The theory of everything SEND at nasen Live

nasen Live, the hugely popular special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) conference, returns on July 7 and this year, the event, which will take place at the Birmingham ICC, will be officially opened by renowned theoretical physicist and role model for SEND, Professor Stephen Hawking CBE.

The conference will once again give visitors including SENCOs, school leaders, teachers, governors and other education professionals, as well as parents and carers, a unique platform to celebrate outstanding practice and provision for children and young people with SEND.

With access to the latest high-quality SEND resources, products and a jam-packed programme featuring seminars from key SEND practitioners and experts, visitors will have the chance to build upon existing knowledge and learn from evidence-based practice, while also networking and sharing best practice with other industry professionals.

DME campaign

Professor Stephen Hawking CBE, will join via video link to officially open the conference and formally launch nasen’s upcoming dual and multiple exceptionality (DME) campaign.

Professor Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease, shortly after his 21st birthday and his experiences make him uniquely qualified to discuss DME: a term used to indicate a person who has high learning potential alongside a special educational need or disability.

Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of nasen, said: “Celebrating the exceptional talents of children and young people is a passion of nasen’s, and we are proud to have the support of Professor Hawking for such a crucial campaign. Too many DME children are not able to reach their full potential because either their needs mask their high learning potential or their high learning means their needs are not adequately met. This DME campaign will bring together research and classroom practice so that teachers feel more confident in identifying and meeting the needs of this group of children and young people." 

Inspiring keynotes

The event’s rich programme features various continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and seminars from key figures in the sector, some of which will be live-streamed during the event. Visitors are encouraged to attend the wide range of keynote sessions, which cover a variety of topics and subjects, giving them the chance to plan their visit to suit their SEND focus and developmental needs.

During the morning, Professor Diane Montgomery PHD, will deliver a session on “Dual and Multiple Exceptionality”, providing an in-depth overview of the issues around DME, with advice on how to create a DME-friendly classroom and practical guidance for SEND practitioners to take away and implement in their schools.

Independent education consultant, Natalie Packer, will also deliver a thought-provoking seminar in the afternoon on creating “An inclusive approach to assessment”. The session will explain the key principles of inclusive assessment and discuss how schools can create an inclusive learning environment, as well as providing examples of best practice around assessment.

Other guest speakers include Dr Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of nasen; Lesley Cox HMI, National Lead at Ofsted for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities; Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE, PHD; Dr Rona Tutt OBE, who was awarded an OBE for her services to special needs education; Stuart Miller, Deputy Director at the Department for Education; and Kate Browning, a former SENCo and local authority school improvement officer for SEND.

CPD for all

The conference is a must-attend event for those seeking to develop and improve their SEND provisions. It will provide the chance for visitors to learn about the innovations in the sector and have open and informed discussions about topics such as inclusive classrooms, DME and key SEND research.

For example, for headteachers and senior leaders, the event will provide the rare opportunity to learn about good practice at a whole school strategic level, from understanding what effective leadership for SEND looks like across a multi academy trust (MAT) to exploring how to maximise the use of teaching assistants in line with all available evidence.

Meanwhile, for SENCos, who are often both strategic leaders for SEND and the main support for colleagues, parents and pupils, the event offers a range of CPD opportunities, including advice on how to structure effective support around social, emotional and mental well-being, introducing the group who are of dual or multiple exceptionality, as well as considering broad issues like developing a shared understanding of inclusion.

This year, nasen Live will also incorporate the Leadership Conference within the event, further extending the opportunities for visitors to develop their SEND provision.

So whether you’re a teaching assistant working with children and young people, a member of your school’s SLT, or a parent or carer of a child with SEND, nasen Live provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the best SEND provisions, while also gaining a wealth of information, best-practice ideas and inspiration to turn your learning environment into an inclusive and engaging space for all.

To attend nasen Live or find out more visit www.nasen.org.uk/nasenlive

July 3, 2017

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