Read all about the SEND Expert Speaker Presentations at this year’s ‘Importance of Wellbeing for ALL’ Virtual SEND Conference

All 12 SEND expert presentations are now confirmed for the ‘Importance of Wellbeing for ALL’ Virtual SEND Conference on Friday 20 May. Find out more…

This online conference aims to help schools improve outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There’s 3 morning keynotes focused on Wellbeing for ALL. This is followed by 9 afternoon sessions split into 3 streams – Wellbeing/SEMH, Quality First Teaching and Specific Learning Differences. So there really is something for every setting!

One ticket costing just £60 gives access for your whole school. You can attend online on the day or watch the recordings afterwards when it suits you.

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Full Speaker Lineup 'Wellbeing for ALL' Virtual SEND Conference

Take a look at the Conference Programme


Who’s Speaking?

keynote speakers

Implementation of the DfE’s Education Staff Wellbeing Charter

Lorraine Petersen OBE circle with grey background

Lorraine Petersen OBE
Educational Consultant, LPEC

The purpose of the Charter and why schools should sign up to it is outlined. Lorraine highlights the importance of all schools committing to their own wellbeing strategies to ensure that all staff feel protected. She explains how the wellbeing and mental health of everyone is a key part of school life.

Lorraine’s session will help you:
  • Develop a greater understanding of the DfE’s Education Wellbeing Charter and offer clear guidance on how to embed the charter in your school.
  • Raise awareness of the importance of staff mental health and wellbeing and offer strategies to support staff mental health and wellbeing.
  • Support the development of a wellbeing culture within your school.

Education Consultant and former CEO of nasen, with 25 years of experience as a Teacher and Headteacher. Lorraine now runs LPEC, an educational consultancy dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, including those with mental health needs.

Setting the climate – getting the ethos and environment right for SEND

Jane Friswell 2 circle with grey background

Jane Friswell
SEND Consultant and Parent Advocate

Providing a message of belonging to all members of a school community is key to inclusion. How does feeling like you don’t belong impact a learner with additional needs, their ability to engage, participate and thrive? Jane explores these themes, what it takes to be inclusive and what it feels like for learners.

Jane’s session will help you:
  • Understand key principles of the morality, ethics and attitudes of inclusion.
  • Consider the environment and sense of belonging that individuals gain from being a member of a school community.
  • Get insight into the personal and lived experience of those with SEND and use this to improve conditions for inclusion.
  • Explore partnerships which indicate the quality and value placed on relationships and how they underpin the conditions for inclusion across your school.
about jane

SEND Consultant, Parent Advocate and former SEN Headteacher, Jane has significant leadership experience in LA SEN Support advisory roles and as CEO of nasen. Now Director of Jane Friswell SEND Consultancy, an innovative support agency that specialises in leading effective strategic review of provision for children and young people with SEND.

Me, my Dyslexia and success

Arran Smith circle with grey background

Arran Smith
Managing Director, SEND Group

Arran’s inspirational talk outlines the journey of a severely dyslexic adult who was told that he would never amount to anything due to his dyslexia. His journey covers going through education into work, to becoming a dyslexic entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience working in the field of dyslexia and SEND.

Arran’s session will help you:
  • Understand dyslexia from a dyslexic point of view and gain empathy for how dyslexic learners feel.
  • Improve your awareness of dyslexia.
  • Learn key strategies to help individuals with dyslexia.
  • Better appreciate dyslexic learners’ difficulties and their strengths, by hearing about Arran’s inspirational journey.
about arran

Arran Smith is a dyslexic entrepreneur, diagnosed with severe dyslexia aged 9. He is the Managing Director of the SEND Group, owner of Trugs and Founder of the Dyslexia Show. He’s also Chairman of the Leicestershire Dyslexia Association and a former employee of the British Dyslexia Association. Arran has a special interest in Assistive Technology, which he uses to support his dyslexia needs daily.

