SEND News Roundup

At Axcis, we are thrilled to be associated with the National Autistic Society and nasen. Each month, we bring you the latest news highlights from our partners, so if you’d like to know what’s been happening with these great organisations and in the world of SEND, read on.

NAS News

Below you’ll find a list of some of the latest autism news, compiled by our friends at Network Autism, the professional arm of the National Autistic Society. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


  1. Axcis are proud to support the National Autistic Society

    Lack of autism-specific support in Wales

  2. Autism-Europe Congress call for abstracts
  3. All healthcare staff to receive autism training
  4. Lower life expectancy for children with learning disabilities
  5. Self-advocacy within disability organisations
  6. Rising exclusion rates for pupils with SEND

Nasen News

Below you’ll find a list of the latest SEND news from our friends at nasen. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.


  1. Government responds to Bercow: 10 Years On
  2. All secondary schools to receive free mental health resource for 11-14 year olds
  3. Axcis are proud partners of nasen – the National Association of Special Educatioanl Needs

    New EEF funding round to improve outcomes for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)

  4. Contribute to research on the use of the SEND Review Guide in school-based sixth-form settings
  5. Opportunity to represent your setting on a ‘Maximising the SENCO’ working group to review different models of SENCo deployment
  6. Opportunity to represent your setting on an expert reference group to review SEND leadership and accountability
  7. Revisits to local areas with a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) for SEND
  8. Generation CAN
  9. Ofsted: Working Towards the Education Inspection Framework 2019
  10. Invitation to tender for the video production of condition specific introductory videos for new classroom teachers
  11. nasen secure funding to provide significant support on SEND to early years settings and local authorities
  12. Nasen are proud to be supporting the Above and Beyond Awards!
  13. Please Sign this Petition to Help Stop our Children’s Mental Health Crisis
  14. Exam accommodations for Autistic Students
  15. Accredited Early Years SENCO Award

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.


Need help with SEND jobs or staffing in Liverpool? Our recent hire can help!

Who are the people behind the phones? Our Axcis Liverpool Team recently had a new addition – Liam King. Find out all about him here or get in touch with Liam today if you need help with SEND staffing or finding a SEND job in the Liverpool area.

We asked Liam to tell us about himself – here’s what he said:

Liam King can help you with your SEND staffing needs in Liverpool

I hold an NVQ in Health & Social Care and have four years of experience working as a support worker for individuals with special and additional needs. During this time, I found it extremely rewarding to know that I was making a difference to people who found learning and other activities difficult. I’ve seen the benefit first-hand which people receive as a result of good quality support and assistance.


In addition to this, I have been working in HR and Recruitment since 2015. I believe that this combination of skills, experience and passion help me to select staff who are perfectly suited to the SEND schools and provisions I currently work with.


I’m an easy going person but at the same time I am very driven and will do my upmost to fulfil the needs of my candidates and clients alike – their satisfaction with the service I provide is of the utmost importance to me.


In my spare time, I really enjoy football and I’m a big Liverpool fan. I also have a fascination with food and spices after spending some time in China.


Would you like to work with Liam?

If you are looking for SEND work or staff in the Liverpool area,, then why not get in touch with Liam today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.


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New app can help you get to the root of challenging behaviour (guest post)

Graham Chatterley is a regular guest blogger for Axcis. As a school leader in an SEMH setting, he knows all about how “challenging” behaviour can be a mask for other SEND needs. His new app aims to help other professionals to identify the roots of challenging behaviours and ultimately assist us in providing the best possible support. Read more about it here.

The origin of the ROASA App and why I hope it will make a difference

Graham Chatterley can now add app developer to his CV!

I do quite a lot of courses and a lot of outreach work. Many of the questions I get about challenging pupil behaviour is related to not being sure what is at the root of it. Very skilled staff who understand that behaviour is a form of communication and who know their children really well are saying things like, ‘they could feel something is wrong but don’t know what it is’ or ‘they have a diagnosis for this but it’s more than just that’. They take 1 step forward and 2 steps back and they know something is driving the behaviour but can’t identify it.


To put a number on it, in the year before last, 2700 children were permanently excluded from mainstream schools and roughly 150,000 children were given fixed term exclusions for aggressive behaviour to staff or pupils.


