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Special educational needs football tournament kicks off in Yorkshire


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A football tournament for secondary school pupils with special educational needs, across South and West Yorkshire and Chesterfield, kicks off on Friday 9 June in Barnsley.

The Vision Shield mixed seven-a-side tournament has been organised by Vision for Education for school pupils from years seven to 11. The final has been sponsored, and will be hosted, by Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Education. Vision for Education is one of the fastest-growing teacher recruitment agencies in the UK. 

Eight of Vision for Education’s specialist schools will take part in the preliminary round, which will be held at Springwell Learning Community in Barnsley from 12-2pm. Joining the school will be: Springwell Leeds Academy; Abbey School and Robert Ogden School in Rotherham; Joseph Norton Academy in Huddersfield; St Wilfrid’s Academy in Doncaster; Eastwood Grange and Holly House School in Chesterfield; and Holgate Meadows School in Sheffield. 

On Friday 30 June, at an event held from 10am to 2pm at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus, the two winning schools from the preliminary round will compete for the Vision Shield. 

Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University, said: “The Carnegie School of Education is delighted to sponsor the final round of the Vision Shield Football Tournament in partnership with Vision for Education.

“Our vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people - that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives. 

“The Carnegie School of Education is a part of the nationally-recognised National Award for Special Educational Needs (SEN) Coordination Provider Group and we have a large cohort each year of teachers who complete the Special Educational Needs Coordination postgraduate course. 

“We have also recently launched the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. Our aim is to strengthen the mental health of the next generation by supporting schools to make a positive change at all levels of the UK's education system, thereby improving outcomes and life chances. Our provision will focus on evidence-based solutions which address schools', pupils and parents/carers needs and the development of a professional community of school mental health experts; and leading innovation within the area.”      

Callum Wetherill, Specialist SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Consultant at Vision for Education, “As a parent and former teacher of children and young people with SEND, I am very aware of the limited opportunities for specialist schools and provisions to get involved in sport, particularly alongside their mainstream partners. 

“Whether it is a shortage of funding to pay for equipment, a narrowed curriculum that limits time for non-core subjects or a lack of planning time to arrange an event, many settings just don't get the opportunity to celebrate the sporting talents of so many of their pupils. Physical activity can be such a strong area for many students and an opportunity to maintain a healthy well-being in an often stressful school environment. 

“Here at Vision for Education, we are proud to offer these opportunities for young people to showcase their many talents. The Vision Shield is a celebration of inclusive sport in Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and we hope it is just the beginning of an event which will run for many years. 

“We are proud to work in partnership with the Carnegie School of Education, an organisation that puts pupils’ mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of all that they do. Also, a big thank you to Jill Newboult at Abbey School and Kayleigh Dunwell at Springwell Learning Community - who without their support this event wouldn't have been possible.”

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