nasen Live 2018

EVENT - 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM, 6 July 2018

ICC Birmingham, Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2EA

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It’s back! We are excited to announce that our popular, annual SEND conference, nasen Live will return for 2018.

Confirmed speakers

Speakers confirmed to attend:

  • Nadhim Zahawi

    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families

    Nadhim Zahawi is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families (Department for Education) and has been the MP for Stratford-on-Avon for eight years running. In November of 2015 Nadhim was appointed by David Cameron as the Prime Minister’s Apprenticeship Adviser and later in 2018 appointed by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families. Since taking on this new role, he has played an active role in reforming welfare, improving the quality and availability of higher education and improving development in his constituency. 

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  • Fiona Millar

    Writer and Journalist specialising in education and parenting issues

    Fiona Millar is a writer and journalist specialising in education and parenting issues. She went to school and university in London and started her career on the Mirror Group’s graduate training scheme in Devon. She worked on the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express, as a news reporter, political correspondent and freelance feature writer.

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  • Jonathan Jones

    Ofsted and SEND: The facts and the myths

    Jonathan Jones is one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and Ofsted's specialist adviser for special educational needs and/or disabilities. Prior to working for Ofsted he gained extensive senior leadership experience across a number of educational phases and also has had experience outside of education. Jonathan inspects a range of provisions including primary, secondary, special and independent schools. He regularly leads the local area special educational need and disabilities inspections and the reviews of multi-academy trusts. Jonathan is a member of the quality assurance team and investigates complaints against Ofsted. He is also a remit trainer. Jonathan has worked and led on a number of national initiatives and has particular expertise in special educational needs and/or disabilities, multi academy trusts and governance.

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  • Rob Webster

    Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants: Lessons learned from schools and classrooms

    Rob Webster is based at the Centre for Inclusive Education, UCL Institute of Education, where he leads the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) school improvement and CPD programme. He has directed large-scale studies of the educational experiences of pupils with SEND, and written extensively on how schools can make better use of teaching assistants. Rob is currently leading a trial, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, to test the MITA approach.  

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  • Brenda McHugh

    Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Your School Community

    Brenda McHugh is a consultant systemic psychotherapist, lecturer and teacher. Having worked initially in mainstream and special schools she then worked for over thirty years in child adolescent mental health services. There, she jointly devised and ran the first multi family therapeutic classroom designed to help children and young people presenting with complex emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties and their families. She is now one of the programme directors at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families where she has co-founded The Family School, London for children excluded from mainstream schools. The school is an alternative provision for children with SEMH difficulties and was recently judged by Ofsted as Outstanding. As an internationally recognised trainer she has recently created an online training programme for mental health and school-based professionals. The model of families working together in multi-family groups in schools has attracted keen professional and political interest and is being adopted widely in Britain and across Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Greenland .
    Her latest publication is: Psychology, Emotion and Intuition in Work Relationships. H Brown, N Dawson and B McHugh. Routledge. 

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  • Jaime Smith

    Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Your School Community

    Jaime Smith is the Programme Director for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.  Jaime’s background is in education, with many years teaching experience in inner London secondary schools. After teaching Jaime worked for the London borough of Camden with a caseload of children and young people who were at risk of exclusion from education.  Jaime worked for the NSPCC for 8 years, first coordinating outreach work with ‘hard to reach’ children and young people across London and then as the London manager of the NSPCC Schools Service, leading a team to deliver safeguarding work to over 3000 primary schools.  Since joining the Anna Freud Centre Jaime has led on a number of national programmes including the DfE and NHS England schools Mental Health Link programme and the DfE Peer Support for Children and Young Peoples Emotional Wellbeing.  Jaime runs the Schools in Mind network, a free network which provides information and resources about mental health and wellbeing for anyone working in education.

    Jaime Smith - Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of your School Community

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  • Louise Wilkinson

    Acquired Brain Injury – the unknown and hidden disability

    Louise is the Head of Information and Learning for the Child Brain Injury Trust, a national charity that supports families affected by childhood acquired brain injury.
    Louise has been working with and training professionals in the field of ABI for over 10 years, and is often asked to speak at Conferences and Events.
    She has been instrumental in highlighting the issues of childhood acquired brain injury (ABI) and the links with offending behaviours. She is founder member of the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group (CJABIIG), and won the Stephen MacAleese Award for Inspiration by an Individual in the field of ABI, for her work in this area. 

