Professor Amanda Kirby has an international reputation in the field of Neurodiversity. She is a trustee of the ADHD Foundation, working closely with the BDA, Dyspraxia Foundation and several Autism charities. She has written 8 books, more than 100 research papers in the field and is an emeritus Professor at the University of South Wales. She is a parent of neurodivergent children and grandchildren, and a GP.
Holding a PhD in emerging adulthood in neurodiversity, she founded and ran a clinical and research team for fifteen years relating to neurodiversity. She delivers the first UK accredited course on Neurodiversity in the Workplace and has developed the Neurodiversity Aware Standard with the ADHD Foundation. She is the CEO of Do-IT Solutions, who are Disability Confident Leaders. Do-IT is an innovative tech for good company providing web-based screening and assessment tools relating to neurodiversity for all ages. She has been voted nationally UK GP of the Year.
Dame Christine Lenehan, DBE
Council for Disabled Children
Christine began her career as a social worker in 1980 working with children and their families in specialist roles in both residential and community settings.
In 2000 Christine joined the Council for Disabled Children, part of National Children’s Bureau and became Director in 2003. Last year she carried out Reviews for both the Department of Health and Department for Education, into the treatment of children with significant needs and the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges. Both Reviews received a very positive response from Government, and implementation of their recommendations is likely to make a significant impact on practice in this area and the experiences of the children and young people affected.
In 2009 Christine was awarded an OBE for services for disabled children and young people and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. In 2016 she was awarded a Damehood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in recognition of her outstanding work for disabled children and young and those with special educational needs spanning over 35 years.
SEN and Disability Professional Adviser
Department for Education (DfE)
Since April 2010, André has worked as the DfE SEN and disability professional adviser, contributing to a range of policy developments, in particular the Children and Families Act. André has been a teacher and educational psychologist and held a number of practitioner and leadership roles in local authorities. He was a regional director in the National SEN Adviser team and was an adviser to the Lamb Inquiry into parental confidence.
Headteacher/NAHT National Executive Member
Over 25 years, Marijke Miles has worked with young people with SEND in many different contexts and sectors. Currently Headteacher of Baycroft School, a school for secondary aged students with learning difficulties and autism, she was previously Headteacher of Prospect School, a secondary school for boys with SEMH. Both have become known as centres for excellence for supporting young people and their families, as well as training units for student social workers from the Universities of Chichester and Winchester. She is known for her innovative practice which has featured in several books.
As Chair of the NAHT SEND Council and a member of the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education she contributes intellectual and moral advocacy into SEND practice, provision and strategy.
Head of content
Tes SEN Show
Beverley has over 17 years’ senior management experience of the education sector, focusing on special educational needs and disability (SEND). She is responsible for the Tes SEN Show’s content strategy and structure across all 42 seminars, parent and carer forum presentations and exhibitor workshops. Beverley is passionate about raising awareness of SEN and has a wealth of knowledge and experience of the SEN sector.
As a member of the senior leadership team at nasen for over 10 years, Beverley has worked alongside colleagues at the DfE leading the development of the SEND Gateway, which was launched in 2014, managed the delivery of professional development nationally to meet the needs of a variety of education settings and supported the work of Council for Disabled Children on government funded projects. She has worked with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to promote UK SEN expertise abroad and has been a member of the organising committee of the quinquennial Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress (ISEC) Glasgow 2005, Belfast 2010 and Portugal 2015.
Beverley is SEN Governor of a local primary school in inner city Birmingham and mum to a wonderful young man who inspires her to keep learning.