Amy Loxley is a Speech and Language Adviser for I CAN, the UK’s leading children’s communication charity. With 14 years’ experience as a Speech and Language Therapist, Amy has worked with a diverse range of client groups across early years, primary and secondary phases, and in community, mainstream and specialist settings in the UK and Australia.
Amy’s current work includes developing a range of resources on Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) for mainstream school staff, including a series of introductory and intermediate webinars, a downloadable DLD guide, and a school workforce development package. She is also involved in developing and piloting I CAN’s Teletherapy service.
Amy has authored articles for various magazines and blogs, and part of her role includes collaborating with I CAN’s communications team on content that is shared on their website, social media channels and other publications. Other recent work for Amy has included working with a partner to develop a website with information on the links between music and communication.
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.
Educational Advisory Teacher
An education advisor for ICT and Inclusion, Carol was named as one of the top ten educators for her work in inclusion, #EdTech2018. She was awarded an Ed Futurist award in 2019. Carol is currently a member of the DfE Assistive Technology Expert Group, a member of the BETT Advisory Team, a BETT Awards Judge, and is a panel member and contributor to sessions at the House of Lords for the APPGAT committee.
She has taught in both mainstream and special schools. Recognising that communication lies at the heart of all effective teaching, most of her work has centred on creative and engaging use of technology to support communication in its widest sense. An advocate of inclusion and inclusive practice, Carol champions the effective use of both low and high tech solutions to facilitate access to learning, leisure and life for those who face barriers. She works across all age groups and levels of ability providing specialist advice and support locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
Carol is an Inclusion Adviser for London Grid for Learning and has held this post for five years. Workshop/keynote presentations include both UK work and international conferences such as FETC/ATIA Florida, Illinois; Denmark, Rotterdam, Geneva, Cologne and two five city tours round Australia in 2018/2019. All work centres on easy to replicate practice which is fun, achievable and creates communication enhancement opportunities.
Jane Friswell 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.
A compelling, charismatic communicator and presenter who cares passionately about raising the quality of special needs provision for all with the ambition of achieving living an ordinary life for all. Jane continues to work with central government and international partners in an advisory capacity supporting the international agenda for SEND.
Jane is married and has three children, her 18 year old son is a young man with Aspergers, learning difficulties and additional mental health needs. She is the older sister and part time carer of a young lady with severe learning disabilities who lives in supported living in North Oxfordshire. Jane is a Court of Protection Depute. She is Chair of Governors and SEN Governor at a community primary school in the heart of Coventry, where a range of 33 different community languages are expressed which reflects the culturally rich and diverse community the school serves. Jane is a Trustee and supporter of a range of charitable trusts promoting an equal society for all.
Act for Autism
An actor, teacher of drama and workshop leader. As an actor, she worked extensively on television and in theatre, including Dangerfield and Casualty. In theatre, she has played leading roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the NationalTheatre and West End musicals. She tutors and mentor’s drama students as well as teaching in a mainstream school. She has a BA (Hons) in Theatre Studies, an MA in the Advance Workings of Shakespeare and has a B Phil in Autism from Birmingham University. Jane is passionate about all children having a voice, her work at act for autism developing workshops and strategies together with Tessa, is the perfect vehicle to change the way we look at autism.
Early Years SEND Consultant and Trainer
Church Park Consultants
Julie is a highly regarded trainer and speaker who has a long established reputation in the SEND sector. She is an associate trainer and consultant for nasen, The British Association of Early Education and regularly leads seminars at national events. Julie’s background is rooted in understanding and meeting the needs of young children with (SEND) and with a specific focus on promoting and developing a greater understanding of all aspects of social, emotional and mental health.
School Improvement for SEND - Independent Consultant
Kate Browning is a well-regarded lead professional both locally and nationally in school improvement for children and young people with SEND. She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher, SENCo, Local Authority School Improvement Officer for SEN and interim Education Development Officer for NASEN, where she supported the delivery of nationwide training on the SEND Code of Practice with the DfE. Kate now works with Teaching School Alliances, MATs, Local Authorities and individual schools to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND across the primary and secondary phase. She teaches the National Award for SEN Coordination and facilitates a number of SENCo Networks across the midlands. She is a lecturer for the Warwick University PGCE programme and has delivered key note speeches and seminars at many conferences and events such as The Education Show, NASEN Live, TES SEN, Optimus, SEN South West. She is currently involved in project work on ‘Mastery in maths for children with SEND’. She is an Associate Consultant for NASEN, an expert advisor for The Key and Chair of Governors of a large junior school.
Charlotte Bjerregaard has a BSc Hons. in Psychology from London Guildhall University and MSc in psychology from Copenhagen University. She also obtained the national Certification for practicing psychologists from Danish Authorities in 2004. Furthermore, she has taken several different specialized 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 6 years in the public sector, primarily 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.
