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SMART idea for a book launch

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Published on 19 July 2022

 The Independent SENCO Network
The Independent SENCO Network

‘Co-producing SMART targets for children with SEND: Capturing the authentic voice of children, young people and their caregivers’, was launched earlier this month with the support of local artist Frank Styles and six local young people.

The book was produced in just five months by Sarah Martin-Denham in collaboration with partners from the Independent SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) Network, including headteachers and education experts from throughout the region. The book is a response to national and local challenges in good practice in writing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) targets for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

The focus of the book is to capture the views, wishes and feeling of children with SEND, and this was reflected in the unusual and very creative book launch. Local artist and Sunderland Fine Art graduate Frank Styles worked with a group of six young people to create unique spray-painted artworks to launch the book.

Frank Styles was also part of the recent #SeeMe pilot project led by Sarah Martin-Denham, which took place at National Glass Centre and involved 110 children and young people aged 5 to 16 years, who had previously been excluded from schools in North East England.

Sarah Martin-Denham's research focuses on childhood adversities, SEND and school exclusion. She says: “We are immensely proud of this book. The passion and drive of the authors from the conception of the project to publication has been palpable. Every page places the child, young person and family at the heart of forging relationships and in shaping provision and practice.

“We were all in agreement to publish a book that is not for profit, all royalties will support children and families in our local area.”

Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society added: “I was delighted to take part in the event to launch Sarah’s book. This book co-authored by our school partners is the result of Sarah’s commitment to creating a community of practice and research in SEND. Sarah is leading the field in this area in the North East. I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

‘Co-producing SMART targets for children with SEND: Capturing the authentic voice of children, young people and their caregivers’ is £17.99 and available through Amazon.