Inclusion & Wellbeing MENA 2022 - Dubai SOLD OUT - Speakers

Tuesday 17 May 2022 - Wednesday 18 May 2022
Crowne Plaza, Dubai

 Hind Al Mualla, Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation, KHDA

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, KHDA 

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.

 Louise Dawson, Education Consultant and Inclusion Specialist (Chair, Day 1 - Inclusion)

Louise is an independent consultant, supporting schools with inclusion across the Middle East.  Louise has worked in Dubai for 9 years and Hong Kong for 8.  Previously with Jumeirah College, Kings’ School Al Barsha, and Wellington International School, she is well placed to understand international education systems. She has an in-depth knowledge of leading inclusion within international private schools, as well as understanding the Inclusion journey that the UAE has been on.  Previously the BSME Network Lead for Inclusion, Louise writes and delivers training for Infinite Learning, Real Training, nasen and EduCare.  She works closely with Inclusion Expert to bring quality training opportunities to the Middle East.  Louise is co-founder of the International Forums of Inclusion Practitioners, and speaks frequently across many education platforms, including hosting two sessions with What Works for KHDA.  An advocate of assistive technology, she also works with IDL, Cricksoft and Texthelp to bring supporting software to the Middle East.   Prior to Duba,i Louise spent six years in mainstream and a special school in England.

Dr Gilda Scarfe, Founder, Positive Ed (Chair, Day 2 - Wellbeing)

Watch Dr Scarfe's welcome to the Wellbeing day where she outlines some key themes and her keynote and workshop sessions.

Dr. Scarfe is the founder and CEO of Positive Ed and a member on the advisory board of the Global Flourishing Study led by Harvard University in collaboration with Baylor University. Gilda is a positive psychologist and mental toughness expert with a Masters in Education and Doctorate in the conceptualisation and application of mental toughness in education. She specialises in: the design and implementation of wellbeing and mental toughness in learning, decision-making, quality of relationships, performance, and organisational climate; measuring mental toughness; and the influence of mental toughness training on key life outcomes. An international keynote speaker, she consults around the world with school and large companies on best practices for integrating wellbeing, mental toughness and positive psychology domains into training and product design.

Dalia Alzyod, Speech and Language Therapist, Lighthouse Arabia

Having completed her degree in audiology and speech language pathology in Jordan, Dalia is currently pursuing a master’s degree in special education at the United Arab Emirates University. She has worked in various clinical and educational settings in public and private schools as well as private practice. Her clinical and educational skills are focused on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of speech, language, social communication, and cognitive-communication. Dalia specialises in the assessment and intervention of speech and language needs for children with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, speech motor-planning disorders, social-pragmatic disorders, and learning difficulties using research-based practices. Her goal is to support children and adolescents at all ability levels to communicate effectively to their fullest potential. Her clinical style emphasises fun, engagement and building rapport and she is committed to helping clients achieve their goals by working closely with their families and teachers as a team.

Benjamin Atkins, Head of Secondary, The Aquilla School

Benjamin is the Head of Secondary at The Aquila School, a truly inclusive outstanding British school in Dubai. Benjamin has an array of educational experiences from both the UK and his ten years in Dubai. Benjamin believes in amazing learning and that pupils should love coming to school. For a well-rounded education, school should be as much about what happens outside of the classroom, as well as inside it. Benjamin is currently completing his Professional Doctorate in social care, policy and practice.

Adrian Bethune, Founder, Teachappy

Adrian Bethune is a part-time teacher at a primary school in the UK and the founder of Teachappy. In 2012, he was awarded a ‘Happy Hero’ medal by Lord Richard Layard at the House of Lords for his work on developing wellbeing in schools. In 2015, he was invited to speak at the Action For Happiness event, Creating A Happier World, on stage with the Dalai Lama. Adrian is author of the award-winning Wellbeing In The Primary Classroom (Bloomsbury, 2018), co-author with Dr Emma Kell of A Little Guide to Teacher Wellbeing and Self-care (Sage, 2020) and lead author for the Oxford International Curriculum for Wellbeing (Oxford University Press, 2021). 

Hear from Adrian about his upcoming keynote on wellbeing curriculum and culture.

Siobhan Brady, Vice Principal, International Community School, Abu Dhabi

Siobhan’s experience includes school improvement, international school inspections and whole school leadership roles. Her specialisms include inclusion, safeguarding and wellbeing. Before moving to the Middle East, Siobhan was an Assistant Principal in a specialist autism secondary school and a member of the Department for Education Teacher Reference Group. Siobhan’s studies have been focused on correlating students' wellbeing with academic success.

 Harmeet Dhillon, Co-Founder, Incluzun

Harmeet is the co-founder of  - a socially responsible enterprise supporting parents and all stakeholders with inclusion across the United Arab Emirates. Harmeet has worked in Dubai for the last 15 years and in Singapore and Malaysia for the previous 15. She has worked tirelessly to support and train stakeholders to promote inclusion in schools, with a particular focus on learning support assistants. In addition to running many successful training workshops, her brainchild, The LSA Forum, is a successful platform where she trains LSAs to present on various topics to other LSAs.

