Spotlight Conference - Vulnerable Children

To be completed by: 12:00

Time: Wed 22 Mar 2023 09:00-12:00 | Venue: Margaret McMillan Tower

This resource needs to be booked via

Adi Sedgwick (Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist for Vulnerable Children and YJS) will open the conference by reflecting on what we mean by vulnerable children. She will also signpost participants to the various teams available for support within the Local Authority.

Caroline Dolan (Deputy Headteacher for Virtual Schools) and Louise Coates-Black (SENDCo for Virtual Schools) will introduce the first session. They will outline the importance of establishing trusting relationships and explicitly teaching emotional regulation skills when supporting vulnerable children with SEMH needs. To finish, Joanna Jackson (DHT at Holybrook Primary School) and Jill Pullen (AHT at Girlington Primary School) will share their exemplary practices.

In the final session, Claire Pitts (specialist SaLT for the SAFE task force and YJS) will share her knowledge regarding identifying and supporting children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) within mainstream schools. DLD has been described as “the most prevalent SEND teachers have never heard of” and affects two children out of every 30. Furthermore, there is a higher prevalence of DLD for children who are permanently excluded from school and/or known to the YJS.

The conference will end with a reflective exercise where colleagues can network and identify their organisational priorities for supporting vulnerable children within their schools.


This conference is suitable for SLT, SENDCos, class teachers and other professionals interested in supporting vulnerable children in school. Also, participants will have an opportunity to network with each other, representatives from a range of LA teams and the keynote speakers. Joanna Jackson will share Holybrook’s five-year journey from inadequate to outstanding. The school took a holistic approach to meet the needs of vulnerable children and Ofsted (April 2022) said

“Pupils are taught how to moderate their own behaviour. They are taught how to be aware of the signs of stress and how to manage this in different situations. Inspectors saw many examples of pupils using techniques they have explicitly been taught.”

Girlington Primary School have highly trained, qualified and experienced Attachment Leads. They have developed a highly effective “Team Pupil” trauma-informed model and their most recent Ofsted report said

“There is a deeply embedded culture of identifying and helping pupils who are vulnerable… You and your colleagues know pupils and their families extremely well. You work hard to build strong and trusting relationships with parents and carers and you have developed a range of innovative ways of involving them in their children’s learning and development…”


Published: 23/02/2023
Audience: SLT, SENCo, teachers and any professionals interested in supporting vulnerable children in school
Contact: Karen Bickerton

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