Together for Children Welcomes Experts in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at a Conference for Education Professionals

Simon Marshall, Lorraine Petersen and Anne Hayward pictured at the SEND Conference

Over 100 delegates including representatives from the Parent/Carer forum in Sunderland gathered at a conference that took place last week to hear from leading experts and to participate in a series of practical workshops.


According to the Department for Education there are around 1.27m pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) across the UK. This has an impact on staff within settings, schools, colleges and services needing to upskill their knowledge about effective interventions and to share resources.


Together for Children (TfC), which delivers Sunderland’s children’s services incorporates educational and school improvement services.


TfC host regular training sessions for educational providers and hold conferences that attract delegates including from across the region.


Speakers at this latest SEND conference included Lorraine Petersen (OBE), an educational consultant who has supported those working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.


Lorraine, said: “Having worked with a number of national organisations I was very happy to share experiences and approaches to supporting both young people and parents.”


Anne Hayward, a specialist SEND educational consultant, who has strong success rate of helping providers evaluate and improve their SEN services, also addressed the conference and said: “It’s always a pleasure to share innovative ways to support student outcomes and it was great to see the passion of providers across Sunderland.”


Special Educational Needs and Disability covers a broad spectrum of difficulty or disability that makes learning and engagement harder than for other children of the same age and it is estimated that around one in five children has SEN at some point during their school years.


Simon Marshall, Director of Education at Together for Children, said: “The number of children and young people with SEND is increasing nationally, so it’s more important than ever that we offer conferences such as this.


“Practical workshops enable practitioners including special educational needs co-ordinators who support our young people in schools on a daily basis to share experiences and hear from those recognised as being leaders in the field.”


To find out more about the conferences, training and events organised by Together for Children please visit




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