Inclusion & Wellbeing MENA 2023 - Dubai - Speakers

Tuesday 14 Mar 2023 - Wednesday 15 Mar 2023
Sofitel Downtown Dubai

Here is a taste of some of our speaking team. More speakers will be announced shortly.

Daniel Sobel, Chief Exec of Inclusion Expert and Chair of the International Forums of Inclusion Practitioners (IFIP) (Chair, Inclusion day)

Founder of Inclusion Expert, Daniel has worked as a consultant and advisor to over ten thousand schools, along with governments, UNESCO, UN and the EU. He is Chair of the International Forums of Inclusion Practitioners (IFIP) which has representation in 120 countries, Founder of the Global Inclusive Teaching Initiative (GITI), Daniel has authored three best-selling books - the latest is The Inclusive Classroom trending on Amazon as the number one education book for a year. Daniel has also authored over 90 articles and a successful Master’s programme at the University of Buckingham in Inclusive Educational Leadership. Daniel is a major influencer in education with a massive following on LinkedIn.

Dr Pashu Bhattacharya, Head of Department - Inclusion, GEMS Modern Academy

Armed with a degree in special education from the National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (India) and board-certified assistant behaviour analyst (theory only) from Florida Institute of Technology, Dr. Pashu Bhattacharya has been with GEMS Modern Academy for the last ten years and is currently heading the Department of Inclusion. Passionate and compassionate, she leads by example and helps empower students with diverse needs by providing them with skills set that make them lifelong learners in the mainstream environment. Undaunted by challenges, Dr. Pashu firmly believes that great educators learn and grow with their students. Early identification and planning and strategising interventions are her strengths, and she has gained experience by working in diverse environments including Oman, India, and the UAE. Dr. Pashu has conducted workshops, orientations, and awareness programmes for parents and teachers. Her intervention is not only limited to school but also cascades to guiding parents to support their child at home and in other environments.

Stacey Bradwell, Director of Inclusion, GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail

Stacey qualified as a primary teacher in the UK and decided to specialise in SEND, working within both residential and mainstream settings. In 2012, she joined the GEMS Wellington network in Dubai and is now working as the Director of Inclusion at GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail (WEK) overseeing the support for Students of Determination and English Language Learners. Her main passion is supporting every student to reach their full potential through personalised curriculums and pathways.   She is a firm believer that all children can be successful and that a happy child is a child who can learn.

 Louise Dawson, Education Consultant and Inclusion Specialist 

Louise is an independent consultant, supporting schools with inclusion across the Middle East.  Louise has worked in Dubai for nine years and Hong Kong for eight.  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 Dubai, Louise spent six years in mainstream and a special school in England.

Sarah Feeney, Head of Inclusion for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, Safa Community School

Sarah previously taught a special school in Ireland, which caters for the largest cohort nationwide of students with Autism. A primary teacher for almost twenty years, Sarah has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Educational Needs followed by a Master’s in Special Education. Sarah has worked as a part-time lecturer in Ireland, lecturing in the area of special and inclusive education for pre-primary educators, primary and post primary teachers.

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.

Joe Hall, Head of Sixth Form, Brighton College Dubai

Joe has worked in education since 2005 and has taught in the state sector in the UK as well as internationally in Mexico, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. His background is in as a history, politics and economics teacher, with a particular interest in post-16 education. He is an experienced guidance counsellor and has established two new Sixth Forms within British curriculum schools. He spends most of his time thinking about developing high quality pastoral care, building resilient and meaningful relationships and bringing mental health awareness and education to the forefront of Sixth Form provision. He has devised a number of pastoral programmes which address insecurities around climate change and global insecurity as well as wellbeing curriculum design which focuses on building autonomy, confidence and self-sufficiency in 16-18 students.

Wendy Harris, GEMS Wellington Director for Inclusion

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 (WIS), Dubai, where she has been for 12 years. She is the Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion at WIS and she is also the Director of Inclusion for the GEMS Wellington Cluster of schools. 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."

Mark Swaine, Transition Lead & Grade 6 Learning Coordinator, 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.