Blog

There is an alternative way to address social mobility

Professor Sonia Blandford is speaking out about the urgent need to change our way of thinking to address social mobility, to include, value and improve outcomes for children and young people experiencing challenge, needs and disadvantage.

We must address the ever decreasing opportunity to break the cycle of disadvantage; new thinking and new leadership is needed now.

Bett 2017: Supporting SEN innovations

children at Bett

The national association for special educational needs, nasen, is partnering with Bett 2017, which is returning to ExCeL London from 25-28 January. nasen is the UK’s leading professional association embracing all special and additional educational needs and disabilities, and you’ll find them at stand SN90 at Bett. Membership of nasen is an invaluable source of advice, offering an exclusive range of benefits to support the education network in the delivery of high quality inclusive practice.

Access at the National Theatre

National Theatre

On Demand. In Schools – Captioned Productions

The National Theatre productions available through the On Demand. In Schools programme, the NT’s digital initiative offering acclaimed curriculum-linked productions free of charge to primary and secondary schools across the country, are now fully captioned by STAGETEXT. 

On Demand. In Schools enables every primary and secondary school in the UK to access world-class theatre on demand in the classroom, with one third of all state secondary schools already signed up to the free digital programme. Captioning enables deaf, deafened and hard-of-hearing pupils and teachers to access the initiative. 

Shining a light on communication

School are invited to enter the Shine a Light Awards 2017, to recognise the contributions of those who support children and young people’s speech, language and communication. 

The Communication Trust and Pearson joined forces to launch the fifth Shine a Light Awards to reward teams, settings and individuals across England working in the field of communication. 

The awards feature 10 categories and includes a new award for SEN School, or Group of the Year, highlighting the exceptional work carried out in SEND schools and colleges across the country.

A festival of short films made by learning disabled people

short films

An award-winning international festival of short films and digital media made by learning disabled people is coming to ARC on Monday 21 November, and features work from groups based at ARC.

OSKA Bright will be taking place in the building in conjunction with the Cultural Shift project.

There will be two programmes running, the first at 1pm and the second programme will run at 7pm. The first programme includes a short introduction to the festival, which will be followed by a selection of three minute films and music videos, as well as some short films made by groups based at ARC.

College gets creative with the royal exchange theatre

Codes at college

Students from a specialist college in Openshaw have been taking part in Creative Codes – a collaborative, school-led project in response to the Royal Exchange Theatre’s production, Breaking the Code.

Young adults from Bridge College which supports students up to 25 years with learning difficulties and disabilities, complex needs, communication disorders and autism, have been combining the forces of maths and art to create amazing artwork hiding secret messages about equality.

The charity which runs the college, Together Trust, believes that everybody deserves an equal chance in life which aligns perfectly with the project.

Earwig co-founder launches anti-bullying message

  #Iwasbullied   
                

To raise awareness for national bullying week from 14-18th November education software provider Earwig Academic has launched the #Iwasbullied campaign.
The campaign, developed by co-founder Emilie-Kate Kidd aims to draw attention to how hard it is for children being bullied to tell an adult about it, and comes with a clear message about what they can do instead.
 
Earwig want to encourage their teachers and others to tell pupils about the Earwig #Iwasbullied message ...
         

THE MESSAGE

Leading practitioner offers education clinic at Academies Show

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All and one of the UK’s leading practitioners of education, will be hosting a clinic at this year’s Academies Show.

Sonia will be on hand throughout the day for ten minute sessions so that teachers can discuss leadership and learning issues including parent and carer engagement, anti-bullying, closing the gap, and special educational needs or disabilities.

Levelling the educational playing field – LGfL at Bett 2017

cyber security

Winners of the 2016 Bett Award for Primary Digital Content, London Grid for Learning, LGfL, will be showcasing TRUSTnet early in the new year at Bett 2017. Also featured at the show will be LGfL’s new SuperCloud offering – designed to support the wider digital transformation of local authorities and the public sector. 

LGfL’s newly launched educational resources, include Developing British Values, the Trust’s new KS2-5 resource for PSHE, Citizenship and RE, and Symbol Library, a KS1-4 symbol pack for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and English as an Additional Language (EAL) developed by Widgit. 

A place where every voice is heard and celebrated

Primary School

St John’s Catholic School for the Deaf is a school where spoken language is used across every department and where every young person communicates equally and successfully with others. St John’s is a specialist school for sensory and communication needs where skilled staff help students to develop a love of learning, and to achieve their best.

The school provides an optimum listening environment through small teaching groups and sound fieldtechnology in acoustically treated classrooms.