Currently, the most common reason for a child to be excluded from mainstream school is “persistent disruption”. I am confident this is a work avoidance technique linked to fear of failure – but that is not what this blog is about. The 2nd reason is “physical aggression” and 3rd is “verbal aggression”. If we combined physical and verbal and just made it aggression it would jump to the top. In all the schools in the country; aggression is the most common reason for exclusions. To put a number on it, in the year before last, 2700 children were permanently excluded from mainstream schools and roughly 150,000 children were given fixed term exclusions for aggressive behaviour to staff or pupils.


In special schools it’s even worse, aggression makes up a third of permanent exclusions and just under half of fixed term exclusions. This is a lot of aggression from a lot of children!


In an age where ‘behaviour as a communication’ is claimed to be understood, why is aggression still the fastest way out of the door and why do so many aggressive children leave education to become aggressive adults who end up in the criminal justice system?


Children often come to my setting with a diagnosis of complex needs. This is usually either because they have a mixture of needs, they haven’t engaged in testing or the people doing the diagnosing just don’t know. Whatever the reason, it puts me in a position where I have the behaviours and the difficulties but I don’t have the why.


Often, I have a child’s EHC plan in front of me but I can sense something deeper and I know something has happened to that child. I end up trawling through paperwork looking for clues with very little point of reference. Frequently, this is because the records and information only start from when the problematic behaviour starts. The file doesn’t have the important information I need to complete the picture, it doesn’t have the jigsaw pieces I need to repair what has happened to the young person, or to identify what is driving their aggression. I am trying to answer questions like; Why does this child feel unsafe? Why can’t they trust? Why is their self- esteem so low?


I might not have an answer though, I might not have paperwork that tells me what happened early in this child’s life and has left them with these difficulties; these aggressive reactions to even the most mildly challenging situation. If I don’t have this information do I assume it didn’t happen? Or do I make an educated guess?


This got me thinking – What if there was something that could help this guessing process?


I have spent many years working on emotional literacy with children and linking feelings to behaviours. The importance of identifying early signs of distress and how important that is to managing aggressive behaviour. It is vital, but at school we want to do more than just manage it, and the people I am doing outreach work with also want to do more than just manage it, but the only way to do that is by getting to the root cause. By finding out what has happened to cause the feeling; and I don’t mean the trigger there and then. I mean what has happened in that child’s life to cause the difficulties; the low self-esteem, the lack of trust, the dysregulation, the poor social skills and anxiety that drives the behaviour?


We can teach children self-control and how to manage their behaviours or we can distract and insulate them from challenging situations but if we don’t help them understand why they are that way; why they are different and how to accept that, then how is the child ever really going to be happy and able to cope in the real world after education? We have to change that child’s internal working model – and to do that we need to know what created it.


Then I had my moment! The missing piece that I needed. It came in the form of some Neuroscience training delivered by the fantastic Lisa Wisher. She talked about brain development and growth and how early life experience – before memories even form – shapes so much of the person we become. It was so relevant to our children and it was clear that the reason I couldn’t answer my questions was because I didn’t have all the pieces. I’m not going to lie, it sent me down a rabbit hole because I knew I needed to know more. I read lots of books and the more I learned the more questions I was left with. Then I stumbled across a book called ‘Healing Developmental Trauma’ by Dr Lawrence Hiller. It was really heavy going – I’m a teacher not a Psychologist! I had to read it a few times to get my head around it (I say read, I had it on audiobook so I listened to it 3 or 4 times!). Although it was talking about adults, it was discussing how adverse experiences led to personality traits, coping strategies and behaviours. And how, by using these outcomes you could signpost to the root of the aggression.


I thought to myself that if I could adapt and use this methodology, I could have a pretty good guess at identifying the experiences of the children I work with. Not only could I fill in the gaps and answer some of the questions I had, but I was in a position to intervene earlier in the children’s lives and have more impact than any therapist working with them later on an adult could. The adults in the book had already had the trouble with police, or addiction, or broken relationships. The Neuroaffective Relational Model (NARM) used in that book became part of my pastoral approach in school. I devised a table that had the 5 types of early trauma or parenting style that could affect the children’s behaviours. It had the personalities and behaviours you would expect if the child had certain experiences and what feelings those children were hiding underneath the coping strategies they adopted. It was a very useful tool for me but it was difficult to explain to others.


