Speakers 2018

Find out about all the speakers at this year's show.

Kay Al-Ghani, Consultant, Autism Train

Kay Al-Ghani is a specialist advisory teacher, autism trainer and inclusion consultant with over 35 years’ experience in education. Kay is a part-time lecturer at Brighton University delivering their Post Graduate Certificate in autism. Kay has designed and presented a range of training to professionals, parents and students. Kay is the author of ASD-related books including 'The Red Beast: Controlling anger in children with Asperger Syndrome' and 'The Panicosaurus: managing anxiety in children'. She is also a writer of children’s books, illustrated by her son, Haitham, who has high functioning autism.

Carol Allen, Senior Advisory Consultant ICT and Inclusion

Carol Allen is an education advisor for ICT and inclusion. She has taught since 1980 in both mainstream schools – primary and high, and schools for students with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. Recognising, as an English specialist, that communication lies at the heart of all effective teaching, the majority of her work has centred on creative and engaging use of technology to support communication in its widest sense. Carol works in partnership with many companies in the educational technology field as she holds a strong belief in sharing and collaboration across all participants in order to maximise the potential opportunities for her students. All work centres on easy to replicate practice which is fun, achievable and creates communication enhancement opportunities. Recent workshops and keynotes include presentations at ATIA Florida, Denmark, BETT 2017, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Australia. Carol is list owner for sld-forum, an international mailing list for practitioners and educators interested in the effective teaching and learning for those with complex barriers to learning. Currently looking at the impact of mobile technologies on inclusive practice, she is working with a zoo to produce some very different learning opportunities for the staff, school and family visitors and some of the animals themselves!

Victor Allen, Behaviour Consultant, specialising in emotional intelligence and mental security, Mirror Development & Training Ltd

‘A keen advocate of the development of social and emotional intelligence for staff and students within the school setting.’ For the past 15 years, Victor has worked as a freelance consultant in the educational, charitable and business sectors dealing with behaviour and leadership issues. Victor advises and teaches on improving all aspects of emotional and social intelligence with both staff and students and is a regular keynote speaker for conferences. During the last two years he has created and developed a mental security programme which is being used in schools to assist in the building of social and emotional resilience and coping strategies for students in primary, secondary, independent and special schools. Victor is the author of ‘Supporting Behaviour through Emotional Intelligence’, Critical Publishing 2014 and has published articles in the Tes on behaviour and leadership. Within the education sector he mentors and coaches for headteachers, middle and aspiring leaders as they develop their leadership skills and deal with difficult situations. Victor also coaches and mentors trainee teachers and NQTs in a variety of schools and universities and provides support and supervision for all members of staff within schools. He is also working with the Queens Trust in supporting the CEOs and staff of some of the top major charities which are supported by the Queen.

Joe Baldwin, eTwinning ambassador, British Council, and director of learner services, Bridgend College, British Council and Bridgend College

Joe started at Bridgend College in December 2017 as director of learner services. Joe currently has strategic lead for ALN transformation and implementation for the college, Welsh Language Standards, equality and diversity and is the designated safeguarding and prevent lead. Joe’s portfolio includes Learner Services, work-related activity, additional learning support and wellbeing, library services, the college day nursery and Weston House, our specialist residential provision for young people aged 16-25 with complex additional learning needs. Prior to Joe’s role at Bridgend College he lead learning support services for a large college in England with responsibility for additional learning support funding and the implementation of the SEND reforms, having previously taught young people with additional learning and complex behaviour needs. Joe is a qualified teacher with a Masters in Special and Inclusive Education and is part of the executive team for the National Association of Managers of Student Services (NAMSS). Joe also sits as part of the Welsh Government ALN Transformation post-16 expert group and on the South Wales Prevent panel.

Maureen Banda, Regional strategic lead (London), Learning Disability Programme, NHS England

Maureen Banda worked in the private and public sector, both in hospital and community settings, in child and adolescent mental health, before joining NHS England in 2014 in specialised commissioning of children and young people going into CAMHS T4 units. Maureen now works in the National Team, focusing particularly on children with a learning disability and/or autism. Maureen has consolidated her working experience with CAMHS training at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and City University, having started off training as a paediatric nurse. Maureen is passionate about seeing transformation in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, supporting clinical commissioning groups in health, to engage and commission jointly with social care and education, and work closely with clinicians on the ground to support workforce training and better understand the needs of our children.

David Bartram, Education consultant, Prescient Education

David Bartram has visited and worked with over 300 schools. David led on SEND at the London Leadership Strategy and currently works with a number of multi-academy trusts as their consultant SEND advisor. He is a regular speaker at national and international conferences and works closely with the British Council to support the development of SEND policy overseas. This has included working with the governments of Ethiopia, Thailand and Malaysia to support SEND policy development. David is co-author of the SEND Review Guide, a national peer-review framework that has now been downloaded by over 4,000 schools. David has led outstanding SEND provision in London schools for over 15 years and was awarded an OBE for services to special educational needs and disability in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list. David has also recently published 'Great Expectations: Leading an Effective SEND Strategy in School' available through Amazon.

Helen Battelley, Education Consultant, Music + Movement

Helen is an internationally renowned consultant, trainer and speaker in Physical Development/movement in early education. Her training style is energetic, passionate and highly motivational. She has been working as a dance and movement specialist for over 19 years and continues to work directly with children. Helen was fundamental in the creation and release of Change4life’s ’10 Min shake up cards’.

Joy Beaney, Consultant, Autism Train

Joy Beaney MA has many years’ experience in both mainstream and special education. During her career she has been an assistant head at a special school and manager of an inclusion support service that provided staff training and support for children with autism in mainstream schools. Joy lectures at Brighton University delivering their Postgraduate Certificate in Autism. Joy has published books including 'Autism in the Primary Classroom', 'Autism in the Secondary Classroom' and 'Creating Autism Champions'. Joy set up ‘Autism Train’, which promotes and shares best practice through providing training on aspects of autism.

