Happy birthday dear nasen

Nasen was 21 last week and like all 21 year olds they had a bit of a knees up. This one was really good as it was at the House of Commons and the guest of honour was Roberta Blackman-Woods MP.

Nasen has long campaigned for better training for teachers and in the last two years they have worked with over 4000 SENCOs. The feedback they have received shows that teachers do not feel confident that they can cope with the increasingly diverse range of needs in schools today.

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP with Lorraine Petersen in the House of Commons
Lorraine Petersen celebrates nasen's 21st with Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

‘We need to ensure that teachers are supported and empowered to deliver the first class education that all children deserve, no matter what their abilities are,’ said Lorraine Petersen, nasen’s CEO. ‘We have come to rely very heavily on additional support- Teaching Assistants and Learning Support staff– often resulting in the least qualified being responsible for the education of the most vulnerable young people.’

Nasen is now to launch its Every Teacher campaign, with three main objectives, drawn from Sharon Hodgson’s recommendations in the Labour Party SEN Review:

• Every new teacher should undertake a minimum module on SEN as part of their initial teacher training to support them in identifying and intervening with pupils
• One inset day per year given over to promoting good practice on inclusive teaching, sharing experience and knowledge of SEND
• SENCOs should to be part of the Senior Leadership Team

The campaign is very timely. SENCOs and teachers will soon have to cope with many changes to special needs provision: new SEND legislation, the single school based assessment process, the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans with optional Personal Budgets, radical changes to school funding plus the growth in academies and free schools will all provide huge challenges to educational professionals over the next two years.

It’s good to know that nasen will be looking after their interests.




nasen Awards 2011 – Celebrating Inclusive Practice

I am heading north this week to cover the nasen awards for Special Children magazine. Four products have been shortlisted for the ICT Resource to support Teaching and Learning Award.
2011 is the National Year of Communication so fittingly 3 entries support speaking and listening skills:

Recordable bar from TTS
Short listed entry Recordable Bar

Recordable Bar/Story Sequencer from TTS Group can be used to create talking stories, class timetables or question and answer games
Sound Shuffle from TTS Group was created by Carol Allen, advisory teacher for ICT and special needs in North Tyneside. It is a brand new device for creating stories, sequencing and sound effects.
Logan Proxtalkerwas created by Glen Dobbs for Logan Technologies. It is a moveable picture communication device originally devised for children with autism
MyZone from Inclusive Technology Limited provides a simple desktop and a wealth of activities for people with dis aor ldd who need to access a computer via speech and pictures rather than text

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony at the Reebok Stadoium in Bolton as part of Special Needs North.