I felt I was on the right lines but needed something more user-friendly that would not require me doing extra training with staff to help them understand the model. So I put together a spider web of questions about a child’s personality and how they respond to situations, each question and answer leading to a different question until I eventually ended up signposted to one of NARMs 5 traumas. I took my sheet of A2 paper to my Headteacher who thought I was on to something.


The question for me was could I get the sheet of A2 to work as a computer programme? In my head I could see an app but I had no idea how or the skills to create it. I also had to incorporate other root causes because aggressive behaviour isn’t always because of early trauma.


I got help, and I ironed out the issues, and I am very proud to say that I now have a working app that I hope will support teachers and SENCOs in finding the root of a child’s aggression. The Roots of Aggression Signposting App has taken me 3 years to get right. I’m not trying to diagnose, I just want to give staff an idea of where to start looking, because for any professional faced with aggression it is so easy to see the behaviour when really, we need to see the child. We need to approach the situation with empathy and we gain empathy through understanding.


Knowledge is the most powerful tool in a teachers toolbox and if we know the “why” of aggressive behaviour, we don’t see a child misbehaving, we see a child in distress. And we approach a child in distress with a completely different mindset regardless of the aggression. That mindset will replace what has been lost for that child and relationships can be built – and one significant adult relationship can change everything for a child in distress.


That is the rationale behind the ROASA App – the idea is that after answering between 4 and 20 questions, you reach 1 of 10 suggestions as to where to find the reason that child is behaving aggressively. What you do with the knowledge is then down to you!

Where can you download it?

The app is currently only available for Android devices but Graham hopes to have a version available on the Apple App Store soon – so watch this space!


Download Android App


We would love to hear feedback from any professionals who try this ground breaking new app, so if you are working with children who exhibit aggressive behaviour, maybe you can give it a go and let us know how you get on?


Looking for a SEND teaching or support job? Or perhaps you need to recruit school staff? Take a look at Axcis Education, the SEND recruitment specialist.

SEND News Update: nasen secure funding to provide significant support on SEND to early years settings and local authorities

Our partners at nasen have announced this week that they have secured funding to provide significant support on SEND to early years settings and local authorities. We are pleased to share more about this story here on the Axcis blog.


Axcis are proud partners with nasen – the National Association of Special Educational Needs

nasen is to receive £1.4 million from the Department for Education as part of their recent success in a bid to improve access and inclusion in early years.


The funding will form part of two projects; a significant training programme for early years setting managers, and an accredited SENCO award aimed at local authority employees, both of which will run until March 2020.


Working alongside a number of partners, including Council for Disabled Children, ICAN, The Communications Trust, Contact, Achievement for All and Liverpool School Improvement, the exciting new projects will look to support education professionals nationwide working within SEND.


Initially, the training programme for early years setting managers will be available in the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and will look to train 672 setting managers in total.


The training offer will consist of one full day which will look at a whole setting approach to SEND and developing managers’ understanding of responding to speech language and communication needs. It will also seek to share learning across all five regions. Candidates will then choose from five other specialist SEND strands for further training opportunities.


The SENCO award will be led by the Liverpool School Improvement Service, and will look to recruit 23 local authority employees, on an in-depth training course that will equip them to go on to support other education professionals working in SEND. This award will be available nationally.


Both projects will link strategically with the work of the government’s SEND workforce development programme being delivered by the Whole School SEND consortium, which is also hosted by nasen.


Talking more about the projects, Dr Adam Boddison, nasen’s Chief Executive said:


Here at nasen, we are committed to providing the most effective and relevant support to those working with children and young people with SEND.


For over 25 years, nasen has been committed to supporting a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. This project will enable nasen to lead the way in providing crucial support and professional development to those working in early years settings to identify and support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)”.


Our knowledge and expertise over the years has enabled us to support thousands of SEND professionals from a range of sectors, and now we are delighted to be working even more closely together with a number of key organisations to resource these projects.


Looking for a SEND teaching or support job? Or perhaps you need to recruit school staff? Take a look at Axcis Education, the SEND recruitment specialist.

Introducing…. Axcis Andy’s New Lion Friend

At the start of term, Axcis Andy made a new friend, but we had a problem – he didn’t have a name! We asked schools to help us to come up with a great name for him. Find out here who has won, and what name has been selected.

