Patoss 2023 Virtual Annual Conference & AGM: Bringing Current Research into Practice: SASC Authorised

In 2023 we will once again be holding our Annual Conference virtually. Keynote: Professor Jessie Ricketts - 'Reading in adolescence: What do we know and what can we do?'

Delegates have the opportunity to access all seminars THREE WEEKS before the day, with our speakers participating in a live Q & A follow-up panel on the conference day.


Each year some of the top SpLD specialists in their given profession come together for our Annual Conference. Held on Saturday 22nd April 2023, Professor Jessie Ricketts will deliver the keynote speech 'Reading in adolescence: What do we know and what can we do?' 

As a run-up to the conference day we are making all six seminars available to all delegates three weeks in advance, so you have the opportunity to watch them all before the day and submit questions to be put to the speakers in live Q&A sessions in the afternoon of the conference. The seminars will not be shown live at the conference, but our speakers will be present at the event on the 22nd for live Question Time panel sessions with delegates.

The keynote address will be presented on 22nd April with a live Q&A session with Professor Ricketts following.

Recordings from the day, along with all the seminar recordings, will be available on the conference page for three weeks after the conference. Delegates will be given access to the conference page by the admin team via a special link three weeks before, or when they book the conference.

Using the conference platform, you will also be able to network with other delegates, interact with sponsors and exhibitors and meet virtually with other attendees whose interests match yours with our improved networking service.

Keynote Address

Professor Jessie Ricketts - 'Reading in adolescence: What do we know and what can we do?'

Despite a widespread assumption that children can read when they leave primary education, nearly 20% of adolescents are not able to read simple texts accurately and with understanding. Most research on reading has focused on children and adults, neglecting the intervening adolescent period. In this presentation, I will present research on reading development in adolescence, exploring its link to spoken vocabulary knowledge, socio-economic status and the period when students transition from primary to secondary school. I will also introduce research evaluating our novel approach for promoting the amount that adolescents read in secondary school. Finally, I will summarise work that I have conducted with secondary schools on the identification of reading needs, and alignment of these needs with support and interventions.


Understanding Orthography: Reading and Spelling do Involve the Eyes! (SASC Authorised)  -  Dr Nancy Mather

The purpose of this session is to explain how difficulties mastering English orthography impact both reading and spelling development. In the broadest sense, orthography refers to the components of the writing system of a language, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and spelling patterns and rules. Orthographic processing is how the brain acquires orthographic knowledge including forming, storing, and accurately and rapidly retrieving individual letters and spelling patterns. In this session, Dr Mather will: (a) clarify terminology related to orthography, (b) review the characteristics of poor orthographic processing, (c) review ways to assess orthographic processing and knowledge, and (d) discuss appropriate accommodations and interventions. Participants will understand how orthographic knowledge is related to dyslexia and why it is so difficult for some children to acquire this knowledge. Student writing samples will be used to illustrate problems with the mastery of orthography. Difficulty developing reading and spelling skills does involve the eyes! 

The Pivotal Role of Orthographic Knowledge when Learning to Read and Spell. Evidence from Research and the Implications for Practice - Dr Sharon McMurray

Since the government made systematic synthetic phonics compulsory in England there has been a growing emphasis on phonics teaching at phoneme level only, in the wider UK. This is not problematic, except in cases where phoneme level intervention is seen as an alternative to, or in opposition with, coarse grain level sounds, in particular patterns and sequences at the intra-syllabic (onset and rime) level. Onset and rime patterns facilitate the development of orthographic knowledge. They also reduce the working memory demands of short-term temporary storage in complex processing tasks such as decoding and encoding. Without this teaching, children who have orthographic processing and/or working memory difficulties are seriously disadvantaged. Indeed, Georgiou et al 2021 suggest that individuals with dyslexia experience an orthographic deficit that is as large as that of phonological awareness and automatised naming. This presentation considers research conducted by Dr McMurray and the practical implications of her findings for the teaching of reading and spelling.

Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties - a Conversation between Judy Hornigold and Pete Jarrett

In this conversation we aim to look at the history of dyscalculia, how we have used our understanding of cognition and the learning environment to place dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties in a pragmatic framework, but recognising the need for research, improved awareness, and appropriate intervention.

Currently dyscalculia, and indeed wider difficulties with maths, are poorly understood and grossly under-identified. We will look at the reasons for this from a systemic and local level, from government policy to teacher training, to raising awareness within a school. We also need to build a professional workforce suitably qualified to assess. We will discuss the need for more assessors, what professionalisation may look like in the future and the steps we need to take on this journey.

