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nasen Live 2022 - Speakers

We're thrilled to confirm our speakers at this year's nasen Live event! Please see below our speakers' bios and session synopsis.

speaker in a large auditorium at nasen Live 2019

Session Title - Linking up schools and the FE sector for the benefit of learners with SEND

Having worked as a teacher for 25 years, including as a SENCO, teacher trainer, local authority SEND adviser, leader of SEN resources bases and a special school outreach service, and as an SEN governor and chair, I have been with nasen for nearly six years. As Head of Education and Whole School SEND, I have responsibility for the leadership of the education team, who work on a wide range of projects to make inclusion a reality, and the education team of Whole School SEND. WSS has a national team of SEND Leaders across the regions, who enable us to link more closely with the member community, to change the lives of learners with SEND one connection at a time

 

Professional headshot photograph of Alex Grady

Alex Grady

Session Synopsis

Distributed leadership for SEND is crucial across schools and Further Education (FE) but what does it actually look like and how it can be successfully achieved?

Alex will explore this and more, in partnership with Teresa Carroll from the Education and Training Foundation.

Together, important questions will be discussed on effective transition to FE, preparation for employment for young people with SEND and how distributed leadership can enable this.

Session Title - Interrogating “Inclusive” Assessments

Amanda was a secondary English teacher and SENCo in Cornwall where most students with SEND are placed in their local mainstream schools. She also advised both primary and secondary schools on SEND issues in the classroom, including how to assess knowledge and understanding when compulsory tests and exams (SATS, GCSEs) were inaccessible. She is a long-standing member of The SENCO Forum and a member of Ofqual’s Access Consultation Forum. Since 2014, she has been researching into how students with SEND take GCSEs and how they use their access arrangements.

dr_amanda_hipkiss

Dr Amanda Hipkiss

Session Synopsis

The Department for Education (DfE) says that ‘exams are the best and fairest form of assessment’. However, some students cannot demonstrate what they know, understand and can do under exam conditions.

In this session, Amanda will explore how exam boards make reasonable adjustments. Importantly, it will delve into how and why students use or don’t use the adjustments they are allowed.

Session Title - Closing Address

Amrit is chief Operating Officer at nasen with responsibility for development and operations, finance, international development and sales and marketing. Amrit provides commercial and operational leadership for the organisation ensuring its future sustainability and ability to continue meeting the sector's needs. He is deeply passionate about inclusion and has been actively involved in driving change towards equality throughout his corporate career. He enjoys long nature walks with his wife, their two daughters and family cavapoo, Hugo.

Amrit Singh

Session Title - Opening Address

Annamarie Hassall is Chief Executive of nasen. Approaching 40 years of combining strategy with operational expertise, including regulatory and statutory services. Known for bringing the voices of children, young people, parents and practitioners to influence policy, legislation and quality outcomes. A qualified and registered social worker, former Ofsted Inspector of early years, a member of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and British Association of Social Work. Currently the chair of the Whole School SEND Consortium and the National SEND Reference Group, regularly invited to join advisory panels. Awarded an MBE in 2011 for her work with children and families.

Annamarie Hassall

Session Title - Understanding Intersectional Realities: Harder to reach or easy to ignore? 

Brian has 20 years’ experience working across statutory, further and higher education. His extensive experience has ranged from teaching and co-ordination through to operational and strategic management of direct services to students, and as a senior leader in UK and European organisations. He also has direct lived experience of disability throughout his education and career. Brian has been an active advocate across the education sector, hosting and speaking at national and international conferences, and formally representing the UK with European partners on UDL development.

 

Photograph of Brian Lutchmiah

Brian Lutchmiah

Session Synopsis

In this session, Brian will explore the ways that the Covid-19 pandemic has unmasked and exacerbated existing social, educational and economic inequalities across society, with the profile of digital poverty and exclusion being a considered focus in SEND provision and education as a whole.

Brian will be challenging sector understanding of social-economic barriers in reality for children, young people and their parents and carers as an act of civic duty, courage and care. 

In recognising how to overcome these barriers and reduce the digital divide, we can highlight lived experiences in ensuring that equity of access is available to all.

