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National forum for neuroscience and special education

 

Chair: Dr Rona Tutt OBE 

"Education is concerned with enhancing learning, and neuroscience is concerned with understanding the mechanisms of learning. It seems only logical that one should inform the other." Dame Prof. Uta Frith, patron of the national forum for neuroscience and special education. 

This group brings together scientists, teachers and social care professionals to share knowledge, best practice and expertise on special education in the context of neuroscience. 

The forum aims to do the following: 

  • Encourage discourse around the changing pattern of childhood disability
  • Share insights from both fields that lead to innovative practice and better learning outcomes for children
  • Campaign on issues of interest to the forum (for example, better training for teachers, more support for students with mental health issues and greater flexibility in the school system over ages and class groups). 

The group works closely with the autism and girls forum and reports to our SEND sector council. And it is an independent group that we currently serve.

History

The group was founded in 2011 by Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, Professor Francesca Happé and Dr Rona Tutt OBE (a past president of NAHT). It emerged from discussions about how to facilitate closer working between neuroscientists and those working with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Learn more about the group

Thought leadership

Making a difference for autistic girls and women

Carrie Grant shares her hopes that the voices of autistic girls and women will become better heard and understood by the healthcare and education systems, and in the wider world.

The Big Shout was heard
Felicity Sedgewick was a speaker at The Big Shout - Girls on the Autistic Spectrum Conference. Here she shares her views on the power of social media to boost awareness of the need for better understanding of girls and women with autism.

SEND pupils deserve proper diagnostic support
Kim Johnson comments on why we must fight to ensure families continue to have access to the proper diagnostic and ongoing SEN support they need.

Resources from the Big Shout

The Big Shout – Girls on the Autism Spectrum Conference took place in central London on 27 January 2017. Below you can find a number of presentation slides from the day. You will also find a call for action that resulted from the event.

Related articles

Other useful resources

  • There is an excellent listing of online resources about neuroscience and the brain on the BNA website:

https://www.bna.org.uk/about-neuroscience/online-resources/ 

  • Information sheets: these are the first in a series of information sheets which are being produced for NAHT members. ​

The five  topics covered so far are:

  1. What teachers need to know about acquired brain injury (ABI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  2. What teachers need to know about developmental language disorder (DLD) 
  3. What teachers need to know about foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) 
  4. What teachers need to know about prematurity
  5. What te​achers need to know about trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)​

 Further information sheets will be coming in the following months. 

  • There is an excellent listing of online resources about neuroscience and the brain on the BNA website
  • Members of the group are currently contributing to a forthcoming book with Routledge publishers on the theme of girls and autism. Details are below.

 

  • Members of the Group are currently contributing to a forthcoming book with Routledge publishers on the theme of Girls and Autism. Details are below.