Education Estates SEND Conference
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Education Estates SEND Conference Highlights

On Wednesday 8th February Education Estates® hosted their latest SEND Conference at Science Gallery London, with McAvoy as conference partner and Noviun Architects, Age of Light Innovations, Cundall and Pinnacle as supporters. The programme consisted of sessions exploring policy, design challenges and best practice within the SEND built environment.

Education Estates SEND Conference

Education Estates SEND Conference Highlights – Opening Session

The opening session was delivered by the Department for Education covering policy aspects and outlining the planned Government’s support to Local Authorities for special needs as well as outlining steps towards an inclusive education system, ensuring mainstream schools can cater better for special needs and disabilities.

Zane Putne, Associate and SEND Lead at Noviun, spoke about how designs can respond to policy and some of the challenges SEND schools are facing and how flexibility could be integrated from the outset of a project to cater for various needs both now and in the future.

Education Estates SEND Conference

Education Estates SEND Conference Highlights – Associate and SEN Lead Zane Putne presenting the Adaptability of SEND Cohorts

The session about interiors concentrated on the significant role acoustics, lighting, and interior design plays within schools. The final session concentrated on the challenges and lessons learnt from the end user perspective, presented by Rama Venchard. This created great discussions of how further changes should be explored to the DfE’s Output Specification to cater for SEND needs to avoid building in issues that can be costly for schools to maintain. It emphasised that further dialogue between educational designers and the Department for Education is needed. The final session sparked an interesting open debate within the audience around what the key challenges to success in projects are and how we can address them as an industry.

Education Estates SEND Conference

Lessons learnt from the end user perspective, presented by Rama Venchard and chaired by Zane Putne

The conference highlighted the importance of addressing the issues in design earlier and having time to have conversations with the schools at the right time to discuss pertinent issues to avoid built in issues for the schools. It is more crucial now than ever to get the built environment right when catering for specific needs due to the continuing increase in pupils with SEND.

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Andy is one of our Managing Directors and is responsible for all aspects relating to developing the practice digital strategy.

Andy is heavily involved in the Information Management delivery within the office and is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the management of information processes within a BIM environment on all projects across the practice.