Today, parents, carers, teachers and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) professionals from around the region will gather to learn about best practice in order to continue providing the best, and correct care.

Forty years after the introduction of the term special educational needs, the conference will address ways to remove barriers and make reasonable adjustments for children and young people with a label of SEND.

Moving beyond notions of ‘special things for special children’, the conference focusses on inclusion for all:

  • What is inclusion?
  • What is the international evidence for inclusion?
  • What are the characteristics of inclusive schools, classrooms and teachers?
  • How do you embody inclusive practice?
  • What is the role of good identification, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and parents in developing an inclusive school?
  • How does art and Lego remove barriers and lead to inclusion?
  • How does an inclusive setting support children whose social, emotional and mental health is a barrier to learning?

Derby City Council and Derby Parent Carer Together will be leading workshops at the conference.

Paula Nightingale, Head of Inclusion Services at Derby City Council, will be kick-starting the event, delivering the first workshop; Identification of SEND.

The workshop will include topics such as the identification of need; working through the graduated response; working with parents and carers; and working with the leadership team and the SEND Governor.

Speaking about the conference, and importance of bringing the SEND network together, Paula said:

“Big events like these are the best way of bringing together the SEND community – children and young people, parents/carers, schools, colleagues, voluntary organisations and all stakeholders across education health and social care.

“It allows everyone to get together and discuss what is working well, and how we can all further work together to improve the outcomes for as many children and young people with a label of SEND as possible. I’m delighted to have been asked to run a workshop.”

Parents Carers Together will also be leading a workshop, The Parent Carer Forum. This will focus on working to understand the issues that affect parents and carers of children with a label of SEND and the good practice which supports them, in order to improve outcomes for children.

Parents Carers Together are the Parent and Carers forum for Derby. The forum represents Derby parents and carers of children and young people (0-25 years) with SEND. They work in partnership with Derby City Council, and other education, health and social care organisations, to get the best outcomes for children and young people with SEND, and to give the parents and carers of Derby a voice and encourage them to give feedback on a range of issues.

Other workshops on offer are:

  • The Role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
  • The Creative Therapeutic Gap in Education
  • Embodying Inclusive Practice
  • SEMH in our schools: What Helps?
  • Lego Therapy
  • Creating the inclusive classroom