Physiotherapist/Master of Health and Education/Associate
Pernille Thomsen educated as a physiotherapist in 1991 from Copenhagen. She has a master’s degree in Health and Education from the University in Copenhagen in 2004 and qualified as associated professor at the University College Capitol in 2006. She has been focusing on the neuroscience behind stress, and have since 2013 collaborated with the Danish Defence Veterancenters, working with Veterans and their children. She educates physiotherapist, occupational therapist, teachers and pedagogues in the neuroscience behind children and stress. She has her own physiotherapy clinic north of Copenhagen, where focus is on the neurophysiological treatment regarding children and mental health. Together with child psychologist Charlotte Bjerregaard she is one of the key-persons behind a new danish designed internet-based education, regarding children and mental health.
Sherann Hillman MBE
Head of Family Services
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.
Act for Autism
Over the last 20 years, she has grown a successful practice; working as a trainer and coach advising and directing professionals with communication challenges. She is a qualified CBT (cognitive behaviour therapist) from the University of Worcester and member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy), she runs a private practice offering post-diagnostic support and runs voluntary drama and social skills groups for young people on the autistic spectrum. Tessa founded act for autism in 2015 because she is passionate about supporting young people with autism and creating awareness in the wider community.
Dame Christine Lenehan,
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 the 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.
Primary School Teacher & Life Coach
Jo is an experienced primary school teacher, English manager and freelance children’s book consultant who passionately believes in the power of stories to elicit discussions and change people’s ways of thinking. She loves working with leaders to develop their reading curricular and to help them develop a whole school ethos of reading for pleasure.
Qualified NLP Practitioner
Vafa is a qualified NLP Practitioner and Coach and experienced healthcare professional. She is passionate about creating a safe and nurturing space for her clients to be seen, heard and understood. She believes everyone has all the necessary ingredients deep within them to get the life they wish for.
Children and Young People Lead
National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi)
Julie is a qualified social worker and has worked in a variety of roles in social care since qualifying 32 years ago. Julie is passionate about ensuring young people with special educational needs and disabilities have equal life chances as they move into adulthood. Julie leads the Children and Young People programme at the National Development Team for Inclusion, a values-led organisation that works on a not-for-profit basis.
Julie has also headed up the national Preparing for Adulthood programme, funded by the Department for Education for the past five years. Julie is passionate about person centred approaches to ensure that all vulnerable young people have the same opportunities to be aspirational and succeed.
Action Dyslexia Training and Consultancy
As a UK based consultant specialising in dyslexia and inclusion issues, Neil works internationally and has delivered training to teachers in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Europe and the UK. He is the International Consultant for the Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand and Ambassador for Code Read in Australia, running workshops in inclusive classroom practice and meeting the needs of vulnerable learners. Neil is known for his ability to bring the classroom into his training and he regularly models inclusive strategies in classrooms around the world, most recently in Malta as well as schools in England and Scotland.
Lorraine Petersen OBE
Lorraine Petersen Educational Consultancy (LPEC)
Lorraine has 25 years’ experience in the mainstream school environment as a teacher and headteacher. From 2004 – 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.
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 the same year, 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. Lorraine in currently Director of Chadsgrove Teaching School Alliance and is Chair of Governors at Chadsgrove School and a Governor at Lokrum Fields, a newly opened Independent Special School.
Maxine McDonald-Taylor, HMI
Specialist Adviser for SEND
Maxine McDonald-Taylor is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors. She is a qualified teacher with a background in generic special secondary, primary and post-16 provision and has also worked as a teacher and leader in large secondary mainstream schools. Maxine has held senior leadership roles within various special school settings and has a particular interest in music and the arts. Before becoming an HMI, Maxine was an Ofsted Inspector, alongside working in school improvement consultancy.
Dr Susan Ebbels
Moor House Research and Training Institute
Susan has worked at Moor House with children with Language Disorder, including Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for over 20 years.
Prior to this, she worked in mainstream and special schools, language units, nurseries and clinics both as a speech and language therapist and earlier as a speech and language therapy assistant. She has an honorary lectureship at UCL (where she completed her PhD in 2005) and is also a specialist advisor for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
She is on the editorial boards of two peer reviewed journals, the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders and Child Language Teaching and Therapy.
She is passionate about the need for evidence-based practice and has carried out, coordinated and published many intervention studies on a range of areas, but with a particular focus on improving the comprehension and production of grammar in children with language disorders using her SHAPE CODINGTM system. She delivers regular courses both on the SHAPE CODINGTM system and on the current evidence base for school-aged children with DLD.