Caroline Bennett, Assistant director for social care, Council for Disabled Children

Caroline is the assistant director for Social Care at the Council for Disabled Children. She is a key player in ensuring the success of CDC’s social care training programmes which look at the links between recent changes in SEND legislation and supporting young people as they prepare for adulthood. She has led on work with an inclusive theatre group to develop a suite of training related to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 including supported decision making and deprivation of liberty. For several years, Caroline was the director of a community interest company that she set up to support young people with autism to engage in outdoor adventure activities. She also has an NVQ 5 in Leadership and Management in health and social care services for children and young people, and she was previously the CQC registered manager of a short break outreach service in a local authority. Caroline has volunteered and worked with disabled children and young people since she was 16 and continues to support a family during her spare time. Her experience of supporting families to navigate existing support systems has allowed her to see how challenging this system can be both for families and the professionals working within it. Caroline is passionate about using her wealth of experience to change and improve outcomes for children and young people.

Charlotte Bjerregaard, Psychologist, Soehestemad.dk

Charlotte Bjerregaard has a BSc Hons. in Psychology from London Guildhall University and an MSc in psychology from Copenhagen University. She also obtained the national certification for practising psychologists from Danish Authorities in 2004. Furthermore, she has taken several different specialised training courses and seminars in therapeutic work with children, adolescents and families both in Denmark (DISPUK) and England (Marlborough Family Service, Anna Freud Center). She has worked for 6 years in the public sector, primarily in schools in Denmark with children and families and is the co-founder of Familie Psykologisk Praksis, a private clinic offering therapy and assessment to families and children in Copenhagen.

Kate Browning, Independent education consultant , School Improvement for SEND

Kate is passionately committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND. She has worked as a SENCo and local authority school improvement officer for SEN and interim education development officer for nasen. Kate now works as an independent consultant working with teaching school alliances, MATs, LAs and individual schools to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND. She also teaches the National Award for SEN Coordination and facilitates SENCo networks across the Midlands. She is an associate consultant for nasen, an expert advisor for The Key and chair of governors of a large junior school.

Pat Bullen, Regional SEND lead and Preparing for Adulthood Regional Facilitator, NDTi

Pat has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, headteacher and senior education leader having qualified in 1984 to teach children with severe learning difficulties. For the last 5 years, Pat has worked as an independent educational consultant. Pat holds a contract to lead the Leicester City SEND Regional reforms role until March 2018. She has trained SENCOs across England in primary and secondary phases, in nasen's 'Whole school approach to increasing access, participation and inclusion' over the last two years. She acted as nasen education officer from October 2013-October 2014. Since summer 2015,Pat has joined the NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion) as an associate consultant contributing to the national ‘Delivering Better Outcomes Together' SEND leadership course. Since April 2016, she has been a member of the NDTi hosted ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ team. Pat is a school improvement adviser for SEND in Leicester City, as an associate consultant. Pat has also served as a governor, as a member of staff, as a community and LA governor, and as a parent governor in six different local authority areas for over 30 years.

Steve Chinn, Independent consultant

Steve Chinn was founder and principal of Mark College, Somerset. During his 19 years of setting up and running Mark College it was awarded Beacon School Status by the DfE, the first Award for Excellence by the Independent Schools' Association, and a National Training Award. Steve was a co-founder and then Chair of CReSTeD. He was Chair of the BDA’s 3rd International Conference and received the BDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Steve is a visiting professor at the University of Derby. He has lectured and provided INSET and CPD in over 30 countries worldwide (including consultancy for the MOE in Singapore) and at many major conferences. He set up the UK’s first PG course for maths and dyslexia, accredited by the BDA for an AMBDA (Numeracy). The course was delivered for 4 years under Mark College's Beacon School funding. As well as writing maths books, worksheets and tests, Steve has contributed chapters to many books, including 'Dyslexia and Mathematics' the first UK book on this topic. He has also published many papers, and articles. The first edition of ‘The Trouble with Maths’ won a TES/nasen award in 2004. The 3rd edition was published in 2016. The 4th edition of his ‘seminal’ book, ‘Mathematics for Dyslexics and Dyscalculics’ was published in 2017. ‘More Trouble with Maths’, now in 2nd edition, is a comprehensive manual, including tests, for diagnosing mathematical learning difficulties and dyscalculia. His latest project was catch-up materials for Numicon/OUP ’Big Ideas’. www.stevechinn.co.uk

Beverley Cockbill, Training Coordinator in Complex Learning Needs, Chadsgrove Teaching School

Bev is training co-ordinator in complex learning needs for Chadsgrove Teaching School, and has worked in the field of special educational needs for eighteen years. Previously, she worked for SSAT (The Schools Network) Ltd as training co-ordinator for complex learning needs and as a research and development assistant on the Department for Education-funded Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. In addition, Bev has been an assistant teacher and structured teaching advisor/trainer within a residential school offering 38/42-week education and 52-week care to children aged 6–19 years with severe and complex learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorder. Bev lectures and delivers training for children and for adults with complex learning difficulties and disabilities in schools and care provision across the UK and internationally. She has published articles and contributed to the Teaching Agency’s ‘Training Materials for Teachers of Learners with Severe, Profound and Complex Learning Difficulties’.

Laurie Cornwell, Executive Headteacher , Orchard Hill Academy

Laurie Cornwell has worked in a secondary comprehensive mainstream school for many years as a PE teacher. For 7 years Laurie has been headteacher of an alternative provision for students who cannot attend school for a variety of reasons: predominantly permanent exclusion. In the last three years Laurie has been executive headteacher of the same alternative provision and a secondary special school for students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties under the Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust. Lauire is passionate about the education of young people and firmly believes that all young people can achieve their life goals given the right education and support. Lauire is a champion of the restorative and reflective approach believing that punitive methods to deal with behaviour further traumatises children and stymies their progress and development.