Session Title - Attention in Autism: Implications for Schools

Dr Carmel Mevorach is Associate Professor at the School of Psychology and the Centre for Human Brain Health, the University of Birmingham. His research and teaching focuses on understanding different attention processes (such as in autism and ADHD) and how they are handled in the brain, as well as on developing new intervention approaches for attention. Dr Mevorach is one of the developers of the Computerised Progressive Attention Training (CPAT) program

 

Professional headshot photograph of Dr Carmel Mevorach

Dr Carmel Mevorach

Session Synopsis

Most teachers will work with autistic children at some point during their career. 

Facilitating inclusion requires a better understanding of the core attention skills, which affect behaviour, engagement and learning. 

Together with Dr Lila Kossyvaki-EramusIn and Professor Lilach Shalev, in this presentation he will introduce the audience to the concept of attention skills in autism and share effective methods to developing them.

Session Title - Listening to V.O.I.C.E.S: Practical Insights on Visual Approaches

Dr Clare Woolhouse is a Reader in Education at Edge Hill University. After completing her PGCE, Clare worked in two secondary schools and a further education college before moving into higher education. Clare adopts multi-sensory methodologies and pedagogies within her teaching and research to explore educational difference, inclusion and social justice. This session will be delivered jointly by Clare Woolhouse & Virginia Kay.

 

Dr Clare Woolhouse

Dr Clare Woolhouse

Session Synopsis

In this session, Clare will be joined by Virginia Kay from Edge Hill University to explore how visual approaches have been used to investigate perceptions and experiences of inclusive education and to discuss challenging topics. 

This session will provide opportunities for the audience to engage with original materials created by children and to consider how resource ‘toolboxes’ might work in their own settings.  
 

Session title - Embedding Inclusion in Every Setting

Emma is a National Executive for the NEU, Chair of the SEND Organising Forum, SEND Specialist, founder of the SENDhelp Conference and a parent of three boys with SEND. Emma is a passionate advocate for inclusion and believes every child can thrive with the right level of support. Every child deserves the chance to learn, develop and build positive relationships. They need the opportunities to succeed and grow. When inclusion is imbedded across education settings with staff who are supported and encourage to think outside of the box every child can thrive. Emma’s Keynote will look at common misconceptions, how to collaboratively communicate with parents and children and deliver easy solutions for ensuring quality first teaching is not just a phrase but something that is practical and accessible for all.

Photograph of Emma Parker

Emma Parker

Session Synopsis

Quality first teaching is not just a phrase but something that can be practical and accessible for all.

Join Emma as she looks at the common misconceptions and explores how to collaboratively communicate with parents, carers and children, providing solutions and a collaborative way forward.

Session title - The Power of Professional Development Projects

My name is Dawn Cranshaw and I am a part time Regional SEND Leader in the West Midlands area for Whole School SEND. Alongside this role I am also a SENCO in a Primary School with a resource provision and a SEND School Improvement Officer within my Local Authority in Cheshire East as well as a wife and mum so hold many hats! I love being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. I have been in education for over 20 years and taught a range of ages and across a number of Local Authorities. I have always been a keen advocate for SEND and my passion to support the children, their families and the wide range of settings and professionals is at the heart of all I do.

Profile Photograph of Dawn Cranshaw

Dawn Cranshaw

Session Synopsis

In this session, Dawn will provide an outline of the Professional Development Projects and their focus on building sector-lead improvements through peer support sessions and facilitated 1:1 conversations.

Dawn will be joined by school participant, Jo Knowles who will discuss the journey of putting the project into practice and next steps.

Session Title - The Spider’s Web of Trust: Strong Links to Support Children

Ginny has been teaching longer than she hasn't. She has been a Headteacher, Senior Manager and Class ,teaching all ages in the Primary age range. She is currently SENCO of 4 Primary schools in Northamptonshire. She believes in her mantra #Followtheempathyroad and embodies this in everything she does. She writes and talks about how this can be embedded in the classroom as well as in the whole school environment through a caring approach that involves listening to others and putting ourselves in their shoes. You can find Ginny on Twitter and at her website

Photo of Ginny Bootman

Ginny Bootman

Session Synopsis

In this session, Ginny will outline simple and effective ways to build up positive relationships with parents and carers to build a stronger spider's web of care for the children in our care. 

Join Ginny to learn about how a 'logos, ethos and pathos' approach can help us navigate difficult meetings and how to consciously put ourselves in the shoes of the parents / carers, to feel what they feel.