Professor Eman Gaad, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Professor of Special and Inclusive Education, British University Dubai

In addition to her roles at the British University in Dubai (BUiD), Professor Gaad is also an Affiliate Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, UK. For many years, she led BUiD’s special and inclusive Masters programme and currently leads the Doctoral programme. Eman has established herself as a world-class researcher, advocate, international social development consultant and expert in the field. She is a regular keynote speaker, certified assessor, and a professional social trainer. Over the last 25 years, she has become a frequent national and international media figure on hundreds of live on-air radio and TV programmes, as well as writing and appearing in hundreds of articles published in local and regional newspapers. A sound academic, Prof Gaad is an external PhD examiner for reputed universities around the world and is a recognised international scholar in the field of special and inclusive education as well as social development. She has secured millions of AEDs in research funding from the government of the UAE to examine the field. She co-founded the Emirates Down Syndrome Association, one of the largest NGOs in the UAE, where she also acts as a Senior Educational Consultant. A governor of the regionally outstanding Dubai College, she is  on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organisations in the UAE. Eman has advised policy and decision makers as a senior consultant for the governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi on disability related issues. 

Mike Glanville, Chief Safeguarding Officer, The Safeguarding Company

Mike is a co-founder and the Chief Safeguarding Officer at The Safeguarding Company. A former child protection officer, Mike served as a UK police officer for 30 years and as an Assistant Chief Constable had overall responsibility for all aspects of safeguarding and public protection in his force. In his current role he oversees the development and delivery of safeguarding training and customer success using his experience to deliver high-quality services and support across a wide range of sectors. Mike has also been a school governor since 2010 and is currently the Chair of Governors at a primary school located in Dorset, UK.

Ambika Gulati, Principal, The Millennium School

Ambika Gulati is the Principal of The Millennium School, Dubai. With over 20 years' experience in school leadership across schools in India and the UAE, Ambika has a zeal for making a difference in the lives of children. Though she began her career as an investment banker, she soon realised her passion for teaching and learning and for educational research. Ambika’s forte is in leading pedagogical transformation and inspiring her team to make shifts in their practice. Her firm belief that happy teachers create a happy school has led her to work strategically on the wellbeing of both teachers and students at her school, especially incubating the Mental Toughness Programme.

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 11 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."

Hear from Wendy about her workshop on Quality First Teaching.

Julia Knight, Principal, EtonHouse Bahrain

Julia has been working internationally since 2012 and is a passionate advocate for children’s well-being in and out of the classroom. She says, 'having worked extensively across all phases from EYFS to Sixth Form in a variety of roles, I know that happy children are successful students.'


Dr Rasha Mashmoushi, Head of the Educational Psychology services at the American Center of Psychiatry and Neurology, Founder of Mind Path

Dr. Rasha is 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 the head of the Educational Psychology services at the American Center of Psychiatry and Neurology in Dubai. She is also the founder and manager of Mind Path which offers psychological and educational clinical and consultancy services. Dr. Rasha has also held other various appointments at universities and clinics in the UK, KSA, and Lebanon. Her clinical and research expertise involve assessing and intervening with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Find out more about Dr Rasha's worskhop on executive functioning in this short video.

Anna Nowak, Head of ALN secondary and EAL teacher, Compass International School Doha

Anna's background is in psychology and psychotherapy, with a focus on well-being and mindfulness. She was born in Poland and moved to the UK to obtain undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications, also working as a counsellor with individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Anna is a certified coach and a founder of the Beat the Burnout coaching program. She has always been keen on helping children and adults in their learning journey, improving their wellbeing and personal development. This led Anna to work for schools and a university in South America as a psychologist, personal development facilitator, well-being consultant and counsellor.  She currently leads ALN department and teaches English as Additional Language at Compass International School in Doha. Before moving to Qatar, Anna designed mindfulness and positive psychology programmes for schools and companies in Chile, which turned out to be one of her biggest passions.

Watch Anna introduce her keynote on staff culture of wellbeing and personal growth workshop

Catherine O'Farrell, Education Consultant, Co-Founder, Incluzun

Catherine is an experienced educational leader and consultant. She is a founder of and hosts an international voluntary forum for Inclusion & Wellbeing leaders. Catherine holds degrees including education, psychology and a masters in systems. She also holds graduate-level degrees in counselling and psychotherapy. With 16 years' experience in international education, Catherine has served as Director and Group Head for a number of large school groups. An advocate for special education and inclusion communities, she is practising across the MENA region, working under the Global Sustainability Network striving toward the UNSDG Goal 8. Catherine is a regular media contributor and conference speaker.

Rachel Rogers, International Manager, GL Education

Rachel has over 20 years’ experience in the education sector. She has spent most of her career working in Edtech, supporting schools to realise the benefits of technology to support teaching and learning. With a background in psychology, Rachel completed her Masters research looking at Leadership across Multi Academy Trusts and continues to work as a trustee for a small MAT. Now at GL Education, Rachel is the International Manager and leads our team of International Consultants to support and develop schools’ use of standardised assessments across the globe.

