The 107th North of England Education Conference (NEEC) will be taking place in Blackpool on January 5-7 2011. The conference is set to give policy advisors, senior decision makers, local authorities, trade unions and other agencies linked to education and children’s services the first chance to reflect on and debate what have been some of the most radical shifts in the sector for more than a generation.
The conference will be the first real opportunity the special educational needs sector will have to discuss the recent changes brought on by the new government and the recent Ofsted report which made reference to special educational needs statements being overused to hide poor teaching. NEEC will also be giving a platform to School’s Minister Nick Gibb, giving him the chance to outline the government’s vision for educational reform.
Professor Barry Carpenter (above), Associate Director (Special Educational Needs) with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, who will be speaking at NEEC 2011, said of the conference, “This conference gives us an opportunity to examine in-depth what all 21st century children need in their education and how we can respond to that in diverse and personalised ways.”
Professor Carpenter, the author of over 100 published articles on a variety of topics in special educational needs went on to say that, “NEEC 2011 has firmly put all children, including those with special educational need, at the heart of its structure. It offers an innovative opportunity for all professionals concerned with education to reflect on the challenges of the next decade of this century.”
Described by The Times Education Supplement as “one of the most influential gatherings of the education calendar”, confirmed speakers include Maggie Atkinson, Sir Charles Pollard, Dame Tanni Grey Thompson, Martin Bell and the BBC’s Controller of Learning Saul Nassé. In addition there will be a number of young people participating in debates and learning seminars including Max Bailey and Nicole Burke who will also act as the conference’s Co-Presidents. Sharing the President’s role will be Ann Widdecombe.
David Lund, Blackpool’s Executive Director of Children, Adult and Family Services who is overseeing NEEC 2011, said of the forthcoming conference: “Many people working in education and children’s services are, understandably, very apprehensive and concerned about the impact of new policies and impending cuts. The NEEC provides a unique environment where senior decision makers, local authorities, trade unions, governors and agencies can meet, reflect and discuss face to face the future of the Every Child Matters agenda.
“January’s NEEC is therefore a very timely conference, and will feature a range of speakers and experts that have been at the sharp end of change within the sector throughout their professional careers.
“But in addition to keynote speakers offering their insights, the NEEC has always been a forum for robust debate, audience participation and peer-to-peer networking. We anticipate that in January this aspect of the conference will add real value to the delegate experience, and that people will come away with pragmatic and effective guidance to help cope with the unprecedented upheaval our industry is currently experiencing.”
It is anticipated that over 400 delegates will attend this year’s NEEC over the three days and there are a range of prices available. For details of these, accommodation information and the full conference programme visit: www.neec2011.co.uk