Jo Dilworth, SEN consultant, London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and TRUSTnet

Jo Dilworth has been LGfL’s SEN consultant for four years and helps procure, develop and spread awareness about LGfL’s and TRUSTnet’s SEND and inclusion resources. Jo has taught in both mainstream and specialist schools and has personal experience of supporting children with SEND at home. She helps to facilitate local family support groups for parents and carers of girls with autism and of learners in specialist provisions. Jo runs free training and support for LGfL and TRUSTnet schools and can be contacted via the LGfL stand or inclusion@lgfl.net.

Pam Enderby, Emeritus Professor, Professor of Community Rehabilitation, University of Sheffield

Pam Enderby is emeritus professor of community rehabilitation at the University of Sheffield. She qualified as a speech and language therapist in 1970 and combined research with clinical practice. She worked in the NHS in London and Bristol where she set up the Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit. In 1995 she moved to Sheffield to a combined NHS and University research post. She has held the positions of head of deaprtment and dean of the Faculty of Medicine. She has been the clinical director of the South Yorkshire Comprehensive Local Research Network (09-12) and in 2012-14 was chair of the Sheffield HealthWatch. Pam is currently on the board of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and president elect of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. She is author of 14 books and has published 200 peer-reviewed journal articles. Her areas of research interest include: outcome measurement, assessment, evaluation of rehabilitation and speech and language therapy. She was awarded a fellowship of the College of Speech Therapists, was honoured with an MBE for services to speech and language therapy. A DSc was awarded by the University of the West of England in 2000. In 2012 she was recipient of the Robin Tavistock award for her contribution to Aphasia research and recently (2016) presented the Bipin Bhakta distinguished scholar lecture to the Society for Research in Rehabilitation and the Princess Margaret lecture to the UK Stroke Forum.

Danielle Foakes, Speech and language therapist, Smartbox Assistive Technology

Colin Foley, Training director, ADHD Foundation

Colin Foley is the training director of the ADHD Foundation, the largest patient-led service of its kind in the UK. The ADHD Foundation is one of only three organisations in the UK to offer a cradle to grave multi-modal service for families and adults affected by ADHD, offering psychoeducative and psychosocial interventions, skills training for families and young people and CBT, counselling, stress reduction and behaviour support programmes. Colin leads the training department and delivers courses on ADHD, mental health and other neurodevelopmental conditions across the UK and directly to schools. After a 25-year teaching career in the secondary sector up to senior leadership level, Colin was the first specialist leader in education to be appointed in his area and led the Outstanding Teacher Programme and the Improving Teaching programme for the National College in St Helens and Knowsley. Colin’s work for the ADHD Foundation is grounded in empowering teachers to deliver outstanding outcomes for children and young people with ADHD through raising awareness of the specific symptomology of the condition and through providing practical classroom strategies that every teacher can use at all key stages.

Jane Friswell, SEND Consultant & Advocate, JFA SEND Consultancy

A former SEN headteacher, with significant leadership experience in local authority SEN support and advisory roles and more recently as chief executive at nasen. Jane is now director of SEND Consultancy, a new and innovative support agency for those working in SEND, specialising in leading effective review of provision for children and young people with SEND, which commissions co-productively with young people with additional needs to effect improvement at local level. Jane is married and has three children, her 15 year old son is a young man with Aspergers, learning difficulties and additional mental health needs. She is a school governor, trustee and supporter of a range of charitable trusts promoting equity and equality for children and young people with additional needs.

John Galloway, Advisor, consultant and writer on Technology and Inclusion

John Galloway is a specialist in the use of technology to support the inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the curriculum. His work covers all phases of schools and learners with a very broad range of SEND. Alongside providing advice and assessment for both groups and individual pupils, he also gives training as the biggest barrier to success is often the skills of those who teach the children. He also runs curriculum projects alongside classroom teachers using technology to improve inclusion, particularly in the Computing curriculum. For many years, John has worked part-time for Tower Hamlets, and as a freelance consultant with schools and local authorities across the country. As a teacher educator he has devised and delivered courses at post-graduate and foundation degree levels, and taught teaching assistants at many different levels, including NVQ. He has spoken at conferences internationally in Chicago, Copenhagen and New Delhi, and in the UK at TES SEN, BETT and the Education Show, where he has also been a regular judge of the BETT Awards and the ERAs. As a writer, his numerous articles have appeared in the TeS, Guardian, Special Children, SENDCO, SecEd, and Special World, along with a diverse range of blogs. His several books include co-authoring, ‘Learning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies’ – winner of Best Book in the 2015 Technology and Innovation Awards.

Anna Gardiner, Principal Officer, Council for Disabled Children

Anna is a senior policy lead in the health team at the Council for Disabled Children working to improve health services and outcomes for disabled children and young people. Her area of work includes leading our partnership work with the NHS with a particular focus on supporting health professionals to understand what policy means for their practice. Anna has extensive experience working in the health sector and is passionate about ensuring the rights and voices of disabled children and young people at the heart of all the work we do. Her previous experience includes working with NHS Scotland to develop national networks for children and young people with complex health needs and has worked closely with parents to support them to understand and navigate health services for their children. She also spent time at the University of British Columbia in Canada, working in a specialist clinical and academic department for children with complex metabolic conditions gaining a unique insight into models of integration across services and the benefits it brings to children, young people and their families.

Samantha Garner, Education consultant, Scanning Pens

Samantha Garner is an education consultant in SEN and mental health. She is a renowned presenter nationally and internationally. She is often called compared to Victoria Wood and Dawn French and is lauded for her ability to entertain as well as to provide excellent content.

