Leading SEND Provision - Digital - Speakers

Thursday 27 Jan 2022 - Thursday 3 Feb 2022
Digital delivery

Jo Billington, Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Autism, University of Reading

Jo is an autism researcher, lecturer, and advocate.  Her research is focused on documenting the lived experiences of autistic children in mainstream primary schools with the aim of developing autism-friendly educational policy and practice. In addition to her academic work, Jo is a specialist autism practitioner for Berkshire-based charity Parenting Special Children, and a mental health trainer for The Charlie Waller Trust.

Ginny Bootman, Special Needs Co-ordinator

Ginny Bootman is a SENCO who has over 25 years’ experience as a class teacher, having also been a headteacher. She is now SENCO of two primary schools in Northamptonshire. Her passion for the role which empathy plays in the job of the class teacher shines through articles she has written for publications including TES. She shares this passion in her talks to a variety of audiences. Find her at www.ginnybootman.com  and on Twitter @sencogirl.

Wendy Conrad, Lecturer, University of Derby

Wendy has worked in education for over 15 years in a variety of different settings including mainstream schools, special schools and the University of Derby where she holds the position of Associate Lecturer. In addition, Wendy also leads the Derby Special School Mental Health Leads Network which has been commissioned by the Opportunity Area Fund for Derby to provide resources for families of SEND students across Derby City. Wendy is also studying for her EdD where she is researching the area of early career teacher efficacy in supporting the mental health needs of SEND students from within the classroom environment.

Debby Elley, Journalist, Author

Debby is mum to 17 year-old autistic twins Alec and Bobby. In 2008, Debby teamed up with speech and language therapist Tori Houghton to launch AuKids magazine, a parenting quarterly for families of autistic children. It won Best Specialist Magazine in 2015’s Prolific North Awards and the FSB’s Social Enterprise of the Year award in 2016 for Greater Manchester and North Cheshire. In 2018, Debby wrote 15 Things They Forgot To Tell You About Autism and followed it up with 2020’s best-selling children’s book The Ice Cream Sundae Guide to Autism, which she wrote with Tori. She has written the forthcoming Championing Your Autistic Teen at Secondary School with Gareth Morewood, to be published on May 19, 2022.

Richard Freeth, Partner, Browne Jacobson LLP

With over 20 years’ experience practising education law, Richard is an independently ranked leading lawyer and is a key member of the Browne Jacobson education team. He specialises on a wide range of education law issues, both operational and strategic, and has a wide breadth of experience gained through his work in the public and private sectors directly supporting schools and LAs on education issues. Richard leads our team on a wide range of pastoral issues that affect schools on a regular basis – admissions (both mainstream and SEN), exclusions, SEN (including high-needs funding), disability discrimination and other equalities issues, parental complaints and relationships with LAs.

Sarah Hopp, Head of Additional Learning Support and Inclusion, St Francis Xavier Sixth Form College

Sarah has 25 years of experience as a specialist SEND leader, assessor and teacher for students with a wide range of complex needs including SEMH, ADHD, Autism and Dyslexia. She develops SEND policy and practice across institutions and coaches SENDCos and teachers that are new to post. Sarah has studied a Doctorate in Education (Research) at the University of Glasgow with a focus on neurodiversity. She is a member of the Aim Higher London Disability Working Group and City of London SENDCo Networking Group and provides consultancy and training across a number of sectors.

Gareth Morewood, Educational Advisor, Studio III

Previously, Gareth 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.

Dr Ruth Moyse, Associate and Director, AT-Autism

Dr Ruth Moyse is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton, and a Director & Associate at AT-Autism. She is a qualified teacher and completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. Her research interest lies in the education of autistic children and young people, particularly the female experience. Ruth is an advocate for participatory research and the co-production of knowledge and chooses creative methods of engagement that centre autistic young people and their views. She has two children, one of whom is autistic, and is autistic herself.

Natalie Packer, Education Consultant, SEND

Natalie is an independent education consultant specialising in SEND and school improvement.  She develops and delivers a wide range of training and support to schools and multi-academy trusts. She is also a trustee of Learn-AT multi-academy trust in the East Midlands and supports the Whole School SEND review process. Natalie is the author of The Perfect SENCO and The Teacher’s Guide to SEN.

Claire Ryan, Founder of @ChatterPackUK and Author of ADHD and Me, Student Speech & Language Therapist

Claire worked as a senior speech and language TI in an NHS children’s therapy team for 17 years supporting school staff, parents/carers, professionals and working directly with children and young people with SEND. She is now a second-year student speech and language therapist and has recently won an RCSLT Giving Voice Award for her dedication to raising awareness of SLCN. Claire is also a parent to a young person with SEND and has a diagnosis of ADHD herself. In her spare time she founded ChatterPack.net (a Neurodiversity-Award winning, online resource base sharing information, articles, and simple SEND resources) and she authored ADHD and Me, a book to help guide children, young people, and the adults around them towards a better understanding of what ADHD means to them as a unique individual.

Andy Smith, Founder, Spectrum Gaming

Andy is a 24 year old autistic man and the founder of Spectrum Gaming, an online community for autistic young people. After struggling a lot in education, he made it his life goal to make sure as many autistic young people as possible avoid the struggles previous generations have faced. Previously, Andy worked as an advocate for young people with special educational needs and disabilities at a local authority and co-chaired the North West SEND Young People's Co Production Network. He now runs Spectrum Gaming full time. They launched over lockdown and have a thriving community with over 600 members and 35 volunteers.