Finally, we will address the need for a strategic approach to identification and intervention, including screening and what works for learners with differing profiles.

Executive Functions and their relationship to specific identified diagnoses (SASC Authorised) - Dr Rebecca Ashton

In a departure from the usual style of conference presentations, Rebecca Ashton will lead you through a series of short modules exploring the concept of executive functioning and how it might contribute to our understanding of some diagnostic labels including ADHD, autism, dyslexia and dyscalculia.  While none of these conditions can be wholly explained by executive functioning difficulties, Rebecca will look at which aspects of EF are implicated in each of these diagnoses.  Some examples of what an assessor might look for in terms of EF difficulties will be given, and a broad overview of possible intervention approaches for the EF aspects of a child’s diagnosis.  This set of applied modules is part of the wider Executive Functions: Connecting Into Practice course available from

Development of Writing Assessment Tools for Children and Young People (SASC Authorised) - Prof Anna Barnett and Dr Nichola Stuart

Writing and transcription skills (handwriting and typing) are critical throughout education and in employment. The use of robust assessment tools contributes to the identification of and support for individuals with writing and transcription difficulties. In this seminar we provide updates on practical ways to assess the speed and legibility of handwriting and to evaluate written composition skills. The new Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting – 2nd Edition (DASH-2) will be reviewed. We will also consider how DASH scripts can be used to obtain information on broader aspects of legibility and writing quality. Application of the Handwriting Legibility Scale and Writing Quality Scale with scripts from 14-25 year olds will be examined. The presentation of case studies will illustrate how this suite of tools provide a practical and holistic assessment of writing and transcription, useful for intervention planning. Finally, we will outline the development of a new assessment of typing skill.

Should we Assess and Train Learning and Study Strategies? - Dr Cecil R Reynolds

Research for more than 50 years in educational and related areas of psychology has demonstrated repeatedly that students who engage in strategic learning and test-taking perform at higher levels academically than those who do not.  Academic achievement levels can be improved significantly by improving the study skills, learning, reading comprehension, test-taking, and related strategies of learners at all ages and is effective with both regular and special education students.  Many students will not develop them, and yet these are all skills that can be taught.  Minority and lower SES students are less likely to have these skills without instruction. These skills are critical to success in learning. These skills are even more critical as learning becomes more self-driven and independent with less structured supervision as is common in virtual environments and advanced studies.

Such key skills and strategies can be well measured via the School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory (SMALSI), a scale developed for use with students from 8 years of age through college. Clear assessment allows us to maximize instructional time by targeting areas of deficiency in individual pupils with evidence-based techniques for remediating measured deficiencies.

Exclusive Extras on Conference Platform

We are pleased to have three experienced practitioners who have contributed to supporting dyslexic people to share the lessons they have learnt over the years with us:

  • Angie Wilkins who at 93 has been a leading practitioner teacher and trainer at the Carroll School in Boston USA. She was the President of the Orton-Gillingham Academy, and has wide experience in teaching approaches ranging from Orton-Gillingham, Project Read, and Structure Word inquiry. Her teaching experience ranges from children to adults, from schools to prisons, and she is still teaching adults from an ESL background, she has also embraced zoom and teaching adults living in Eastern Europe.
  • Jackie Murry trained on the first RSA teacher training course to train teachers to teach dyslexic learners with Violet Brand, she is an Educational Psychologist who is still assessing today and has a wealth of assessment experience. She was previously the Head Teacher of Fairley House school in London. Until recently, she ran the OCR courses at the school.
  • Jennie Price is a qualified specialist teacher and assessor who worked for the Educational Psychology Specialist Support Service, she also ran the OCR specialist courses in teaching and assessing dyslexic learners and was an external verifier. She has conducted many training courses for PATOSS and has a wealth of experience in assessment which she will be sharing with us.

The purposes of these talks are for the attendees of the conference to listen to very experienced practitioners to help inform both teaching and assessment practice. These short talks are available for the two days that the conference platform is open before the conference begins.

Additional Information

CPD Values/Certificate

Please note the conference will give you 8 hours general and 3.75 hours SASC Authorised CPD - a total of 11.75 hours. Certificates will be sent electronically at the end of the conference day.