Trish Rymer, Education Consultant, OnLine Training

Trish has worked in education her entire career. She is a highly experienced teacher, education psychologist, school inspector and leader in disability and inclusion in mainstream and special education settings, supporting schools to make quality provision for students with disabilities and to improve student outcomes. In Australia, Trish worked for the NSW Department of Education until 2020, leading teams supporting schools on inclusion and effective professional learning practices. Trish developed a systemic approach to professional learning, introduced the Online Training courses and supported other education systems to take up the OLT courses. Trish supports education systems and schools that license the OLT courses across Australia. She has extensive experience of course development and utilisation and supporting tutors and those leading the OLT courses at a system level.

Dr Daniela Salazar, Clinical Psychologist, Lighthouse Arabia

Dr Salazar loves listening to people and walking with them through their journey of life by giving them useful strategies to overcome whatever obstacle they might run into. As a clinical psychologist,she works with clients to transform their difficulties into meaningful and valuable experiences. Born in Colombia, Daniela was raised in the USA and has worked in school settings as a school counsellor and a special needs specialist. She has worked in private practice settings for several years and has experience in a wide range of psychological issues. Her particular interest is in working with couples, children and mood disorders, holding seminars and workshops on topics including positive parenting, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, bullying, mindfulness, positive relationships, and the art of communication.

Noha Shaaban, Educational Consultant and Inclusion Leader

Noha is an educational consultant and inclusion leader with over 25 years' experience. Since she earned her master’s degree in inclusive education from University College London in 2011, she has been promoting inclusion practices in the MENA Region. She has furthered inclusion  through launching and developing inclusion departments in schools, and through training SENCOs, teachers and LSAs. In addition to her current role as an Inclusion Leader and consultant in UAE, Noha is an adjunct instructor at the Graduate School of Education, American University in Cairo. She is also a certified school inspector by Tribal and a member of the external review team of Cognia.

Mark Swaine, IB Educator & Chairperson of Staff Wellbeing Committee at Swiss International Scientific School Dubai

Mark's passion for wellbeing has seen him deliver many workshops for students and athletes around USA and Ireland, speak at The Mental Health & Wellbeing Summit, and co-found 'Warriors of the Light', a mental health charity. He holds degrees in both education & applied communication, certificates in sport psychology and mindfulness, and has recently graduated from University of East London’s Master’s program in Positive Psychology. Mark is an IB educator and the current chairperson of the Staff Wellbeing committee at the Swiss International Scientific School, Dubai.

Watch Mark's short video introduction to his workshop on staff wellbeing.

Kathy Swords, School Counsellor, British School Muscat

Kathy has over 25 years’ experience working in international schools across Greece, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman. She is currently the School Counsellor at the British School Muscat. Kathy is an Integrative Counsellor, accredited by the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. She is also an accredited EMCC Senior Practitioner Coach. Kathy’s area of expertise involves working with adolescents and adults on many levels, with a special focus on challenges arising from high mobility associated with living and working overseas. Kathy has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences including ‘Families in Global Transition Conference’ Amsterdam, Dubai Psychological Conference and the Qatar Wellbeing in Schools Conference.

Nick Watson, Co-Founder, Team Angel Wolf

After service as a Royal Marine, Nick retrained for civilian life in Personal Training, Sports Specific Coaching, Sports Therapy and as a certified Ironman Triathlon Coach. He has constantly participated in challenges including ultra-distances such as the Marathon Des Sables and Ironman Triathlons. Nick has been a health and fitness professional for 25 years, living in Dubai since 1998. His life perspective changed after the birth of his first child, Rio. Rio has severe disabilities, with a rare chromosome disorder called ‘1q44 deletion denovo syndrome’. In short, this means he experiences seizures, is non-verbal, has severe learning and gross/fine motor skills disabilities, sensory integration dysfunction, amongst other difficulties ... but he is a very happy, loving young man. Rio directed Nick to a world of inclusion and the creation of Team AngelWolf - a non-profit foundation that promotes an inclusive, active life with People of Determination. Team AngelWolf is all about Inclusive Impactivity ™, working with families and individuals of all abilities in a welcoming, motivational and connected space. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is equal.

Dina Yassin, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Misr Language Schools, Giza, Egypt

Dina studied psychology at the American University in Cairo, graduating in 2005. In 2011, she achieved an MA in Special & Inclusive Education from University College London. Since then, Dina has worked as an educational psychologist and a certified assessor for students with disabilities and struggling students in the mainstream classrooms. She conducts workshops for teachers, school principals and specialists in the field of inclusive education, and for parents whose children are struggling. Examples of recent workshops she has conducted are: Inclusive Education Practices in the Mainstream Classroom, Constructive Alignment & Blended learning, and Assessment & Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities.

Watch Dina introduce her workshop on tackling barriers to learning.