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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Inclusive Education conference takes place

28 March 2023

Headteachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) from all schools attended a conference at Highlands College on Monday 27 March to learn more about inclusive education in Jersey and the UK.

The Education4Everyone conference supports the ongoing work to create an early years and education system which includes all children and young people and ensures that they have access to the learning and social activities so that they can reach their full potential.

During the conference, participants heard from: 

  • Director of Education, Seán O ‘Regan
  • The independent chair of the Inclusion Review Delivery Board, Kate Briden
  • Inclusion and SEN specialist Margaret Mullholland
  • Representatives from East Midlands Academy Trust, who spoke about how they have created a more inclusive school and curriculum
  • Colleagues in Government who support existing work on inclusion 

This area of work has been prompted by a 2019 review of inclusive education and early years, which was conducted by the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen). The nasen review made 50 recommendations on how the Island can better support all children and young people to reach their potential. 

The review included a recommendation to define inclusive education in a way that is accessible to all Islanders, and to ensure that all stakeholders agree on the kind of inclusive education to which the Island aspires. 

Work to define an inclusive education system has been ongoing since January. This has included workshops with children and young people in nurseries, schools, colleges and youth groups. Surveys for practitioners who work with children and young people, and multi-lingual surveys for parents are available until Friday 31 March. To date, over 900 people have taken part in workshops, or responded to the survey. 

Next term, parents and practitioners will have the chance to take part in focus groups to share their experiences. Over the summer, all the feedback will be collated to agree a shared vision for inclusive education. This will be shared in time for the new academic year.

More broadly, the response to the nasen review is ongoing, including:

  • £6.1 million proposed in the Government Plan 2023 to 2026 for inclusion in schools, with a focus on children with special educational needs, and those with a high or complex need 
  • Formal training for Special Educational Needs Coordinators delivered in collaboration with the University of Winchester
  • Reshaping Social Emotion and Mental Health provision to a more therapeutic model 

All work on these recommendations is overseen by the Inclusion Review Delivery Board, which is chaired by Kate Briden, (Director General of Justice and Home Affairs), and attended by representatives from Children Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES), Health and Community Services (HCS), Children’s Social Care, schools, third sector, and the Jersey Parent Carer Forum amongst others.

Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, said: “I’d like to thank all the headteachers and SENCOs who took time out of their busy weeks to attend yesterday’s event. 

“I know from my many visits to school since taking office that many of our staff are already working hard to make sure that their children and young people feel welcome and included. Yesterday’s conference aimed to give staff the chance to share best practice so that we can support all children and young people throughout their education.”

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