nasen to Lead DfE-Funded Assistive Technology Training Programme in Partnership with Microlink
nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs – is inviting expressions of interest from schools in England to take part in the Assistive Technology Training Test and Learn Pilot, announced last month by the Department for Education.
The pilot, which is funded until August 2023, will involve staff from 150 maintained mainstream schools in England receiving free-to-access training to improve the way they use assistive technology (AT).
Delivered with partners at Microlink, the training will encourage staff to use technology which they already have available to them to reduce or remove the barriers to learning for all children and young people, including for learners with SEND.
Schools interested in participating should visit www.nasen.org.uk to express their interest and be kept updated with details about the training offer and next steps in the application process.
The programme builds on the success of a previous AT Training Pilot, which also saw nasen collaborate with Microlink, to run online training sessions to nominated AT Champions in around 80 schools in England. Then, as now, the partnership brought together expertise in AT and SEND, along with an understanding of the day-to-day operation of schools and how assistive technology supports an inclusive classroom for all learners - both with and without SEND.
nasen CEO, Annamarie Hassall MBE, said: “Assistive Technology has an increasingly important role to play in education for all children and young people, and we know that its effective use can be empowering – even life-changing – for a learner with SEND or learning differences.
“nasen is thrilled to have been selected by the Department for Education to run this programme, and delighted to be teaming up with Microlink once more to help ensure all learners are given the tools required to enable progress and achieve the best outcomes.”
Marius Frank, Head of Education and Project Lead at Microlink, added: "We are absolutely delighted to be working once again in partnership with nasen. The feedback we received from primary and secondary schools participating in the pilot programme earlier this year was fantastic. The moment teachers release the power of Assistive Technologies in mainstream classes, so many children and young people get almost immediate benefits.”
To find out more and to express interest in a place on the programme, visit www.nasen.org.uk. Successful applicants will be informed by the end of January, with the first training sessions being delivered by the end of March 2023.