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  • Jean Gross

    The state of the nation for communication

    Jean is a national expert on special educational needs and has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to government. She was until 2011 the government’s Communication Champion for children and young people, and recently chaired of the Bercow Ten Years On review of services for SLCN.  Previously she headed the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts one-to-one tuition programmes, and was Senior Director within the National Strategies, responsible for work on overcoming barriers to achievement. She is the author of numerous articles and best-selling books on SEN, including Beating Bureaucracy in SEN (NASEN/Routledge, 3rd edn. 2015) and Time to Talk (nasen/Routledge, 2nd edn. 2017). She was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year’s honours list, for services to education.

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  • Ali Fiddy

    Common misconceptions about the legal framework for supporting children and young people with SEND

    Ali Fiddy is the Chief Executive of IPSEA, a charity that provides free, independent, legally-based advice and support to families of children with special educational needs and/or a disability. Ali is a qualified solicitor with extensive casework and policy experience in the fields of education, community care, mental health and public law. She has spent many years working in the not-for-profit sector, including as Head of Legal at Mind, Assistant Director of Legal Services at NYAS and Deputy Practice Manager at the Children’s Legal Centre. 

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  • Kevin Kibble

    Nurture and It's Impact

    "Kevin Kibble is Chief Executive at the Nurture Group Network the national charity promoting nurture practice in education especially for children and young people affected by social, emotional and/or mental health issues.
    Kevin was born in Suffolk and trained as an engineer before pursuing a successful career in publishing. Prior to joining NGN in January 2013, Kevin was Chief Executive at Caspari Foundation, a charity providing educational psychotherapy for children & young people who need help to overcome emotional barriers to learning & development, and prior to that Chief Executive at Transplant Sport UK a charity promoting organ donation and transplantation using the British Transplant Games to highlight the benefits.
    Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in management, communications and marketing, 18 of which have been working in, or in support of, the voluntary sector. Kevin is passionate about the power of education in effecting societal change, he is also a regular presenter at conferences where strategic management and individual giving are important elements. Kevin is a Fellow and founding trustee of The Chartered College of Teaching, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), and Chair of the IoF Nominations Committee. Additionally he is an executive coach and mentor with team and individual performance his major interests. Kevin also has the misfortune of being a long-standing member of Saracens Rugby Football Club.

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  • Margaret Mulholland

    Making the Most of Partnerships: Strategic working in challenging times

    Margaret Mulholland is Director of Development & Research at Swiss Cottage School and leads the Swiss Cottage Teaching School Alliance of mainstream and special schools. 
    A leading advocate for the role SEND settings play in improving understanding of inclusive pedagogy for all teachers, Margaret supports organisations in strengthening the integration of SEND into Initial Teacher Training and Early Career Teaching. She is passionate about ITT enabling all teachers to teach all children.
    Margaret is the SEND Representative on the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Council and sits on the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) Executive Committee.

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  • Lesley Brine

    Making SEN Support Work

    Lesley has worked in education for many years originally as a primary class teacher and then as a SENCO. She has developed her passion for supporting children and young people with SEND in her fourteen years as a SEN advisory teacher with Birmingham Local Authority. In her current role as Assistant Service lead she is project lead for High Quality Teaching, Access Arrangements and Staff CPD. As part of the leadership team she is regularly involved with whole school SEN reviews. Lesley has lectured at Birmingham University as part of their National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

    Lesley Brine - Making SEN Support Work

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  • Kate Browning

    Leading and Adapting teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of students with SEND in the Secondary Classroom

    Kate Browning is a well-regarded lead professional both locally and nationally in school improvement for children and young people with SEND. She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, SENCo, Local Authority School Improvement Officer for SEND and interim Education Development Officer for NASEN, where she supported the delivery of nationwide training on the 0 – 25 SEND Code of Practice with the DfE.

