Keep checking back for more information about our guest speakers and seminar subjects.

Confirmed speakers :

  • Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS

    via video

    We are excited to announce that Professor Stephen Hawking will provide a video introduction to this year’s nasen Live, focusing on the topic of DME (Dual and Multiple Exceptionality)

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  • Dr Adam Boddison

    Chief Executive

    Dr Adam Boddison is the Chief Executive for nasen with responsibility for strategic direction and operational delivery across the full breadth of nasen’s activity.  Prior to this, Adam held a number of senior education roles including Director of the Centre for Professional Education at the University of Warwick, Academic Principal for IGGY (an educational social network for gifted teenagers) and West Midlands Area Coordinator for the Further Mathematics Support Programme.  In addition to a range of teaching and leadership posts in both primary and secondary schools, Adam has a portfolio of education research and international education projects.

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  • Professor Barry Carpenter, CBE, OBE, PhD

    Barry Carpenter is Honorary Professor at universities in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia. He has been a Fellow of the University of Oxford.

    In a career spanning more than 30 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Academic Director, Chief Executive, Principal, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online ‘Training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities’.

    He is the author of over 150 articles and many texts on a range of  learning disability/special needs topics .In the last 12 months, his work has been translated into German, French, Dutch and Russian. His most recent book publications (with Carolyn Blackburn and Jo Egerton) focus upon Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). In  2015 he co authored a book on Children with Complex Needs.

    Barry lectures nationally and internationally,. In recent years this has included China, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand.  He is the co founder of the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education. For the Mental Health Foundation he Chaired the National Inquiry into the Mental Health of Young People with Learning Disabilities. He is currently Chairing a working group looking at the needs of Girls on the Autism Spectrum , which will be the focus of his next book.

    Barry has been awarded Fellowships of the Royal Societies of Arts and Medicine. In 2016  he was awarded a CBE by the Queen for his work  in the  international field of  Special Educational Needs. He was created OBE  in 2001 for services to children with Special Needs.

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  • Professor Diane Montgomery PhD

    Dual and Multiple Exceptionality: An Introduction to the Issues and Practical Guidance for Practitioners

    Professor Diane Montgomery PhD is an international expert on teaching methods, underachievement, giftedness and special needs. She has lectured widely on these topics in Australia, Europe, USA, the Middle East and the UK. She is the author of more than 30 books on DME, giftedness, underachievement, dyslexia, behaviour problems, slower learners, appraisal, classroom observation, study skills and learning and teaching strategies.

    She is a qualified teacher, teacher educator and chartered psychologist. She wrote and ran distance-learning MAs in G Ed, SpLD and SEN for Middlesex University where she was Head of the School of Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education and Performing Arts.

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  • Alison Wilcox

    Making Learning Accessible: Practical Strategies for Teachers

    Alison worked for many years as a primary teacher before taking up a post with Birmingham Local Authority as an advisory teacher for SEN, working with schools and settings to develop their provision for children and young people with SEN in general, and those with learning and cognition difficulties in particular.

    Alison joined nasen in November 2014 as their Education Development Officer (EDO) and will contribute to the strategic direction of the Association; working to make the vision of securing the best possible outcomes for children and young people a reality.  The role includes being responsible for production of educational materials, resources and training, connecting with members and other education colleagues at events and within seminars, providing professional advice and guidance, as well as working directly with schools where possible.

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  • Dr Rona Tutt, OBE

    Rona trained as a primary teacher and then as a teacher of the deaf. She has taught across the age range in state and independent, day and residential, mainstream and special schools.

    She is a former head teacher and Past President of National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

    Rona has been a winner of the Leadership in Teaching Award, received an Outstanding Reviewer Award for her work on the International Journal of Educational Management and she has been awarded an OBE for her services to special needs education.

    Rona has written and co-authored a number of books, including The SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years – Policy, Provision & Practice (2015).  In 2016, she was the writer for a DfE-funded project awarded to the charity ‘KIDS’, which is entitled: Making it Personal: A Guide to Personalisation, Personal Budgets and EHC Plans  - for Educational Establishments and Local Authorities. In the same year, she wrote Rona Tutt’s Guide to SEND and Inclusion (2016).