Exhibitors, Sponsors and Suppliers

You can visit the multiple exhibitors virtually.  A list of exhibitors and principle sponsors is shown on the website so you can be sure not to miss out. Most exhibitors have special offers for delegates on the day.

Annual General Meeting

Our Patoss AGM will be held during the lunch break. It is your opportunity to come along and see what we've been up to and ask any questions. Attendance is optional.


In the conference platform users can connect to other delegates through the list of attendees, see who else is attending and make connections if they wish. This area has been much improved this year. Attendees can decide which other attendees they will share their data with.

Resources and Materials

Take the opportunity to look at and order books from many of the exhibiting retailers.

What else you get with your conference booking . . . 

Other than coming away with a raft of new information and having built fantastic networks, Patoss provides attendees with comprehensive notes covering all presentations, seminars and workshops in the form of a conference book which will be posted to you in advance of the conference day. 


Please note: delegates will be able to visit the platform on 20th & 21st April to network, visit exhibitor stands and acqauint themselves with the conference site, access bonus conference content.

22 April 2023


Conference platform opens for networking and visiting exhibitors


Exhibitor videos linked to conference content

10.30 - 10.45

Conference opens – Introduction by Lynn Greenwold


 Keynote address by Professor Jessie Ricketts




Live Q & A with Professor Jessie Ricketts

12.45 - 2.00 

Lunch break: Networking opportunities during lunch along with Exhibitor presentations

1.15 - 1.45


2.00 - 2.30

Live Question Time Panel: Pete Jarrett, Judy Hornigold, Anna Barnett, Nichola Stuart, Moderator: Liz Horobin

2.30 - 2.40


2.40 - 3.10

Live Question Time Panel: Nancy Mather, Sharon McMurray, Rebecca Ashton, Cecil Reynolds. Moderator: Kevin Smith

3.10 – 3.20


3.20 - 4.00

Annual update from CEO

4.00 - 4.10


4.10 - 5.00

Themed Networking Groups - Primary, Secondary, FE, HE, and Local Groups

You will have access to all the recordings for three weeks following the conference whether you attend live or not.

Be Part of the Conference!

Our conference platform is open two days prior to conference. We aim to bring research to our members. 

What we request from research students: A webinar which has practical implication for either assessment or teaching which can inform members of up-to-date research.

For full details of how you can take part, click here

What 2022 Conference Delegates said . . .

About the Let'sGetDigital platform:

  • It was very straightforward, even without the guides - but the guides were useful if I was to encounter any difficulties.
  • Clear instructions and screenshots provided in advance to anticipate any difficulties.  Interface was accessible.
  • Everything was explained fully and I did not feel there were any problems finding my way round.
  • Very clear instructions given by email prior to the event and on the home page.

About having the seminars three weeks in advance: 

  • Really helped because I have auditory processing difficulties so it was so much easier for me to take in the information - very much appreciated thank you. 
  • I was able to watch one beforehand and it is super to know I can access the other talks over the next couple of weeks.
  • So grateful to be able to watch in my own time and take breaks
  • I have found it really helpful to have the flexibility to watch the seminars in advance individually.  This has allowed me review parts of the presentations as and when needed - really useful to help maintain concentration!
  • It was so wonderful to have the seminars available before the event as I could read through and assimilate the information beforehand. 
  • It was very useful to watch before, so that the Q and A was more relevant and useful
  • Being able to pause and make notes was invaluable, and doing some independent research and reading mid-session helped e.g. the assessment tools or research papers mentioned in the presentations.  Also, no fatigue on the day. As well I could watch all sessions, rather than a selected few.

Terms & Conditions/Cancellation

Please note, this training must be paid in full before access is given to the webinar. By submitting a booking, you are agreeing to pay Patoss Ltd within 30 days. You are also agreeing to accept our Cancellation/Transfer Policy and Terms and Conditions which are shown at the bottom of the website page 

Delegates will be responsible for ensuring that they have suitable Wi-Fi, hardware and software to enable them to view the webinar.


Sheila Rostill, Webinar Administrator


T:   07956 644 786

When & Where

Show Past Events

Cancellation/Transfer Policy

Exhibitors' & Advertisers Zone

SASC Blue Block

3.75 Hours

For those professionals seeking to update an Assessment Practising Certificate, this event will contribute 3.75 hours to the core assessment practice CPD requirements.

What is SASC?

as well as . . .


8 Hours

If you need help booking your event(s) please refer to our useful How to Book a Course Guide


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