The Competition

We provided schools with some worksheets which they could download and print out for their classes to do. There was a choice between a drawing or a story activity. Lots of students took part, and we received some lovely entries which accompanied some brilliant name suggestions. A few are listed below:


  • Graham
  • Prince
  • Corey
  • Manfred
  • Freddy
  • Zoey
  • Ratooli
  • Jade
  • Simba
  • Narla
  • Smith
  • Simba
  • Fluffy
  • Vladimir
  • Ana
  • Big King
  • Alex
  • Miguel
  • Axel
  • Wizz
  • King
  • Angie
  • Jaydan the fat lion
  • Lionel
  • Flame
  • Megan
  • Jack
  • Harry King
  • Jack
  • Leo
  • Seb

And the winning name is… Lionel!

Proud winner of our Name the Lion competition, Annushka (left) receiving the prize on behalf of Strathmore school, and her consultant, Nicola, right.

It was very difficult to select a name from all of those suggested, but one in particular stood out to us… and that name was… Lionel. The staff and students at Strathmore School are thrilled that their suggestion was chosen as the winner. Nicola, their Axcis consultant went along to the school to present them with their shopping voucher, certificate and fluffy lion toy!

Looking for a SEND teaching or support job? Or perhaps you need to recruit school staff? Take a look at Axcis Education, the SEND recruitment specialist.

Bullying – An Emotional Issue, by Dr. Emily Lovegrove, AKA “The Bullying Doctor” (Guest Blog)

Dr Emily Lovegrove (BSc. PhD), AKA “The Bullying Doctor” is a psychologist who specialises in developing successful anti-bullying strategies. She is a popular speaker and trainer in this area, as well as being the author of ‘Help! I’m being bullied’. She has very kindly provided this guest blog for Axcis to help spread awareness and understanding of the issue.


Anti-bullying week brings sharply into focus just how anxious we all are about bullying and how much of it goes on. We see it daily on TV where politicians bluster and strut, and we see it on programmes that are set up to deliberately humiliate in the name of humour.


Being aggressive is part of what makes us human – we fight for resources to make sure our children have the best start possible in life. And if we are helping children who are in any way different and have extra needs, you will know how very hard this is.


The difficulty is that some folk are way, way more aggressive than others and love the power it brings… They learn early on that putting others down – physically or psychologically – gives them that sense of power, regardless of the distress it causes others.


Those who are the recipients learn early on that their needs are not important and that there is no point in trying to fight back. In settings where there is particular emphasis on compliance in order to ‘fit in’, there is even less sense in the child that their personal needs are important. It may well help them to fit in but sadly it often also makes them particularly vulnerable to bullying.


As adults we were probably taught one of three main strategies for bullying – to ignore it, to fight back, or to tell someone. Unfortunately, these are all LOGICAL processes that require smart thinking and high self-confidence. But when we’re bullied – or even just feel bullied – we feel EMOTIONAL and our biological stress processes instantly kick in.


Feeling threatened sets off a whole train of those biological responses! Oxygen is diverted from its biggest user, the brain, towards muscles that make flight (running away), fight (standing your ground) or freeze (literally frozen to the spot) possible. We are quite literally unable to think logically at this point!!


This stress reaction also means we’re actually physically unable to ignore bullying (breathing becomes shallow, heart rate speeds up, digestion slows down). In this case the best thing to help is to learn to take a couple of very deep breaths to allow more energy to the brain. NOW you might be able to utilise that logical strategy of ignoring…


Learning to feel the power of breathing deeply is something to practice so it’s not just an added stress to try to learn when feeling bullied! Teaching children to breathe in a colour that makes them feel braver can be very effective. Also, it’s good to explain the concept of being rooted into the ground. Explain that trees with shallow roots will blow over in a storm (being bullied) but a tree with deep, spreading roots will just sway a bit! The might lose the odd branch but that will grow again! Drawing pictures of this is a useful class or individual activity.


What about fighting back – physically or verbally? I know this can result in stopping bullies in their tracks so that they leave you alone. But they’ll simply find someone else which is not a good thing. Encouraging children about what might make another child (or adult) bully rather than behave kindly is always worth doing. Some children live lives that are fraught with danger at home and lack those essentials of love and care that grow a decent human being. A little understanding of the stressors of others can go a long way to stopping bullying from escalating.


