14-25 Education





14-25 Education

EQUALS Conference – Date to be confirmed

What does Independence mean for young people with PMLD, SLD and MLD
Practical Solutions and Possibilities

Date to be confirmed – NCVO, Central London.
Cost: Only £149+VAT per delegate for members and £249+VAT for non-members.

EQUALS members save £100+VAT per delegate. If you are not a member, we have some new members special offers.

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Keynote speaker

Dr Penny Barratt – CEO at The Bridge London Academy

14-25 Education for pupils with SLD/PMLD. Where are we now? Where next?

Dr Penny Barratt is Chief Executive of The Bridge London Trust. The Trust presently has four schools, The Bridge School caters for students with autism and/or severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties. It has a primary and secondary site catering for 186 pupils. The Integrated Learning Space caters for 15 pupils between the ages of 7 and 19 with complex needs and accompanying challenging behaviours. The Satellite Provision is a series of resource bases coming under one school. The Trust has also just taken on a Primary School in special measures.

Penny has worked in the field of special education for over 30 years, both in the USA and in England. She has held a wide variety of roles working with children and young people of all ages, in both mainstream and specialist settings.

Penny has been involved with a number of working groups at the Department of Education, she sits on the leadership group of Challenge Partners, is a co-founder of Special Schools’ Voice, and a founding trustee of the Chartered College of Teaching. She sat on an advisory panel discussing the new assessment procedures and also sat on the Teaching Assistant Standards Panel.

Penny’s doctorate focused on School Improvement and she is particularly keen to promote research and innovation in schools and share practice across schools.


Each delegate will have time to attend 3 out of the 4 workshops.


Workshop 1

Barry Currell, Assistant Head teacher, Catcote School, Hartlepool.

‘Your choice, your future’
Preparing for Adulthood in Post 19 Education

A journey through post 19 education supporting dreams and aspirations through choice, opportunity and real experiences. This session will demonstrate how Catcote Futures uses our bespoke ’10 Enterprise Commandments’ and ‘CORRECT enterprise skills’ across our 5 pathways to create greater independence for all learners.

Barry is an Assistant Headteacher, who entered into education following many years in industry running his own business. He has been with Catcote for 15 years, establishing national recognition for his work with enterprise and its links to the world of work.


Workshop 2

Ellen Atkinson – Associate National Development Team for Inclusion and Preparing for Adulthood Team.

Exploring the Valuing Employment Now (VEN) project to improve employment prospects and outcomes for people with learning disabilities in England.


Workshop 3

James Whybra – Assistant Head and Post 16 Careers Leader. Castle School, Reading.

The Valuing Employment Now Project in practice.

James Whybra is an Assistant Head and Head of Post-16 at The Castle School in Newbury and an expert in the field of supported employment in schools. A key part of his role is leading the Post-16 unit which focuses on independence of students.  Developing employment opportunities for the students has been a focus for James and he regularly shares his experiences with Schools, Colleges and Local Authorities from across the country. Prior to this current role, James was a Head of Year in a mainstream secondary school seeing his year group through from year 7 to 11 and dealing with all of the challenges associated with the role.


Workshop 4

Amanda Metcalf and Jackie McGarry, Catcote School, Hartlepool.

‘Raising aspirations, promoting independence and improving outcomes ’

How the school uses an individualised and structured Careers and Enterprise Programme for young people with SEND to promote independence, equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to achieve their full potential and have access to the ‘world of work’.

Amanda Metcalf, Work Related Learning Lead

Experienced employability specialist who has taken the lead in pioneering an employability pathway for young people aged 16-24years, improving destinations into paid employment. Has established and sustained, extensive employer engagement across the region.

Jackie McGarry, Careers Leader

Qualified Careers Leader with over twenty years experience working in a variety of organisations.
Employed by Catcote Academy for the past five years to implement and develop an individualised and bespoke strategic careers plan across the trust. This strategy resulted in Catcote Academy winning “SEND Champion of the Year” through the Careers Excellence Awards in 2019.



EQUALS members save £100+VAT per delegate.  If you are not a member, we have some new members special offers.

Not a member?