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SEN Policy Research Forum Exeter

Enhancing the participation of young people with SEN/D in public dialogue about inclusion in school education: a citizen jury pilot.

UKRI-RSA Rethinking Public Dialogue pilot projects:

Enhancing the participation of young people with SEN/D in public dialogue about inclusion in school education: a citizen jury pilot.

This innovative pilot will focus on the inclusive engagement of young people (YP) with SEN/disabilities (SEND) in a Citizen Jury (CJ) process on the topic of a more inclusive school system. It will address how English schools could be designed to be more inclusive for children and young people with special educational needs SEND. This project will carry out what is believed to be the first citizen jury about improving the English school system.

This two phase project will enable the piloting of innovative methods that better enable young people  with SEN/disabilities to participate effectively in public dialogue events alongside adults and YP without SEN/disabilities. Phase 1 is for YP with SEN/disabilities; phase 2 for YP with SEN/disabilities and without, parents/carers and teachers.


Overall aim for the project:

The overall aim is to organise, run and evaluate a public dialogue event – a citizen jury (CJ) – with the full participation of young people (YP) with SEN/disabilities. The CJ will address the question:

How to design the English school education system to be more inclusive for Children and Young People with SEN and disabilities by 2050?

The project will take place between Oct 2022 and June 2023.

The project team will consist of the two applicants (academics in special needs/inclusive education), experts in designing / facilitating public dialogue events and a specialist in SEN/disability; advised by an advisory group. The advisory group will include members of the Lead Group of the SEN Policy Research Forum and others who can contribute to advising the project.



Sortition Foundation, SEN Policy Research Forum

Project leads:

Brahm Norwich* and Rob Webster**

Universities of Exeter* and Portsmouth*


We will post more information and details as the project progresses.

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Dr Margy Whalley CBE
1 year ago

As the grandmother of Tom a profoundly learning disabled 11 year old and with 40 years experience of running early years ser
vices,Maintained Nursery Schools,Surestrt programmes and Childrens centres DO please think about building on the expertese of the earlyyears sector.
Pen Green MNS In Corby is a powerful model of integrated provision where a multidisciplinary team provide year round services; with around 4O% of the children having socialcare and/or health needs.This service was designed and developed in the 1980’s with families,and after 40 years parents are still fully engaged .
Incidentally Pen Green has also achieved Excellent and Outstanding at evey Ofsted inspection since it opened in 1983 ,including TES awards as an outstanding school and an outstanding early years service .
It really is time for the Primary and secondary sectors to look to what the early years sector has achieved in terms of powerful engagement of children with SEND and their families .

Sue Franklin
1 year ago

This sounds like an amazing project, would love to be involved.

Sue Franklin
Principal Educational Psychologist & Head of Inclusion Support Services
Brighton & Hove Inclusion Support Service
Brighton & Hove City Council

1 year ago

We lead a Multi-Schools council group in Essex with a network of 400 schools and 87 young people with SEND working as ambassadors. There aim is to challenge negative perceptions towards children with SEND in education. We would be really interested in this

Seamus Hegarty
1 year ago

Great idea. Why 2050 though? Did you consider an earlier target date?

Dani Bailey
1 year ago

Hertfordshire LA would be very keen to be involved please do include us as you progress with the project.

Liz Earps
1 year ago
Reply to  Dani Bailey

I would be keen to be involved this project.

(Cheshire West IASS )

Louise Love
1 year ago

I am very keen to see how this progresses. There is so much that could be done to support the development of good inclusive practice for all.

Suzy Rowland
1 year ago

A very interesting project – I would like to be involved.

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