Session Title - Exploring Flexible Seating in Mainstream Schools: A Whole School Adaptation

Heba is the Assistant Headteacher and inclusion leader at London's Mayflower Primary School. She has taught in inner London primary schools since 2007, and holds a Masters in Special and Inclusive Education from University College London Institute of Education (IOE). Heba is passionate about research and implementing innovative practice. She has secured funding for a variety of school projects including the use of sensory integration to provide whole class support for children aged 3-7 years and helping children with special educational needs improve their recall strategies. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2019 to look at inclusive practices in mainstream schools in New York for Autistic pupils. In 2021, received another grant from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to pilot a project at her school in collaboration with the Centre For Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), UCL.

 

Professional photograph of Heba Al-Jayoosi

Heba Al-Jayoosi

Session Synopsis

Heba will share details of a whole school research project she has led at her school in collaboration with the Centre For Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), UCL. 

The research explores the use of flexible seating as a whole school adaptation in an inclusive primary school. Join Heba as she shares the evidence and findings gathered so far.

Session title - Challenges of the Diagnostic Framework for Understanding Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Joni is a Professor of Psychology at the University of East Anglia and an Affiliated Senior Scientist at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge. She has a PhD in Psychology, awarded by the University of Durham in 2005. Joni’s research aims to understand why some children encounter difficulties at school. Her recent work challenges the use of diagnostic frameworks to identify children with neurodevelopmental differences and to guide intervention decisions. In this talk she will present evidence supporting the use of an alternative transdiagnostic approach.

 

Photo of Professor Joni Holmes

Professor Joni Holmes

Session Synopsis

Practitioners frequently use diagnostic criteria to identify children with neurodevelopmental disorders and to guide intervention decisions. 

This assumes that diagnostic criteria reflects an underlying reality. 

In this session, Joni will present evidence showing this assumption may not be valid, and argues for the use of an alternative transdiagnostic approach. 

Session title - The Power of Professional Development Projects

Jo Knowles is the Director of Primary Education for Shaw Education Trust and Executive headteacher at Kidsgrove School Primary, one of the most deprived schools in Staffordshire, with 51% Pupil Premium, when Jo arrived at the school 2 years ago, it had been deemed inadequate with significant failings and exclusion rates. Today, exclusions are non-existent, the school is significantly closing attainment gaps with pupils making rapid progress and anticipated exceptional progress score for their 2022 headline figures. Jo has changed the culture of the school, raising standards through coaching staff in inclusive teaching and learning and the wellbeing of staff and children has become the driving force.

 

Jo Knowles

Session Synopsis

In this session, Jo will be joined by Dawn Cranshaw from Whole School SEND. 

Together, Jo and Dawn will provide an  outline of the Professional Development Projects and their focus on building sector-lead improvements through peer support sessions and facilitated 1:1 conversations.

As Director of Primary Education for Shaw Education Trust and Executive Headteacher at Kidsgrove School Primary, Jo will discuss the journey of putting their project into practice and next steps.

Session title - Exploring Early Years Inclusion by Design

Julian Grenier is the headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Newham, east London. Sheringham is a Research School.
He was appointed by the Department for Education to lead on the 2020 revision of Development Matters, the non-statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage in England.

Julian has worked in the early years for over 20 years and has a Doctorate in Education from the UCL Institute of Education (University of London).

 

Photograph of Dr Julian Grenier

Julian Grenier

Session Synopsis

How can we move away from assuming that all delays in early learning result from SEND, and support all children to make good progress? 

In this session, Julian will argue for a more inclusive approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

How can we make better use of the EYFS Progress Check Age 2? What strategies can be used to ensure that children with SEND are included in an ambitious curriculum that works towards the same endpoints for all children.

Session title - Universal Design for Learning and the Mythical “Norm”

Nicola Martin is Professor of Social Justice and Inclusive Education at London South Bank University. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Fellow of the RSA and long time member of https://nadp-uk.org/ . Nicola’s research interests include equality in higher education for disabled students and staff through Universal Design for Learning.

headshot_of_professor_nicola_martin

Prof. Nicola Martin

Session Synopsis

In this session, Nicola will explore the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach. This is based on the idea of planning for, rather than being surprised by diversity.

UDL is built on respect for individuality, an understanding of intersectionality and a commitment to ensuring that everyone is celebrated. 

Nicola will argue that there is no such person as a mythical 'norm' - everyone is different and everyone belongs. 

