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National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education

"Education is concerned with enhancing learning and neuroscience is concerned with understanding the mechanisms of learning. It seems only logical that the one should inform the other." - Dame Professor Uta Frith, patron of the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education, 2011

The National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education (NFNSE) was founded in 2011 by Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, Professor Francesca Happé and Dr Rona Tutt OBE (a Past President of NAHT). It emerged from discussions about how to facilitate closer working between neuroscientists and those working with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The aims of the national forum for Neuroscience in Education are to:   

    • provide a platform for neuroscientists and teachers in special education to engage in dialogue,  
    • encourage discourse around the changing pattern of childhood disability,     
    • and share insights from both fields which lead to innovative practice, leading to improved learning outcomes for children.  

Future Plans

During 2016/17, further developments are planned to bring the work of neuroscientists and  teachers closer together, including: 

    • Taking forward the outcomes of the Girls on the Autism Spectrum - the ‘Big Shout’ conference  
    • Encouraging more researchers in the field to link with schools and more teachers to have an opportunity to work with scientists
    • Providing briefing papers of current research to keep teachers abreast of developments in the field
    • Linking with other individuals and organisations with similar aims

"This is a pathway to a better understanding of the most complex children in our schools and ensuring they receive a quality of education that is second to none." - Kim Johnson, National President NAHT, Annual conference 2016.

Please find out more here.