    Kate now works with SENCOs, teachers, support staff, senior leadership teams and Governors within Teaching School Alliances, MATs, Local Authorities and individual schools to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND across the primary and secondary phase. She teaches the National Award for SEN Coordination and facilitates a number of SENCo Networks across the midlands. She has worked with Local Authorities undertaking reviews of SEND provision and supporting their development of the Graduated Approach to SEN Support. She is a lecture for the Warwick University PGCE programme and has delivered key note speeches and seminars at many conferences and events such as The Education Show, NASEN Live, TES SEN, Optimus, SEN South West. She is currently involved in project working on ‘Mastery in maths for children with SEND’. She is a NASEN Associate, an expert advisor for The Key and a Chair of Governors.

    Kate Browning - Leading and Adapting Teaching to Respond to the Strengths and Needs of Students with SEND in the Secondary Classroom


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  • Pat Bullen

    Preparing for Adulthood: Approaches and strategies for schools

    Pat Bullen has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, Head teacher and senior education leader, having qualified in 1984 to teach children with severe learning difficulties. Pat works for NDTi as one of the regional facilitators for Preparing for Adulthood, and also works with local authorities in the East Midlands region.

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Who is it for?

nasen Live 2018 is a hugely popular SEND conference, best aimed at anyone working or supporting children and young people with SEND. This could be in a school setting, or at home.

Below offers more details about the benefits the seminars at the event will provide depending on your role. As well as these high quality seminars, delegates will also have an opportunity to browse through a range of exhibitor stands, dedicated to producing high quality SEND products and aids, whilst enjoying the light refreshments available throughout the day!

If you have more questions about the event, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team


nasen Live 2018: Who is the event for?


As both a strategic leader for SEND and a practitioner who needs to be able to support colleagues as well as parents and children and young people, it is vital to stay up to date. Attending nasen Live will offer you a unique opportunity for professional development which addresses specific areas such as how to structure effective support around social, emotional and mental well-being, introducing the group who are of dual or multiple exceptionality, as well as considering broad issues like developing a shared understanding of inclusion. The programme is varied and topical, with a range of speakers who bring extensive knowledge and experience in their fields with a common aim of supporting you in your work to meet the needs of all children and young people in your school or setting.

Head teachers, senior leaders

Responding to the question of ‘How well do the children and young people in your school benefit from the education they receive?’ is complex. One of the key areas for consideration is how well you provide for children and young people with SEND. Nasen Live offers you the rare opportunity to learn about good in practice at a whole school strategic level, from understanding what effective leadership for SEND looks like across a MAT to exploring how to maximise the use of teaching assistants in line with all available evidence. How SEND provision and practice is examined and evaluated by Ofsted and lessons learned from the body of knowledge generated by inspections to date can help your own school self-evaluation and understanding the legal requirements around SEND is essential. These are just some examples of the professional development on offer at nasen Live for those in leadership positions and the programme also offers an unmissable chance for your SENCO and other teaching staff, as well as for your link Governor for SEND, to access high quality and up-to-date CPD.


You have the responsibility of meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND in your classes. Nasen Live offers you the opportunity to learn more about how to do this effectively, as well as professional development linked to whole school SEND issues. Our programme includes sessions which examine the teacher’s role in whole school SEND provision, how to make assessment inclusive and evidence-based advice on how to best work with your teaching assistant as well as offering some practical classroom strategies.

Teaching Assistants

As a key part of the teaching workforce, you may often work with children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. Nasen Live offers you the chance to explore practice such as how to best support the social, emotional and mental health needs of the children or young people in your school, as well as understanding the latest advice about the role of the teaching assistant, based on evidence of what works. The programme covers a range of topics which are designed to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of SEND.


You want to be sure that the special educational needs of all the children and young people in your school are met. To do that, you need to be as informed about best practice as possible and nasen Live offers you an opportunity to learn about this. Sessions such as understanding good leadership for SEND within a MAT and understanding the requirements linked to external inspection by Ofsted related to SEND are crucial for developing reliable judgements about the provision in your own school. Attending nasen Live with the SENCO in your school could be a great way to understand current key issues for SEND.