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Children's Futures in The West Midlands - Conference

The Institute of Education Conference on the SEN Draft Code of Practice and the Children’s and Families Bill

Solihull Local Authority Champion Pathfinder and the Institute of Education jointly hosted a Conference entitled Children’s Futures in The West Midlands on the 6th of November.

The Conference was opened by the University’s Vice Chancellor David Green who welcomed over 180 professionals from across the region.

Kerry Hancock gave the first address and provided a national perspective as to how the new legislation and policy initiatives would better meet the learning requirements of young people with special educational needs.

Jeannette Essex shared the experiences of Solihull Metropolitan Authority as Champion Pathway Lead for 14 of the West Midlands Local Authorities. Jeannette highlighted that here are distinct benefits to the new approaches being adopted enabling greater flexibility and responsiveness to parents concerns and children’s learning experiences. She also identified challenges associated with how change will need to be implemented in schools and in Local Authorities. Jeannette’s presentation was supported by practical insights and experiences provided by the Headteacher of Coppice Junior School, Mrs. Julie McCarthy.

Additional change management approaches to provision planning and strategic thinking and action for inclusion at school level were discussed by the SEN specialist Anita Devi.

The seminar concluded with a review of the role of the SENCO in changing times which was presented by Seán Bracken, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University.

Throughout the day participants also had an opportunity to feed into the consultation process for the new draft Code of Practice.

Ann Jordan, Acting Head of Institute of Education said: ‘This was an excellent opportunity to bring together a number of experts in the field and provide a forum for wider discussion and thoughtful reflection on the current educational context’.

The Institute of Education offers a wide range of postgraduate and professional courses, including the National Award SENCo (NASC) and the MA Education (Special and Inclusive Education).

For further information or to request a prospectus please contact the CPD office on 01905 855056 or email