MEET THE EXPERTS
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Maggie has worked in the field of Additional Needs (AN) for over 30 years in schools, local authorities, the voluntary sector, Higher Education and for the Welsh Government. Since 1992, She has published widely on a range of AN issues and her co-authored book ‘The Autism Inclusion Toolkit’ was translated into Polish in 2012. Maggie has been a speaker at national and international conferences in the UK and the USA, The House of Lords, the House of Commons and 11 Downing Street!
Maggie left her post as programme leader for the MA in Education at Glyndwr University to take up a secondment with the Welsh Government in 2002. As a Development Officer for Inclusion, she had a responsibility for Able and Talented, Training in AN and Autistic Spectrum Condition. When the secondment came to an end in 2005, She continued to work with Welsh Government on various projects. She worked as a consultant/trainer for Early Support in Wales until 2012 and conducted research into how the model can be succesfully employed in a school setting. The Guidance which ensued is available on the Early Support Wales website. She is currently working with CCN Cymru for Welsh Government in the production of a DVD on transition post school for individuals with AN.
Maggie holds professional qualifications at Master’s level and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is delighted as an ‘oldie’ to be the ‘newbie’ at Concept Training!
‘Excellent – did exactly what it said on the tin’
‘All very useful, you can never stop learning about Autism. Excellent speaker and enjoyable to listen to.’
Dawn Webb, Brynglas Primary School
Glynis is an experienced and enthusiastic Early Years Teacher who has a wide range of experience in working with young children with Special Educational Needs and their families, and providing advice and training to Early Years Foundation Stage practitioners and Special Educational Needs Coordinators in schools and in Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) settings.
After completing her psychology degree and subsequent teacher training, Glynis had the opportunity to teach in a specialist assessment provision for young children with a variety of additional needs, where a passion for working with young children with SEN was ignited and set the direction of her career for the next 27 years. She has taught in mainstream and special schools as well as being the Resourced Provision Teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator in a large maintained nursery school. She has also worked for over 12 years for two Local Authorities as an Advisory Teacher for Children in EYFS with Special Educational Needs. Additional responsibilities in these posts have included managing Portage teams, being the Lead Teacher for an Advisory Teacher Team (EYFS, SEN), role of Area SENCO, providing on-hands advice around individual children to EYFS practitioners in mainstream and in PVI settings and delivering in-house and centrally based training on a range of aspects around SEN, behaviour, Early Support, inclusion and role of the SENCO.
Glynis enjoys producing and delivering training that is relevant and practical, and that helps to develop SENCO’s and EYFS practitioner’s confidence and skills so they can more effectively support, and ensure successful inclusion of, young children with a range of Special Educational Needs in their settings, thus enabling the children to enjoy learning and achieve their full potential.
‘Greatly improved my understanding of EYFS. Thank you so much, can’t wait to try ideas at school’
Originally a Biologist, Phoebe Caldwell is an Intensive Interaction Practitioner working mainly with children and adults on the autistic spectrum, many of them with behavioural distress. Phoebe has spent more than 35 years working with people with severe learning disabilities and autism. She combines using a person’s body language to communicate with paying attention to those aspects of an individual’s environment which are triggering sensory distress.
For four years she was a Rowntree Research Fellow, looking at best practice. She has been one of the principal speakers at a BILD Annual Conference. She teaches nationally and internationally – management, therapists, parents, teachers, advocates and carers – and is also employed by NHS, Social Services and Community and Education Services to work with individuals for whom they are finding it difficult to provide a service.
Phoebe has published seven books and four training films and a number of academic papers. In 2010, she was awarded the Times-Sternberg Prize for work on Autism and contribution to the community – and in July 2011, Bristol University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Science for on communication with people with autism.
‘The information provided is vital to help assist with Autism. Fantastic to see the difference and impact intensive interaction can do’
Kim Law, Carer
‘Phoebe clearly knows her stuff and speaks with passion and authority. Thank you, I was gripped all day!’
Alison Pettitt, Parent
‘Excellent training. Lots of info to take away and use in my service’
Zayna Khan Autism Care UK
For the past twenty years Honor has been dispelling the myths about disabilities and showing people the way to include children with special educational needs in a multitude of settings. Honor has advised schools, nurseries, play schemes, child minders and youth/sports clubs in how to make inclusion work effectively. Through her outreach work in Lancashire & Cumbria Honor has empowered people to open their doors to all children, whatever their disability.
Honor spends several days each week teaching in an ‘outstanding’ special school in Lancaster, where she also does outreach work in Lancashire’s schools and nurseries. The rest of the week she acts as a freelance consultant and trainer, working to remove the barriers to inclusion and training staff to feel confident in providing for people with additional needs.
Honor is the author of ‘Ten-minute daily motor skills programme’ 2001 and ‘Move Together’, 2008 a motor skills resource pack, and co-author of various publications for The Loyne LearningAlliance, including ‘Lets Listen and Move 1 & 2 ’ musical programmes for the development of body awareness and sensory integration and of various publications developing inclusive PE and overcoming handwriting difficulties.
