The Changing Landscape of Special Educational Needs

This two part article, recently published in the new SEND magazine, gives an overview of the phenomena that many school are experiencing , namely that the children they identify with SEND today, are increasingly different to those they identified yesterday.

SEND Article Part 1

SEND Article Part 2

Book Review Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities: A resource book for teachers and teaching assistants by Barry Carpenter and others

Children and young people with CLDD have a range of conditions and combinations of conditions which can often be unfamiliar to educators. It can be challenging to engage them with learning, so there is a very real need for approaches and resources to engage this group of children in learning. The Engagement for Learning Framework has been developed and trialled by over 100 educational settings (both special and mainstream) with learners from early years to post-16, so educators can be confident that the methods are well tried. It gives practitioners from a range of disciplines a shared means of assessing, recording and developing personalized learning pathways and demonstrating progression for these children. The focus on inquiry means that however complex a young person’s needs, educators will be able to apply the approach. Clearly presented, despite the complexity of the material, the book gives an in-depth view of using the Engagement for Learning Framework effectively; the case studies show the impact of the system. I like the fact the book specifically includes Teaching Assistants, who play a vital role in any classroom and especially with students with complex issues, where they are frequently providing essential one-to-one support. The impressive qualifications of the authors makes this an authoratitive book that will be highly valued by all involved in the teaching of CLDD young people.

Complex Needs Modules to go Europe wide.

An innovative project , co ordinated by Leeds Beckett University in the UK, will see the Complex Needs modules translated into Spanish , German, Turkish, and Bulgarian! This development , funded by the European Union Erasmus Programme, affirms the high quality and innovative nature of these materials.
The focus of the Project will be staff training in the field of Intellectual Disability , and will be co ordinated by Nick Mitchell , Principal Programme Consultant at Leeds Beckett university. Jo Egerton , who worked on the original Complex Needs Module Project in the UK, will be the Research Fellow for this European Project.
Details of the Project as linked below.
Professor Barry Carpenter, who was Director of the original Complex Needs Research Project in the UK, and who oversaw the development of  the original  training modules in English  ( http://www.complexneeds., said at the inaugural meeting of the European Project Group, itide, “ This is a marvellous opportunity to bring to staff working with children with Intellectual Disabilities across Europe, the innovative and groundbreaking work that the Team behind the original modules put together. I am delighted to think that our legacy will have such a potentially transformative impact.”

Changing Children – Changing Services? The moving landscape of Early Childhood Intervention

The Video clip below is Professor Carpenters’ Keynote presentation to Australian Early Childhood Intervention Association, September, 2014.

Flyer for Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

This practical and engaging book provides literature, tools and case study examples outlining who children and young people with CLDD are, why their engagement for learning is important, and how the Engagement for Learning Framework can be used effectively by teachers and other professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for these children.

Engaging Learners with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities

Resources to support Teachers and Teaching Assistants working with children and young people with FASD.

I still find a lot of teachers struggling to find direct practical ideas on how to work with children with FASD in classrooms and schools.
The following are full of evidence based strategies the would fulfil the requirements of the new Code of Practice for SEND to develop personalised Learning Passports.



Learning from each other in the field of Early Childhood Intervention.

Each country finds itself at a different phase of development when it comes to Early Childhood Intervention. It is important that the ECI community learns from each other, and supports one another.
The Early Intervention Institute in St Petersburg, Russia, is keen to develop its links in the international ECI Community. Following on from the excellent ISEI Conference they hosted in 2013, they have produced a newsletter, containing articles that can be read in Russian or English. This includes a piece I have written on the education of children born prematurely.

The newsletter can be found here.


Interpreting Engagement ; pathways for children with Complex Needs

The Engagement Profile and Scale, which was a major outcome of the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project, continues to be used creatively by practitioners in a variety of settings. The powerpoint below is an illustration from Sally Jones, a teacher of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in South Australia.