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13 June 2012
A new conference aimed at encouraging more young people with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) to continue into higher education is taking place at the University today.
Bringing together SEN coordinators (SENCos), teachers and assistants working in schools across Wales, the one-day conference has been organised by the University’s Widening Access Team in response to feedback from schools.
Designed to provide more tailored information and guidance about the opportunities and support available at university for young people with a statement of SEN, it is hoped the event will help to better promote higher education to this under-represented group. A statement of special educational needs is a legal document that sets out a child's special educational needs as assessed by the Local Education Authority.
Scott McKenzie, Widening Access Officer said: "There are around 14,000 pupils (2.2%) in Wales with a statement of SEN but information provided to schools about university doesn't always answer specific questions about support available to these pupils.
"The teachers and other support staff attending this conference play an integral role in helping these young people make important decisions about their educational future. It is important that they have access to up-to-date information to encourage students with the potential to succeed to think about university as an option open to them. By holding this event we can help ensure that students with specific learning needs are not discouraged from applying to university just because they require extra support."
The conference will include the advice and assistance students can access throughout the application process, as well as specific help available while at university such as extra funding, wide-ranging support services, and accommodation.
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