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School leaders urge government to publish SEND Review

Today (Wednesday 20 October) School leaders’ union NAHT (@NAHTnews) brings together professionals from a range of sectors – including education, health and care – for NAHT’s virtual SEND Conference. The event coincides with the union’s call for the government to accelerate and publish its SEND Review, so that the crisis in SEND funding can be properly addressed.

Marijke Miles, chair of NAHT’s SEND Council, said:

“It is hugely frustrating that two years on from starting the review, the government seems no nearer to publishing its findings. Government needs to urgently progress the SEND Review and start implementing the changes required to address long-standing systemic shortcomings.

“We need to flip the system, to make SEND support needs-led and not resource-limited, and lift the barriers to cross-sector joint working, so that education, health and social care are each able to work together effectively, for the benefit of all pupils with SEND.

“There is an opportunity in the imminent spending review for government to clearly signal the value they place on investing in the future of every child and young person.”

With a focus on the changing landscape in SEND, this timely conference, “New Perspectives on Neurodiversity – Needs, Names and Knowledge” seeks to identify, celebrate and disseminate the excellent practice which promotes effective outcomes for young people with SEND across the whole of the education sector.

Topics being discussed at the event include:

·       Neurodiversity – ‘A Spectrum of Traits’ – ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Autism, with Dr Tony Lloyd and Colin Foley

·       Behaviour Hubs – All change, no change? With John d’Abbro

·       Understanding How to Help Parents to get the Best Outcomes for Their Children, with Grainne Saunders

·       Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, with Shushma Jain

·       Undiagnosed Genetic Conditions, with Jo Wright of SWAN UK

·       Building confidence, communication skills and a global perspective in SEND settings through digital immersive storytelling, with Dr Harriet Marshall, Head of Educational Research at Lyfta.

The event’s keynote speakers are: Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions, a tech-for-good company; Professor Francesca Happé, recent Director of the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London; and Joe Wells, comedian and writer.

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