The Salford SEN conference: Two key talks


With numerous talks and seminars set to take place at the Salford special educational needs (SEN) conference, we’ve explored some of the topics that are due to be discussed.

Tradewind Recruitment will be present at the event on 14 November, held at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester.

Of the talks at the event, two, in particular, caught our attention – one by Sorrell Dowling titled Beyond the Box and another by Professor Des Hewitt relating to using evidence-based approaches to SEND during initial teacher training.

Both individuals are set to explore key topics concerning special educational needs in the education system and we expect that any teaching staff in attendance will benefit.

Beyond the box

Sorrell is Development Manager for Fresh Start in Education and she can draw on more than 16 years’ worth of experience of working with challenging and disengaged children.

Her talk will focus on what it means to “think beyond the box?” and how new thoughts and perspectives can help to shape education for those with SEN.

She will also consider how limitations can be removed when aspects of SEN education already have many restrictions to overcome.

By drawing on experience with Local Authorities, Youth Offending Teams and Children’s Homes, Sorrell will look at how aspects of SEN education are labelled and at what approaches are needed to ensure a successful system.

Pupils with SEND can benefit from teaching staff who consider different approaches to learning, as multi-sensory approaches can help with engagement and long-term development.

Identifying the best approaches to take is part of developing the new Education, Health and Care plans which highlight specific areas of need, the support required by pupils and the desired learning outcomes.

Sorrell will look at how the boundaries and restrictions relating to SEN can be broken down while considering if fresh approaches are needed to certain aspects of SEN education.

Her talk is scheduled to take place from 11.50 am.

Evidence-based approaches to SEND in Initial Teacher Training

Des is Head of Primary and Early Years’ Teacher Education at the University of Warwick’s Centre for Teacher Education, but he has also spent time working in mainstream and special schools.

He is set to explore the role of using evidence-based approaches – something he has extensive career experience in – when developing an understanding of SEND for new teachers.

Building an understanding of SEND is essential for all teaching staff, but how the processes can be incorporated into initial teacher training is still being developed.

The term ‘evidence-based approach’ relates to the development of approaches that are based on the latest knowledge, working practices and evidence that is available.

From an educational perspective, part of this relies on drawing from the experiences of teaching staff, as well as from pupils with SEN and their parents, to find ways of ensuring that all needs are adequately met.

This forms part of the SEND Code of Practice, a set of guidelines designed to support organisations that work with young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Des is due to start his talk at around 14.10 pm.

Come visit us

We are intrigued to find out what these two talks will include, and also welcome you to visit us at the Salford SEN conference where we will be exhibiting.