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SEND and Mental Health Conference

Our 2020 Conference is aimed at providing Parents/Carers and Practitioners with a greater understanding of SEND and Mental Health.


8.45am-9.30am:       Registration.


Morning (9.30am-12pm):


Introduction to the Conference: Ruth Pearse (PSC CEO).


Keynote speaker: Pooky Knightsmith: Self care isn’t selfish – You matter too.


Refreshment and Comfort Break. Opportunity to look at information stalls/buy books.


Jo Billington: What is ‘wellbeing’ for children and young people with SEND? Child and young person’s perspective.


(12pm-1pm): Lunch

Networking lunch included for all delegates and opportunity to look at information stalls/buy books.


Afternoon (1pm-3.30pm) Parallel Workshops:


Workshop 1: Pooky Knightsmith: Looking beyond behaviour – exploring a wide range of challenging behaviours and how to understand and respond to them.

Workshop 2: Zobia Kalim (PSC): Supporting the mental health of children and young people with early life trauma.


2pm-2.30pm Refreshment and comfort break



Workshop 1: Pooky Knightsmith: Working with families – working in partnership to ensure the best outcome for children and young people.

Workshop 2: PSC Sleep Team: Anxiety and Sleep.


3.30pm: Close of Conference



Ticket Type Early Bird (up to midnight 29th Feb 2020)  

Full Price (from 1st March 2020)


Practitioner Statutory sector, schools etc

(includes lunch)

£75 (save £10)  £85
Parent/Carer & Voluntary Sector Practitioner

(includes lunch)

£40 (save £10) £50

(includes lunch)

 £25 (save £10)  £35


Please click here to book.

For Practitioners requiring an invoice: Once you’ve selected the number of places and clicked the green ‘Register’ button, you’ll be taken to the registration page. Complete the relevant details, and then at the bottom of the page (underneath the credit/debit card icons), you will see that it says ‘Other Payment Options’. Click ‘Show’ just underneath, then click the ‘Send Invoice’ button. We’ll then send you an invoice. Please note that if you book but don’t pay the invoice in time and your attendees don’t attend you will still be liable for payment of the invoice.



Pooky Knightsmith:

An internationally respected face of child and adolescent mental health, Pooky works tirelessly to ‘be the change she wants to see’. A prolific keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and author, she develops and shares practical, evidence-informed approaches to promoting mental health – arming health and education staff with the skills, information and knowledge they need to support the children in their care; whilst also working hard to drive collaboration and change at a national and international level amongst politicians and charity, business and service leads. Pooky has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, is the author of five books and is the current vice chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. She’s also a Mum of two who works hard every day to win her own battles against PTSD, anorexia, self-harm and depression.


Jo Billington:

Jo is a Doctoral Researcher in the Centre for Autism at the University of Reading and an Associate Lecturer in SEND and Inclusion in the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University. Her teaching and research focuses on the lived experiences of autistic students in mainstream primary schools with a particular emphasis on wellbeing. She is committed to improving outcomes for autistic learners by enhancing understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity in schools. In addition to her academic work, Jo is a parent to two autistic boys and works as a specialist autism practitioner for Berkshire-based charity Parenting Special Children, offering practical support to schools, parent/carers, and allied professionals. She also has a particular interest in mental health and is part of the training team at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, working directly with staff and students in mainstream and special schools to promote good mental health in learners with SEND.


Zobia Kalim:

Zobia is a Trainer and Specialist Parenting Practitioner with wide-ranging training and experience of developing & delivering projects for families of special needs children and young people across the country over the last 17 years. She achieved accreditation in Equality & Diversity practice in 2015 followed by extensive training in the impact of Developmental and Relational Trauma. She holds a Certificate in Parent-Child Therapy and PCAP (Parent Child Attachment Play) from IATE, London. She is a Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England as well as a Sleep Practitioner. She is also the mother of two special needs children, both with experience of early life trauma.


PSC Sleep Team: 

Parenting Special Children’s Sleep Service was established in 2013 and PSC has provided specialist support to hundreds of families with children with additional needs who have experienced sleep difficulties. The Sleep Service is provided by our team of practitioners including our highly specialist Sleep Practitioners. The service offers a range of advice, support and training to parent/carers of children and teenagers with additional needs. In the last two years the sleep team have developed sleep workshops and clinics directly for children and young people; this has included providing sleep workshops in specialist schools across Berkshire. Our team of specialist Sleep Practitioners have received NHS Sleep training and have professional backgrounds in learning disability nursing,  social work and teaching. Most importantly, they are also parent/carers of children and teenagers with additional needs.



Exhibitor Stalls

We have a limited number of exhibitor stalls available. Exibitors may have one attendee at no cost and one additional attendee at a reduced cost of £20. If you would like to be considered for a stall please email admin@parentingspecialchildren.co.uk

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

The Pavilion is a short walk from Reading Town Centre, Reading Railway Station and Reading West Railway Station.

All buses pick up in Reading Town Centre, with the No.s 15, 16 and 17 buses stopping almost outside The Pavillion (opposite Waylen Street). The No. 33 bus stops outside when it returns to the Town Centre. Please see the Reading Buses website for more detailed information. https://www.reading-buses.co.uk/services

There is no parking available at the venue. The nearest car parks are Q-Park Chatham Place (3 minute walk away), followed by Broad Street Mall (7 minute walk away). Further details and prices are available via the links.

Guidance for Blue Badge holders can be found here.

Is the venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the venue is wheelchair accessible. There is a street-level door to access the building at the side in Russell Street, and the Auditorium and Seminar Rooms are accessible via a wheelchair lift. If delegates require any special assistance, please let us know. There is a section on the booking form for accessibility requirements.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes. Registration information can be changed until ticket sales end on 16th September 2020. Please contact admin@parentingspecialchildren.co.uk to do so.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

If at all possible, please bring your printed ticket to the Conference, as it will help to speed up the registration process. An electronic image from a smart phone of the QR code on your ticket will also be acceptable.

What is the refund policy?

Refund requests will only be available on Early Bird tickets, and when made in writing. All other requests will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, and are entirely at the discretion of the management of Parenting Special Children.

If you have any other specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing admin@parentingspecialchildren, or telephoning 0118 9863532.


Wednesday 23 September 2020
9:30 am - 3:30 pm


The Pavilion
143-145 Oxford Road
Reading, Berkshire RG1 7UY United Kingdom
PSC / Events / SEND and Mental Health Conference