KidZania launches search for City Mayor in celebration of annual pass scheme


Some of you may have seen the ads in the local paper but KidZania, the indoor city run by kids, has launched a call to find the city’s first ever Mayor.

KidZania has launched the nationwide search to celebrate their annual pass scheme, which gives young explorers aged between 4 and 14 completely unlimited access to the city for 12 months. The lucky child crowned Mayor of the city will receive their very own free annual pass as well as the key to the city, so they can come and go whenever they like. Their job? Well, all the things you might expect from a Mayor – from opening new attractions within the city, to communicating all the latest and greatest things taking place.

Stylish celebration for Mason Trust 10th Anniversary

Mason Trust

The Mason Trust Charity has reached a significant milestone - it is 10 years old this year!  To celebrate this milestone anniversary, Founder, Yvonne Mason is personally funding and hosting an Anniversary Ball on the evening of 14 September 2018 at Sprowston Manor Marriot Hotel and Country Club, Wroxham Road, Norwich NR7 8RP.  Tickets for the Ball, destined to be one of Norfolk's social events of the year, cost £50 per head, and can be purchased through the Eventbrite website.  Booking a table for 10 people qualifies for two free bottles of wine.

The Mason Trust is a charity founded in 2008 with the mission of inspiring the young people of East Anglia to fulfil their potential. 

Children with learning disabilities missing out on eye tests, while NHS England "drags its heels"


New research by SeeAbility, the national learning disability and sight loss charity, suggests that thousands of children with learning disabilities in England's special schools are missing out on vital eye tests and eye care despite being 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children.

Around 100,000 children attend special schools in England, including the majority of children with severe learning disabilities or autism. SeeAbility's study indicates that up to half of these children are likely to have a problem with their vision, yet alarmingly an estimated 40,000 children will have never received any eye care.

The National Marine Aquarium partners with local special schools

National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) has partnered with two local Plymouth schools for students with complex needs to offer tailored visits to assist with their learning and development.   

Students from Mount Tamar Special School (aged 5-16) and Longcause Community Special School (aged 8-16) will visit the NMA via a series of scheduled sessions. Led by the NMA's Discovery and Learning team, the students will have the opportunity to discover more about art, science and technology, as well as learn about the many marine animals that reside at the Aquarium and the marine environment.

 Room makeover is just the ticket for Sean

Regard Group

Kingsdown House care service in Strood, run by the Regard Group, is going the extra mile to support a young man with autism who is fascinated by trains.

Staff have transformed part of Sean Kelly’s bedroom into a ‘railway carriage’’ along with brick-effect wall paper and station signs on the wall. To complete the scene the 18-strong team installed two pairs of genuine train seats to create a scenario that gives the illusion of traveling by train.

“Sean is completely fascinated by trains,” said Andy Jupp, manager of Kingsdown House, a residential home run by the Regard Group.

We speak to the founder of the Neurokinex Kids spinal cord rehab facility

Jasper at Neurokinex

Harvey Sihota, the founder of Neurokinex, and his team have opened a brand new, ground-breaking children's facility which treats patients with paralysis. Among the guests at the launch were the families and clients of Neurokinex, who are making great gains with this innovative treatment, and also Matthew Reeve, elder son of the late Christopher Reeve and supporter of spinal cord injury research and development. Here, Harvey describes to Education for Everybody how the paediatric facility near Gatwick came to be...

What is the background of Neurokinex: where and when did the concept begin?

Neurokinex was conceived in 2013, following my own injury in 2009 which left me paralysed.

Specialist college launches regional photography competition

Photography competition

Bridge College run by the Together Trust, a specialist further education college based in Openshaw, has launched its annual photography competition, open to all special schools and colleges in the North West.

The college, which is run by the Together Trust, supports young people aged 16 – 25 years with learning and/or physical disabilities, complex health needs, communication disorders and autism. Every year they accept entries from specialist schools and colleges across the region.

After shortlisting, the public can then vote for their favourite photograph on the Together Trust’s website, with the winner attending a ceremony at the college in July to accept their prize.

Explore Learning Hillsborough nominated for Sparkle Sheffield Business Award

Autism Awareness

The Explore Learning Hillsborough team have been recognised for their excellent work for children with autism. The popular provider of extra tuition for children, has been nominated for a Sparkle Sheffield Business Award for Excellence in Autism Awareness and Customer Service.

The Explore Learning Hillsborough centre has been selected by Sparkle Sheffield as having gone above and beyond to embrace autism awareness and all while excelling in customer service for those affected.

The centre were nominated for their specialist training and community workshops. In addition to completing Sparkle Sheffield Autism Awareness Training the team have dedicated resources for staff so they can tailor their approach to support children of all backgrounds and abilities.

