SEND young people’s survey 2022 launched

Do you know a young person with SEND in Portsmouth?

Portsmouth City Council, in collaboration with Dynamite Portsmouth, have launched their annual survey which invites young people aged 14-25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to share their feedback on the services and support available in the city. Your responses will be used to shape future services for young people and their families.

The SEND survey is open until until 4pm on Friday 25 March.

Visit the Portsmouth Local Offer website to find out more and complete the survey.

Teach Portsmouth presents SEN teaching

Webinar: Teach Portsmouth presents special educational needs teaching

A webinar for futures teachers successfully showcased the rewards of the profession, supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in the city.

Teach Portsmouth presents special educational needs teaching was streamed live on Wednesday 20 October through Zoom video conferencing. The webinar was aimed at people looking to specialise in this area as well as inspiring graduates to consider a career in teaching.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Teaching is a rewarding career for many reasons as you are helping children and young people reach their full potential. The most important takeaway from this webinar, is regardless of what age group you teach, every teacher is a teacher of special educational needs and/or disabilities.

“The professionals who spoke during the webinar work in primary, secondary and specialist settings which gave attendees a realistic picture of what it is like to work in a school or academy in Portsmouth.”

The webinar showcased the type of roles available in local schools and academies to help pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. This included how a teacher or learning support assistant may help children and young people in small groups as well as the role of a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for managing a setting’s day to day provision.

The webinar series was created as a way to reach people further afield than Portsmouth, who might be interested in working in the city’s schools and academies. Each webinar provides a top-level view of teaching with the latest series focusing on specialisms within the profession.

A second webinar is planned for January, focusing on early years professionals and the exciting careers people can apply for in the city.

Teach Portsmouth’s latest webinar on special education needs teaching is now available to watch online.

Watch the recording

Explore Portsmouth SEND Local Offer

If you are a professional working with children and young people in Portsmouth aged 0 – 25 years old with SEND, visit the Portsmouth SEND Local Offer website for resources.

Portsmouth Inclusion Conference 2021

Portsmouth Inclusion Conference 2021

Planning for the 2021 Portsmouth Inclusion Conference is well under way and the conference theme and keynote speakers have been confirmed.

The conference will take place on Thursday 21 October and tickets are now available to purchase.

The theme of the conference this year is ‘Relationship-based practice: The importance of relationships for happiness, wellbeing, school effectiveness and inclusion‘.

The first keynote speaker is Pooky Knightsmith.

An internationally respected face of child and adolescent mental health, Pooky works tirelessly to ‘be the change she wants to see’. A prolific keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and author, she develops and shares practical, evidence-informed approaches to promoting mental health – arming health, social care and education staff with the skills, understanding and knowledge they need to support the children in their care.

Pooky has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, is the author of many books, is the research and development director at Creative Education and is a former chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. She lives with PTSD and autism.

The second keynote speaker is Mark Finnis.

Mark Finnis is the founder and director of L30 Relational Systems and has more than 20 years’ experience of working with schools, organisations large and small, both nationally and internationally.  Mark has been involved in the national development of restorative practices since the late 1990s.

Mark is the author of Independent Thinking On Restorative Practice: Building relationships, improving behaviours and creating stronger communities, which is a number 1 best seller on Amazon. In 2019 he received the Chris Donovan Trust’s Restorative Practice Champion award in recognition of his work nationally.

Mark has advised on national policy and practice development since 2005 and was part of a small group who rewrote the national best practice guidance for restorative practitioners in 2012. Mark is also proud to be an associate for Research in Practice (RIP) and Independent Thinking Limited (ITL). Mark is trained as an FGC coordinator and is a licensed NLP Master Practitioner trained and certified under Dr Richard Bandler.

There will also be a selection of workshops that will be announced shortly.

Book your ticket

SEND survey results

Results of the Portsmouth 2021 SEND survey

The 2021 survey of parents and carers of children with SEND praised city schools and keyworkers for their support in Portsmouth City Council’s annual survey. 86% said they felt they were being listened to, with education staff being most often identified as the main keyworker that supports them.

However, it also showed about half of families are still not aware of Portsmouth’s SEND Local Offer website, meaning some might be missing out on important and helpful support and advice. Please signpost any families whose children require additional help with their learning to visit

Read the full survey report on the Local Offer website.

Portsmouth schools going the extra mile for children with special educational needs

Portsmouth City Council’s first online Portsmouth Inclusion Conference was held on 22 October, celebrating the continued commitment by Portsmouth schools to high quality support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Around 100 teachers, education staff and other professionals who work with children with SEND attended the conference, which is normally held face to face but was moved online this year due to the pandemic.  Keynote speakers were Ian Hunkin, Director of the Sigma Teaching School and previously head teacher of The Harbour School, and Jarlath O’Brien, head teacher and behaviour columnist for the Times Educational Supplement.

With more than 4,000 children and young people in Portsmouth needing extra assistance for conditions such as anxiety, autism, ADHD or visual and other physical difficulties, the need for SEND support is increasing, and the ability of schools to provide support is vital as it allows the children to be part of their community, to develop a sense of belonging and become better prepared for life in the community as children and adults.

Cllr Suzy Horton, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people attending the online conference and demonstrating the commitment to providing a high and consistent standard of education which is accessible to all their pupils, no matter what their special educational needs or disabilities might be. We want to encourage every child’s talents and I thank all staff and professionals who have done a tremendous job in supporting pupils, particularly this year.”

The first online conference comes in the year that a unique new scheme was launched by Portsmouth City Council, designed to help schools work with each other to provide the best possible support to children. The new peer assessment, the Portsmouth Inclusive Education Quality Mark (PIE QM), addresses this need and helps schools to learn from each other and share best practice.

A recent survey of Portsmouth parents and carers of children with SEND showed that a large majority of respondents believe their views are listened to by professionals (80%) and over two-thirds of respondents who feel that their child or young person needs SEND support know how to access it (68%).

Information about the PIE QM and other support and local services for those working with children and young people with SEND, can be found on the Portsmouth SEND Local Offer website at

Portsmouth asked to share SEND expertise

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Michelle Donelan MP has written to commend Portsmouth education, health and care professionals on the strength of its SEND services, noting the effective engagement with families, and that children and young people have a strong voice in shaping provision and services. Portsmouth is asked to continue to build on our strengths and share our expertise with others, as well as working to address the areas for development. A full copy of the Joint Area Inspection report is attached.