Day 2 Seminars

09:30 - 10:15

Registration, Networking Breakfast & Exhibition Visit

10:00 - 10:30

Access and Communication in the SEN Classroom

Access and Communication in the SEN Classroom

Speaker: Alice Langley, Training Manager, Tobii Dynavox

Assistive Technology is an important tool to use for students with special needs. These tools help students overcome learning challenges, including mobility impairments, learning differences, communication difficulties and more. In this session Alice will explore access methods, communication technologies and demonstrate how Tobii Dynavox’s extensive range of accessible products help pupils to participate and achieve together.

10:30 - 11:30

Opening Keynote – Improving educational outcomes through getting it right for each and every child

The presentation will consider the improvements in educational outcomes for Glasgow’s children and young people and the factors influencing these improvements including the learning environment.


11:00 - 11:30

Reimagining SEN Classrooms (Case Study)

Reimagining SEN Classrooms (Case Study)

Speaker: Lee Blemings, CEO, Sensory Guru

Lee Blemings will present an overview of Sensory Guru’s ground-breaking digital transformation classroom collaboration project with Charlton Park Academy. Delegates will learn how Sensory Guru helped educators to provide inclusive learning:

  • experiences for pupils with PMLD, SLD and Autism, using a new lesson
  • delivery system (Magic Room) that incorporates pupil interaction, assistive
  • technology, and stunning multimedia learning content.

Lee will also discuss universal design for learning and how this can be implemented for pupils with the most complex learning needs.

11:15 - 11:45

Conference Session Break

11:45 - 12:45

Inclusive Interiors

Reinventing the Classroom


Lesley McMillan, Chair, Society of British & International Design - SBID Education council Interior designer, The City of Edinburgh Council and

Jim Taylour Panel Expert, Society of British & International Design - SBID Education council Head of Design and Wellbeing, Orangebox

With education and our workplaces, now creating and developing agile environments “What does inclusiveness look like in an agile learning environment?” Exploring the role of interior designers in the creation of inclusive environments, they will discuss factors such as agile space, accessibility, environment, safety, digital considerations and nature all impact learning, inclusivity and wellbeing. On a journey of creating holistic learning spaces Lesley will share how some of these considerations are demonstrated in a new ASN School St Crispin’s due for completion 2021 and a body of research she is working on with The University of Edinburgh.

Learning Points:

  1. Interior Design considerations in the creation of inclusive environments
  2. Furniture solutions for inclusiveness and wellbeing
  3. Sharing of recent practice in creation of a new ASN School

Experience Design for an Inclusive Schools

Speaker: David Judge, Executive Creative Director, Space Zero

In this talk, David will explain the design discipline of "Experience design" and the difference it can bring to inclusive schools.

Space Zero have been adapting the strategies of the retail and leisure industries into educational environments for several years. In this talk, they share how this unique approach has been adapted for an inclusive school to make it unique and differentiated through the use of values within the design of the spaces.


  • Jim Taylour Panel Expert, Society of British & International Design – SBID Education council Head of Design and Wellbeing - Orangebox
  • Lesley McMillan Chair of the Education Design Council - The Society of British & International Design
  • David Judge Executive Creative Director - Space Zero


11:45 - 12:45

Life beyond school: creating inclusive urban and rural communities

How higher Education facilities are supporting inclusive enterprise through a presence on the high street

Speaker: Jon Roylance, Director of Higher Education, ADP Architecture

We will present three current higher education project case studies reflecting a theme of 'inclusive enterprise' and community engagement, through the conscious re-purposing of buildings on the high street.
Each centre presents new thinking on how equality, diversity, and inclusion is reflected in new facilities for students and local communities.
• A new city centre campus for the University of Gloucestershire in the heart of the city creating opportunities for training and community support as a centre of health and social care, education, and learning.
• A new 'inclusive enterprise' centre for the University of Westminster creating new facilities to support students from all backgrounds and the local community into employment - supporting both graduate and community enterprise.
• A new Business and Law Clinic for Liverpool John Moores University supporting graduate and local business enterprise and legal training providing services to the local community.