And finally, what about just telling someone? This too is fraught with difficulties. Children absolutely do need to be able to tell someone. But what they fear is how we, as adults, deal with that information. Do we listen and ask how we might help? Or do we charge in, all guns blazing, regardless of their wishes? What about parents who threaten the perpetrator (who then ridicules the bullied child to his/her mates)? Or the teacher who blames the whole class and insists that everyone miss playtime… (now the whole class is likely to side with the bully). Telling somebody else about bullying is definitely a good strategy but never forget it is also a risky strategy.


What all children need, and so few get, is a sense that whoever they are is much loved and respected by both families and teachers. Most teachers tell me there are days when their patience is sorely tried and they find it hard to like certain individuals or classes (they forget homework, sports kit, try our patience with exquisite finesse)! As teachers it’s often tempting to let a class know exactly how difficult they’re being to teach! But replacing that with positive thoughts and verbalising them “You are such a brilliant person / class! I always look forward to my sessions with you!” will not only do wonders for our personal sense of efficacy, it will do wonders for their self-confidence!


What we know is that children who feel good about themselves are more confident. Children who are more confident are better able to recognise when they’re being bullied. They’re more able to ignore the irritating things that happen in a group setting. And they are much more likely to come and tell us when the bullying is not something they can deal with.


It’s easy sometimes to think that the important bits of teaching are making sure they do well academically. Indeed, parents and rigid school curricula makes this extremely hard to ignore! But remarkably soon they will leave school. Letting them know that you believe in them just as they are, and helping them to understand and cope with bullying in positive ways may well be the most important thing you ever do for them.

Dr Emily Lovegrove, psychologist.

Trainer, Speaker, Researcher, Author (‘Help! I’m being bullied’, 2005. New edition in preparation).

Sessions for teachers, parents and pupils.

Individual and small group sessions


Looking for a SEND teaching or support job? Or perhaps you need to recruit school staff? Take a look at Axcis Education, the SEND recruitment specialist.



Book January staff with Axcis and be in with a chance of winning a £250 voucher for your school

When you call us to confirm a new staff booking for January, your name will go into a draw to win a £250 shopping voucher for your school – here’s how it works:


  1. Call us with your SEND vacancies today!

    Call your consultant and give them the details of your January staffing needs

  2. They will work hard to find you the best possible candidates for your role(s)
  3. Once you select the staff member(s) you’d like to book, simply let your consultant know
  4. When the booking is confirmed, and the candidate has started in their role, your name will go into our prize draw for a chance to win a £250 shopping voucher for your school or alternative provision.
  5. For each new member of staff booked, your name will go into the draw – so if you book 3 new staff members via Axcis, you will have 3 chances of winning this fantatic prize.

The small print

  • Bookings must be made between the 12th November 2018 and 11th January 2019 to be included in this draw
  • Existing bookings which roll over to the new calendar year will not be counted (this includes replacement staff requested for existing bookings)
  • This offer is not open to Axcis employees or affiliates

Why work with Axcis?

Axcis is the leading supplier of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) staff in England and Wales. We recruit special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) staff for mainstream schools and alternative provisions across England and Wales and offer recruitment solutions for short-term, long-term and permanent vacancies. Working with the broadest range of positions, our candidates include teachers, teaching assistants, therapists and school leaders.


Established in 2001, our head office is in London’s West End. We have since grown in-line with increasing demand from schools for the quality, specialist service we are able to provide. We have offices across the UK and continue to expand as more schools hear about us and express a desire to make use of our unique service. Many of our experienced team of consultants are ex-teachers or members of school support staff, so have on-the-ground knowledge of the sector. As a result, we are able to provide a recruitment package which reflects this in-depth understanding of what schools are looking for in the staff they recruit.


If you’d like to see what others say about working with Axcis, why not check out our testimonials page?

Why supply teaching can benefit your career

Supply teaching isn’t just a back up option, it can genuinely benefit your career – here’s how.


1 – It can significantly broaden your experience

Experience lots of different settings by doing a stint of supply work and become a more rounded professional.

