2016 Autisms got Talent performers announced!!!

2016 Autisms got Talent performers announced!!!

Congratulations to all the 2016 Autism’s Got Talent performers !!!

As ever, it’s been such a difficult job selecting the final acts for May 7 to perform at Mermaid Theatre London. Doors open at 6.00 pm

We love to showcase a huge variety of performers that are out there and this year is no exception.  We have singers, dancers, drummers,violinist, magician ,harpist to name a few.  In previous years we have had a stand-up performer, young author, acclaimed ballet dancer, opera singers. This year the talent entries were totally mind blowing and we have included acts from overseas Sweden, Croatia, US , Canada and across the UK.

AGT Performers Final 2016

Click here to see performers

 We are pleased to announce that Robin Windsor , Jake Wood will be returning to present some of our performers.
Tickets now available please email lisa.robins@thevines.org.uk for a ticket form or contact the office 01895 619736. Book Early to avoid disappointment!
Disability Equality in School

Disability Equality in School

There is no doubt that many teachers understand how disability equality can be promoted in school. That said, many teachers have told AKO that more could be done to promote understanding and awareness.
To assist in meeting this challenge The Equality and Human Rights Commission are reaching out to teachers by “developing a new e-learning course for teachers to help meet the rights of disabled learners under the reasonable adjustments duty’ provides a clear message about the rights of disabled people, and the duty of the provide”.
Any teachers interested in registering an interest in the course should follow this link:
It is not clear whether the course is available to non-teaching staff in schools, but one would assume that anyone who had an interest in the subject and was involved in education could pursue the course.
29th January, 2016
So here we are, at the start of a new year

So here we are, at the start of a new year

Ryan and AnnaSo here we are, at the start of a new year, I’ve been reflecting on 2015 and what a busy year it was, especially the final month.

On Monday, the16th of November, I uploaded ‘Tomorrow’ – A video for anti bulling week. Within the first week of it being uploaded, the video had a few hundred views. This was the most I expected.

Five days later, I switched on the christmas house lights, in Lancing way, Croxley green. They raise money every year for various charities and I have had the honour of helping them and performing there for many years before. This year they were raising money for Anna Kennedy Online & London Air Ambulance.

A week had passed since ‘Tomorrow’ was uploaded. We had a phone call from the Daily Mail, asking if they could do an interview about the video, my work with Anna Kennedy Online and my experience of bullying. That’s when everything went crazy!

As soon as the article went online, The video had 1000 views, 2000, 3000. Next thing I know, I’m taking by private car to be interviewed on BBC Radio 5 live! This then led to going on the news at London Live TV with Anna. The video went viral and it was published on websites such as The Mirror Online, Huffington Post, Metro, Cosmopolitan, to name but a few. It was now trending #1 on Facebook and over 335k views on the video!

A matter of days later, was the autism glitterball – another one of AKO’s extremely successful events! I had the pleasure of filming the event as well as performing with Mitch Winehouse.

Shortly after this, Anna and I were in London yet again, to meet with Boris Johnson at the Theatre Royal, promoting the charity Mousetrap, and were interviewed by The Evening Standard. Two days later we were talking at an all day conference with Inside Government about anti-bullying at Caledonian House in Hyde park! We were working with headteachers, and local authorities to try and promote autism awareness and anti bullying strategies. So, all in all, not a bad week for a 14 year old!

With the spirit of christmas upon us, came a wonderful afternoon at Kilmarnock Horse Rescue stables for Autism Support Crawley families. This enabled local autistic children and their families to enjoy a couple of hours out enjoying horse rides and a visit from father christmas.

Our last trip to London involved a fantastic U2 tribute act, performing to raise money for Mencap. Anna and I went along to support this event and I was asked to be photographer for the evening

Aaaaand relax!


2015 has been an amazing year for me. There’s an endless list of people I’d like to thank, but I’d especially like to thank my amazing, supportive mum and friend, Jo and Anna, who’ve made my year so superb!


Here’s to another exciting year!

Governance Handbook

Governance Handbook

In late November, 2015 the Department of Education published the: Governance handbook for trustees of academies and multiacademy trusts and governors of maintained schools.
A copy of this document can be found here:
As its title suggests, the 114 pages document “sets out the government’s vision and priorities for effective school governance, and: 
  • outlines the core role and functions of the board of governors in maintained schools and academies (“the board”);
  • summarises and provides a first point of reference on all the legal duties on boards, signposting to more detailed information, guidance and resources; and
  • provides information on the support available to boards to be effective”
In relation to disability and equality, the guidance is frankly disappointing and readers may be better served by looking at the publications by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The coverage of Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a little better (paras 34 – 49) and should be read by not only governors but teachers and parents.
Sean Kennedy


Carers of Disabled Children Who are not Parents.

Carers of Disabled Children Who are not Parents.

The Children and Families Act 2014 created a new category of carer, the Parent Carer – defined as people with parental responsibility looking after disabled children.  Local authorities are required to assess parent carers on the ‘appearance of need’ i.e. if it appears to a local authority that a parent carer may have needs for support (or an assessment is requested by the parent). When the assessment is complete the local authority must decide whether the parent needs support.
 This is all straightforward (or should be).
But what about a person who is an unpaid carer of a disabled child but is not a parent? The Children and Families Act 2014 makes no mention of such a person. Some unpaid non-parent carers who have contacted annakennedyonline claim that their local has said, because they are not parents, that they are not entitled to an assessment and support along the lines mentioned above.  This is not true and could well be an innocent mistake
Section 1 The Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 has not been repealed and this provides for the assessment of non-parent carers of disabled children. Hence the obligations local authorities have towards non parent carers are effectively the same as those owed to parent carers.
Sean Kennedy
Month: January 2016