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Lorraine Petersen OBE on the Children and Families Act and the new Code of Practice

‘It’s a time of great opportunity and yet it’s a long journey that we’ve been on since 2011. It will probably be 2016-2017 before we start to see the fruits of this. However, in the long term, I really do feel that it will be better for our children.’ Lorraine Petersen OBE

Yesterday, in response to the Children and Families Act receiving Royal Assent, we published issue two of The SEND Practitioner.

Our clients, delegates, students, SENCOs, EPs and teachers are practising in a climate of great uncertainty. We know that they want to make the necessary adjustments to their work in advance of the forthcoming Code of Practice – which puts flesh on the bones of how the Act should be followed. However, with such a tight deadline looming, we thought that it would be wise to interview one of the key people in this area.

In issue two, Lorraine Petersen OBE, former CEO of nasen, sheds light on the Act and the new Code and gives the real answers to the real problems that SEND practitioners may encounter in September of this year.

Read the second issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

Issue two: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue two
The Children and Families Act 2014 is born
April 2014


On 13 March, after a fair amount of time ping ponging around the two parliamentary houses, the Children and Families Act finally received Royal Assent. This particular landmark is an important staging post, but one staging post on an exacting and demanding legislative journey that began as far back as 2011. Now the race is on, the legislative touch paper has been lit, the Royal Assent starting pistol has sounded and local authorities across the country are racing to put as much as possible in place before September. And yet, in the midst of this, the forthcoming SEN Code of Practice (that puts flesh on the bones of how the Act should be followed) is set to be issued “shortly ahead of reforms coming into force in September” (GOV.UK).

Against this background, there is inevitably a great deal of uncertainty as to how schools, their leaders and SENCOs will prepare for, and adapt to, the new Code of Practice. With this in mind – and building on Brian Lamb’s opening analysis in our first issue – we spoke with Lorraine Petersen (former CEO of nasen) to get her illuminating insights on the Act and the prospective Code.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow

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We publish our first free-zine: The SEND Practitioner

In late February, as part of our ongoing commitment to excellence in SEND practice, we introduced a free monthly ezine for all of our current and previous students. The SEND Practitioner covers a variety of expert-led topics, offering the latest practical insights.

These exciting free-zines discuss the most pressing issues facing the SEND practitioner today with real experts and expertise.

March’s issue contains up-to-the-minute guidance on the forthcoming Code of Practice: what changes are taking place; what should practitioners do to prepare; and what will it mean for them? Brian Lamb OBE, author of the influential Lamb Inquiry, discusses his thoughts alongside a group of SENCOs and a timeline to change. April’s issue features Lorraine Petersen’s (former CEO of nasen) illuminating insights on the Act and the prospective Code.

In May’s issue, our Q&A with Stephen Kingdom (the DfE’s Deputy Director of SEND) will enable us to discuss the most pressing issues and questions with a key government figure. To this end, if you have a question that you would like to ask Stephen, please contact our editor by email.

You will be able to access a copy of both published issues of The SEND Practitioner on our website very shortly.

In the meantime, you can sign-up to and read the first two issues of The SEND Practitioner here.

Backed by the British Accreditation Council (BAC)

We are delighted to have been officially recognised as a centre of learning and excellence by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Siobhan Mellor, director of Real Training:

‘We’re happy with BAC’s thorough analysis of the learning experience for our delegates – from the booking process, admin and finance systems as well as the teaching, tutoring and learning that we offer through our courses. We are pleased that they have given us their stamp of recognition for excellent training. We work hard to continually build on the strengths of our training for professionals in education and know how important it is to deliver excellent training for teachers, particularly as these are the very people who strive to deliver great learning in their own education settings.

‘BAC’s inspection – with their experience of accrediting training across the UK – has recognised Real Training’s outstanding areas of practice. We will continue to improve (it’s in our nature as educational psychologists to keep looking for the next steps!), but, at this moment, we want to stand back and feel proud of our BAC accreditation seal of approval.’

Find out more about BAC.

Issue one: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue one
Preparing for the new Code of Practice
March 2014


Welcome to Real’s first monthly e-zine for the SEND practitioner. Over the coming year, we will be looking at the most essential areas of SEND practice, combining our educational expertise with the latest insights from leading SEND experts and practitioners across the education spectrum. In this issue, we are delighted to feature a Q&A on the forthcoming Code of Practice with renowned SEND expert Brian Lamb OBE, alongside an article exploring a group of SENCOs’ thoughts on, and preparations for, the new Code.

It’s a daunting time for SEND practitioners, particularly given the many other major structural changes that are taking place in education. With that in mind, we want this newsletter to be a good source of free information on the most pressing issues faced by the SEND practitioner. So, if there is anything that you want us to write about, are unsure of, or would like to comment on, please do get in touch. It would be good to hear from you.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
editor@realgroup.co.uk Read more

Creating online training content for Cubiks

Real training is currently progressing a bespoke CPD course for international assessment and development consultancy Cubiks. The objective of the project is to enable Cubiks to move significant elements of its online training content for the PAPI Assessment Tool online, reducing the current face-to-face training requirement.

Find out more.

Helping Sandwell to embrace LEAN thinking

In 2013, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s business change unit approached us to help them communicate the unique benefits of LEAN across their organisation. We needed to simultaneously effect LEAN cultural change whilst creating staff and management buy in. Our unique e-learning and e-technology platforms, our extensive experience of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and our psychology-inspired approach, enabled us to rise to the challenge. We developed a LEAN-thinking CPD online course within a few months – engendering practice-led change across the council and winning hearts and minds in the process.

Find out more.

CACHE-point: Real Training becomes an approved centre

We are proud to have passed the approval process to become an officially recognised CACHE Registered Centre. CACHE, the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education, is the UK’s only specialist awarding organisation for the children, adult and healthcare sectors, with a portfolio of qualifications ranging from Entry to Level 5. We look forward to working with them and our clients in developing high quality NVQ and QCF courses.

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