The Forgotten Majority and the Invisible Minority:

Strategies  from Alternative Education

Keynote: Summerhill Democratic School, Suffolk

Date: 11th July 2018

New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire









As a key priority for local authorities, strategic responses to inclusion and special educational needs have been the focus of a range of training and conference events in recent years. Despite this, relatively few cohesive curricula for delivery of education, care and support to children outside of mainstream settings currently exist. As a provider of alternative education, Releasing Potential works with young people who have been excluded from mainstream settings, and we have developed a Department-for-Education-approved curriculum for delivery through bespoke educational models.

Our Alternative Education Conference 2018 brings together a range of voices to consider practical approaches to improving delivery to young people in a range of alternative and mainstream education and care settings. Featuring workshops, case studies and training sessions, this event offers learning, development and networking opportunities for teachers, classroom assistants, inclusion leaders, social workers, SENCOs and other commissioners and providers of care and/or education. We hope to share challenges and best practice, and to create collaborative networks for supporting young people in a variety of contexts. We welcome delegates from education, children’s services and social care, the health sector, parents’ groups, charities and local government.

A draft programme of speakers can be found below:

Keynote 1

Henry Readhead

(Summerhill Democratic School, Suffolk)

‘A.S. Neill’s Summerhill – The Original “Free School” – One Hundred Years On’
A.      Special Educational Needs

‘Communication – the Key to Success’

Zoe Berry & Emma Wicks

(The Ashley Academy Trust, Lowestoft)

B.      Health & Wellbeing

‘Optimising Education – An Alternative Approach’

Nicholas Alp

(The New Forest Small School)

C. Barriers to Engagement

‘Teaching Sexually Exploited Children through Alternative Educational Models: Two Case Studies’

Tom Belcher and Ashleigh Stocks

(Releasing Potential)

A.      Special Educational Needs

‘Engaging the New Generation: The 21st Century Child’

Dr Heather Green

(University of Chichester)

B.      Health & Well-Being

‘What Does Putting the Child First Actually Look Like in Education? Synthesising the Tensions’

Graeme Cooper

(Common Thread Residential Care)

C. Barriers to Engagement

‘A Relational Pedagogy: Re-engaging Excluded Students with their Learning’

Dr Simon Edwards

(University of Portsmouth)


(Hot, sit-down meal)

Keynote 2

Dr John Crosbie

(University of Derby & Institute for Outdoor Learning)

‘Inclusivity and the Outdoors: Some Considerations’
A.      Special Educational Needs

‘Non-Residential Mental Health & Therapeutic SEN Provision’

Lizzie Swan

(Catch22 Education)

D.      Environment/ The Outdoors

‘The Activation Model: (Mis) Behaving in the Outdoors’

Wayne Peters

(Releasing Potential)

E.       Technologies

‘Children Telling their Stories of Care and Adoption: Co-Designing a Technologically Enhanced Memory Box’

Dr Debbie Watson

(University of Bristol)

A.      Special Educational Needs

‘At Risk of Permanent Exclusion: Social Pedagogy in the  SEND Context’

Dr Kieron Hatton & Dr Catherine Brennan

(University of Portsmouth)

D.   Environment/ The Outdoors

‘Bike Maintenance as Social Enterprise –  Better Transitions for Post 16s’

Charlie Adie


E. Technologies

‘Telling Better Stories: The Data Question in SEND Provision’

Niall Gray & Mike King

(GrayTech/ Releasing Potential


Early Bird tickets are available for just £45 until the 28th Feb 2018, £65 until the 1st June 2018, and £75 thereafter. Tickets are inclusive of breakfast on arrival and a hot sit-down lunch in the Manor House – book now to avoid disappointment!

New Place

Shirrell Heath



SO32 2JY


Releasing Potential Institute
Unit 7 Kingscroft Court

Charity No: 1097440
Company No: 4622100


023 9247 9762


 © Releasing Potential 2017