21st March 2024

OCN London SEND Practitioners Best Practice Annual Conference

We were delighted to be invited back to the annual OCN London SEND Practitioners’ Best Practice Conference, which welcomed a broad range of SEND settings, including schools, colleges and independent training providers.  It was a great opportunity to network with SEND professionals and OCN London colleagues, whilst learning more about this specialist area of delivery.

We heard from Laura Kerbey, who presented on Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), sharing the importance of student autonomy, building rapports and trust.  ‘PDA Dad’ Duncan talked about ‘masking’; as well as hearing from Elkan Training about Development Language Disorder (DLD).  Naz Watts showcased the innovative forthcoming OCN London Level 2 esports: Competitive Gaming qualification, designed to support learners with teamwork, planning, marketing and reflection skills.

It was exciting to co-facilitate a ‘Wellbeing for SEND Practitioners’ workshop with Sadaf Aslam from Ambitious about Autism, an AAL School member.  We explored what SEND practitioners love about their roles, including observing students’ progression and achievements, but also reflected upon staff challenges impacting physical, emotional and mental health.  It was positive to learn about best practice wellbeing strategies that organisations have in place, from champions and peer-to-peer support.  However, there is still so much more employers need to do to be forward-thinking for employee wellbeing.  The group identified a specific need to offer tailored employee support and enabling peer forums, as a safe space.

AAL was proud to connect with such amazing professionals.

Marcia Fernandes

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