Joanna Grace, Sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, founder, The Sensory Projects

Joanna Grace is an international sensory engagement and inclusion specialist, trainer, author, TEDx speaker and founder of The Sensory Projects. Consistently rated as outstanding by Ofsted, Joanna has taught in mainstream and special school settings, connecting with pupils of all ages and abilities. Joanna has also supported adult care teams and families caring for loved ones at home. Joanna has created educational resources for a number of notable organisations including Amnesty International, Oxfam and the Booktrust. She has also supported public settings, small and large, with their ambitions to be more inclusive. To inform her work Joanna draws on her own experience from her private and professional life as well as taking in all the information she can from the research archives. Joanna's private life includes family members with profound disabilities and time spent as a registered foster carer for children with profound disabilities. Joanna's book 'Sensory Stories' for children and teens sells globally, her second 'Sensory-being for Sensory Beings' came out in 2017 to a great reception. She has a further five books due for publication within the next two years, including four children's books. In all of her work Joanna seeks to contribute to a future where people are understood in spite of their differences. Joanna is a big fan of social media and is always happy to connect with people via Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

Carrie Grant, BAFTA award-winning broadcaster, vocal coach, leadership coach and campaigner

Carrie Grant is a BAFTA award-winning broadcaster, vocal coach, leadership coach and campaigner. In 2018 Carrie was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire for her charity work. Her TV and music career has spanned over 35 years and she was awarded a MOBO award and a BASCA for her lifetime services to the music industry. Carrie is currently a reporter for BBC’s The One Show. For the past 20 years Carrie has trained leaders, currently specialising in resilient leadership, individual leadership brand and creating the culture of collaboration. She uses singing as a metaphor to get messaging across and has worked with companies and organisations across all sectors. Carrie is the president of the Unite Union for Community Practitioners and Health Visitors (CPHVA) as well as being the patient lead for the College of Medicine. She sits on the largest Transforming Care Partnership Panel in the UK for Mental Health and Learning Disability. Carrie is a keen campaigner for change in healthcare systems and the celebration of neuro-diversity in society. Her work has taken her all over the world speaking at and chairing conferences. Together with her husband David, Carrie runs a number of community support groups from her home. One monthly parent support group for 75 families has run for nearly four years and another has run weekly for eight years. Carrie has four amazing children, three are birth children and one is adopted, all have special educational needs.

Lana Grant, Specialist advisor and advocate for people with autism and their families, Lana Grant Autism Consultancy

Lana is a specialist advisor and advocate for people with autism and their families. She has worked in the field of autism for nearly twenty years and has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome which was received in her late thirties. Lanais also a parent of children on the autism spectrum and works with autistic children, young people and their families as part of an outreach team in the West Midlands. Lana was involved in the writing of the new NAS Women and Girls online training module and specialises in autism and females. Her debut book "From Here to Maternity, pregnancy and motherhood on the Autism Spectrum" was published in March 2015 by Jessica Kingsley publishers. Lana set up a Facebook group for autistic mothers and it currently has 2,400 members and continues to grow.

Kristina Grimm, Paediatric Occupational Therapist, PACE Centre, Aylesbury

Kristina Grimm is a qualified Occupational Therapist in Germany (Bad Bevensen) with a BSc in Occupational Therapy (2000). As a member of the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), she has worked at the PACE Centre, Aylesbury, since 2003 as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist.

Rachael Hare, Head of Initial Teacher Education, Harris Federation

A former senior leader, head of English and advanced skills teacher, Rachael has led English, literacy, humanities, special educational needs, EAL and Communication, as well as overseeing BTEC delivery in a range of London settings. Rachael also runs the English stream of the National Schools Programme for the Prince’s Teaching Institute. She is passionate about outstanding teacher training and classroom practice, believing firmly that every child is entitled to the best possible educational experience and outcomes. Rachael has a varied and significant experience in system leadership particularly around Initial Teacher Education. As a specialist leader of education for SEND, English and initial teacher education, outstanding training and support is at the heart of Rachael’s practice. She has an extensive knowledge in these areas and has designed and led programmes in a variety of training contexts. Rachael leads on the course design and delivery of the Harris School Direct Initial Teacher Education programme and brings strategic leadership and creative vision to the team, as well as a strong belief in subject knowledge, inclusion and social justice at the heart of all teaching and training.

Sherann Hillman, MBE, Head of Family Services , Seashell Trust, Parents in Partnership Stockport (PIPS)

Sherann Hillman MBE is head of family services Seashell Trust and chair of the PIPStockport Parent Carer Forum. Sherann is the parent of 3 young people with SEN, and has over 20 years of experience of supporting families with children and young people with SEND. Sherann was previously co-chair and NW representative of NNPCF and instrumental in the Children & Families Act and relevant legislation embedding participation of parent carers. She is also a representative of parent carers on several local, regional, and national work streams including the Rochford Review and is passionate about ensuring co-production happens with children, young people, and their parent carers in all the services and support they receive.

Pat Hunt, Independent consultant: school improvement, safeguarding and SEN, GL Assessment

With over 30 years’ experience in education across all phases, Pat is the champion of vulnerable pupils including pupils with special educational needs and looked after children. Experienced in school leadership, school improvement in local authority and leading Ofsted inspections, Pat now develops and manages safeguarding and special educational needs.

Sarah Hyde, Occupational Therapy Lead, School Services, The Pace Centre

Sarah Hyde qualified as an occupational therapist in 2008 and is currently the occupational therapy lead for school services at Pace: a school for children aged 3–16 years with motor disorders and a child and family therapy service offering interventions from birth upwards for children with these disorders, located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Prior to becoming occupational therapy lead, Sarah worked as part of a commissioned therapy service provided by Pace into a local LEA maintained special school. Part of her role was to expand the existing therapy provision into the classes that supported children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, leading to an interest in the relationship between sensory processing and problem behaviour. After achieving advanced practitioner status through the Sensory Integration (SI) Network, Sarah completed an MSc in Sensory Integration in 2014. Sarah’s continued interest in sensory integration and behaviour now focuses more on children with motor disorders and she is currently undertaking doctoral study. For the past two years Sarah has sat on the research committee for the SI Network and is also a member of the SI Network’s lecturing team.

