Regional Networking & Development

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EfL LearningShared Regional Networking & Development Conferences

A unique networking and collaborative learning and development opportunity…

These events are an opportunity for leaders at schools, colleges and settings across the country to come together for a day of sharing and development.

In addition to workshops and presentations led by colleagues including Prof. Barry Carpenter CBE, Diane Rochford OBE, Vijita Patel (Principal, Swiss Cottage School) and James Waller (Principal, Sunningdale School) there will be comprehensive case studies from schools within the community, as well as contributions and lightning talks from our host schoools and schools within the community, plus workshop time and structured roundtable discussions.

Each day will be a great opportunity to share and discuss interpretations and approaches to SEND and inclusion with other school leaders.

Regional Networking & Development Events

We’re thrilled to invite you and your colleagues to attend ANY of the following regional events:

London / Southeast:  Nov 9th 2023 (Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre, London)

Northwest: Feb 7th 2024 (Foxfield School, Wirral)

Southwest: Feb 29th 2024 (Venturers’ Academy, Bristol)

Northeast: May 1st 2024 (Sunningdale School, Sunderland)

West Midlands: June 6th 2024 (Uffculme School, Birmingham)

East Midlands: June 12th 2024 (Nether Hall School, Leicester)


Full day events. Lunch and refreshments provided.


Our LearningShared conferences feature:

– Keynote sessions and workshops
– Ofsted: Headteacher reflections on a recent inspection
Presentations and contributions from the host schools
Case studies
– Most importantly round table discussions providing opportunities to connect, share and learn with colleagues from across the community.
– Networking opportunities over lunch and refreshments.

* Each day will be a great opportunity to share and discuss interpretations and approaches to SEND and inclusion with other school leaders. *


Speakers / Facilitators include:

Prof. Barry Carpenter CBE, Diane Rochford OBE, Vijita Patel, James Waller, Martin McKenna, Alistair Crawford, Martin Stanley, Cheryl Gaughan


The underlying theme of each event will be the exploration and discussion of how as leaders and practitioners we can develop and nurture truly inclusive and personalised approaches to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, as well as systemise reflective practice and inquiry across the whole school.

At the heart of each event are a series of workshops and roundtable discussions. Here’s an overview of the big questions and themes that we’ll be exploring and discussing as a group…


Everyone will be together for the morning sessions in mixed roundtable groups with the opportunity to network and discuss with colleagues from different settings…


Understanding and describing learners and learning for different levels of need (Diane Rochford OBE)

In this session, Diane will spotlight the importance of having a clear picture of what learning looks like for different levels of need in your school. Delegates will be invited to discuss and share how to build a common understanding and language for describing learning for different levels of need.

* How do we place learner need at the heart of curriculum design?

* How do you articulate & define learner pathways in your setting?

* How do you evidence the often unique learning journeys made by your students?

An Inquiry approach to neurodiversity & complex needs (Professor Barry Carpenter CBE)

In this session Professor Carpenter explores the concept of neurodiversity through the lens of Inquiry. Blending latest research and affirming teachers and leaders experience Barry support delegates to define their context and learners through question and discussion.

*  How do you create a culture of Inquiry to respond to the shift in complexity threshold and rapidly changing needs of learners in your setting?


Case Studies:

Case Study #1: How a specialist school approaches understanding learner profiles through reflective inquiry’ (Swiss Cottage School DRC / Sunningdale School)

Case Study #2: How a mainstream school approaches understanding learner profiles through reflective inquiry’ (Tollgate Primary School)



Following lunch colleagues will be invited to join ONE of the following workshops. Multiple attendees from the same school can join different sessions…

Workshops include….


School is the best medicine’ Improving attendance for learners with the most complex needs (Professor Barry Carpenter CBE)

With attendance figures down and school refusal up in many schools Professor Barry Carpenter will lead discussion as to the reasons why, what the latest research is telling us and crucially ways in which we can respond and remove barriers to attending for all students.

* What approaches can best support improved attendance and engagement for learners, particularly with the most complex of needs?


An evidence led approach to school development including navigating a successful Ofsted Inspection (Vijita Patel, Swiss Cottage School & Martin McKenna, Foxfield School)

This session will explore how experienced school leaders have used evidence and the Evidence for Learning app as a strong foundation for all aspects of school improvement and ways in which robust evidence supported outstanding judgements during recent Ofsted inspections.

* How can your processes for teaching and learning lead an inspection’s evaluation of the quality of education?
* How can enquiry, engagement and reflection transform whole school practice to improve the quality of behaviour, attitudes and personal development?