    Rona is in constant demand to speak at conferences and other events. She represents the NAHT on a number of committees and is vice chair of 2 governing bodies. During 2015/16, she was the Interim Chair appointed to establish Hertfordshire’s All Age Autism Partnership Board. Her website can be found at:  www.ronatutt.org.uk

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  • Dr Susan Atkinson

    Dr Susan Atkinson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. Susan has a background in education, including as an Early Years class teacher with 3-7 year olds, as a learning support teacher with Cambridgeshire Learning Support Centres, and as a special needs teacher in an International school in Luxembourg. After completing a psychology degree with the Open University and a PhD at the University of Central Lancashire, Susan moved into HE, and currently teaches developmental psychology on QTS and non QTS courses. Her research interests centre on working memory development, reading, and SEND. Current projects include investigating the incidence of working memory difficulties and establishing effective intervention strategies with local primary schools, and leading the Erasmus+ ITIDE project, using online materials to develop educators’ expertise and knowledge in inclusion for students with SEND.

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  • Kate Browning

    Inclusive Teaching in Secondary Schools: Practical Strategies for Secondary Practitioners

    For over 20 years, Kate has been passionately committed to championing the role of the SENCo and children with SEND. Over this time, she has worked as a class teacher, SENCo and Local Authority School Improvement Officer for SEND.

    Kate now works as an independent consultant specialising in school improvement for SEND. She is an Associate Consultant for NASEN and teaches the National Award for SEN Coordination for the University of Northampton. She also facilitates SENCo Network meetings for schools across Leicestershire and Warwickshire, provides guidance and advice for The Key and is a Chair of Governors.

    Kate has a successful track record of working with schools to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND. She writes guidance for SENCOs in leading and managing SEND provision and practice and delivers training for staff and Governors within schools, Local Authorities, Teaching School Alliances and Academy Trusts. Most recently, she has supported NASEN in writing guidance and delivering national training on the SEND Code of Practice for SENCOs and School Leaders. She has also presented at educational events across the country.

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  • Anita Kerwin-Nye

    Anita is the Managing Director of the London Leadership Strategy and Chair of the LLS hosted Whole School SEND Consortium, and has presided over the growth of their teacher and headteacher development programmes. These include projects supporting Teaching Assistant deployment in collaboration with UCL’s Institute of Education, helping emergent MAT Leaders develop the skills needed by CEOs of charities, and rolling out the SEND resource review to over 700 schools.

    Previously Anita founded The Communication Trust, a collaboration of over 40 charities working in the field of speech, language and communication. These charities - often competitors - worked together under Anita's leadership to develop and deliver a UK-wide programme of support to schools, parents and young people.

    Anita is a qualified teacher and youth worker and spent her early career working in challenging schools, prisons and estates in Brighton and East Sussex.

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  • Michael Surr

    Education Development Officer

    Michael's background is in primary education both in the UK and abroad.  He has worked as a class teacher, SENCo and Deputy Head. Since beginning his career in education he has had a keen interest in SEN, ICT and equalities issues.

    From 2008 Michael worked for a Local Authority as part of the leadership team of a SEND advisory service which gave him the opportunity to broaden his experience in to Early Years and Secondary. This role involved working with schools and settings to help them develop their provision for children and young people with SEN in general, and those with learning and cognition difficulties in particular.

    One of the projects that Michael led was the development of a pathway for the identification of dyslexia which is now used by schools across Birmingham.

    He is looking forward to using his experience and expertise to help nasen continue and develop its support for members and the promotion of the SEND agenda.  It is his hope that we will work together in continuing towards the goal of a better deal for our children and young people with SEND

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  • Rosie Lewis-Oztekin

    Identifying and Supporting EAL learners who also have SEN

    Rosie has worked in education for many years both in the UK and abroad. Originally a primary class teacher, Rosie developed her passion for supporting children and young people with SEND through subsequent roles as SENCo and Deputy Headteacher in two schools. She currently works for Birmingham Local Authority as Assistant Service Lead for a SEND advisory service that supports 450 schools with children with cognition and learning needs. Within the service, Rosie is project lead in the areas of dyslexia, SLCN and school improvement in relation to SEND. Rosie is a recognised lecturer at the University of Birmingham and teaches on the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

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  • Stuart Miller

    Stuart has been a civil servant for almost 25 years, the last 11 years of which have been as a Deputy Director at the Department for Education (and its predecessors).  He’s led the Department’s 0-25 SEND Unit since November 2014 and before that held senior roles leading on revenue funding policy; capital funding policy; change management; school performance tables; pupil well-being, health and safety; and school food.  

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  • Ali Fiddy

    Ali is the Legal Team Manager at IPSEA, a charity which offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. She is a qualified solicitor with extensive experience in the fields of education, community care, mental health and public law. She has spent many years working in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as Head of Legal at Mind and previously as Assistant Director of Legal Services at NYAS and Deputy Practice Manager at the Children’s Legal Centre. Ali has a range of casework and policy experience. She has represented parents of children with SEN, homeless young people, looked after children, care leavers, unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and disabled children and adults in need of community care services.