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Stream 1 – Wellbeing and SEMH (Social, emotional and mental health)

How to connect and communicate with your emotions

Ali Knowles - SEMH

Ali Knowles
Therapist, Author and Creator of Ollie and his Super Powers, Subconquest

All behaviour serves a purpose and it’s not always about attention seeking. If you just try and change a child’s disruptive behaviour in a class without understanding what’s driving the emotion and its intention, you won’t get far. Alison explains how to help children make emotions manageable, empower them to overcome issues, and change classroom behaviour.

Ali’s session will help you:
  • Explore how you can engage children in the conversation about what emotions are.
  • Explain how emotions can be hiding behind a behaviour and how to change that behaviour by helping/changing the emotion driving it.
  • Use simple techniques to make emotions manageable.
  • Empower children to overcome issues themselves and be captains of their own ships.
About Ali

Ali Knowles is a practising emotional therapist, author of the Ollie and his Super Powers series, creator of the Ollie Model, public speaker and award-winning NLP trainer. The Ollie Model is a simple therapeutic model empowering the individual to take back control of their emotions rather than being controlled by them. Ali’s strength is the unique way she views the world and her intuitive ability to empower you and the children you work with to find the solutions from within.

Understanding SEMH and wellbeing of children and young people – a psychologist’s approach

Fintan O’Regan circle with grey background

Dr Rob Long
Educational Psychologist, Sebda (Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association)

Humanistic psychology emphasises the whole individual and strives to help people fulfil their potential and maximise their wellbeing. Rob explains why Behaviour Policies are unfair, unjust and unworkable and highlights the need for core mantras/principles that change the way behaviour is understood. He outlines practical ideas from positive psychology to support wellbeing and mental health.

Rob’s session will help you:
  • Recognise the difference between equity and equality – and why treating children differently (not the same) to meet their individual needs is crucial to help them reach their full potential.
  • Change the way you ‘see’ children’s behaviour – by following key mantras to help you reach the right way of responding and supporting children with difficulties.
  • Use a 5 a day positive psychology checklist – to make sure you’re giving the children you support good emotions, good relationships and meaningful experiences every day.
About Rob

Dr Rob Long is Vice Chair of SEBDA. He is a Chartered Psychologist who works independently offering high quality training in schools and colleges to teachers and other professionals. Rob’s main area of interest is supporting children who face SEMH difficulties. He is also a tutor for the Oxford Brookes University distance learning course on Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties. Rob has written a number of books, including Building Wellbeing and Resilience: How to Help. All of his books offer teachers and support staff practical ways to manage difficult situations. 

School stand off? The link between exclusion and avoidance

Suzy Rowland circle with grey background

Suzy Rowland
Author and Founder of #happyinschoolproject

UK Government data shows children with additional needs are disproportionately represented in exclusion and school avoidance figures. Suzy examines this connection and discusses evidence based strategies about what schools can do to help neurodiverse youngsters. Focusing on practical applications, as well as policy and inclusive practice, she provides low cost ideas to implement straight away.

Suzy’s session will help you:
  • Gain a deeper understanding of child and adolescent neurodivergent school and classroom behaviours.
  • Gather tips to build trust and rapport with this group of learners.
  • Develop strategies for building collaborative relationships with parents.
  • Get ideas on how to review your policy and practice.
  • Identify how to measure your success.
about Suzy

Suzy Rowland is an author, Autism and ADHD Specialist, Adaptive Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and Speaker. She founded the #happyinschool project to provide creative and interactive training and consultancy, rooted in lived experience. She works with local authorities, families and young people, to enable educators and families to work collaboratively, for successful educational outcomes. Her book S.E.N.D. in the Clowns: Essential Autism, ADHD Guide is a friendly, advice-packed handbook for parents at the start of their child’s diagnosis journey. 


Access 12 presentations from SEND experts

1 ticket for your whole school is just £60!


