The London SEND hub is launched in style

21 Feb 2017

On Friday 20th January 2017, education, health and social care professionals gathered at the British Film Institute (BFI) on London’s South Bank, to celebrate the Launch of the new London SEND Hub – an online space dedicated to the exchange of  the latest and best in policy, provision and pedagogy for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The afternoon, entitled Visual Literacy, SEND and Learning Differences, chaired by Ty Goddard, looked at the power of film to:

  • Enhance understanding of children and young people with SEND
  • Challenge stereotypes, and
  • Give visibility to a hidden population.

In her keynote, Dr Liz Pellicano, Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the Institute of Education, University of London, explored the  value of using film for research purposes and the power of film to bring people together.


Dr Liz Pellicano speaks about the documentary ‘Life, Animated’ as part of her keynote.

The next speaker, author, Alexander Masters, discussed his Sunday Times bestseller Stuart a Life Backwards, which takes a backwards look at the life of his unlikely friend, Stuart, a homeless alcoholic, who experienced a traumatic event in his childhood. Masters adapted the book for a 2007 BBC film of the same name.


Alexander Masters shows an extract from the BBC film adaptation of his book.

Jenny Smith, Headteacher of Frederick Bremer School, the subject of  Channel 4’s Educating the East End, recalled entertainingly the experience of being filmed and its impact on the school and viewers.


Jenny Smith updates the audience about Christopher, who featured in Educating the East End

In a moving talk, Cristina Odone showed extracts from the 1992 film, Lorenzo’s Oil, based on the true story of her parents’ search for a cure for her half-brother, Lorenzo’s adrenoleukodystrophy, and explored the impact of disability on family life.


Cristina Odone spoke about the impact of SEND on families

There were also short talks by Helen Mellidew, from GamelabUK about their (2011) Skills for Life series, which tackle difficult and sensitive topics for young people with learning disabilities; and  Taryl Law and Tom Casson and about their Innovation prizewinning app How Do I?, which delivers instructional videos to young people with learning difficulties.


Helen Mellidew from GamelabUK describes the Skills for Life resources


Taryl Law and Tom Casson describe the potential of their How Do I? app

A most successful afternoon closed with a panel discussion in response to questions from the audience.

Audience Group

An audience member puts a question to the panel


The London SEND hub is at  http://thesendhub.co.uk/

The future success of the hub depends upon you. So, if you would like to:

  • Draw colleagues’ attention to the outcomes of academic or action research, which focuses on improving outcomes for children and young people
  • Showcase an example of outstanding pedagogy, or
  • Recommend an article, a book, a film, a website or a resource

Visit the ‘About’ page on the hub and follow the instructions for adding a contribution.

Or, perhaps, simply visit the hub and discover resources to broaden your thinking and enhance your SEND practice.

Sign up to the SEND hub newsletter

Visual Literacy, SEND & Learning Differences at The BFI from theSENDhub on Vimeo.

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