Many trainee teachers are offered jobs in one of their placement schools, and this is often where they will end up for the first few years of their career. After that, they may move on to another school periodically, but I’ve known some teachers who stay put until the day they retire! While that’s great for job security and feeling settled in your role, it can be detrimental in terms of offering a broad experience to both challenge and develop your practice.


This is where supply work can offer you some real benefit. While I understand that it can be unsettling to be in a new school every day/month/term, supply contracts can certainly keep you on your toes! You’ll often have the chance to work in a range of different schools, with different age groups and with different socio-economic cohorts. By offering you a broad range of experience, supply teaching can deepen your understanding of how to effectively cater for students of all ages and backgrounds. When you add special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into the mix, this can be even more impactful. Teachers (and indeed members of school support staff) who have the opportunity to work in schools for a range of different needs can gain some really meaningful professional development as a result.

2 – It can help you to find your niche in the profession

It took me a long time to understand that teaching isn’t a “one size fits all” profession. Every child is different, and so is every school. By working in a range of settings while doing supply work, you can gain a fantastic insight into what suits your teaching style, personality and personal fulfilment model most effectively. In fact, I wish I had done this myself. I was offered a role in my second PGCE placement school, didn’t enjoy it and after 2 years, made the difficult decision to leave the profession. Had I taken the time to do some supply work and investigate alternatives more carefully, I may have stuck with teaching. Certainly something worth considering if you’re thinking about leaving the profession yourself…

3 – It can be great for cross-fertilisation of ideas

Meet award winning staff and share great ideas while doing supply work.

Imagine this scenario – you’re working in a school and you see a brilliant behaviour management idea, or a new way of delivering maths to students with autism, and you think – “Wow – what a great idea, I’m going to use that!” It happens all the time. Many teachers have brilliant ideas which work fantastically well, but many are so busy that they don’t have time to share this good practise with other settings. By working on supply in a range of different schools, you’ll have the chance to effectively pinch ideas that work well to add to your own toolkit. This can stand you in excellent stead for your future in the profession. You’ll need to be diligent though, and keep a notebook handy for all of these ideas (if you’re anything like me, that is and have a memory like a sieve!)

4 – It can give you a more rounded understanding of the curriculum and assessment

By working in a number of different schools, you’ll be dipping in and out of the curriculum, covering different subjects, age ranges and levels of SEND need. In this way, you’ll be constantly exposed to the curriculum in different ways. You’ll also be using assessment methods which vary from school to school. Again, this can be a really useful experience for developing your understanding of the curriculum and how it all fits together, as well as how to effectively assess how well your students are picking it up.

5 – Your confidence will grow

One of the greatest things about supply work is that it will help your confidence to grow enormously. You’ll have been thrown in the deep end so many times that something new or challenging just won’t spike your anxiety levels the way it used to. This in itself can be a good enough reason to undertake a stint of supply work (in my opinion!) Instead of looking up to that unflappable teacher, you’ll have others looking up to you for your ability to take it all in your stride – and who wouldn’t want that?


It’s also worth remembering that all of these reasons are excellent interview fodder. If you find yourself being grilled by a panel of school leaders for a job you are desperate to get, remember to explain to them why you’d be a  brilliant addition to their team by using these five reasons, coupled with some case studies or specific examples from the schools you’ve been working in.

Are you seeking SEND teaching or support work?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

Axcis November Giveaway: Christmas Craft Kit Bundle

November brings with it the first signs of Christmas here at Axcis, and to help you prepare for Saint Nick’s all-important annual visit, we are giving away a selection of Christmas Craft Kits to do with the children in your classes. Find out more here including how to enter for FREE!

About the prize

WIN! These fantastic craft kits in the Axcis November Giveaway

Our Craft Kit Bundle contains everything you need to make 8 cute Elf Decorations as well as 8 3D Felt Christmas Tree decorations. You can choose how you use these – perhaps you’ll do a whole-class craft session with them, or maybe you’ll use them as prizes for your students to take home – the choice is yours!


We’d love to see your finished projects, so if you’re lucky enough to win, perhaps you can Tweet us @Axcis with some pictures.

How to enter the Axcis Giveaway

It’s completely free to enter, simply click on the link below and choose your preferred entry method:

Axcis November giveaway

Register today and work for Axcis

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so if you need work, why not register now?


