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Cheshire East SEND Conference is back at Cranage Hall

28 June 2022

The Cheshire East  SEND Conference is back and organisers are promising a packed and informative programme including expert speakers, workshops and even some canine companions!

The one-day conference, which has not been held in person since 2020 because of Covid-19, takes place at Cranage Hall in Holmes Chapel on 11 July. 

The theme of the conference is “right support, right place, right time” and all SENCOs , headteachers, governors, pastoral leads, multi academy Trust  SEND leads, staff and parents / carers are welcome to attend.

This year’s keynote and external speakers are

  • Independent educational consultant Pat Bullen. Pat has 30 years’ experience as a teacher, headteacher and senior education leader. She is a researcher, author, and teacher on the  SEND Leadership national programme. 
  • Gary Aubin. Gary Aubin is Head of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Future Academies and joined the Education Endowment Foundation on secondment in September 2021. He authors the blog and has recently written The Lone SENDCO, a handbook for SENDCOs.
  • Alex Grady. Alex worked as a teacher for 25 years, including as a SENCO , teacher trainer, local authority  SEND adviser, leader of SEN resources bases and a special school outreach service. Alex has been with the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen) for nearly six years.

The conference will also feature an opportunity to meet with staff from a number of companies and organisations operating in the  SEND space including GL Assessment, Rhino Sensory and the Together Trust.

There will also be a chance to meet some four-legged friends from Canine Assisted Learning which aims to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing through professional canine support. 

Andrea Phelps-Brown,  SEND school improvement officer at Cheshire East Council, said: “It’s great to be back meeting again in person at Cranage Hall for the fourth Cheshire East  SEND Conference. This is the ultimate professional development opportunity for those working in  SEND in the borough. Inclusion is at the heart of the conference, and we hope staff will come away energised and enthused to ensure this is a reality in their setting. 

“The conference is one of the key ways the council  SEND team engages with our SENCOs , and other teaching staff, and we have come a long way since our first event back in 2018. At the last event in 2020 we had more than 275 people attend and this year we are aiming to attract between 300-350 people.

“The conference provides a great balance of content, from updates on key sector developments, such as the Government SEND green paper, to practical strategies and support for staff at the coalface of  SEND in Cheshire East.”

Tickets for the conference cost £100 and bookings can be made via the Chess Hub or email

We are offering up to 10 free tickets for parents/carers on a first come, first served basis.  Please contact the inclusion quality team for more details.

Keep an eye out on the Chess Hub for updates on other speakers and activities to be confirmed.