Learning Points:

  1. Three Higher Education institution approaches to 'inclusive enterprise'.
  2. How EDI policies are reflected in new learning and training facilities for graduates of all backgrounds, for university entrepreneurs, and local enterprise.
  3. How high street premises and being re-purposed for community benefit - preventative health, social care, and long-life learning.

Supported Living – can one size fits all?

Speaker: Kate McGechan, Associate, Haverstock

Kate McGechan will consider the challenges and design opportunities around supported living. Specialist houses, for adults with special needs, who are ready to make the move to increased independence. There is an accepted route for children identified with special needs to spend much of their early life, up to 19 years old, within a very protective education setting (accepting some children at the extreme end may be hospitilised). These settings and the support around this are advanced and prescriptive in design, aspirations, and delivery. As a design team, the regulations, building standards and guidance are well known for these environments. Schools are relatively large and cater for, in some instances grouped together, many special needs. But what happens when a child, now young adult, leaves this setting? Supported living is an emerging sector for consideration. How do we transition these young adults to a home for life, and can we design a home that suits many needs? Are bespoke homes financially viable for developers or local authorities?

Learning Points
1.  Supported living overview – aims, challenges, guidance, mechanisms
2.  Design - Flexibility, adaptability, intelligent design
3.  Housing guidance – sizes, guidance, regulations


12:00 - 12:30

Sensory Accessibility in SEN settings

Sensory Accessibility in SEN settings

Speaker: Ella Blunden, UX Designer, Sensory Guru

Creating environments that are conducive to learning requires a controlled space in which students can make sense of the information that is presented to them. There is a need to optimise space, content, and information flow to meet the diverse learning needs of pupils. In this presentation Ella Blunden will highlight some of the key considerations that go into assisting educators in delivering accessible experiences optimised to pupils’ sensory needs and provide examples of learning content designed for different sensory modalities.

12:45 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:45

Connecting a community and the importance of integration

Connecting a Community; Social value & impact in education building design

Speakers: Ruth Hynes, Senior Design Researcher, Atkins

Education buildings play an important role in communities, and can provide amenities and social value through both the design of the building and the construction stages. This session will provide an overview of different tools and approaches to support socially-led designs that enhance social value and the wellbeing of staff, pupils, and the wider community, focussing on how we have used bespoke tools on schools projects including Lisburne SEND school, Stockport and Haverfordwest High VC School, Pembrokeshire. Using our Human Centred Design briefing tool for engaging building users and our Urban Community Index to develop Local Needs Analysis, we can better understand the needs and challenges of local communities and set a clear design vision with social value for the locality.

Learning Points:

1. Overview of social impact & social value concepts in the context of education building design
2. Tools to assess social impact & social value across the lifecycle of projects
3. Synergies between designing for wellbeing and social impact

Inclusivity and Special Needs Pupils

Speaker: Zane Putne, Senior Architect, Noviun Architects

The inclusivity and integration of special needs pupils within society should start at school from the early years. As the number of SEN pupils grow each year, the importance of their future integration within mainstream environments has never been more important. SEN pupils need to have the best preparation to adapt for life after school, therefore not only their mental health should be considered but also their social interaction skills with others.
The presentation will explore how inclusion and integration can be achieved throughout pupils’ school life and what methods and strategies could be used at different key stages of pupils’ development.

Learning Points:

  1. Inclusion strategies at different key stages
  2. Integration of SEN pupils into mainstream
  3. Providing better life skills for pupils after leaving school


13:45 - 14:45


Design for the mind: designing for student mental health


Jean Hewitt, Access & Inclusion Specialist, Inclusive Design Buro Happold; UCL Lecturer "Inclusive Places"

