SEND Conference 2021

SEND Conference 2021

Thursday 10 June 2021 | Virtually hosted via Click Meetings | 09:15 - 15:30


Supporting schools and colleagues after the COVID-19 pandemic - we are thrilled to be able to bring you the ‘All in This Together Conference: Making SEND Everybody's Business.’

The conference is relevant for any stakeholders with responsibility for developing whole school SEND so that the challenge of leading SEND in our schools is more widely understood and shared.

This year, we are excited to welcome keynote speakers, who will provide uplifting and expert insights into SEND from different stakeholder perspectives, as well as and a range of workshops, all of which will enable you to go back to school feeling refreshed, updated and positive. Workshops will focus on the Graduated Response Toolkit, oral storytelling and case studies of joint working.

Our first Keynote speaker is Robert White. Many colleagues will recall Robert from being runner up in 2018’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. However, Robert also describes himself as being ‘as strange as I was bad’ whilst growing up. Robert has lived his life with a variety of SEND, including Autism and Dyslexia and will be sharing his stories of childhood and school. We will also welcome Brian Walton, Headteacher of Brookside Academy in Somerset. Brian will talk about the journey of his school in embedding SEND across the school culture. We are thrilled to welcome both speakers and look forward to their addition to our annual SEND Conference. 


Training Objectives:

  • Hear from inspirational and experienced speakers to support school visioning and strategic planning
  • Be informed around key changes and models of best practice in the world of SEND
  • Network virtually with colleagues from across the South West

Who Should Attend?

SENCOs and Governors from Primary, Secondary and Special Education, Early Years and FE Leaders, Headteachers, Inclusion Managers and other professionals working with pupils with SEND

About Brian Walton, Headteacher

Brian Walton has been a head teacher for over 17 years. His current school, Brookside Academy won the TES Alternative Provision School of the Year award in 2018 despite being a mainstream Academy. The team at Brookside work with over 600 pupils aged 0-11 including a 50 place Specialist Provision. They strive to be one school – Brian will share his story and the lessons they have learnt. Brian tweets and blogs as @Oldprimaryhead1 and is currently finishing his first book called Lessons from the Heads Office.

About Robert White, Comedian, Speaker

Robert White is the only gay, Aspergic, quarter-Welsh comic on the British comedy scene. Known for his brilliant timing and performance style, Robert’s chaotic stage presence, improvisational skills and delivery won him the 2010 Malcolm Hardy Award for Comic Originality. And in the same year, he wrote one of Dave’s Top Ten Jokes of The Fringe.

He is arguably best known as coming second in ITV’s highest rated show, Britain’s Got Talent, in 2018.

Programme Information

Keynote sessions


Living with the FONK – Lessons Learnt in Trying to get SEND Right

Brian Walton, Head teacher,

Brian will share the journey Brookside Academy has been on trying to build an inclusive school. Mistakes, joys and trials alongside universal problems that they still have not got right. In this session, he hopes to allow people time to reflect on their own journey and provide an authentic look at trying to get SEND provision right without ever being happy that we have.


The Autistic Comedian

Robert White, Comedian, Author

As a child born into a world where autism was hardly spoken of, let alone diagnosed especially how Robert has it, to now living as an autistic adult and advocate who relays his experiences to others, Robert has walked a path through a cultural change. In a life of exceptional happenings, of both particular achievement and great misfortune, he saw how struggle is ever present in all corners of living, from situations of the mundane to the ridiculous, from the gutter to the stars and through varying degrees of acceptance, ignorance or disdain. He has the wounds and medals to pay testament to his battles and speaks of his learned wisdom, both failures and fortune, and the lessons from them, as no one else can.

With practical steps and understanding that is applicable to the lives and aims of present day students, as well as processes and techniques that are usable for an education setting, Robert will present a contrast of the worst that can happen and the best that can be done from his own personal experience.

‘I am what the text book won’t tell you, I am the once invisible which now blazes bright and I am the silenced words that now scream’.



Workshop sessions


Embedding the Graduated Response Tool

Tanya Haigh, SEND Adviser, Babcock LDP

This workshop will support school SEND leaders and governors to broaden their use of Devon’s Graduated Response Tool in order to secure further improvements in SEND. It will discuss and present ways to use the Tool for planning, monitoring and staff development. There will be presentation and discussion opportunities which will seek to give guidance on how to successfully embed the Tool into everyday practice.

Conference Price

Full price - £165+VAT

> BOOK NOW via the Shop

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Fantastic - probably the most productive course I've been on. Very informative and a good mixture of practical strategies and strategic advice.

SEND conference 2019

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