Andre Imich, SEN and disability professional advisor, DfE

Since April 2010, André has worked as the DfE SEN and Disability professional advisor, 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.

Hannah Kinsey, Head of Training & Consultancy, YoungMinds

Hannah has been at YoungMinds managing the training and development team for three years. Hannah’s team delivers training on children and young people’s mental health to over 10,000 professionals every year. They also run a portfolio of projects around the UK in the children and young people’s mental health system. For example, a national project on ‘Addressing Adversity’ delivering training on trauma and adverse childhood experiences to health, education and children’s services professionals and ‘YoungMinds Welcome’, a multi-agency project focusing on young asylum seekers and child migrants. Hannah has years of experience in the children and young people’s sector having worked as a Connexions personal advisor and delivered training and outreach work for Childline, the NSPCC and Parliament’s Education Service. Before joining YoungMinds, Hannah was Training Manager at children’s charity Kidscape, working with young people, professionals and parents on safeguarding, bullying, self esteem and confidence building. Hannah has worked as an advocate for Young People accessing CAMHS services, and is passionate about giving Young People a voice and helping them to have a say in the things that affect them.

Wendy Lee, Speech and Language consultant, Lingo

Wendy has worked as a speech and language therapist for 30 years, in clinical practice, higher education and the third sector. She was professional director at The Communication Trust until 2015 where she led on a number of projects, as well as inputting on national policy and research. Wendy is currently the director of Lingo, which provides consultancy, professional development and therapists into schools and settings. She works in partnership with local and national organisations such as Cambridge University, Voice Bradford, Driver Youth Trust, I CAN and The Communication Trust on all things speech, language and communication.

Nicola Marshall, Trainer, Author and Coach, BraveHeart Education

Nicola Marshall is a speaker and published author in the field of developmental trauma and education. As an adoptive parent to three children, Nicola has personal experience of living with the impact of early trauma. She started her training company six years ago, BraveHeart Education, in response to the growing need of educators to understand the challenges for vulnerable children in the educational system. All of Nicola’s speaking and writing takes the complex concepts of early trauma and makes them simple. There are many experts in this field, but few who have the personal day to day experience as well as the theoretical knowledge. Nicola is a speaker, author, trainer, coach, magazine editor and recently won an outstanding achievement award from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. Available to speak on topics such as education and vulnerable children, the culture of education, emotional wellbeing in children and young people, developmental trauma and attachment, adoption and/or fostering, specifically hard to place children i.e. sibling groups, older children, the adoption process, adoption support, breaking cycles for children who have been in the care system, mental health in children and young people.

Hayley Mason, Specialist solicitor, SEN Legal

Hayley is a specialist solicitor at SEN Legal, a highly successful education and disability law firm with a nationwide client base. With national coverage, SEN Legal has a vast range of expertise and has represented hundreds of parents of children/young persons in the SEND Tribunal to obtain fundamental special educational provision for them. Hayley is also a specialist in the area of Court of Protection and has written the ‘Deputyship’ chapter in the book ‘Special Educational Needs and Legal Entitlement, getting out of the maze' 2nd edition which is written by our principal solicitor, Melinda Nettleton and co-author John Friel.

Siobhan Mellor, Director, educational psychologist and MEd SEND programme leader, Real Group

As an experienced educational psychologist, Siobhan has worked with children and young people in mainstream schools for over two decades. She believes in helping educators to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). At Real Group Siobhan is the module leader for their highly-regarded National Award for SEN Coordination qualification and she is the overall programme leader for the masters-level SEND Programme. She has established and led teams of professional tutors across Real Group. Siobhan takes the lead role in managing the operational team and collating, interpreting and reporting quality-assurance data for the directors and Middlesex University.

Dr Duncan Milne, Neuropsychologist, Dyslexia International

Dr Duncan Milne completed his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and Education at the University of Auckland where he studied reading with functional brain imaging. He has spoken at numerous international conferences on reading acquisition. He is passionate about dyslexia and serves as an honorary board member of Dyslexia International and is their Director of Tools for Learning. To see Duncan’s various publications or to contact him, please visit www.juniorlearning.co.uk or e-mail him at duncan@juniorlearning.com .

Lynda Morgan, Teaching School Director, Maplefields Academy, Corby, Northamptonshire

Lynda started teaching in 1972 and her headships span 27 years. Having previously led two mainstream primary schools, Lynda opened Maplefields, a brand new primary SEMH school in 1998. Lynda and her team developed this small primary special school to become an all through SEMH school for pupils aged 5-18 years based on three spilt sites and then worked with the architects to create a brand new purpose-built school on a new site. Maplefields, with its continuous outstanding Ofsted status, became a standalone academy in September 2011. Lynda retired from her post as headteacher in August 2015 and now leads the teaching school which is based at Maplefields Academy. Lynda trained to be an Ofsted inspector in 2005. Since then she has led inspections of special schools, hospital schools and pupil referral units and has been a team member on primary inspections. Lynda is a national leader of education and regularly carries out school improvement work. Her particular interests and skills are in special education.

