Nasen promotes the development of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). Chief executive officer Lorraine Petersen explains their CPD offering

Nasen promotes the advancement and development of all individuals with special and additional educational needs and disabilities. It believes that everyone has an entitlement to personal, social and intellectual development. A lifelong learning approach to academic, curriculum and skill development for individual teachers, schools and the education service, is a key agenda of Nasen.

Enhancing teachers’ success

Addressing its key objective, to develop world-class solutions to support those working among children with special and additional educational needs and disabilities, Nasen organises local, regional and national activities throughout Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Professional courses and conferences are offered to members by early notification of preferential rates, to encourage networking and staff development opportunities. Teachers often find it hard to direct their own personal development therefore they are encouraged to conduct self-evaluation and consider reflective activity as an ongoing process that is key to attain maximum benefits. Nasen membership also provides access to journals and magazines that offer excellent reading material to support quality professional development. The 2008 CPD programme is highly comprehensive, reaching a nationwide audience. Look out for Nasen’s ‘behaviour’ road show throughout 2008. The road show will travel across seven regions in the UK, with the objective of enhancing knowledge and awareness of challenging behaviours, behaviour management and supporting the student.

A suite of materials to suit all

For teachers or schools that are supporting young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities, membership of Nasen has never been more important. Boasting cost effective annual membership fees from £37, Nasen offers highly resourceful, specific and up-to-date professional information for all areas relating to SEN. A suite of materials is provided to facilitate schools in planning the development of their staff.

Online journals and periodicals

Research suggests that 80% of CPD focuses on the professional skills of pedagogy, such as expanding knowledge base, teaching techniques and curriculum structure. This provides an explanation as to why Nasen provide its members with a comprehensive service of both online features, journals and special needs periodicals. As every teacher applies unique life experience and knowledge to their teaching positions, Nasen regard it as essential to provide journals focusing on topical issues. Support for Learning, a journal examining the practical and theoretical issues surrounding pupils with special and additional educational needs and disabilities, provides teachers with information such as classroom management strategies as well as procedures to eliminate underachievement, on a quarterly basis. The British Journal of Special Education compliments Support for Learning on a quarterly basis, by providing information on an in-depth range of learning difficulties relating to children in mainstream and special schools. Particular emphasis is placed on inclusive practice, UK debates and international, national and local policy and practice, in order for teachers to advance their base of knowledge. Special, Nasen’s magazine, simply adds to the calibre of material offered by Nasen, providing information sheets and reviews of new products. Nasen also present the Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs (JORSEN) as an invaluable online source of advice, support and practical solutions to help teachers, governors, and headteachers deliver high-quality inclusive practice.

Publications

Nasen provides resources for teachers to reduce the time-consuming tasks associated with pedagogical delivery. Modern-day teaching presents extensive lesson plans, the requirement of wide SEN knowledge and also best practice. Furthermore, teachers are offered discounted publications such as classroom handbooks. Partnership with Routledge brings together Nasen publications written by practitioners and expert educational publications. This collaboration has the added benefit that members receive sizeable discounts on hundreds of supplementary publications and resources. Members are encouraged to submit their own book proposals to the publications sub-committee who offer help and guidance to writers on request. Value for money just adds to the importance of being acquainted with this organisation, with a 10% discount for Nasen members.


Policies

During 2006, Nasen produced its latest policy, on partnership working. Nasen  has also produced policies on assessment, pupil participation and the early years. Through its national network, Nasen is shaping and influencing policy at the highest levels. Every new Nasen policy document is provided to members along with regional membership and a monthly e-newsletter.

SEN and strategic planning in schools

‘New duties under the Disability Discrimination Act place an emphasis on whole-school planning and action to promote equality of opportunity for disabled pupils. Effective strategic planning should build capacity in schools and support decisions about admitting pupils whose needs are beyond a school’s current capacity to cope. This planning, which should identify CPD needs for staff, should involve the SEN coordinator (SENCO), who will in future be required to undertake nationally accredited training, and other relevant members of the workforce.’

Annex B of the TDA’s 2006 letter to ministers, p5.

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