Session Title - Scaffolding Maths for Independence and Success

Karen McGuigan is an education consultant with a goal to improve attainment levels in maths. She has developed the Maths For Life programme, a differentiated approach to teaching maths. It is designed for students with additional learning needs, for whom the standard national curriculum structure and timescale is unattainable.
 

 

A photograph of Karen McGuigan

Karen McGuigan

Session Synopsis

We know that maths is a challenge for students with SEN and inclusion is often provided by support and assistance. 

In this session, Karen will explore the complexities of this support and the importance of scaffolding Maths for independence as well as success.

Using the Maths For Life ‘Hierarchy of Independence’ she will demonstrate how to define the level of support offered to ensure parent / teacher / teaching assistant / SENCO are all on the same page and how to remove scaffolding in an incremental way to ensure that a student can understand and complete the task on their own.

Inclusion is often provided by support and assistance. We scaffold a student to succeed but how do we manage the scaffolding to still achieve success as well as independence?

Session title - Digital Technology in the Early Years

Dr. Kate Cowan is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Fellow at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. With a background in early years teaching, Kate’s research explores children’s play and communication in the digital age.

Photo of Kate Cowan

Dr Kate Cowan

Session Synopsis

In this session, Kate will explore Reggio Emilia’s approach to digital technologies in the early years and links with their 'Hundred Languages of Children' philosophy based on the belief that there are multiple ways of exploring and expressing ideas.

Drawing on examples from early years settings, Kate will consider ways in which digital technologies can be inclusive and support the diverse meaning-making of all children as they make sense and interpret the world around them.

Session Title - Attention in Autism: Implications for Schools

Dr Lila Kossyvaki is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. She is a chartered psychologist and a SEN teacher. Her teaching and research interests cover a number of areas around the education of autistic individuals and/or learning disabilities.

 

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Session Synopsis

Most teachers will work with autistic children at some point during their career. 

Facilitating inclusion requires a better understanding of the core attention skills, which affect behaviour, engagement and learning. 

Together with Dr Carmel Mevorach and Professor Lilach Shalev, in this presentation she will introduce the audience to the concept of attention skills in autism and share effective methods to developing them.

Session Title - Attention in Autism: Implications for Schools

Prof. Lilach Shalev is a full Professor in the Constantiner School of Education and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel-Aviv University (TAU), Israel. She is the Head of the Department of Special Education and School Counselling and the Head of the Attention Lab. Her research focuses on assessment and training of attention and cognitive control and their impact on learning in various populations, in particular in ADHD and autism. Prof. Shalev has led with her colleagues a pioneering cognitive training program called CPAT (Computerized Progressive Attention Training).

 

Professional headshot photograph of Prof. Lilach Shalev

Prof. Lilach Shalev

Session Synopsis

Most teachers will work with autistic children at some point during their career. 

Facilitating inclusion requires a better understanding of the core attention skills, which affect behaviour, engagement and learning. 

Together with Dr Carmel Mevorach and Dr Lila Kossyvaki, in this presentation she will introduce the audience to the concept of attention skills in autism and share effective methods to developing them.

Session Title - Developing a Sense of Belonging through a Rights Based Approach

Parmi Dheensa, is an award-winning social innovator and humanitarian, disability and Human Rights Activist, who advocates with and empowers underrepresented communities and unheard voices, and shares lived experiences with her youngest son, a disabled and adventurous changemaker whose journey keeps Parmi driven and focused in working towards achieving disability rights and inclusion. Parmi is the founder of ‘Include Me TOO’ charity based in the UK, working with disabled children, young people and their families from a diverse range of backgrounds, developing a range of services, resources, training at local, national and international levels covering areas of intersectionality, participatory approaches, inclusive practice, policies, and safeguarding.

Photograph of Parmi Dheensa

Parmi Dheensa

Session Synopsis

Join Parmi as she reflects on the rights of disabled children and young people and the critical importance of participation, inclusion and advocacy to ensure they are fully included to shape their futures.

In this session, examples of social innovation in responding to the wellbeing needs of disabled children and young people impacted by Covid-19 will be shared drawing on holistic and sensory integrated approaches. In addition, the development of an App will be discussed as an example of inclusive design. 