Margaret Mulholland, Director of Teaching School, Swiss Cottage School

Margaret Mulholland is director of development & research at Swiss Cottage School and leads the Swiss Cottage Teaching School Alliance of mainstream and special schools. Margaret is the SEND representative on the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Council. Previously she led school-led ITT at the Institute of Education for Secondary, Primary and SEND. During the London Challenge she was seconded to the SSAT to lead a pan-London networking programme for newly appointed headteachers and continues to drive pan-London leadership strategies including heading up the Leaders for London Programme for aspiring heads across the capital. Margaret also sits on the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) Executive Committee Subsequent to the Carter Review, Margaret was selected to join two DfE independent expert groups to develop framework proposals for ITT Content and Behaviour. She is passionate about the role SEND settings can play to improve understanding of inclusive pedagogy for all teachers.

Sheila Mulvenney, Director, author and experienced head of Virtual School for Children in Care, Attuned Education

After a long career in health and education, working as a nurse health visitor, teacher, lecturer, and head teacher of an Independent educational provision for children in care, Sheila began to work for local authorities. Her roles there included behaviour outreach to schools inclusion support and being head of the Virtual School for Looked After Children initially in a substantive post and more recently for numerous local authorities on an interim basis. Last year my Sheila's first book was published: ‘Overcoming Barriers to Learning’ and she has had articles published by the Tes, Guardian online and other publications. Sheila now runs her own company working as a writer, trainer and coach with individuals, both adults and children and organisations such as schools, foster agencies, and businesses.

Nicola Murray, Senior Programme Lead, Anti-Bullying Alliance, National Children’s Bureau

Nicola leads on the Anti-Bullying Alliance's direct programme work to help stop bullying and bring lasting change to children's lives. This includes the flagship All Together programme which supports schools and professionals all over England to use a social model approach to reducing bullying of the most vulnerable children. Nicola is passionate about working towards a society where everyone can participate and achieve their potential and, before joining the ABA, she worked in development and programme lead roles at Scope, Marie Curie and Diabetes UK. She is also a trustee of Volunteer Centre Hackney, an organisation that aims to improve employment outcomes, boost mental wellbeing and build social cohesion.

Aqualma Murray, Independent trainer, consultant and coach, Aqualma Empowerment Services

Aqualma Murray has been in the social work field for over 25 years. She has worked with a wide range of client groups from varied ethnicity and ages. Aqualma started her career in the residential sector, working with disabilities and then specialising with young people in care. She has worked in area offices as a child protection social worker and has specialised with children and adults who have experienced sexual abuse. Aqualma went on to develop extensive experience in the field of adolescent and adult offenders. She has managed a Youth Offender team, Secure Children’s home and been a service manager in a secure training centre. More recently Aqualma has worked as a Local authority Designated Child Protection Officer (LADO) and a training and community partnership officer for a large London Local Authority, where she addresses allegations against professionals and ensures that faith and community groups are equipped to safeguard children in their care. Aqualma has progressed to become a trainer and consultant addressing issues of abuse, challenging behaviour, mental health, children’s rights, anti-discriminatory and diversity issues, implementing policies and procedures, in relation to matters of legislation and law, as well as empowerment for staff and service users.

Nell Nicholson, Headteacher, Gloucester House School

Nell Nicholson is the headteacher of Gloucester House, the Tavistock Children’s Day Unit. She has extensive experience of working with children with complex and severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. She has diverse experience of leading and managing in mainstream and special schools, PRUs and in complex multidisciplinary teams. Nell works systemically alongside clinicians with families and with school leaders to audit systems and implement new systems in their schools around behaviour and staff support. She offers consultation to schools around meeting the needs of particular children. Nell has an MA, from the Tavistock & Portman & UEL, in Applied Systemic Theory which focused on working systemically with families and working in and with organisations. Nell delivers training on topics including understanding and managing behaviour, working with parents/carers, mentoring, barriers to learning and SEN and working in multi disciplinary teams. Nell has a broad experience of training teachers (including NQTs), SENCOs, teaching assistants, learning mentors and other staff working in schools.

Dr Susie Nyman, Curriculum Manager for Health and Social Care, The Sixth Form College Farnborough

Dr Susie Nyman is passionate about discovering how children learn and supporting them in ways which enable them to succeed. She was appointed as a biology teacher at The Sixth Form College Farnborough in 1995, and subsequently as curriculum manager for Health and Social Care where she has worked ever since. Susie strives to raise students’ achievements and support them in ways which enables them to succeed. She works with students on an individual basis or with small groups delivering workshops deploying a range of innovative and multi-sensory teaching techniques to assist their learning including her ‘Equality and Diversity Tree’ and famous puppets! Susie has provided seminars and INSET training to PGCE students at Kingston University, as well as in a number of local schools and colleges on teaching strategies. Since February 2017, Susie has been invited to present seminars on ‘Multi-sensory Techniques’ at The Learning Differences Conventions in Australia, The Sixth Form College, Farnborough, Richmond College, The Helen Arkell Centre, and The Oratory School. Recently, she was filmed ‘in action’ for The British Dyslexia Association, and the footage is now available on YouTube. Subsequently, she has written a chapter about ‘Multi-sensory Teaching’ in the latest BDA Dyslexia Friendly Schools Good Practice Guide. In recognition of over 21 years continued service at The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Susie has been nominated twice by the College for the ‘TES FE Teacher of the Year Award’. This is an honour of which she is immensely proud.

Fintan O'Regan, Behaviour and learning consultant, SF30 Ltd

Fin O’Regan is one of the leading behaviour and learning experts in the UK and Europe. He was the headteacher of the Centre Academy from 1996 -2002, the first specialist school in the UK for students between the ages of 7-19 specialising in issues related to ADHD, ASD and ODD . He is currently a behaviour and learning consultant and an associate lecturer for Leicester University, the Institute of Education, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre. vice chairman of the UK ADHD Network and a board member of the European ADHD Alliance. He has written a number of books and published articles on the subject of ADHD, behaviour and learning issues.

