Last week on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October, staff from across our Group came together to deliver in partnership with the ADHD Foundation two brilliant events, one for professionals and the other for parents and carers.

On Saturday, we worked with our friends and partners from the ADHD Foundation to deliver the first National Special Educational Needs Conference solely dedicated to parents and carers. The conference covered a broad range of SEN specific practical advice and expert opinion to support children and young people, including Autism, ADHD, Mental Health, Speech & Language, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.

The day kicked off with our CEO Phil Jones welcoming 450 parents and carers to the conference.  Throughout the day, guests enjoyed presentations from a field of expert speakers from across the world, including Dr Ned Hallowell, Dr Emma Derbyshire, Dr Tony Lloyd and Dr Lou Brown. Included in the mix were staff from our Group, including Head Teachers Justine Sims of Pontville School and Claire Traynor of Hall Cliffe Primary School, who presented keynote sessions and Teacher Sara Leyland from Lakeside School who facilitated a breakout session.

The event was a roaring success and the planning has already started for next year’s event.



A day earlier on Friday 4th October, we welcomed professionals from across the SEN sector to the annual  ‘Neurodiversity and Mental Health Confrence.  The event included 700 delegates attends including teachers, counsellors, social workers, nurses, SENCos, psychologists and occupational health professionals.

Over 40 staff from across our Group also attended the event, which gave them the opportunity to learn more on a wide range of SEN topics through the keynote presentations and seminar sessions throughout the jam-packed day.

During the day, some of our schools were also acknowledged as the first ‘ADHD Advanced Practitioner’ education settings in the UK and were presented with their awards by the ADHD Foundation’s patron, Rory Bremner.

The representatives from each awarded school were as follows.

Charles Cropper, Head of Vocational Centre – Cumberland School

Claire Traynor, Head Teacher – Hall Cliffe Primary School

Claire Lammas, Occupational Therapist – Lakeside School

Sally Ann Lee, Teaching Assistant– Meadow View Learning Centre

Heather Morley, Family Liaison Officer –  Pontville School

Congratulations everyone on a fantastic achievement.