Stream 2 – quality first teaching

Sensory strategies in the classroom

Joanna Grace circle with grey background

Joanna Grace
Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, The Sensory Projects

We’re all aware of a rise in sensory needs amongst our students. There’s also an increase in resources claiming to target these needs. What can we practically do to support those with sensory differences in our classrooms? Joanna explains sensory processing differences and disorders, explores their impact on wellbeing and shares her experience of useful resources.

Joanna’s session will help you:
  • Understand sensory processing differences and disorders and appreciate their impact on wellbeing.
  • Get the most out of sensory resources, even using everyday classroom items to effectively meet sensory needs.
  • Create an environment in your classroom that supports individuals’ sensory differences, enables learning and engagement for everyone – and is good for everybody’s mental health.
about joanna

Joanna Grace is a Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, Doctoral Researcher, Author of several books on SEND, Trainer and TEDx Speaker. The Sensory Projects works to share the understanding needed to turn inexpensive items into effective tools for inclusion. Joanna’s insight on inclusion comes from her personal and professional life. She has family members with physical disabilities and neurodivergent conditions. Joanna is also a qualified teacher, who has worked to promote the inclusion of children with additional needs in mainstream settings from the early years right up to university.

SENCO workload – a focus on thriving in the role

Dr Geraldene Codina circle with grey background

Dr Geraldene Codina
Associate Professor - Research, University of Derby

Research by Dr Helen Curran highlights the challenges SENCOs face regarding time to complete the role, and others understanding of it. Geraldene addresses these challenges and explores ways to manage SENCO workload. This includes separating out SENCO, Curriculum Leader and Teacher workloads as well as focusing on SENCO wellbeing, resilience and time management.

Geraldene’s session will help you:
  • Understand the nature of the SENCO workload and address the ways to manage it.
  • Identify where the SENCO role starts and finishes.
  • Gain a clearer understanding of the ways to thrive and succeed in the SENCO role.
  • Collaborate effectively with the SENCO in your school.
about geraldene

Dr Geraldene Codina is an academic at the University of Derby. She heads up the ISEND Research Cluster and is Programme Leader for the University’s National Award for SENCOs. Specialising in inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities, Geraldene has written several publications. These include: the co-edited book Leading on Inclusion: The role of the SENCO; The SENCO Induction Pack: Supporting your school at the start of your journey; and Understanding Inclusion. She has also worked as a SENCO, senior leader and school teacher in both special and mainstream settings. 

Avoiding anxiety at post 16 – the benefits and impact of thinking and planning early to prepare for adulthood

Julie Pointer

Julie Pointer
Children and Young People Programme Lead, NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion)

Understanding the Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) pathways and planning early can raise aspirations for young people with SEND and help show what could be next. Julie explores PfA from the earliest years. She highlights evidence from the Time to Talk Next Steps programme that provides online support for young people to help plan in a way that enhances resilience and mental wellbeing.

Julie’s session will help you:
  • Understand the importance of preparing early for young people with SEND.
  • Share in the learning from the PfA programme – what works and areas of effective practice.
  • Hear the voices of young people with SEND and understand some of the challenges they face around anxiety and lacking confidence – and what we can do to mitigate this.
  • Think about the role you have to play in preparing young people for a positive adult life.
About julie

Julie Pointer is a qualified social worker who has experienced a variety of roles in social care since qualifying 32 years ago. She is passionate about ensuring young people with special educational needs and disabilities have equal life chances as they move into adulthood. Julie leads the Children and Young People programme at the National Development Team for Inclusion. She has also headed up the national Preparing for Adulthood programme, funded by the Department for Education for the past eight years. Julie believes that person centred approaches help to ensure that all young people have the same opportunities to be aspirational and succeed.

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exclusive discount code to get 20% OFF.

Stream 3 – Specific learning differences

Why schools need to focus on speaking and understanding skills to effectively support SEMH

Amy Loxley circle with grey background

Amy Loxley
Interim Lead Speech and Language Advisor, I CAN

Amy outlines current research on the relationship between SEMH and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) and discusses the impact on children’s behaviour of potentially hidden difficulties with speaking and understanding. She highlights how to identify these difficulties and explores a range of helpful tools. She also gives an overview of support options, including both whole school and differentiated approaches.