Mobile workstation offers greater mobility options for SEND classrooms

mobile workstation STSCART

A mobile sit-stand workstation which brings a mobilised solution to the classroom has been developed by Canadian brand – which produces a range of sit-stand products. The mobile workstation STSCART (pictured) offers a large surface area and easy sit-to-stand height adjustment, providing a workspace that’s both versatile and practical.

The mobile workstation enables students to reduce sedentary time and increase focus and allows teachers to create a more dynamic and interactive learning environment. Its heavy-duty cart design means it’s ideal for classrooms and its large, stable surface area makes it easy for users to position their laptop or writing surface comfortably, or attach a compatible monitor arm to use the cart as an aid for training or presentations.  

Comedian Adam Hess puts children's communication development in the spotlight at National Awards

Shine a Light awards

The winners of the 2018 Shine a Light Awards, a national awards scheme that celebrates innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development, have been revealed today (22nd March 2018) by learning company Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust.

The awards, which took place at Pearson’s headquarters in London, were hosted by stand-up comedian, actor and TV writer, Adam Hess, who struggled with dyslexia and an immense fear of public speaking when he was younger. 

17 individuals and teams across 10 award categories were recognised, as well as children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Winners included:

Jonathan Bryan from Chippenham – Young Person of the Year 

Special schools win gardening prizes in Healthy Packed Lunch plot competition

Healthy Packed Lunch entries

Two special schools have won £200 each towards plants and gardening equipment after entering a competition to design a garden capable of growing food for the healthiest packed lunch in Essex. The Healthy Packed Lunch Plot Competition was open to all primary and special schools in Essex. It encouraged pupils to design a kitchen garden plot and create a recipe for a healthy packed lunch using its produce.

Youngsters gain employment opportunities on Toyota's Working Assets Programme

Working Assets Programme trainees with Toyota staff including Mandy

Mandy-Jayne Evans, Senior Specialist in Training & Development, runs Toyota’s Working Assets Programme. Here, she tells Education for Everybody about how the car giant is helping disadvantaged youngsters to succeed by giving them employment experience and training during its six-month course.

How long has Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) been helping disadvantaged youngsters in the UK?

TMUK have been supporting disadvantaged young people via the Foyer Federation and The YMCA for the past five years.

How does the "Working Assets Programme” run?

MPs urged to ‘walk in the shoes’ of people with learning disabilities

Walk in our Shoes

A charity is calling on the public to use social media to urge the Prime Minister to take a walk in our shoes, people with learning disabilities.

Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, is using a crowd-sharing platform to launch a campaign facilitating opportunities for people with learning disabilities to share their concerns and help shape future policy decisions.

Walk in our Shoes was launched with a Thunderclap appeal urging Theresa May to encourage MPs to spend time with people with a learning disability. It will see tweets sent flash-mob style simultaneously from hundreds of accounts.

A holistic approach to energy efficiency in SEND schools

Energy efficiency Jack Saunders, Client Support Officer at Salix Finance School

Throughout the education industry there is a growing awareness of the benefits of implementing a well-rounded, long term energy efficiency plan. Here, Jack Saunders, Client Support Officer at Salix Finance School and Academies Programme, tells Education for Everybody the factors behind successful energy initiatives and explores how SEND schools can benefit from a holistic approach to energy efficiency...

At a time when the education sector is facing rising costs, schools and colleges are increasingly looking to identify effective strategies to make savings. Reducing energy consumption is a key way to minimise monetary spend, environmental impact and improve the learning environment. 

Smarthouse showcasing personalised technology solutions launches at Liverpool school

Smarthouse showcasing personalised technology solutions launches at Liverpool school

An innovative house showcasing a range of assistive technology to support independent living has been launched at a school in Liverpool. The project is the result of a unique partnership between St Vincent’s School, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Hft, a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities across the UK to live the best life possible. The smarthouse is a self-contained flat which showcases a variety of personalised assistive technology and how it can be used to support people with visual impairments and other disabilities to live more independently. 

World Autism Awareness Week: Early signs of autism and tips for coping

Early Signs Of Autism Dr Paschos

On World Autism Awareness week, we speak to Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Dimitrios Paschos on the importance of early diagnosis and how to spot the signs of autism in babies and toddlers.

Autism affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK, according to the National Autistic Society, with an estimated 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum. Statistically, autism is more prevalent in males than females, with a ratio of 5:1 living with the condition in the UK.

It’s a lifelong condition, with no cure however many people develop coping mechanisms to mask and manage the symptoms. Many children with autism grow up to live independent lives, whilst others live with support from family and social services.

Autism experts TCES Group share an insight into designing SEND schools

TCES Group Thomas Keaney

East London Independent School is extending its site in Stratford Marsh, London, by redeveloping what was once an old church. The school is operated by TCES Group. Here, CEO Thomas Keaney shares with Education For Everybody how it was designed with autism in mind…

Why did TCES Group decide to convert an old church into a school building?