National festival for specialist education launched

FestABLE will seek to look for solutions to the issues faced by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities

Julia Belgutay

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The UK’s first national festival of specialist learning will be held on in June. FestABLE will offer a broad range key note speakers, discussions, workshops and activities for professionals working in the SEND sector, as well as young people and parents. 

Tes will be media partner at the one-day festival, which will seek to look for solutions to the issues faced by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. It will be hosted by charity National Star at its fully-accessible campus outside Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

David Ellis, chief executive of National Star, said: “FestABLE has been designed with young people and their parents at its heart. It will be a day when parents and young people are face-to-face with professionals. By sharing, listening and talking we hope that festival-goers can play an active role in findings solutions.”

Range of topics

Dame Christine Lenehan, author of the review "These are Our Children", will be among the speakers, who will cover a range of subjects from building a SEND workforce to the latest assistive technology, as well as reviewing the progress of the Children and Families Act and the future of speech and language therapy.

“There is a growing desire to talk about what will work better for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties and how all of us - professionals, parents and the young people - can make difficult things possible,” said Mr Ellis. "FestABLE will be an opportunity to talk about what’s challenging all of us involved in Special Educational Needs and find paths ahead for all the learners and their families."

National Star College in Cheltenham is the first college in the country under the new Ofsted regime to receive a double 'outstanding' in every category of Ofsted and Care Quality Commission ratings.

FestABLE will take place on Saturday 2 June 2018.

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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