Barriers to learning are removed by specialist teaching staff who are qualified teachers of hearing and multi-sensory impairment as well as specialist speech and language therapists who provide 1:1 sessions and group therapy.

Primary Department

Winter Wonderland Manchester to give away £50,000 worth of free tickets to North West charities

Family

Kingpin Events is giving North West charities an early Christmas gift by inviting them to experience the magic of this year’s Winter Wonderland Manchester 2016 entirely free of charge.

This Christmas, the company is giving away £50,000 worth of free tickets to charities in the North West!
Festive extravaganza Winter Wonderland is the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park, and can be found at EventCity next to the Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester.

The attraction officially opens to the public on Saturday 10th December, but organisers Kingpin Events are hosting a special charity evening on Friday, 9th December.

Stars of ITV’s Doc Martin gather for charity Christmas concert

Popular television couple reunite for longstanding festive celebration to raise money for people with learning disabilities.
 
Actors Martin Clunes, OBE, and Caroline Catz, who portray on-screen couple Martin Ellingham and Louisa Glasson in ITV’s Doc Martin, will be coming together for a candlelit evening of seasonal music and readings at Dorchester Abbey on December 8th 2016.
 
Now in its 22nd year, The Coming of Christmas is a much-loved annual concert organised by Hft, a national charity for people with learning disabilities, of which Martin is a patron.
 

Sense Launch ‘Play Toolkits’ for Parents and Play Settings

 ‘Play Toolkits’

National disability charity releases instructional guides and video mini-series to:

- Help make play settings accessible for children with multiple needs

- Increase parents’ confidence playing with their children

Earlier in the year, an inquiry, co-led by Lord Blunkett, revealed that one in two disabled children have been turned away from play settings and activities

Nine out of ten parents of disabled children claimed their child didn’t have the same opportunities to access play, compared to non-disabled children.

Mary Poppins comes to Homeleigh

Two times winner Simon Daulby

The TV show ‘Four In A Bed’ which has B&B owners from around the country competing to be named ‘best value for money’ has inspired the manager of a Manchester residential care home to engage her staff in a fun new way of delivering quality care.

Emma Jarrett, who manages Manchester-based Homeleigh, a 30-bed residential service for people with learning difficulties and mental health issues, has already earned recognition from her industry by being shortlisted for ‘Special Needs Manager’ in this year’s National Care Awards.

Now Emma has introduced an element of fun into her staff’s routine by launching Homeleigh’s own version of the TV competition.

How Safeguarding Training for Adults Could Help Your School

In recent years, safeguarding training has garnered some well-deserved attention as an extremely valuable tool in the fight to keep children safe. Safeguarding training provides staff members with invaluable insight on the forms that abuse and neglect can take, how to recognise signs of abuse in different age brackets, and how to communicate with children about the issue. However, much of the conversation surrounding the benefits safeguarding training up to this point has focused on just that: children. But safeguarding for adults training courses are also steadily on the rise.

Providing Opportunities for Everyone

Saddles Riding Centre

Saddles Riding Centre based in Bexley, Kent has become the latest riding centre to gain Accessibility Mark accreditation.

The nationally recognised seal of approval will enable them to open their doors todisabled people.

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme launched the Accessibility Mark scheme to encourage those who do not already partake in equestrian activities or would not usually have the opportunity to do so, to experience the many benefits that riding can bring.

‘#GoYellow’ for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus

‘#GoYellow’

The charity Shine is calling its supporters and the public to #GoYellow during Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Week: 24th-31st October, to help raise awareness of these conditions.
 
Shine supporters will be having fun and fundraising around the #GoYellow theme, especially on World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day, Tuesday 25th October, and the charity’s logo will also be bouncing around social media to see how far it can go.

Rise in involvement for people with learning disability issues

learning disability

A new twist has been given to the campaign for person-centred care launched earlier this year by The Regard Group, the UK’s fourth largest private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.

Following on from Regard’s push for improved focus on service users being at the centre of their own care, the organisation is now calling for learning disability and mental health care provision to be not just person-centred but person-led.

Sandie Foxall-Smith, CEO of Regard, said: “Our ambition is to empower those we support to be fully involved not just in their own care but in the bigger decisions that affect the homes where they live.

Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder

It can be difficult for teachers to know where to start with sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD would be more accurately described as a group of related disorders that can affect different children in a variety of different ways, and if you’re a teacher trying to do the best you can for the one child with SPD in your class, it can be tough to know what the correct approach is. That said, every child deserves the chance to succeed in education, and teachers who make an effort to understand the struggles that the child is facing could have a powerful, positive impact on that child’s experience of school.

What is sensory processing disorder?

Broadly speaking, there are three main disorders that are collectively known as SPD: