Centre for Special Education and Disability Studies

The Centre for Special Education and Disability Studies in the Institute of Health, Education and Social Sciences is based at the Bognor Regis Campus. A key aspect of our work is to promote awareness of the values and ethos of inclusive practice in our Early Years settings, schools, colleges and in the community.

We are keen to be seen as a resource for all departments across the University, as well as professionals working in this field. We plan a number of events across the academic year which we hope will be an opportunity for us to meet and work together.

The purpose of this centre is:

  • To make significant contributions to students' knowledge and understanding of working with children and adults who have special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To be a resource base for University staff and teaching professionals to access relevant and up to date information.
  • To promote opportunities for research both at the University and in workplace practice.
  • To create local, national, and international links with people currently working, or interested in working, in a range of educational settings and services.

Our Courses

Study with Us

Students studying at the university have a unique opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise in working with children and young people with special educational needs, disabled people and their families. In the latest National Student Survey, students rated the knowledge and understanding they needed for their workplace practice above average for the sector.

Since 2009 we have been recognised as one of the national providers for the mandatory qualification, the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination and continue to welcome SENCOs from Local Authorities across the south coast region, to study with us. We offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study.

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Annual conferences

See our upcoming conferences and events

Nothing About Us Without Us: Beyond Rhertoric, Making Co-Production Count

Creating a space to talk about co-production for pupils with SEND, their families and professionals. An essential conference for young people, parents and carers, school/college leaders, SENCOs and professionals working in education, health and social care who want to make a difference for those they work with

Keynote speakers: Julie Tilbury and Simon Yates from Chailey Heritage Foundation
9:30am - 1:15pm Thursday 19 May
Free tickets

For further information or to book your place please contact us at SSENCOT@chi.ac.uk by Wednesday 11th May 2022

Julie Tilbury is the co-author of ‘Enhancing Wellbeing and Independence for Young People with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties: Lives lived well’. She is Lead Teacher for children with profound and multiple learning difficulties at Chailey Heritage School in East Sussex, UK, and has worked in special schools for 30 years. She is studying for her EdD at the University of Buckingham.

Simon Yates is the Headteacher of Chailey Heritage School that caters for young people with complex physical disabilities, communication, sensory and learning difficulties. Chailey Heritage School has developed its own curriculum, driven by the individual learner’s needs. Every learner has their own curriculum, built specifically for them based on their personalised learner profiles detailing aspirations, strengths, needs, skills long term outcomes and next steps. Above all, it is meaningful to each child and their family.

In addition to our keynote, participants can sign up for our conversation workshops to engage in discussions of areas of co-production and inclusion for learners with SEND. A unique space to talk to colleagues about real issues in the context of your settings.

For further information or to book your place please contact us at SSENCOT@chi.ac.uk by Wednesday 11th May 2022

Past speakers include:
Year Guest Speakers
2021 Professor Jonathan Glazzard, Professor of Teacher Education, Head of Children, Education and Communities, Edge Hill University SEND & Inclusion in a cultural context: A series of conversations
2020 Postponed due to COVID
2019 Dr Felicity Sedgewick: Rethinking Autism
2018 Louise Bomber: Health, Happiness & Wellbeing in Schools
2017 Helen Caldwell: Creative Approaches using Technology in Inclusive classrooms
2016 Professor Paul Howard-Jones: Neuroscience in Education; Myths, Games and Learning
2015 Professor Richard Rose: Mental Health in Pupils with Special Educational Needs
2014 Professor Barry Carpenter: Special Education Needs in the 21st Century
2013 Professor Braham Norwich: What can Lesson Study offer class teachers and SENCOs to improve the teaching and learning of pupils with learning difficulties?
2012 Lorraine Peterson OBE: Raising Aspirations, Access and Achievement

Research and CPD

SEND Legislation

With the changes to SEND legislation since September 2014 affecting schools and children with SEND and their families, our aim is to continue to offer up to date and relevant training that supports innovate practice and research in inclusive special education.

We are happy to discuss your training requirements and work with you to develop a bespoke programme.

The Impact of Creative Learning

Heather Green, Senior Lecturer in Special Education has been working with a group of West Sussex special schools to evaluate the impact of a creative learning project with Stop Gap dance company.

Find Out More

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