Using Engagement to support personalised learning & play (James Waller, Sunningdale School)

In this session participants will be talked through an outstanding school’s use of an engagement driven play based approach to supporting personalised learning for those with the most complex needs (Complex Learning Difficulties and Autism).

“…teachers observe pupils carefully. They build up a picture of what each child finds motivating and engaging. This information is then used to create exciting and purposeful learning activities.” – Sunningdale School Ofsted Report (June 2023)

* How is your curriculum designed to develop the tolerance of uncertainty and the functional application of learning for those with complex communication and interaction needs and Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD)?


Preparing for Adulthood… beyond the school gates – Supporting students into aspirational & sustainable long term outcomes (Alistair Crawford, St Martins / St Andrews Schools

In this session we highlight best practice around PfA and the work that post 16 settings (and schools) have developed their pedagogy, curriculum and environment to support learners into a range of positive long term outcomes.

* What do we mean by Preparing for Adulthood from the earliest years?

* What skills, knowledge and behaviours do learners need to be prepared for life byond the school / college gates? How do we teach them?

* What does successful transition look like from school to college and then college to adult services / employment?


Supporting mainstream settings to develop inquiry and evidence-based approaches to successful inclusion (Cheryl Gaughan, JMAT Schools)

In this session we will discuss what successful inclusion looks like and how to develop inquiry approaches that will lead to reflective practice. We will cover how to use engagement profiles to support lesson and curriculum content, the use of Evidence for Learning to create ‘inquiry diaries’ and how this can support reflective practice and curriculum design.

* What does successful inclusion look like in a mainstream setting?
* How do you use an inquiry approach to identify engagement and inform your curriculum?


Roundtable Discussion & Networking

As with all events we’ve run in the past, the emphasis of each day will be on discussion, learning and networking… giving you lots of opportunity to meet and forge relationships with new partners and collaborators for your professional networks. The format of the whole day is roundtable discussion and networking, both structured through our agenda and freeform during lunch and break times.

** This is a very unique opportunity to come together with leaders from across the region and country for a full day of shared learning and networking. **


Bringing together a large, powerful community of specialist schools & practitioners
The EfL and LearningShared community now comprises more than 700 specialist schools, colleges and alternative provisions across the UK, as well as a rapidly growing number of mainstream schools. Consequently these events will provide a unique and brilliant opportunity for us to come together to directly harness and tap into the phenomenal wealth of knowledge and experience that exists across the community.

These networking and development conferences are very much for you, and we sincerely want to make each event one of the most useful and informative professional development and networking events of the year for you.

The precise agendas for each event may vary slightly. Please get in touch with any queries.


LearningShared subscribers: FREE 

If your school or setting has a subscription to the LearningShared CPLD Programme then up to 2 (two) members of staff can attend any one of the events for FREE (no cost), subject to a maximum of 2 x ‘delegate tickets’ during the setting’s LearningShared subscription period. Additional delegates can attend any event at a substantially discounted cost of £50 (ex VAT) per delegate / attendee.

Please note: Attendance at any events during the 2022/23 academic year under an existing LearningShared subscription will count towards the allocation of 2 x free ‘delegate tickets’ for any of the EfL LearningShared events in the 23/24 academic year.


Non-LearningShared subscribers: £195 (ex VAT) per delegate / attendee

If your school or setting does not have a subscription to the LearningShared CPLD Programme then the cost to attend any of the events is £195 (ex VAT) per delegate / attendee;

Alternatively the school can subscribe and enrol to the LearningShared CPLD Programme using the form below (£500 ex VAT if your school has EfL / £600 ex VAT if your school does not currently have EfL) to take advantage of the free and reduced attendee costs as well as to gain access to all the features and benefits of the LearningShared CPLD Programme. Learn more about the Learning Shared CPLD Programme here.


Download leaflets about the events & the LearningShared CPLD Programme

Booking Form

Please use the form below to book places at any of the events.

If you would like to attend multiple events, you’ll need to complete a separate form for each event.

Please complete all the details for each delegate.

Once you have submitted the form, someone from our team will be in touch to finalise and confirm registration details (including confirming any costs). If you have any questions please get in touch or call 0161 250 5151.

SEND in Mainstream Conference

Working with Families Conference

LearningShared CPLD Programme

Need Assistance or Have Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the events or pricing, or if you experience any issues with completing the registration form, please either email us at or use the contact form on our website (here)


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