SEND Leadership - Online - Speakers

Thursday 18 Jan 2024 - Tuesday 12 Mar 2024

SEND Leadership conference speakers

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, including SEND reviews, to schools and multi-academy trusts. She supports several MATs with the strategic development of SEND and is a trustee of Learn-AT multi-academy trust in the East Midlands. She is the author of The Perfect SENCO and The Teacher’s Guide to SEN.

Ginny Bootman, Special Needs Co-ordinator and Author

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 four primary schools. Her passion for the role which empathy plays in the job of the class teacher shines through her recently published book Independent Thinking on Being a Senco and in articles she has written for publications including TES. She shares this passion in her talks to a variety of audiences. Find her at and on Twitter @sencogirl.

Sara Alston, Consultant and Trainer, SEA Inclusion & Safeguarding

Sara is a practising SENCo and an independent SEND and safeguarding consultant and trainer with over 35 years' teaching experience. She provides support and training to schools. Sara writes regular articles for Teach Primary, SecEd and Headteacher Update, as well as blogs about SEND and safeguarding issues. She is the co-author of The Inclusive Classroom: A New Approach to Differentiation (Bloomsbury, 2021). Her latest book Working Effectively with Your TA was published in February 2023.

Marie Beale, Deputy Headteacher and Inclusion Manager, Whitefield Primary School

Whitefield Primary School is based in Liverpool. We say "we value every child for who they are and prepare them for who they can be". At the heart of our school culture is Be Here, Be You, Belong, and this shapes our approach to all aspects of school life. Marie Beale is Deputy Headteacher and Inclusion Manager at Whitefield Primary School. We seek to understand our children and put in place staffing, environments, routines and curriculum which help them to feel safe, calm and able to learn. Our partnership with TPC has been hugely supportive to that aim.

Will Cannock, Trust SEND Lead, The Charter Schools Educational Trust

Will is SENCO at Charles Dickens Primary School in Southwark and SEND strategic lead for the Charter Schools Educational Trust, providing support and advice across primary and secondary schools. Will works as an Evidence Leader in Education (ELE) with the Education Endowment Foundation at the Charles Dickens Research School, working with schools nationally to develop and deliver learning behaviours programmes with a focus on SEND, social and emotional learning.

Nicole Dempsey, Director of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and Safeguarding, Dixons Academies Trust

Nicole is Director of Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and Safeguarding at Dixons Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust of 17 schools across the north of England.  She is also a Deputy Regional SEND Lead, in the Lancashire and West Yorkshire region, for Whole School SEND, a consortium of organisations committed to enhancing the quality of education for learners with special educational needs and/or disabilities throughout England. She writes about SEND and inclusion on her blog,, and can be found on X under the username @NDempseyINCO14.

Shahana Knight, Founder and Director of TPC Therapy Ltd

Shahana is director of TPC Therapy, a mental health service that supports organisations to become trauma-informed and attachment-aware. She is also the creator of the Therapeutic Schools approach through which she is working with schools across England to put children's wellbeing at the core of education. Pioneering a vision for all schools to become therapeutic schools, Shahana’s unique approach has been recognised and featured by BBC Newsround and BBC Teach. She won the Business Entrepreneur Award at the Katie Piper Foundation’s inspirational women’s awards 2021. Shahana writes a regular segment in Head Teachers Update magazine.

Kirsteen Steven, Assistive Technology and Additional Support Needs Teacher, CALL Scotland

Following nineteen years in the classroom, Kirsteen joined the CALL Scotland team as an assistive technology and additional support needs teacher. She's always had a particular interest in the use of technology to support learners and was the teacher who volunteered, at the time, to have the first interactive panel installed in their classroom! Having taught in both mainstream and specialist provision, Kirsteen recognises the importance of having high expectations for all learners and for them to have access to technology which will enable them to be successful learners.

Kenny Wheeler, SEND, Inclusion and Leadership Consultant

Kenny is a freelance SEND, Inclusion and Leadership consultant with more than 20 years experience in the education sector. He was a secondary SENCO and senior leader before moving into educational consultancy. Kenny facilitates leadership development in SEND via workshops focusing on identification of needs, strategic development of provision to name but a few. He was also a tutor on the NASENCO award at Kingston University. He is currently supporting mainstream SENCOs in Surrey and West Sussex as well as working as a coach and school improvement partner in several special schools. Kenny has had several articles published in SEN Leader, School Business Manager, Education Executive and TES. Kenny can be found on X, @KennyInclusion


Leading inclusive practice webinar speakers

Dr Jerricah Holder, Child and Educational Psychologist

Jerricah is an experienced Educational Psychologist, trainer and author of the School Wellbeing Cards. Over the course of her career, Jerricah has developed a particular passion and interest in supporting the needs of children experiencing Emotionally-Based School Avoidance (EBSA). Jerricah promotes a compassionate and child-centred approach to understanding and addressing barriers to attendance and school wellbeing. She has extensive experience of working with individual children alongside their family and school settings to increase resilience in school attendance, as well as developing more systemic approaches to EBSA that shift the focus onto early identification and intervention.

Anne Sheppee, Neurodiversity Consultant and Dyslexia Specialist

Anne has worked in education for more than 25 years as a SENDCo, LEA advisor and now as a neurodiversity consultant and dyslexia specialist. She currently works with several schools in South-East London providing both staff training, parent talks and dyslexia assessments; as well as carrying out private assessments in her own home. In the last year she has been a speaker at both the TES SEN show in London and the Dyslexia Show in Birmingham, being particularly passionate about supporting dyslexic students in the classroom through quality first teaching.

Suzy Rowland, Founder, Happy In School Project

When Suzy’s son was diagnosed with autism and ADHD after a protracted diagnosis process and many school exclusions, Suzy founded the #happyinschoolproject in 2018 to challenge established thinking about how neurodivergent children are engaged and included in classroom learning and the school environment. Suzy delivers the #happyinschoolproject through interactive training, keynotes, coaching, therapeutic support for families and 1-2-1s with children and adolescents. Her children’s workbook “I can’t go to School!” published by JKP in 2022 for school nonattenders is written to provide support and guidance for parents, educational and health professionals on communicating with young people who are experiencing school anxiety.