Dr Asha Patel, CEO and clinical psychologist, Innovating Minds CIC

Dr Asha Patel, founder of Innovating Minds CIC, is a registered clinical psychologist with a post graduate diploma and over 10 years of clinical experience in various settings which include community, inpatient psychiatric rehabilitation, secure forensic mental health hospitals and within the education sector. She is passionate about providing specialist psychological support for young people in education, training and employment. Over the past 2 years she has been working within schools to support the implementation of a whole school approach to mental health. She has supported senior leadership teams shift from a punitive to a therapeutic approach to ensure children and young people are supported to achieve their aspirations.

Laxmi Patel, Solicitor and head of education, Boyes Turner LLP

Laxmi Patel, an experienced special educational needs solicitor, heads Boyes Turner’s dedicated education team. The expert team work closely with parents, schools, local authorities and case managers to ensure that children and young people with SEN receive the support they need. Laxmi is recognised as a SEN expert and is invited regularly to share advice and guidance at events and seminars. She is a member of the Law Society and an active committee member of the Education Law Association (ELAS), for whom she leads talks on the SEN special interest group.

Lorraine Petersen, OBE, Education Consultant, LPEC

Lorraine has 25 years’ experience in the mainstream school environment as a teacher and headteacher. From 2004 to 2013 Lorraine was CEO of nasen. As a result, Lorraine has many years’ experience of working with pupils with an array of special and additional needs and the teachers, SENCOs and support staff that work with them. During her time as CEO of nasen, Lorraine worked on a number of projects with various agencies including the Department for Education, the National College of Teaching and Leadership (formally the Teaching Agency) and UKTI. She has been a chair, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at many national and international events and conferences and a consultant for a number of national organisations. In 2009 Lorraine was awarded an OBE for her services to education. In 2010 Lorraine was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Education Research Awards and in 2013 the Outstanding Achievement Award at BETT In 2013 Lorraine established Lorraine Petersen Educational Consultancy and currently works independently, delivering training and supporting schools and local authorities with their SEND policy and practice. In 2015 Lorraine successfully completed the IPSEA SEN Foundation Legal Training and has been appointed as an associate lecturer at the University of Worcester. In 2016 Lorraine became an advocate of the Chartered College of Teaching. Lorraine in currently director of Chadsgrove Teaching School Alliance and is a governor at Chadsgrove School.

John Rack, Associate Professor, Linnaeus University

John Rack is associate professor in the department of Special Education at Linnaeus University in Sweden. Until 2017 he was director of education and policy for Dyslexia Action in the UK and had previously been director of the Dyslexia-SpLD Trust . He was a member of the Expert Advisory group for that 2009 Rose review and led the SpLD Trust’s work with government to implement its recommendations, He has a long-standing interest in dyslexia having completed his PhD in 1986 and has worked on both theoretical aspects of literacy development and evaluation of support and intervention. His current interests are in assistive technology for supporting writing especially the use of smart spellcheckers and dictation software. He is a co-owner of a Swedish development company, Oribi AB, a member of the Dyslexia-Spld Trust policy group.

Faith Rollins, Occupational Therapist, The PACE Centre, Aylesbury

Faith Rollins began her career as an occupational therapist in 1998 where she expanded her knowledge through a rotational post covering orthopaedic and surgery, child development unit, adult mental health and elderly care. She went on to work for eight years in an adult mental health inpatient and community setting. After a short career break which involved childminding a child with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, she later found herself getting an occupational therapist post at the child’s school, the PACE centre in Aylesbury. She continues to work at the PACE Centre with key stage 3 and 4 students who have profound sensory and motor disorders, and also in an emotional, behaviour disorders unit at a special needs school, ages 6 to 11 years. Faith recently achieved advanced practitioner status in sensory integration and is implementing the theories and practice into the workplace, enabling her to draw out reasons behind behaviour and how to address the debilitating issues.

Phil Snell, Associate for the early years, Council for Disabled Children

Phil Snell is an associate of the Council for Disabled Children and has worked with them on the development of practice guides for supporting young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities in youth custody and their early years project. In a former life Phil was assistant director of the Department for Education's Special Educational Needs and Disability Unit and led work to develop the 2004 Removing Barriers to Achievement strategy, the special educational needs and disability provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 and 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of practice. Between 2007 and 2010 he was programme leader for the Training and Development Agency for Schools' Special Educational Needs and Disability Programme and was responsible for the development of the National SENCO award and a range of training materials for those training to become teachers.

Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director, Council for Disabled Children

Philippa has played a key role in crafting, challenging and championing education policy through her various roles in the public and voluntary sector. A trained teacher and occupational therapist with a Masters in the education of children with special needs, she began her career in mainstream and special schools, became an advisory teacher, then an inspector for the Inner London Education Authority. When she joined the Council for Disabled Children, she set up the Special Educational Consortium to create a national campaign and lobbying voice for the disabled children’s sector and set about helping to establish and develop parent partnership services (now known as Information, Advice and Support services). She has worked in Parliament during the passage of legislation; reviewed inclusion in one of our most inclusive local authorities; contributed to the development of several Codes of Practice; was seconded in to the Department for Education as SEN and disability professional adviser and currently advises on inclusive early years work in Europe and works as part of the team providing support to the DfE as strategic reform partner.

Jayshree Thakore, Trainee headteacher, Barham Primary School

Jayshree Thakore is a senior leader at a large primary school in Brent in one of the most deprived areas in the country. She has a successful proven track record of eight years of senior leadership experience and her inspiring style has been far-reaching within Brent and culminated recently in an secondment to a neighbouring school. As acting deputy headteacher, Jayshree established an immediate climate of calm and applied her professional expertise to raise the standard of whole-school teaching, learning and asessment to become good or better. Her skills and proficiency are being utilised under the careful guidance of the current headteacher at the school who also works as a school effectiveness lead professional within Brent, to assist other primary schools, who encounter similar predicaments. Jayshree’s pivotal areas of expertise extend to leadership development of senior and middle leaders, effective monitoring and self-evaluation systems of school effectiveness and training of teachers to improve the quality of teaching, learning, pupil assessment and tracking of progress as key strategies for improvement.

