A sincere Christmas thank you from #SENexchange

photo SEN exchange


Mary and Cherryl started @SENexchange  on Twitter in April 2015 with a wish to create a place where ideas, news, information and resources relating to SEND could be shared.

We are delighted that since then we have:

  • 1451 supportive followers
  • published 8 blogs
  • Held 28 weekly discussions on a range of topics suggested by our followers

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 9 months. We appreciate the Re-tweets we get and the people who send us links to free resources to share with others.

We want #SENexchange to respond to and reflect the needs and views of the SEND community and to stay up to date with current issues pertinent to those working in the field so we are grateful to those who have suggested topics for our Wednesday evening discussion. We #Storify our discussion each week and have a Storify collection which holds the records of our discussions in one place:

Please do continue to suggest topics for us to discuss in the new year when we resume our weekly chats on 6th January 2016

To read all our other blogs check out our wordpress site

We sincerely wish you all a very happy, healthy and enjoyable Christmas and look forward to more #SENexchange together in the New Year

Mary and Cherryl




#SENexchange: Where are we now and where are we going?


Mary Isherwood @Mishwood1 and Cherryl-kd @cherrylkd initiated SENexchange @SENexchange in April 2015 in response to both of us receiving lots of queries about various aspects of working with children and young people with SEND. This blog tells you how and why we started: https://wordpress.com/post/86326401/7/

We started SENexchange in April 2015 and since then 1000 of you have joined us to ‘exchange’ your thoughts, ideas, views, resources. Thank you! We appreciate your support, involvement and contribution very much.

We started our ‘exchange’ with a list of SEN tweeters, bloggers and websites: http://t.co/S4yWcdInmI . We also regularly share news and updates on a range of aspects of SEND – some of which we find ourselves and tweet out – others which we are grateful are sent to us from our followers enabling us to pass on through the exchange account. We have also been pleased to tweet SEN related queries from followers on @SENexchange and have been pleased with how supportive SEN colleagues have been in responding.

We started our weekly discussions in the middle of April and have covered a range of themes – all suggested by our followers.We have around 20 regular contributors to our discussions which is great! One of the biggest reasons for establishing #SENexchange was that there are lots of people out there with a range of knowledge and expertise to share and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have had – we know people are finding it useful – including us! We are learning lots from others as we go along – that’s what it is all about! If you have missed our discussions so far or want to see what we have been ‘exchanging’, take a look at our #Storify collection blog: https://wordpress.com/post/86326401/125/

Where do we go from here?

We hope you will understand we are taking a little break from our weekly discussions but will be back each Wednesday, 8 – 8.30 p.m. from Wednesday 2nd September 2015.

We will continue to tweet news and articles relating to SEND as they arise and SEN related queries….

#SENexchange is as much about you all out there as it is about us so do tell us any thoughts about how we could make the exchange better – we welcome your views and ideas!

What do we need from you?

We are grateful for your support following us, your re-tweets and for engaging with us in conversation, particularly in our weekly discussions but at other times too – we like to hear from you!

We want SENexchange to be useful to you so please do continue to tell us your thoughts / ideas for discussion topics – as you can see from our Storify list – we really do listen and respond where ever we can

We would continue to welcome new followers – would be great to have more parents /carers of children with SEND joining us to have a parent’s perspective to our discussions and members of multi-agency teams who work with children and young people with SEND e.g. speech and lang therapists, educational psychologists. If you know any one interested in or working with children and young people with SEND who doesn’t know about us yet – please tell them who / where we are.

We are planning to discuss Initial Teacher Training and CPD for those working with SEND during the autumn term so any training providers out there – please do come and join us – we would value your contribution.

Once again a huge and heartfelt thank you to all of you for making our first 5 months of #SENexchange such a success.

With sincere and warmest wishes for a lovely summer to you all

Mary and Cherryl

SEN Information and resources: Let the #SENexchange begin! A collection of websites, charities, bloggers and tweeters

A very warm welcome to all our readers.

For this post we thought it would be useful to share a range of information relevant to the SEND community. We are aware that these lists are by no means exhaustive but this post is designed as a starting point to collate some useful information. Please feel free to suggest additions to the existing lists in the comments section of this post or tweet them to us @SENexchange and we may add it to this post. If there are other lists you think may also be useful to add – let us know your thoughts on that too.

Useful charities and websites:

– National Autistic Society  (NAS) : Leading UK charity for people with Autism (@autism)

– Scope: A charity focussing needs associated with Cerebral Palsy and all disabilities ( @scope)

-British Dyslexia Association ( @BDAdyslexia)

– Dyslexia Action – A national charity supporting people with dyslexia  http://www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/ (@DyslexiaAction)

– Dyslexia Assist – A charity run by parents, for parents, formed to share information and experience about dyslexia www.dyslexia-assist.org.uk (@DyslexiaAssist)

– The Muscular Dystrophy Association

– The Down’s Syndrome Association

– Royal National Institute for the Blind (@RNIB)

– ADHD Foundation:Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (@ADHDFoundation)

– Action on Hearing Loss

– Nasen. Promoting the Development of Children and Young People with SEN ( @nasen_org)

– SEND Gateway http://www.sendgateway.org.uk/ An online portal of free resources relating to SEND supported by NASEN

– The Council for Disabled Children (@CDC_tweets)

– Achievement for All http://www.afa3as.org.uk/ (@AFA3AS)

– Mencap: Leading charity for people with a learning disability https://www.mencap.org.uk/ (@mencap_charity)

– Contact a family: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/  For families with disabled children (@ContactAFamily)

– Special needs jungle: Parent led information and resources http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/ @SpcialNdsJungle)

– Gov.uk: Help if you have a Disabled Child

– Special Kids in the UK :Online support group for families

– IPSEA – Independent Parent Special Education Advice  https://www.ipsea.org.uk/ (@IPSEAcharity)

– Leonard Cheshire Disability https://www.leonardcheshire.org/ (@LeonardCheshire)

– A charity for children and young people with hemiplegia hemihelp.org.uk (@hemihelp)

Here is an interactive list of SEN Bloggers from @ASTsupportAAli. As it is interactive if you are a blogger who blogs on SEN issues please add yourself!


For those who are unaware @SENBlogger collates posts related to SEN.

There is a weekly twitter chat @SENChatUk #SENChatUK run by @DJTom3 on Tuesdays at 8 pm

Also, @JulesDaulby has compiled a list of SEN Tweeters

As you are aware the first of our weekly discussion evenings from @ SENexchange #SENexchange  on Wednesday evenings are  starting soon.

Ideas of topics so far for our weekly discussion / themed weeks include:

– deployment of TAs to support pupil outcomes ( suggested by @fiona_moody)

– Inclusion – what is it and how we can support it? (suggested by @ASTsupportAAli)

– pupil voice for children and young people with SEND ( suggested by @Mishwood1)

– practical science ( suggested by @jwscattergood)

– Numeracy ( suggested by @jwscattergood) / Literacy and numeracy (@robbo1511)

– Including children with visual impairments ( suggested by@10kmk42)

– Developing independent learners ( suggested by @alexisemma31)

– Promoting the collaboration between mainstream and special schools ( suggested by @senteacher_jen)

– EHCP / Provision mapping and ensuring it is matched to need / outcomes and impact ( suggested by @StarlightMcKenz )

Please spread this information to all those who may benefit, tell us which of these topics you would also like us to discuss and add more ideas of topics / exchange ideas / resources on  to the comments section or tweet us @SENexchange

Warm Wishes from Cherryl and Mary