The voice of specialist further education
Loading Events

Natspec Peer Exchange Week

  • This event has passed.


23 January 2023
26 January 2023
Event Category:





A great opportunity for Natspec members to share effective practice, learn from one another and tackle challenges together.

Over the four days, Natspec will be hosting a range of online peer exchange sessions on topics of interest to specialist college staff in different job roles from nurses to learning support staff, therapists to assistive technologists.

Members often tell us that the most valuable aspect of belonging to Natspec is the opportunity to meet, network and learn from colleagues in other specialist colleges. Peer Exchange Week brings you a whole week’s worth of opportunities to meet other Natspec members, share effective practice, learn from one another and tackle challenges together.

We hope that Peer Exchange Week will help you build networks with whom you continue to maintain contact.

Full programme

Monday 23 January

10.00am–11.15am: The place of creative arts in specialist FE

Come and share your use of the creative arts to support learners’ development, whether as a tutor, therapist, curriculum manager or in any other job role.

1.00pm–2.15pm: Working with students with life-limiting illness

What does effective provision look like for young people with life-limiting illness, degenerative conditions or whose complex health needs make them extremely vulnerable? How do we best support these learners, their families and the staff working with them? Anyone with an interest in discussing ideas and experience on this topic is welcome.

3.15pm–4.30pm: Evidencing learner progress

Come and swap information about progress-tracking tools. What works best for learners and families? Which are the most user-friendly for staff? Which provide the richest sources of data?

Tuesday 24 January

10.00am–11.15am: Building stronger LA relationships to improve outcomes for learners

A session of interest to any member of staff who deals with local authority staff, for example relating to strategic planning, admissions, funding, transition in and out, and more. Portland College shares its approach to relationship building by focussing on shared aims for learners and understanding the LA perspective.

1.00pm–2.15pm: The role of the nurse in specialist FE settings

An opportunity for nurses in Natspec member colleges to meet others in a similar role. Come ready to share ways of working, challenges and achievements – and leave with a new set of professional friends.

3.15pm–4.30pm: Building learner independence

Top tips from learning support staff on how to focus support on growing learner independence rather than inadvertently fostering dependence.

Wednesday 25 January

10.00am–11.15am: Setting up supported internships

Starting out on your supported internship journey? Come and pick up some top tips from colleges with established SI provision. A session for senior leaders, employment leads, curriculum managers, vocational tutors or any other employment related job role.

1.00pm–2.15pm: How to create a sport and physical activity offer to increase physical activity

This session will offer practical guidance on how colleges can reduce physical inactivity by delivering a sport and physical activity programme to meet the needs of all learners. Sense College and Sense Active will share experiences of their own sport and physical activity offer, alongside best practice and resources that your college can adapt to enhance your own delivery.

3.15pm–4.30pm: Leading more included lives

This is an open session for you to bring your examples of how your college supports learners to be included in their post-college communities, as well as listen to what others are doing.

You will be able to take away a list of top tips and great practice.

Thursday 26 January

10.00am–11.15am: Developing the PMLD curriculum: what do we mean by age appropriate?

Colleagues from three Natspec colleges share their thoughts and experience on how the principle of age appropriateness is realised in the PMLD curriculum and put into practice. Come and join the discussion and share your top tips to support effective practice whether you are a manager, teacher or learning support staff.

1.00pm–2.15pm: Top five Assistive Technology solutions

Assistive Technology professionals from Natspec colleges and Karten Centres share their favourite solutions, discuss features and what you should consider when implementing them. We’ll add them all to the board and through group discussion choose our favourites!

The solutions will be relevant for education and therapies so you can expect software to help with literacy, communication, organisation, computer access, independence and more.

All attendees are encouraged to contribute, but please feel free to come along even if you feel you don’t know much about this area but are keen to learn.

3.15pm–4.30pm: Learner Voice – student representation

An opportunity to hear about the different ways colleges support Student Councils, Unions, Forums; their structures, selection processes and activities.