Inclusion & Wellbeing MENA 2021 - Digital - Speakers

Wednesday 24 Feb 2021 - Tuesday 9 Mar 2021

Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness & Innovation, Knowledge & Human Development Authority

Hind's passion for people ensures that the organisation nurtures the best talent, builds valuable working relationships and makes the most of innovative ideas. Her team embodies the Chinese meaning of the word chi (life force) and this forms the basis of the way they work. The Chi team’s role is to harness creativity to build a more positive education sector with wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. Hind believes diversity is one of the most exciting aspects of her role. She heads KHDA’s 10x team – a project to take education ten years into the future, in just two years. The 10x team has developed Rahhal, an initiative that promotes and recognises learning outside of the traditional school environment. “It’s not often we get the chance to change the world,” says Hind, “but with Rahhal, we are. Students and parents all over Dubai will be able to control their own learning journeys in a supportive regulatory environment.”


Noora Alsaadi, Bilingual Inspector, Schools Inspection Bureau, Knowledge & Human Development Authority

Noora is an Inspector under the Knowledge and Human Development Authority and a specialist in the area of special educational needs. She is a passionate advocate for the development of inclusive education and achieving educational excellence for all.  Noora holds specialist degrees in both Early Childhood Development and Special Educational Needs, and began her career teaching young children with special educational needs and supporting them to reach their highest potential.


Barry Cooper, Education Consultant

Barry has worked across academic, pastoral and business functions for 20 years in both UK and International HMC schools (including Epsom College, Wellington College Shanghai and, most recently, Brighton College Dubai). Now founder of his own agency, he specialises in developing new propositions and innovative academic structures for educational companies and both existing and start-up schools across the world.


Sarah-Jane Critchley, Consultant, Coach and Author

Sarah-Jane is a keynote speaker, consultant, coach and author who wrote ‘A Different Joy: The Parents’ Guide to Living Better with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and More...’ and contributor to two books on autistic girls. As Programme Manager of the Autism Education Trust for over 10 years, she developed training, standards and competencies that reached over 270,000 people.


Kelly Hannaghan, Voices of Wellbeing

Kelly has been an experienced leader of wellbeing for over 18 years. She puts wellbeing at the heart of education. She is an award winning motivational speaker, school improvement advisor, published author and founder of ‘Family Matters’ empowerment programme. Kelly is a trailblazer for school development processes, creating outstanding outcomes and awards for many organisations. Recognised by the DfE, NCB, The Anna Freud Centre and The Education Support Partnership as a lead influencer of mental health and wellbeing in education. Kelly has supported mental health systems for schools both in the UK, China and South America. You can connect with Kelly on @VoicesofWB

Watch Kelly introduce her sessions: How to create the best outcomes from the Wellbeing Award for Schools and Early interventions to support student self-confidence and self-esteem


Wendy Harris, Assistant Head Teacher - Inclusion, GEMS Wellington International School

Equipped with a PGCE in Drama and History, Wendy started her career more than 25 years ago as a Drama teacher. She soon found a passion for inclusive education, studying for a postgraduate qualification in dyslexia and then in ASD. She has achieved the postgraduate National Award for SENDCOs and the CCET qualification. Previously a SENDCo in the UK, Wendy relocated to GEMs Wellington International School, Dubai, where she has been for 10 years. Wendy says, "To me, inclusion is about being proactive in identifying and managing barriers which may limit achievement, participation and progress and ensuring a quality education for all."


Nina Jackson, Voices of Wellbeing

Education is a world of very special people but you will meet few as extra special as Nina ‘Ninja’ Jackson. With over 30 years of experience in education as a leader and manager,  trained in the areas of Safeguarding, Child Psychology, Mindfulness, Bereavement and Loss, Advanced CBT and First-Aid Mental Health, Nina is in demand internationally for her work as a mental health and wellbeing advisor and consultant. An award winning motivational speaker and published author, pastoral and pedagogical champion, Nina works tirelessly for the good of humanity and is recognised as a major change maker in her field of work. Her work with Yale University on ‘The Science of Wellbeing’ and her Coaching skills with The Education Support Partnership have rescued many in education from the depths of despair. Wellbeing is at the heart of everything she does. You can connect with her @VoicesofWB

Watch Nina introduce her sessions: Reflections on the impact of the pandemic and a look forward to a bright future through rebuilding, reconnection and resilience and Early interventions to support student self-confidence and self-esteem


Dr Rasha Mashmoushi, Educational Psychologist, Camali Clinic

An educational psychologist with a doctorate degree in Applied Educational Psychology (University of Nottingham, UK) and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology (University of Bristol, UK), Dr Rasha is currently working as an Educational Psychologist at Camali Clinic, Dubai. Previously a clinician at the American University of Beirut Medical Center, she specialised in clinical evaluations and treatment of neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly for school and college students. Dr Rasha also held various other appointments at universities and clinics in the UK, KSA, and Lebanon. Her clinical expertise involves the development and adaption of culturally appropriate tests and measures for children and young adults. Her research focuses on improving practices in schools and universities in meeting the needs of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Rasha is a member of the British Psychological Society.


Gareth Morewood, Educational Advisor and Visiting Lecturer

Gareth is the Educational Advisor for Studio III.  Previously he worked for 25 years in U.K. schools, 17 of which were as SENCo in a large, inclusive secondary school in England.  With extensive ‘front-line’ experience supporting schools, families and working directly with young people in the U.K. and abroad, Gareth is co-director of the LASER programme. This fuses his critically acclaimed Saturation Model with Low Arousal approaches as part of a system-led model of inclusive practice. Gareth has been appointed a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester, leading on postgraduate SEND and behaviour courses and supporting Initial Teacher Training and undergraduate routes into education.


Catherine O'Farrell, Consultant and Corporate Leader

Catherine is an experienced senior & corporate leader  driving inclusion across the UAE and beyond. She has a masters in systems and bachelors in both education and psychology. Catherine has been consulting in the UAE for almost 10 years and is a regular conference speaker and media contributor. She is currently Group Head of student services for Bloom Education. She is passionate about developing communities of practice through collaboration and multiple voluntary charitable endeavours.


Dr Ruba Tabari, Educational Psychologist, The Developing Child Centre

Dr Ruba Tabari is a British trained educational Psychologist and qualified teacher. She obtained her doctoral degree from University College London in 2012 with a focus on school development and reform.  She has close to twenty five years’ experience in the field. Dr Tabari has worked with a vast array of schools and institutions in the UK and the Gulf region. Her experience covers all aspects of child and education psychology work. She has led and contributed to a number of working groups on matters such as child protection and effective inclusion. Dr Tabari has extensive experience in case management leading multi professional teams in highly complex cases.


Hannah Wilson, Educational Consultant

Hannah is an independent educational consultant who specialises in leadership development and training. She is a Department for Education coach for the Women Leading in Education initiative and an advocate for flexible working. She specialises in diversity, inclusion and equality and her former roles have included Head of Secondary Teacher Training (University of Buckingham) and Founding Executive Headteacher of Aureus School & Aureus Primary School. Hannah is a trustee at Odyssey Trust and an elected council member for the Chartered College of Teaching.