Specialist Teacher (DLD) & MHRTI Trainer
Moor House Research & Training Institute
An experienced teacher in both mainstream and SEN settings, Sue began her career in a mainstream school and in 1996 started working for the London Borough of Bromley as a KS2 specialist teacher in both their language units.
It was here that she began supporting pupils with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Sue worked closely with Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) to deliver specialist language teaching and supported pupils’ re-integration into mainstream classes.
In 2006, she joined the teaching staff at Moor House and has extensive experience of devising and delivering a mainstream curriculum that has been highly differentiated for the language needs of the pupils in her class. She has worked closely alongside speech and language therapists for many years to ensure that speech and language therapy can be integrated throughout the curriculum using a range of specialist systems.
In 2019, Sue was seconded to the MHRTI as a trainer to develop a range of courses for mainstream schools. In addition, Sue works as a literacy group intervention lead teacher, supporting students from KS2-KS4 who have DLD and additional literacy needs.
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Moor House Research and Training Institute
Hilary is an experienced, evidence-based Highly Specialist Speech & Language Therapist within the field of language disorders, including Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Working across both Moor House School & College and the Research & Training Institute, Hilary provides highly specialist interventions to a small caseload of students with DLD in 1:1 small group and classroom sessions, working within an integrated, intensive speech and language therapy service.
She also provides expert support, advice and training to both internal and external professionals, including Makaton (regional tutor), the SHAPE CODING™ system (accredited trainer), The Listening Program® (certified provider) and Signed English (tutor).
Hilary is a regular presenter at conferences and recently co-authored a research paper on the effectiveness of semantic intervention for word-finding difficulties in college-aged students with persistent language disorders.
Programme and Strategy Director
Lisa has 25 years of experience of working with young people with ASC, MLD, SLD, PMLD and complex needs. She has worked alongside a wide range of professionals and experts to create individualised programmes, placing young people at the centre of their learning. She has piloted several successful inclusion projects and worked in a wide range of specialist educational settings, including providing high quality bespoke post-16 specialist provision and post-19 transition. She has also worked in the charity sector.
Lisa has always pioneered new ways of working that make a real difference to the lives of young people with a learning disability. Whilst recently studying for an MA in Experimental Psychology, Lisa explored how innovative technology can be developed to support people with autism. She believes passionately in expanding neurodiversity in the workplace and that the benefits this brings to corporate business is of equal value to that of the young person with a learning disability they employ.
Project Director for Whole School SEND
Margaret Mulholland is the SEND and Inclusion specialist for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) representing 20,000 school leaders. She is a leading advocate for inclusive pedagogy and the role SEND settings play in improving understanding of inclusive teaching and learning in mainstream. A regular advisor to the Department for Education, she sits on the SEND leadership board, and previously on the ITT curriculum and behaviour expert groups. Her teaching and leadership experience spans both mainstream and special settings, including seven years as Director of Development & Research at a leading Special School in London, establishing and leading the Teaching School alliance, and thirteen years at the Institute of Education, where she was responsible for innovative employment based routes to teaching.
This year she co-authored the SEND handbook or ITT for nasen and DfE. She is also Project Director for Whole School SEND, an Education Endowment Foundation trial to evaluate the impact of the SEND Review Framework. She is advisor on ITT for the States of Jersey. In 2020 Margaret developed an inclusive teacher training programme for special education in the Punjab on behalf of nasen and the Department for International Development. She is Honorary Norham Fellow at the University of Oxford, member of the UCET executive committee and writes a monthly column on research and inclusivity for TES Magazine.
Dr Carrie Grant MBE
Broadcaster, Campaigner and Parent to 4 children with SEND
Annemarie Hassall MBE
Chief Executive and Chair of Whole School SEND
Senior AAC Consultant
Educational Consultant & Behaviour Advisor
Magic Behaviour Management Ltd
Speech and Language Therapist
Find the Key Speech and Language Therapy
Independent Speech and Language Advisor
Dr Jamie Galpin
Independent SEN Consultant
National Head of Education and Partner
Browne Jacobson LLP
Education Officer (Early Years)
Director for Social Mobility and Vulnerable Learners
Education Policy Institute
PDA Dad UK
Devon Carers/DIAS/PDA Society
Dr Sarah Moseley
Dr Sarah Moseley Consultancy
Shape Robotics A/S and Morten
Rosa Monckton MBE
Chair and Founder
Independent Trainer and Speaker
SEND Consultant and Specialist Teacher
Education and Tomatis Consultant & Director
Fit 2 Learn CIC
Organisational Consultant Headteacher
Nell Nicholson Consulting and Gloucester House the Tavistock Children’s Day Unit & Outreach Service
Director of SEND/SENCO and Dyslexia Specialist
Yoga Teacher Specialist in Intellectual Disabilities
Broadcaster, Campaigner and Parent to 4 Children with SEND