Releasing Potential Conference 2019:

‘Managing Transitions in Education, Support & Social Care’

Wednesday 10th July 2019

New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire, SO32 2JY


Keynote: Dr Kathy Weston

Afternoon Keynote: Hugh Constant


Transitions are a locus of anxiety for children and young people, especially those facing uncertain futures or those with additional needs. Against the backdrop of funding cuts and the closure of vital services, good transitions for children and young people are needed more than ever, and can make a real difference to outcomes and life prospects for the most vulnerable in society.

Our own recent change from outreach provider to an OFSTED-inspected school for students who are dis-applied from the National Curriculum has relied on a series of well-managed and complicated transitions. Our 2019 conference brings together a range of important voices to explore transitions in, to, and from education and social care settings. In particular, we hope to foster collaborative networks and the sharing of innovation and best practice across a range of sectors including health and social care, education, housing and the third sector.

Topics will include:

* Transitions from and to secondary school

* Transitions from and to primary school

* Transitions to tertiary education

* Post-16 work placements and social enterprises

* Transitions to and from alternative provision

* Transitions from outreach to school provision

* Transitions in and out of social care placements

* Transitions in and out of supported housing

* Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Dr Kathy Weston
Author and Speaker

Dr Kathryn Weston is a national expert in the area of parental engagement in children’s lives and learning; she has a particular interest in transitions in and from education and the impact of this on the lives of children and young people. As the co-author of Engaging Parents (Bloomsbury, 2018), she is adept at helping educators understand the needs of today’s busy parents and work more effectively with them in general. Dr Weston holds a Masters in Civil Law (Queens University) and a Doctorate in Philosophy (Cambridge). Her doctoral research was carried out at the Institute of Criminology; it explored processes through which turning point events can transform human behaviour and the mechanisms through which positive change can be sustained.

Katheryn is a Visiting Lecturer in Education and doctoral supervisor at the School of Education, University of Hertfordshire. She is a keynote speaker and presenter at schools and conferences on all aspects of parenting, education and family life. She presents a weekly, award-winning radio show called The Parents’ Show on Radio Verulam 92.6FM and has interviewed some of the biggest names in education from across the world. For more information see:

Afternoon Keynote

Hugh Constant
Practice Development Manager at the Social Care Institute for Excellence.

A social worker by background, Hugh has managed a Transition service for Surrey County Council, and is the author of SCIE’s recent guidance ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ about the role of social workers in supporting young people with learning disabilities in the transition to adulthood and adult services. Hugh is also SCIE’s MCA lead and works extensively on safeguarding audits of the Church of England.


David Euridge,
Reigate Valley College 

David Euridge is the Executive Head Teacher of 3 Pupil Referral Units and one Special School for SEMH primary in Surrey. Reigate Valley College gained an outstanding judgment in all areas in May 2014 and again in October 2017 and this has enabled David to support other failing PRUs. David’s background has included transforming behaviour at a mainstream Special Measures school and he has a passion for supporting students with behavioural difficulties to achieve the best outcomes and be able to progress in education. David is a National Leader of Education and now supports mainstream schools with behaviour management strategies to support children with SEMH.

Dr Kieron Hatton,
University of Portsmouth 

Kieron Hatton is a Principle Lecturer in Social Work at Social Care at the University of Portsmouth. He has published widely on Social Pedagogy and is particularly interested in its use in work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds in both education and social care settings. Kieron has recently completed a major research project on children at risk of permanent exclusion from school in collaboration with Dr Catherine Brennan at Releasing Potential. He has recently published on the topic of service user involvement in care and education, and is developing new collaborative research with a number of third sector partners, including work with Releasing Potential on Child Criminal/ Child Sexual Exploitation.

Jannine Harris,

Jannine Harris is the founder of ADHD Wise, a UK based charity devoted to helping parents and professionals to support children and young people with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Jannine offers resources and delivers training to teachers and other professionals nationwide, as well as coaching and support in specialist areas including: Autism, Attachment Disorder, and Dyslexia. Jannine’s background is as an SEND Teacher and Researcher and a Special School Teacher; she holds an MA, PGCE
(QTLS), and an MSc in psychology.
Professor Sarah Parsons,
University of Southampton 

Sarah Parsons is Professor of Autism and Inclusion within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton. She has significant research experience in disability related projects and particular interests in the use of innovative technologies for children with autism, the views and experiences of disabled children and their families, evidence-based practices in autism, and research ethics relating to children and young people. Sarah has led and managed research encompassing a range of methodological and analytical approaches, using qualitative and quantitative techniques, and is skilled in the development and application of child-centred methodologies for accessing the views of children with special educational needs.

Sue Child,
Independent Education Consultant 
Sue Child is an Independent Education Consultant. Sue’s background is as a Headteacher of a large mainstream secondary school serving an area where there was significant turbulence in the school roll. This resulted in many pupils joining (or leaving) the school mid-way through a year, many who joined from overseas or had special educational needs and/or disabilities. Sue now supports primary, secondary, special, and independent schools as a school improvement/leadership partner.  Sue was also a chair of management committee (and is now vice-chair) of a large 5-16 pupil referral unit and has extensive consultancy experience in this area. 
Andrew Gordon,
Labour Councillor for Basildon & Mental Health Advocate

Having spent approaching a decade working with mental health services Andrew has developed a passion for mental health and has an in-depth insight into the psychiatric system in the United Kingdom. Andrew focuses on recovery interventions and the embracing of lived experience to deliver better mental healthcare. Andrew also has an expert grasp of local government; he has spent over six years as a local authority councillor chairing health forums and Basildon’s youth strategy board. Andrew is also a huge supporter of The Local Authorities Mental Health Challenge and is the mental health champion for Basildon.  

Dr Simon Edwards MBE,
Univeristy of Portsmouth
Simon is a Senior Lecturer in Youth Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He has researched (and published) in areas of alternative pedagogy, school exclusion and re-engagement, bullying and cyberbullying in schools and young care leavers. Currently, he is working alongside local schools and academic partners (locally and nationally) to research around school inclusion and cyberbullying. His latest project has involved partnership working with families to develop a co-operative alternative provision.His 2018 book (Palgrave) is entitled Re-Engaging Young People with Education: the Steps after Disengagement and Exclusion
Dr John Crosbie,
Adventure for All

John is an experienced outdoor educator having worked in Local Authority Outdoor Centres as well as those run by Charitable Trusts. He has a wealth of experience in delivering a wide range of adventurous outdoor activities to people with disabilities. John managed the Calvert Trust (a specialist centre for people with disabilities), developing ways of including disabled people and advising National Governing Bodies of sports on their inclusion policies and staff training. John completed a PhD investigation into the benefits that disabled people gain through participation in these activities. John is currently the chair of the Institute for Outdoor Learning and Adventure for All, the professional practice group of organisations specialising in disability in the outdoors. 

Charlie Adie,
Bike Recycling Scheme 

Charlie Adie studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Portsmouth before embarking on a career in industry including time representing the UK in Brussels, and as Global Quality Manager at Raymarine during its Initial Public Offering.  Charlie changed career to manage Fairbridge Solent (now Princes Trust), and became CEO at youth charity Motiv8 in 2006.  In 2012 the charity invested £30,000 to develop a social enterprise, “Bicycle Recycling”, to provide training and jobs for young people, many of whom thrive in an alternative setting but require better transitions post-16. 

For information or ticket sales please email us via 

A full programme of speakers will be available soon. Tickets cost £85 (Student: £40). You can book now via Eventzilla or contacting us at








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