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  • Debbie Simmons

    Debbie Simmons joined Place2Be in 2016 and has supported families with complex needs for nearly 30 years. She has Diplomas in Management & Leadership and Childhood Studies and a PGDip in CAMHS Service Transformation. Her work on rehabilitation and reintegration within HMP led her to complete an MSC in Substance Misuse and she went on to focus on early intervention within the mental health sector after managing children and family services that experienced high risk taking behaviours. She is trained in MI, CBT techniques and application with children and has CBT and CYPIAPT Certificate in Supervision. Debbie is Place2Be head of service for the Midlands and the North of England delivering primary and secondary 'a whole school approach' model, supporting emotional well being for pupils, staff and parents.

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  • Malcolm Reeve

    Malcolm Reeve is Executive Director for SEND & Inclusion at Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). Prior to this he was CEO of a large special school. Malcolm is a National Leader of Education and a member of the National SEND Forum. He speaks and writes regularly on inclusion and the strategic leadership of SEND. He has recently worked internationally in the Middle East and China.

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  • Natalie Packer

    An Inclusive Approach to Assessment

    Natalie is an Independent Education Consultant specialising in SEN and school improvement. She develops and delivers a wide range of training and support to primary, secondary and special schools, local authorities and other organisations.  Natalie is an Associate Consultant for nasen and a member of their EY / Primary Advisory Group. She is part of the Academies Enterprise Trust SEN Team, providing support for leadership of special needs and inclusion. Natalie is a consultant for a 4-18 school in Dubai and a trustee of a recently formed multi-academy trust.

    Natalie has previously worked for the National Strategies SEN Team and DfE implementing the Achievement for All (AfA) project to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEN. Prior to this, she worked for several local authorities across the East Midlands as an Adviser for SEN and School Improvement. She has had primary headship experience and has previously been a SENCO. In 2015, Natalie was a member of the DfE Assessment without Levels Commission.

    Natalie is the author of The Perfect SENCO, an essential read for those wanting to develop their strategic SEN role effectively. Her next book, The Teacher’s Guide to SEN, will be published in February 2017.

    E mail: n.packer174@btinternet.com
    website  www.nataliepacker.co.uk
    Twitter: @NataliePacker

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  • Rani Kaur

    Rani is a Senior Advice Officer at the National Governance Association - the leading charity for guidance, research, advice and training for school governors and trustees. Rani’s role includes responding to queries from members on a wide range of issues affecting governing boards. Rani also contributes to the NGA weekly newsletter and bi-monthly NGA magazine, Governing Matters. Rani leads on the policy area of SEND at NGA and produces guidance for the NGA website.

    Before joining NGA, Rani read Law at the University of Birmingham.

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  • Rob Webster

    Reassessing the Role and Impact of Teaching Assistants in Inclusive Classrooms

    I'm a researcher and joint professional development co-ordinator at the UCL Institute of Education. I lead the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants initiative for SENJIT, and deliver the MITA school improvement course for school leaders

    I've worked on a number of research projects focusing on the use and impact of teaching assistants, including the ground-breaking Deployment and Impact of Support Staff project and its follow-up study, the Effective Deployment of TAs project. I've co-directed the Making a Statement study and now lead the SEN in Secondary Education study, both of which focus on the educational experiences of students with SEN.

    I've written extensively on these topics and my publications include: the Education Endowment Foundation's Making the Best Use of Teaching Assistants guidance report (June 2015); two acclaimed books: Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants and The Teaching Assistant's Guide to Effective Interaction; and numerous papers, many of which can be downloaded via the research pages on this website.

    I've had five years experience of working as a TA and I've also worked as a local authority SEN Officer, managing the statuary assessment process and school placements.

    email: r.webster@ioe.ac.uk | twitter: @maximisingTAs | blog: http://staffrm.io/@robwebster

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  • Simon Knight

    Simon Knight is Director of Whole School SEND, a consortium committed to improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND, through networking, collaboration and unlocking the answers that exist within the system. He was was formerly Director of Education at the National Education Trust and prior to that he was a Deputy Headteacher in a school for children aged between 2 and 19 with Severe or Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. He has sat on the DfE panels developing both the Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants and the Standard for Teacher Professional Development. He writes features for the TES and regularly contributes comment and content to other publications and conferences. He can be found Tweeting as @simonknight100.

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