Special Event at Univ. of Birmingham in honour of Penny Lacey - 13 May 2017

Scruffy Targets, Meaningful Outcomes, Inspiring Legacy - Celebrating the life and work of Dr Penny Lacey

Location: School of Education (Building R19), The Vaughan Jeffreys Lecture Theatre
Date: Saturday 13 May 2017 (14:00-18:00)

The School of Education at the University of Birmingham is hosting an event to celebrate life and work of Dr Penny Lacey. You are invited to this open event to celebrate Penny’s remarkable contribution to the field of education, and in particular the education of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

Swiss Cottage School Conference Centre Venue Information

Swiss Cottage SchoolSwiss Cottage School
80 Avenue Road

Phone: 020 7681 8080
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Conference Centre is on the top floor of the school building, with full lift access.

The school is next door to the new UCL Academy on the corner of Adelaide/Avenue Road.

Nearest underground station: Swiss Cottage, come out of exit one and turn left on to Avenue Road.

Nearest overground station: South Hampstead

Bus services: 46, 113, 13, 187, 268, 603, N113 and N13

Important travel information

Full travel and transport information can be downloaded here - How to find us: [http://swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/How-to-find-Us.pdf].

A Google map is available here - https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.553888,-0.134462&z=12&t=m&hl=en&gl=US&mapclient=embed&q=80%20Avenue%20Road%20London%20NW8%206HX%20UK.

Please note there is NO PARKING ON SITE and very limited parking in the surrounding area, so we strongly advise you do not drive.

Disabled Access

Our school has full disabled access and facilities. Please notify reception if you require any support during your visit.

by The Sensory Projects

Locations and Dates:

  • Winchester 8 May
  • Bath 9 May
  • Cardiff 10 May
  • Milton Keynes 22 May
  • Walsall 23 May
  • Sheffield 24 May

The event starts at 0930h on each day.















Event Description

Develop your sensory lexiconary and learn to use it to communicate with those who experience meaning in a primarily sensory way.

Everyone is welcome on these days but they are particularly suitable for:

  • People who support individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
  • People who are looking to use sensory communication with individuals in the later stages of dementia.
  • People who work with babies and children in the early years looking to develop their sensory practice.
  • Creative individuals looking to develop sensory works to engage with sensory communicators.
  • People who work in special schools or run groups that support students from special schools.
  • People with a particular interest in sensory literacy.

Feedback from Sensory Lexiconary delegates 2016

"Totally inspirational: No one is too disabled to have a conversation" - Anne-Marie Glasby from Changing Our Lives

"Inspired and delighted by the sensory possibilities" - Circus Starr CIC

"Not enough superlatives to describe the experience" - Jo Bonney, Support worker extraordinaire

Delegates on the 2016 conferences included: teachers, portage workers, speech and language therapists, support workers, people from dementia care, people who support babies in the first months of life, staff members from CICs looking to support inclusion in society, social researchers, family members and more.

To access more feedback click here.


Sign up at EventBrite here.

Penny Lacey - My Tribute

Penny's spirit is the spirit of humankind. It is still with us, and will remain in the ongoing influence of her achievements, and what she inspired in us. She always strove to open minds.

Penny LaceyFor our special children, she knew the reality of the barriers that their conditions presented. She was a force in eroding the inhibitions of medical models that saw only disability. She was truly an educationist and taught us to seek to find ABILITY and nurture it. There was an underlying humour in this lady from the university. Who else could have humanised the dry processes of 'target setting' as she did with the subversive idea of 'scruffy targets'!

She sought to encourage us to give our children great experiences and see them blossom. It was her mission to overcome barriers by gentle means. Her influence was contributory in enabling Keith Park to grasp the opportunity for our special children to participate in performing the bible stories in the awesome environment of Westminster Abbey. Awesome is the right word, for in that place words soar with the sounds and echoes, creating an experience where sensory meets spirit. But when the humour she loved in Keith's work also comes into play, spirituality overflows into joy.

It has been my privilege to participate with those people – children, parents, teachers and just passers-by. My privilege to hear them chant and raise their hands together, one of the songs we chanted included the words:

Love is the key
But where is the door?

The work of Penny Lacey helped many people “turn the lock and open the door”.

So, I am sorry that when this special event takes place I will not be there to share it with you. But I would like to send you some entertainment in the form of a video of an improvised counting session that I did un-planned on the floor in the school that Penny loved at Castlewood. I hope you enjoy it, because on it I believe you can see it was easy for me, even as a stranger, because her children have been taught to enjoy learning - what better tribute could there be to her philosophy .

All the best from Les Staves

Best of British Special Education

A two-day Forum

Dedicated to the memory of Penny Lacey


2-3 March 2017

at the

Swiss Cottage School Conference Centre, London

22 Presenters – academics and practitioners

Two intense days of presentations and workshops, showcasing many aspects of special education.

This unique event covers innovation, good practice, challenging ideas - and whacky fun!


ABC of Contributors

      Dr Adam Ockelford - Professor of Music, University of Roehampton

      Andrew Colley - Lecturer in Special Education, University of East London

      Ann Fergusson - Special Education Needs and Inclusion, University of Northampton

      Dr Barry Carpenter, CBE OBE - International Education Consultant

      Becky Lyddon - Founder of Sensory Spectacle, Sensory Integration, London

      Carol Allen - Independent Education Consultant

      Flo Longhorn - Principal Consultant in Multisensory Special Education, UK and Belgium

      Hilary Wainer – Founder, TACPAC - Communications through touch and music

      Jo Grace – Founder, The Sensory Projects, Consultant in Special Needs, Cornwall

      Keith Park - Special Education Drama Consultant, London

      Dr Jean Ware – Reader in Special Education, Bangor University

      Les Staves - Very Special Maths guru, Leeds

      Dr Lila Kossyvaki - Disability, Inclusion & Special Needs, Birmingham University

      Lucy Allen & Hannah Underwood – Practitioners, John Fielding School, Lincolnshire

      Dr Maria Robinson – Author and Early Years Consultant, Bedfordshire

      Peter Imray - Special Educational Needs Consultant, EQUALS

      Rachael Moat - Musician, Inventor of Vibro Tub, Manchester

      Sarah Hall & Bev Williams - Willows Sensory Service, Solihull

      Simon Yates - Head Teacher, Chailey Heritage Residential School, Lewes

      Yvonne McCall - Head Teacher & Staff, Castlewood School, Coventry

Programme Topics

           A spirit in the room - the power of the special soul.

        Autism in the world of SLD/PMLD – spontaneous communication.

      A very sensory chocolate workshop - Yum, Yum!

      Very special maths.

      Attachment theory - issues around emotional development.

      Bubbles! Toasting three new special education books to be published.

      Call and Response ladies and gentlemen!

      Changing children - changing schools? Special needs in the 21st century.

      Communicating - in its widest sense.

      Evolving a school ethos and way forward around the work of Penny Lacey.

      Is inclusion for all, really for all?

      Planning a PMLD curriculum using Penny Lacey’s philosophy.

      Routes for learning – perspectives.

      Sensory Spectacle installations.

      Sensory stories!

      Shaping the future of educational technology.

      Sounds amazing - the Vibro Tub - vibrations and auditory stimuli through music.

      Sounds of Intent – TACPAC - How Sense-Able are you?

      The ‘Why?’ imperative: Turning assessment inside out.

      The significance of the ‘Rochford Review’ on PMLD and SLD curriculum and assessment.