SEN129 : March/April 2024


Read SEN Magazine SEN129 : Mar/Apr here

This is where we normally say something prefatorial to direct your attention to certain articles in the following pages, but on this occasion we’re going to rely on your undoubted powers of reading the contents page, which we have provided for this very purpose. Instead, we’d like to use the space to tell you about a few things.

Firstly, a very sad thing. Just before Christmas we learned of the death, at a very young age, of our former colleague Peter Sutcliffe, who edited SEN Magazine for many years and who helped build up the magazine into what it is now. We’ve written something about him on page 9.

Secondly, a funny thing, and it’s a thing which illustrates how AI works. We were contacted recently by a reader in Wigan, who we’ll call Andrea, who emailed us to ask for a copy of an article entitled The Importance of Staff Wellbeing in Special Schools written by Paul Green and published in an (unspecified) previous issue of SEN Magazine. Andrea had tracked down the article by searching in Bing, which is a search engine. Normally we’re very helpful about this sort of thing, and in the usual course of events we would just have sent Andrea a copy of the article by return. But we couldn’t find it. We searched and searched, and we asked Andrea again for more details, and she gave us the exact title of the article and confirmed that it was indeed published in SEN Magazine. But the thing is, we have never published an article with that title, and we have never published an article by anyone called Paul Green. It’s the sort of article we might well have published, of course, but we just haven’t. Well, it turned out that Andrea had been searching with Bing’s AI function turned on, and Bing’s AI function seems to imagine things. In this case Bing decided that an article with that title, by that author, and published in SEN Magazine, was probably the sort of plausible result that a search engine might generate. So we learned two things from this: we learned something about how Bing’s Large Language Model works, and we learned that we’re probably OK just using Google.

Thirdly, there’s a bittersweet thing. Sadly (for us, anyway), Mary Mountstephen won’t be editing SEN Magazine any more, because she’s busy doing her own thing ( Happily, she will still be reviewing books for us, as she has done for many years. I know you’ll agree that Mary has done a great job on the magazine over the last couple of years, so I’d like to thank her publicly for her doughty service, not just to SEN Magazine, but to special needs education in general.

Finally, a big thank you to all our wonderful advertisers and contributors, without whom SEN Magazine would not be possible.


Click here to read SEN Magazine SEN129 online

Fizziness, Labelling autism, SEN in the Middle East, Post-16 employment, Braille, Artificial intelligence, SEN and the Arts, Down’s syndrome, Restraint, SEND analytics, Inclusive playgrounds, Behaviour, Neurodiverse classrooms, Modular school buildings, News, Book reviews, What’s New, CPD & Events, Resources and more

SEN Magazine
Author: SEN Magazine

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