Pernille Thomsen, Physiotherapist, Soehestemad.dk

Pernille Thomsen graduated as a physiotherapist in 1991 in Copenhagen. She has a master’s degree in health and education from the University of Copenhagen in 2004 and qualified as associated professor at the University College Capitol in 2006. She is an international certified teacher and instructor in performance stability - a test and training system to optimise movement in sports since 2009. From 2009 to 2013, she undertook research regarding the science behind enhancing mobility of the body, which led to launching the Danish designed training system Fysio Flow. The science behind Fysio Flow is now part of the curriculum in physiotherapy in Denmark. Pernille works as an associated professor at the University College Capitol, Physiotherapy, and has her own physiotherapy practice north of Copenhagen, working with children – both elite athletes and mentally stressed children.

Dr Rona Tutt, MBE, Past president NAHT, speaker and author, NAHT

Rona has taught across the age range in state and independent, day and residential, mainstream and special schools. She is a past president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). She continues to be involved in the association’s work, writing a monthly blog and representing them on the Autism and Girls Forum, the Autism Education Trust (AET), the Joint Unions’ Meetings on SEND Issues, the National SEND Forum (NSENDF) and the Special Education Consortium (SEC). Rona has been a winner of the Leadership in Teaching Award, received an Outstanding Reviewer Award for her work on the International Journal of Educational Management and was awarded an OBE for her services to special needs education. She is a founder member of the National Forum for Neuroscience and Special Education (NFNSE), along with Professor Barry Carpenter and Professor Francesca Happé. This aims to bring together those who understand how children learn with those who are engaged in teaching. Rona has written and co-authored a number of books, including 'The SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years – Policy, Provision & Practice' (2015) and 'Rona Tutt’s Guide to SEND and Inclusion' (2016). Also in 2016, she was the writer for the DfE-funded project awarded to the charity ‘KIDS’: 'Making it Personal - A Guide to Personalisation, Personal Budgets and EHC Plans'. Rona is vice-chair of 2 governing boards, an all-age school for profoundly deaf pupils and a secondary school for pupils with MLD, ASD and SLCN.

Kerry Vacara, AAC implementation manager, Smartbox Assistive Technology

Kerry is a teacher and AAC implementation manager for Smartbox. She has worked in mainstream and special schools at both primary and secondary level, specialising in developing Assistive Technology (AT) and Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). Kerry writes content for Grid 3 software and develops a range of supporting materials for professionals and parents. She also collaborates with schools and other organisations to provide guidance on how to use Grid 3 as a classroom tool for AAC. Kerry has presented at Communication Matters annual conference (Leicester), CM Literacy & AAC Best Practice (Oldham), ASL & Technology Conference (Glasgow and Edinburgh) and at the Tes SEN Show. She has also delivered various workshops and training across the UK. Her current focus is core vocabulary and designing the best way for parents and professionals to access learning resources to enable them to facilitate successful communication for the AAC learner.

Tina Voizey, Education manager, Tobii Dynavox

Tina started her career supporting learners with special education needs in 1996 after receiving a degree in Special Education teaching with a specialisation in Cognitive Disabilities from the East Carolina University, USA. From teaching in classrooms to working within the assistive technology industry, she has always maintained a focus on supporting learners using symbol based resources to engage with language, literacy and curriculum development. She has extensive experience presenting in the UK and abroad on various topics including communication, learning and inclusion. Her current role as education manager for Tobii Dynavox sees her working with schools, speech and language therapists and families supporting people who use Alternative and Assisted Communication (AAC) with the implementation of assistive technology and AAC systems to ensure they reach their full potential in both learning and life.

Jessie Walker, Headteacher, Maplefields Academy, Corby, Northamptonshire

Jessie began working as a teaching assistant with students with challenging behaviour twenty years ago. She began teaching in 2007 at Maplefields, a successful all through special school for students with SEMH and has worked her way through to middle leadership and senior leadership and in September 2017 she became headteacher. Jessie has carried out school improvement work in mainstream and special education needs schools having a particular focus on working with the leadership and management team to raise the levels of teaching and learning and to celebrate the achievements and outcomes of the pupils.

Beverley Walters, 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.

Rob Webster, Director, MITA, UCL Institute of Education

Rob Webster is based at the Centre for Inclusive Education, UCL Institute of Education, where he leads the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants (MITA) school improvement and CPD programme. He has directed large-scale studies of the educational experiences of pupils with SEND, and written extensively on how schools can make better use of teaching assistants. Rob is currently leading a trial, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, to test the MITA initiative. He is a co-convener of #UKEdResChat.

Sarah Wild, Headteacher, Limpsfield Grange School

Sarah Wild is headteacher of Limpsfield Grange School for girls with communication and interaction difficulties including autism. Sarah has worked in education for 20 years, in a range of settings and has experience of leadership in a mainstream secondary school in the east end of London and special schools in London and Brighton. Sarah is a qualified teacher of the deaf, and an English teacher. Since her appointment as headteacher, Sarah has dedicated time to raising awareness of female autism nationally. Limpsfield Grange School was the subject of the ITV documentary 'Girls with Autism' and students of the school have written two novels 'M in the Middle' and 'M is for Autism' with the author Vicky Martin. Students are currently working with Vicky on their third novel in the M series. Sarah and students from Limpsfield Grange speak nationally about female autism, and have spoken at the Autism Show London, NAHT and NUT SEND conferences and the National Autistic Society professional’s conference. Sarah is a member of Autism and Girls forum, and has contributed to published works on female autism and education, and on working with disadvantaged young people.