Mike Entwisle, Partner and Education Sector Director at Buro Happold

This talk explores the impact of design on student mental health. Between 2015 and 2017, Buro Happold undertook the first UK and US student focused survey of how the university estate influences student decisions. Insights from this work led to a series of design sprints Designing for student mental health (2018/19), where Buro Happold hosted estates professionals and other members of the university team from over twenty-five institutions. Continuing this focus on design for mental health and wellbeing, Buro Happold’s Inclusive Design team are authoring a first of its kind BSI PAS guide - Design for the mind - Neurodiversity and the built environment. The guide includes both design and management of the built environment for neuro-divergence. A first step towards a formal standard to provide information for designers, planners, specifiers, facilities managers and decision-makers - placing people at the heart of the design process, acknowledging that human diversity and difference exists everywhere, offering dignity, autonomy and choices, spontaneity, and providing for flexibility in use. All this combined with a personal story outlining the experience which an immediate family member had at university, when her environment and daily routine along with a disability diagnosis contributed to her mental health issues, but also how a change in where she lived made a huge difference for the better. Other themes explored will include the lack of acknowledgement of the physical environment in university league tables, the position of this theme in UUK's step change framework, and how standardisation of the reporting of mental health issues at UK universities will enable better diagnosis and targeting of resources.

Learning Points: 

1. Insight on the recently published first of it’s kind BSI PAS guide - Design for the mind - Neurodiversity and the built environment.
2. A fresh perspective on the influence of design on student mental health and what universities and designers can be doing more of.
3. Guidance on both design and management of the built environment for neuro-divergence.


Thinking Differently: Architectural Design for Hidden Disabilities

Speaker: Stephanie Kyle, Architect and Inclusive Design Consultant, Maber Associates

Stephanie will set out some simple design principles that can improve any project for neurodivergent building users and those with hidden disabilities. These ideas are easy and cost-effective to implement and will improve many people’s experience of the built environment. This presentation includes a brief introduction to different types of hidden disabilities and the most prevalent neurological and sensory processing conditions that can be supported through good design including Autism, dementia, ADHD, Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. These design principles will be justified by a summary of Stephanie’s primary research into neurodiverse inclusive design.


  • Jean Hewitt Senior Inclusive Design Consultant & Trainer - BuroHappold | Inclusive Design
  • Stephanie Kyle Architect and Inclusive Design Consultant - Maber Associates
  • Mike Entwisle Partner and Education Sector Director - Buro Happold


14:45 - 15:00

Break to move to final sessions

15:00 - 16:00

Acoustics as a route to inclusion

Sound solutions for assisted learning needs

Speaker: Shane Cryer, AMIOA - Concept Developer, Education, Saint-Gobain Ecophon

If you have ASD, a hearing impairment, ADHD or SEMH challenges, what impact could a noisy classroom have on your well-being and your ability to focus, learn and memorise? Ultimately, the acoustic environment will impact on educational confidence, attainment and career aspirations.

Using examples such as the inclusive refurbishment at Winchester Science Centre, the Stephen Heppell case study and VR technology, this presentation will provide practical acoustic solutions to level the learning playingfield utilising before and after sound files.

Learning Points:

1. Sound isn't the same for all of us
2. Why is Low Frequency sound a problem and how to deal with it.
3. Practical solutions to correct a poor sound environemnt in: a refurbishment, a new build (inc. exposed soffit scenarios) and modular buildings


Acoustics for inclusive learning - are we living up to our promises?

Speaker: Adrian James, Director, Adrian James Acoustics Ltd

A great deal has been written about acoustic criteria for children with special hearing and communication needs, but little about the practicalities of delivering these or of monitoring the results. In this paper, Adrian James will briefly review the acoustic requirements in DfE Building Bulletin 93; compare these with those in other countries; and review the different extents to which those requirements are being met in new and refurbished schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, looking at examples of everyday delivery rather than some of the widely publicised "flagship projects". Adrian will also consider the reasons why current methods of school procurement result in so many schools not delivering acoustic inclusivity, and suggests some simple ways in which this could be improved.

Learning Points: 

1 - Why acoustics is important for inclusive learning
2 - How the UK's theoretical criteria and practical delivery compares with other countries
3 - How current school procurement methods affect delivery of inclusive learning environments, and what we can do to improve this



Day 2 Close