Terms and Conditions are applicable to all giveaway entrants.

Sensory Garden Competition Results

Back in summer, we were thrilled to run a sensory garden competition. We invited schools to work with their students to design and make an ornament suitable for a sensory garden. Find out more here about who we shortlisted as well as who the winner of our grand £250 garden centre prize was.

The Entries

We were thrilled to receive lots of fantastic entries from schools up and down the country. A few of them are detailed below:

Beaver Road Primary School

One student went above and beyond the remit by designing not just an ornament, but an entire sensory garden! Encompassing underground fish tanks, compete with glass tops you can even walk on, as well as musical features and bees to stimulate the senses, and fruit trees to add a little taste, this was a beautiful design full of imagination and creativity.


We especially loved the surprise sea turtle which lives inside the hill, the miniature piano and the Chinese lanterns. Well done Escher, age 7 from Beaver Road Primary School.

Stoke Park School

This class spoke about the senses and came up with some realistic ideas as well as some crazy ones! They had a lot of fun with this brief – which you can see the result of in the pictures on the right.


Among these ideas, the children came up with a beautiful, tall (and exploding!) water feature as well as a super fun tree house for people to explore and immerse themselves in. I can certainly imagine listening to the rain falling on the roof, the smell of the wood and the imaginative play which could take place in there – great ideas, guys!

Abbotskerswell Preschool

These young garden designers aged just 2-4 went on a sensory walk which included a visit to the local primary school’s sensory garden – this really helped to stimulate their senses and get their creative juices flowing.


The children then came up with several fantastic ideas over the following weeks (which included some which “melted in the rain” and had to be re-thought!) to create sensory spaces. From dangling, shining objects to things that clink in the breeze – they were worthy runners-up, and it was super to see some entries from children who are so young!

Gwersyllt CP School

These children shortlisted several ideas – such as creating a sensory water feature or putting beautiful (and smelly/edible) herb plants in welly planters, before settling on making some recycled CD fish light catchers.


They then created a display of these using an old pallet and some fairy lights. We think the design came together to produce a garden ornament which is sure to appeal to children of all ages – well done Gwersyllt.

Cantonian Access Base

These students did plenty of research and came up with lots of alternatives before settling on the idea to create a sensory “Island”. Here’s what they had to say about it:

For this competition, teachers and pupils from Cantonian High School Access Base worked together to create our ‘Sensory Island’ using ideas collected from a school trip to a beach. We used this theme to highlight the need to be careful with plastic rubbish, as on our beach trip we found a lot of children’s rubbish washed up, like Lego, Jenga pieces, toys and water bottles.


To show the five senses we used a variety of different plants, herbs, fruits and objects we could collect from the beach such as drift wood, shells and sea glass. It was a great opportunity for the pupils to interact with each other, which they all enjoyed, and learnt about the environment whilst creating the island.


And the winner is…Ty Gwyn SEN School in Cardiff

Selecting a winner for this competition was tricky! It was clear to us that so many of the children (and staff) who took part worked very hard on their ideas – we felt that they were all fantastic! However, a single winner had to be chosen, and we agreed that we just loved this tin can robot which was created by the children from Ty Gwyn SEN School in Cardiff. Jennifer from our South Wales team went along to present them with their £250 garden centre voucher, and this is what she had to tell us about the experience:

Kathryn and I attended Ty Gwyn SEND School in Ely, Cardiff to present the prize to the winners of the sensory garden competition. We were invited into the Primary and Secondary assembly, where they were talking about harvest festival and the Headteacher Diane Stones and Assistant Heads Matt Thomas and Jamie Brotherton participated in the Gingerbread Man play. Usually throughout both assemblies they talk about achievements during the week, celebrate Birthdays and say the school prayer. Kathryn and I were able to meet the members of Class Rhosyn who designed and created the final product which ended up winning the Sensory Garden competition. We also presented Axcis Andy bears to all 7 pupils who took part. It was a very emotional but rewarding experience as all children had PMLD, we also met their carers, nurses and learning support assistants. Watch this space for more updates on how Ty Gwyn spent their Garden Centre vouchers!


Looking for a SEND teaching or support job? Or perhaps you need to recruit school staff? Take a look at Axcis Education, the SEND recruitment specialist.


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