The Labelling Lurgy with Abigail Hawkins

Labels tell you a lot and yet nothing at the same time. They can lead to stereotyping, discrimination and negative attitudes but they also facilitate support and understanding of a child’s needs. Labels have their uses, but they also have a checklist tick box type mentality attached to them.

“It is somewhere to start from as long as it doesn’t get boiled down to a checklist of five items because we still need to recognise that everybody is an individual within that possibility of that label.”

Abigail Hawkins

In this week’s podcast Abigail Hawkins, join Dale to discuss ‘The Labelling Lurgy’ where we highlight the pros and cons of labels. During our discussion we cover the 3 levels of labels:

  • Census
  • 4 broad areas of need
  • Diagnostic

Labels can be useful tools in understanding and supporting neurodiverse children, but they shouldn’t be used to define or limit them – listen to find out more…

Useful Links

Learning without Labels








Abigail Hawkins

About Abigail Hawkins

Abigail runs SENDCOSolutions, an SEN consultancy and SENsible SENCO CIC, a not-for-profit networking support group.  She has been a SENCO for over 25 years and has taught a multitude of subjects across all phases from 2-year-olds to adults. 

She works with software companies developing supportive software for SEN and Safeguarding purposes, has developed and delivers on a teaching assistant apprenticeship programme, authored several books on SEN and exclusions and runs a support network for over 9000 SENCOs. 

Until recently, she was the Chair of Governors for 3 schools in the East Midlands and she still works as a SENCO for part of her week.  Abigail has a no-nonsense, practical approach to SEN issues faced by schools.

Abigail was one of the three lead voices on a series of SEN webinars delivered over the lockdowns amassing an audience of over 12000 viewers and she uses modern approaches to share SEN-related information including a successful YouTube channel. 

Contact Abigail

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