Research conducted* earlier this year highlighted the concern school leaders shared in how to fund special education needs (SEN) provision. Given that the range of proposals set out in the government's Green Paper (March 2011) will not be implemented until May 2012 at the earliest, we wanted to help demonstrate what can be achieved today, now, for the immediate needs of young people with special education needs.

Yesterday's SEN workshop proved to be a real hit with delegates, who had the chance to discuss, brainstorm and share insights and ideas on how technology can help support SEN provision.

"We're all different" and "we're short of time" – do these statements sound familiar?  This unique workshop gave schools in different situations the opportunity to explore, together, a range of ICT tools which support teaching and learning for children with SEN, sharing good practice and opening minds to new ways of dealing with SEN provision.

Everyone got their hands (or feet!) on the flexible solutions and learning applications in the REAL Centre.  The Immersive room proved to be very popular. Together with Steve Cragg from SpaceKraft, the groups explored our Communication and Sensory Zone, includes elements of the SpaceKraft white room, a place used for relaxation and stimulation.

What today has shown is that there are looming challenges for mainstream schools with regards to inclusion of children with special education needs. Special Schools are also facing similar constraints to mainstream schools in terms of budget and the diversity of need. There may therefore be potential for further collaboration between schools and the sharing of best practice"  Steve Cragg, SpaceKraft.

*Every year, we conduct extensive research into the key challenges and immediate priorities of school leaders across the UK. The topics discussed include views on government initiatives such as academies and the Ebacc, the impact of school funding reductions and the changing role of local authorities. We'll be sharing some of these results over the next few weeks, starting with today's start for ten: 'What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of education in 2011.

Categories: Business managers, Senior leaders, Cost savings

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