquired brain injury, both nationally and internationally, to set up and run The Trust Centre - the UK's first specialist school for children with an acquired brain injury.

As CEO of NASEN, Lorraine Peterson aims to promote the education, training, advancement and development of those with special and additional support needs, and has worked on a number of projects with the Department for Education, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, and the Training and Development Agency.

The SEND conference coincides with the launch of a new pathway for students wishing to gain a BA (Hons) Education Studies degree with specialism in this area, which runs at the University from September 2012.

The University's Head of Subject, Lynn Senior, said: "We have developed this degree pathway to give Education Studies students a range of intellectual and practical skills appropriate to working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, which are not covered in detail in mainstream education studies degrees.

"By following this pathway students will become highly skilled practitioners, equipped with the knowledge to work with these children specifically and provide the optimum teaching experience for them.

"Through this inaugural conference, and our new degree pathway, the University hopes to increase awareness of the challenges surrounding the education of these children, and make an impact on improving standards in the long term."

Details of the conference can be found at website:

For more information on the SEN pathway of the BA (Hons) Education Studies degree visit

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