Writer and actress Sally Phillips to speak at FestABLE

Award-winning writer and actress Sally Phillips will speak at the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning.

Sally – who fronted the BBC documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome? – will deliver one of the keynote sessions at FestABLE, a one-day event which brings professionals, parents and young people together to tackle the big issues facing young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

Having starred in Smack The Pony and the Bridget Jones trilogy, Sally waded into the emotionally-charged debate about a new screening test that is said to detect Down’s Syndrome in 99 per cent of pregnancies and explored the effect the test could have on society.

She is one of a several prominent speakers at the event which will be held on 2 June at National Star in Cheltenham. Headline themes at the festival include SEND reform, the Children and Families act, and whether services and systems count more than choice and aspirations.

‘There is a growing desire to talk about what will work better for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties and how all of us – professionals, parents and the young people – can make difficult things possible,’ said David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star.

‘FestABLE will be an opportunity to talk about what’s challenging all of us involved in Special Educational Needs and find paths ahead for all the learners and their families.

‘Ms Phillips’ appearance will be profoundly important, not only to the hundreds in the audience at FestABLE, but also to hundreds of thousands of people around the country who care passionately about education for children and young people with disabilities and special needs.

‘Her personal experiences speak for all of us in some way, and at the end of a momentous day at this inaugural event, her humour and compassion will be of immense value as we take forward the ideas and inspiration we have shared.’

FestABLE, which will be a celebration of the best in the field, will be hosted by National Star at our fully-accessible campus outside Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

National Star College is the first college in the country under the new Ofsted regime to receive a double outstanding in every category of Ofsted and Care Quality Commission ratings.

Dame Christine Lenehan, author of the review These Are Our Children, will lead speakers who are experts in a range of subjects, from building an SEND workforce to the latest assistive technology.

Find out more

National Star is holding the event on Saturday June 2, 2018. Book your tickets to FestABLE now.

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