Dore may have attracted controversy, but Sal McKeown thinks it's worth careful consideration
Dore activityDore work on concentration and motor skillsThe Dore Programme for treating children with dyslexia with a series of exercises is controversial. It has been slammed in the press and derided as the "wobbly board" method. Critics claim that it lacks scientific validity.

However, some schools are beginning to look at adopting it as a solution for different forms of specific learning difficulties, so  it is time to lay aside prejudices and take a closer look. And visitors to the Dore SEN open day, and to the TES Special Needs Midlands show in Birmingham, can check it out for themselves (details below).

David CameronPM David Cameron on ACE (picture: YouTube)PM David Cameron pledges help for crisis-hit ACE Centre
The impending closure of the Oxford ACE Centre on May 9 is presenting prime minister David Cameron and his Coalition Government with a test of their commitment to the most vulnerable learners in the UK and the use of technology to support their communication needs.

More than 890 people have already signed the government e-petition to save the centre and, in response to a question from Andrew Smith MP, David Cameron acknowledged the pioneering work of the centre and pledged that he would look for ways to help.

Sally McKeown meets educators with a remarkable record for helping learners most in need
Professor Lord Robert Winston, world famous scientist and TV presenter, opened the brand new £2 million North West London Independent School in Ealing last week.

The school educates some of the most challenging young people in London and offers them a chance to use first-rate ICT facilities to get qualifications and to nurture often hidden talents.

Martin Littler marks the loss of one the UK's leading centres of SEN expertise
Oxford Ace CentreOne of the UK’s most influential and longest serving special needs assessment centres – the Oxford ACE Centre – will close its doors due to cuts in education spending.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary general meeting of trustees last week (March 29) and affects Oxford ACE only (Northern ACE Centre is a separate charity and is not affected). Had the decision to close not been taken cash-flow issues would have forced closure within weeks.

nasen SEN training flyerAll schools in England now have access to free special needs training from SEN organisation nasen, funded by the Department for Education (DfE).

"A Whole School Approach to improving Access, Participation and Achievement", in its first version for secondary schools, is free to all school Sencos (special needs co-ordinators), and has been designed to help them provide flexible whole-school professional development to support teachers "in meeting the needs of all learners in addition to meeting the increased remit of their role following the launch of the new Ofsted framework".