Once again we are unable to gather in one place for our annual national conference. So instead of our usual two-day get-together, we are offering you a week of virtual activities and events designed to upskill your workforce and improve your provision. The four days will be packed with workshops, webinars, keynote talks and informal networking sessions for you to drop in and out of according to your interests and availability.
With a theme of reflection and renewal, we will spend a little time looking back over the past year, but more importantly we will be looking forward. Together we will explore a range of different topics, share information and expertise and challenge and support one another to achieve the highest possible quality of provision.
One of the advantages of an online conference is that you can involve many more people from your college. There are sessions for college leaders, managers, and practitioners covering different disciplines. Every morning there will be a keynote speaker or panel, reflecting on how the pandemic has affected policy and looking forward to the future of the specialist FE sector. The keynote session will be followed by bite-sized snippets of good practice or information and an opportunity for informal networking. Every afternoon there will be a choice of workshops and webinars.
We finish on Thursday afternoon with our annual Awards Ceremony, celebrating the very best of specialist further education. Everyone is invited to take part in the celebrations, so come along and cheer on your favourite from the shortlisted colleges.
The conference is free of charge to Natspec members. Explore the programme by clicking on the boxes below, and register to attend on our events page. You will be sent the Zoom links for each session when you have registered.
Monday 10 May
How can we match supply and demand in specialist FE? What does effective joint planning between colleges and local authorities look like? How can we agree on the big questions such as effective placements, measuring progress, ceasing EHCPs, and more? Today's keynote explores all these issues whilst the afternoon includes workshops on governance, technology, and measuring therapy outcomes.
Tuesday 11 May
Today's keynote session explores "Leadership in uncertain times" with Simon Whitehouse, our Leadership programme facilitator. This interactive and dynamic keynote will stimulate ideas and challenge your thinking, helping you and your team become more effective leaders. Workshops and webinars in the afternoon include sessions on mobile apps, the Natspec Transform training offer, techniques for sharing innovative practice, learner voice and supported employment.
Wednesday 12 May
The government's review of SEND provision in England is nearing its conclusion. The future of specialist FE, and its role in the wider SEND system, will be shaped by the review's conclusions. Today's keynote examines how specialist colleges should prepare and respond, building on the strength and resilience that were developed during the pandemic. In the afternoon, we have sessions on SEND and the law, the integration of learning and therapy, managing your staff team, AT for sensory learners, and an innovative practice exchange from Award shortlisted colleges.
Thursday 13 May
The Welsh ALN Code has now been published. Our panel will discuss what it means for young people, local authorities and mainstream and specialist further education providers, and how colleges can best-prepare for the ALN Act implementation. Networking sessions following the panel discussion will bring together English and Welsh colleges to explore and compare their practice. Thursday afternoon will see the year's most important celebration: The Natspec Award Ceremony. After an extraordinary year, we celebrate extraordinary practice and showcase the innovation in Natspec colleges throughout the country.