The President and President Elect on the DECP Annual Conference

This is a joint post from Professor Peter Kinderman, President Elect, and Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, the President.

The DECP (Division of Educational Psychology) held its annual conference at the Holiday Inn Hotel London Bloomsbury last week. It is thought to have been a first for both the President and the President Elect to attend.

Peter Kinderman writes:

"I attended the conference on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The theme for this year was 'inclusivity'. This related not only to the protection of children, in that the conference was entitled 'Towards an inclusive psychology; do labels and diagnoses help or hinder?', but also to our shared aspirations for closer links between the branches of applied psychology.

"The conference was an enormous success. I believe both the conference and my keynote address (many thanks to DECP for inviting me) addressed these two ambitions and, I am reliably informed, made a positive impression on colleagues from the Department for Education and Skills."

Jamie Hacker Hughes writes:

"I attended the conference on the Thursday and attended a very useful symposium on 'Beyond Labelling' before the lunchtime AGM at which Vivian Hill succeeded Charmian Hobbs as Chair. There were also useful discussions about the Society's structural review and about the Divisional journal, and its future.

"Andre Imich, SEN and disability professional adviser, Department for Education and Skills, addressed the conference on the progress of the government's SEN reforms and the role that educational psychologists are playing within it.

"Dr Dawn Harper and Dr Ravi Jayaram, seen in the photograph, talked about their experiences of making the programme 'Born Naughty' and discussed the role which the media plays in bringing complex needs of childhood to a wider audience."

Both felt that the conference was an excellent example of how applied psychologists can be: authoritative professionals, explaining their day-to-day work helping children and young people to solve problems in their lives; innovative scientists, exploring both the causes of those problems and evaluating the interventions; and champions of social justice, campaigning for better services and public understanding of difficult issues.