Session Title: Learning From Autistic Teachers: How to be a Neurodiversity-Inclusive School

Dr Rebecca Wood is a former teacher and autism education practitioner who is a Lecturer in Inclusive Education at the University of Glasgow. She is also Principal Investigator of the Autistic School Staff Project. Rebecca speaks at national and international conferences and has a number of publications in peer-reviewed journals and edited books. She has had two books published, Rebecca’s principal interests are in valuing and supporting multi-modal forms of communication in the context of autism and promoting strengths-based approaches in schools. Her work also shows that educational inclusion can only be achieved by supporting acceptance and diversity across the whole school community.

 

headshot_of_dr_rebecca_wood_

Dr Rebecca Wood

Session Synopsis

In this session, Rebecca will outline findings from the Autistic School Staff Project, a unique research project that looks at the experiences of autistic teachers and other autistic education staff in schools. 

This project shows that autistic people are not only carrying out a range of education roles, but that they have vital skills and insights from which all in the school community can gain - but only with the right understanding and support.

Rebecca will also draw on her wider work highlighting that educational inclusion can only be achieved by supporting acceptance and diversity across the whole school community.

Session Title: You can’t do SEND in a silo

Rhian is the SEN Co-ordinator at Henley Bank High School, the winners of the 2021 The nasen Award for Secondary Provision and looks forward to sharing her knowledge. I am absolutely passionate about inclusion and ensuring that every child has their needs understood and met across the curriculum and are able to enjoy every aspect of their school day.  Leading and developing the provision at Henley Bank High School, has been the pinnacle of my career so far.'

Photo of Rhian Williams

Rhian Williams

Session Synopsis

In this session, Rhian will explore how SEND should, and can be, a strand that permeates every role within a school’s community.

Drawing on her experiences at Henley Bank High School, a former nasen Award winner, Rhian will discuss the importance of strategic planning of distributed leadership of SEND.

In addition, she will explore why the role of the SENCo is intrinsic to ensuring all students are included and enabled to thrive.

Session Title: The Power of Photography in Mental Health and Wellbeing

Robin Warren is the Executive Head Teacher of the Blossom Federation of Daubeney, Sebright and Lauriston Schools and Children’s Centres in the London Borough of Hackney.  He has also been the Head Teacher of two other large primary schools in London and is a National Leader of Education. You can find out more about Robin and Show & Tell on their website.

 

Photo of Robin Warren

Robin Warren

Session Synopsis

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, young people were invited to bring their feelings to life in a photograph to describe ‘how are you feeling?’

Nearly 100 photos were displayed across billboards nationwide out of over 21,000 entries. In its second year, the #myphotomyfeeling initiative has reached an even bigger audience.

Session Title: Linking up schools and the FE sector for the benefit of learners with SEND

Teresa leads on the Education and Training Foundation’s offer to the sector on offender learning, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and mental health.  She has worked for over 20 years across the housing, health and education sectors developing community led services, providing advocacy and in social policy roles to ensure that services meet the needs of those they are for.

A beneficiary and champion of the Further Education sector and its life changing impact, Teresa works with others to remove the barriers that prevent people from maximising their potential.

 

Profile photograph of Teresa Carroll

Teresa Carroll

Session Synopsis

Distributed leadership for SEND is crucial across schools and Further Education (FE) but what does it actually look like and how it can be successfully achieved?

Teresa will explore this and more, in partnership with Alex Grady from Whole School SEND,  

Together, important questions will be discussed on effective transition to FE, preparation for employment for young people with SEND and how distributed leadership can enable this.

Session Title: Listening to V.O.I.C.E.S: Practical Insights on Visual Approaches

Mrs Virginia Kay is the Course Leader for the National Award for SEN Co-ordination at Edge Hill University.  Virginia’s professional experience includes 12 years teaching in a variety of settings across key stages 1, 2 and 3, including two years in the United States. She is credited with an in-depth knowledge of inclusion and SEN, in relation to both policy and practice and is passionate about inclusion and social justice within education, especially as this relates to learners with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This session will be delivered jointly by Clare Woodhouse & Virginia Kay.

 

virginia_kay_

Virginia Kay

Session Synopsis

In this session, Virginia will be joined by Dr Clare Woolhouse from Edge Hill University to explore how visual approaches have been used to investigate perceptions and experiences of inclusive education and to discuss challenging topics. 

This session will provide opportunities for the audience to engage with original materials created by children and to consider how resource ‘toolboxes’ might work in their own settings.