Wigan Showcases North West's excellence in special education

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EdStart Schools presents at the Westminster Education Forum

EdStart Schools, a trust of nine registered specialised centres across Wigan, Salford and the Wirral, was invited to present at the Westminster Education Forum Online Policy Conference, emerging as a trailblazer in special and alternative education provision.

The forum showcased the organisation's ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation in education.

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Led by EdStart Executive Headteachers Kevin Buchanan and Dympna Woods the discussion highlighted the Schools North West's commitment to unique and creative equitable approaches to special educational needs (SEN).

EdStart Schools Executive Headteacher Kevin BuchananEdStart Schools Executive Headteacher Kevin Buchanan
EdStart Schools Executive Headteacher Kevin Buchanan

Speaking at the event, Kevin, renowned for his dedication to providing high-quality, individualised learning programmes, emphasised EdStart Schools' mission to raise expectations for students with SEN and mental health issues: “I'm passionate about promoting youth leadership, mentoring and wellbeing, and committed to creating inclusive and safe learning environments that empower our pupils to achieve their maximum potential.”

"Everything we do is about getting students to a point of curiosity. Once they learn to learn, their knowledge, subject awareness, work-ready and social skills all become evident within them and help them develop into mature and confident young citizens.

“We are all about giving our students the same post 16 currency of learning and opportunities as their peers. Alternative specialist provision is about ensuring equity of offer and flourishing education for all.”

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James Lowe, EdStart School CEO, said: “Our model is working, and we’ve never seen such high demand for our school places, as more and more students need the specialised care we provide. We offer a challenging curriculum that’s delivered in a nurturing, inclusive and supportive environment tailored to individual learning differences, not difficulties.”

The presentation covered crucial topics such as Individual Education provision and tracking, collaborative learning approaches, and equitable opportunities for all students facing barriers to education. It focussed on how high academic and pastoral aspirations for students shines through in EdStart’s values, behaviours and outcomes.

EdStart Schools is one of the UK’s fastest-growing SEN and alternative education providers, catering to young people with SEN, social and emotional health issues, neurodiverse conditions, such as autism and ADHD, and those affected by childhood trauma.

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