Dame Christine Lenehan, Director, Council for Disabled Children
In 2000 Christine joined the Council for Disabled Children, part of National Children’s Bureau. Christine has carried out reviews for both the DoH and DfE, 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 RCPCH. 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.
David Maycock, Assistant Head, Addington School
David is currently the Assistant Head at an Outstanding Special School in Berkshire. He has worked in Special schools for 13 years. He’s spent a lot of this time developing curricula and assessment that best prepares their students for later life. He has developed a Specialised Independent Living Skills Assessment Framework for tracking students’ progress towards key life skills.
Lesley Cox, Education Consultant and Former National Lead for Special Education Needs and Disability at Ofsted
Lesley has taught across all phases of education and was a headteacher of an outstanding specialist provider for five years. In 2012 she was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) and became Ofsted’s National Lead for special educational needs and/or disability (SEN/D). Since leaving Ofsted in 2017, Lesley has worked as an independent education consultant. She regularly delivers keynote presentations and training to national forums, multi academy trusts and local authority leaders on Leadership and Management and SEN/D.
Liz Murray, SEND Consultant and Trainer, Spotlight Education Support
Liz has worked in education for 20 years; she is an accredited Advanced Skills Teacher, has held pastoral and curriculum leadership positions and is a qualified SENCO and experienced Assistant Headteacher. She has worked in all-through schools and across the state and independent sectors. She has expertise in SEND change management, CPD and curriculum design.
Rachel Watt, Headteacher, Linden Bridge School and National Leader of Education, SEND Teaching School
Rachel has taught in SLD, LD and Autism specific schools. Rachel is a National Leader of Education (NLE) and Headteacher at Linden Bridge School, which is an outstanding school for pupils age 4 to 19 with Autism and Social Communication Needs. The school is a Teaching School in partnership with West Hill School, who together form SEND Teaching School Alliance. The Teaching School offers outreach to primary schools, School to School support, SEND training and development, Leadership programmes and SEND input and placements for our regional SCITTs. It is also the south-east regional hub for the DfE Autism Education Trust.
Samantha Garner, Director, Garner Education Services Ltd
Sam is a renowned and entertaining trainer and speaker on Mental Health and SEN. As SENCo in a large Secondary School she gained a wealth of SEN training and experience. She then worked with children excluded from school, and children in care. She trains education staff nationally and internationally and writes regularly for education publications.
Sherann Hillman MBE, Head of Family Services, Seashell Trust
As Head of Family Services, Sherann uses her wide knowledge of special educational needs and disabilities to support families, represent the Seashell Trust, and be a voice for parents at local, regional and national decision-making bodies. Sherann is a key note speaker, trainer and consultant in participation and coproduction. Sherann was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year's Honours List for her Services to Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).