Amy’s session will help you:
  • Understand the relationship between SLCN and SEMH.
  • Consider the impact of language difficulties on behaviour.
  • Know about tools to track progress and identify difficulties.
  • Know some whole school strategies and approaches to support speaking and understanding skills.
  • Consider some differentiated approaches for pupils who need more targeted support.
About amy

Amy Loxley is the Interim Lead Speech and Language Advisor for the children’s communication charity – I CAN. With 14 years’ experience as a speech and language therapist, Amy has worked with a diverse range of children and young people across early years, primary and secondary phases, and in community, mainstream and specialist settings. She is currently leading the Constable Talk Boost project, supporting children with difficulties speaking and understanding language across five London local authorities. She’s also developing CPD content for I CAN’s training offer for schools. 

Can’t learn, won’t learn, don’t give a monkey’s – and you don’t understand me at all!

Fintan O’Regan circle with grey background

Fintan O'Regan
Behaviour & Learning Consultant, Sf30 Ltd

Fintan outlines the different rhythms of those that can’t learn but want to (Attention Deficit Disorder), those that push you away (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and those with a different agenda (Conduct Disorder). He explains how Structure, Flexibility, Rapport, Relationships and Resilience can help those that can’t to can, those that won’t to want to, and those that don’t to do.

Fintan’s session will help you:
  • Demystify ADHD, ODD and CD.
  • Appreciate and apply structures, systems and strategies for support.
  • Develop flexibility through problem solving, mood and motivation management.
  • Establish rapport through effective communication techniques and dealing with anger and aggression.
  • Understand the power of Relationships and developing Resilience.
About fintan

Fintan O’Regan is one of the leading behaviour and learning specialists in the UK. He is currently an ADHD, Neurodiversity and Behaviour Consultant for a number of schools and organisations. He is also an associate lecturer for Leicester University, the National Association of Special Needs, The Helen Arkell Charity and the Institute of Education. Fintan has published over 10 books on behaviour, learning and motivation, including the T.E.S. award winning book ‘Educating Children with ADHD’.

The effective use of technology to support Dyslexia

Arran Smith circle with grey background

Arran Smith
Managing Director, SEND Group

This session gives teachers a fundamental understanding of paid for and free technology that can support dyslexic learners both in the classroom and at home. Arran explains the benefits of assistive technology, looking at software, hardware and other technologies. He aims to help schools make informed choices, then quickly and easily implement technology to help learners with dyslexia.

Arran’s session will help you:
  • Understand assistive tech and how it can help dyslexic learners.
  • Have an informed choice of what is available – including software, hardware, paid for and free technology.
  • Start the conversation in your school regarding technology implementation within education.
  • Implement technology the following day.
about arran

Arran Smith is a dyslexic entrepreneur, diagnosed with severe dyslexia aged 9. He is the Managing Director of the SEND Group, owner of Trugs and Founder of the Dyslexia Show. He’s also Chairman of the Leicestershire Dyslexia Association and a former employee of the British Dyslexia Association. Arran has a special interest in Assistive Technology, which he uses to support his dyslexia needs daily.

What did previous attendees say?

The speakers were excellent and very knowledgeable. The conference was really good and much cheaper than lots of training around, essential at this time when funds are low and access to high-quality CPD can be limited.

Louise Aldridge, Deputy Head Teacher and Inclusion Manager / Bushy Hill Junior School

The information presented was really useful and the staff and I can implement a lot of key ideas quickly and easily. Sharing the videos across the school has also saved me a lot of CPD preparation. Thank you.

Jo Vizor, Head of Learning Support / The Elms School

Excellent content delivered in a very convenient way and at a very reasonable price. More information than I could handle in one dose – but thankfully I will be able to re-visit in my own time.

Janet Bristow, SENCO / Perrymount Primary School

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