‘Honor is an excellent trainer and comes across as a very knowledgeable, likeable person. ‘
Bexley Borough Council, Early Childhood and Family Services
Shelagh has a wealth of experience, drawn from life as a parent of a young person with disabilities and almost 20 years as a special needs teacher and Deputy Headteacher of a successful special school. She is currently a senior leader in a brand new generic special school in Bradford West Yorkshire. Shelagh specialises in Alternative and Augmentative Communication ( AAC) at all levels. She has successfully developed communication departments within her former and current schools to meet the needs of pupils with a wide range of communication difficulties. She has also led a Beacon School project enabling pupils using AAC systems to be included within mainstream settings across the Local Education Authority.
As a parent of a young adult with communication needs, Shelagh understands the need to provide quality provision across all sectors and the importance of effective communication strategies to empower young people to lead fulfilling lives. Shelagh believes training is not just about manuals and notes, it’s delivered from the rich resources of knowledge and understanding by people who believe passionately that making a difference matters.
‘I really enjoyed the day and feel inspired and am looking forward immensely to going back to my routes and working in PMLD. You obviously really care passionately about these children, and your enthusiasm is contagious!!!’
Janet O’Sullivan Dee Banks School, Cheshire
Judy is a highly qualified trainer and author whose working life has been devoted to increasing access to good quality play experiences by children, young people and adults with severe and multiple disabilities. She worked in the voluntary sector for many years, managing training and information projects for Save the Children. She then worked as Director of Action for Leisure, the national charity that promoted play and leisure for disabled people.
Judy’s particular interests are sensory work with all age groups, play and leisure for children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities, creating simple low-cost play and sensory resources, and exploring ways to involve people with ASD in play and sensory experiences which are enjoyable and meaningful for them.
‘I cannot contain myself until Monday morning… The course was GREAT! It was the best course that I have been on all year!! Judy kept us engaged and instead of just telling us loads of useless information, she had a ‘Mary Poppins’ bag full of toys and ideas!
The leisure centre staff are keen to get it started and I have now been given a humongous list of what I need to buy. However Judy gave us cheap and affordable, but safe and fun ideas! I just want to say from the initial booking process, to the course today, it has been a wonderful process.’
Becky Bowen, Disability Sports Officer, Sencio Community Leisure
‘Packed full of practical ideas, props and activities that I can lift straight into my setting. Had a lovely day. No negatives for me. Visual and interesting. Loved it! Wish I could come back tomorrow.’
Clare Grace is a Speech and Language Therapist working with both children and adults with a wide range of communication disorders and specialises in working with individuals on the autistic spectrum and also with individuals who have challenging behaviour.
Clare runs an independent speech and language therapy practice in the North West of England. She delivers assessment, therapy and advice in homes, schools and communities. Clare also has a special interest in developing alternative and augmentative communication systems for people with little or no speech.
‘Thank you for a fantastic day! There need to be more Clares!!!’
Karen Cook. Hazel Court School
‘A very informative, useful in service day, extremely well presented by Clare – Humour and hands on, well done Clare!’
Craig Park School, Ayrshire
‘As both a parent of a teenager with Asperger’s Syndrome and as a professional working with children on the autistic spectrum, I found this an outstanding course. Over the years I have been on many courses, but none so informative and professionally delivered as this one. Clare explained in detail exactly ‘HOW’ you can help children using some superb strategies- other training courses never fully equip you with this knowledge. I will definitely be putting some new skills into practice. I will also attend further training with Concept Training.’
Judith Campbell, Howick CE School
Janet Gurney is Chief Executive of ‘Us in a Bus’ a voluntary organisation that uses social interaction and leisure to build relationships with people with profound learning difficulties and complex needs including autism and challenging/distressed behaviour. Janet has been using Intensive Interaction in this work for over 23 years, and has had the privilege of working alongside Phoebe Caldwell. Janet used her experience, perception and sensitivity to establish common ground with people who are often isolated, helping them to have more of a positive voice and an impact on their world. She has a post-graduate certificate in training and is skilled at adapting her training approach to meet the needs of the participants.
Janet also works as a consultant for organisations wanting to improve the way they connect with their service users. In November 2013 she was a guest speaker, alongside Dave Hewett, at a large, international conference in Warsaw about Autism. Janet’s ability to look at the world from the individual’s viewpoint and the challenges they face means she can use her skills to make a real difference to their lives. The therapeutic impact of this can be seen in people’s increased confidence and willingness to engage with others.
Her workshops show people how to build and develop support for people who can often seem ‘difficult to reach’, including people with PMLD and/or Autism. Janet explores the principles and theory of Intensive Interaction and how this can be used to build more fulfilling, interactive and equal relationships with people who find communication a huge challenge.
‘I have just returned from today’s training and would like to say that it was the most beneficial, relevant in house training that I have attended.
The trainer made consistent reference to Intensive Interaction in relation to individuals who have autism, which is particularly relevant with the application in place for Autism Accreditation. The trainer had specific and in-depth knowledge and experience around engaging with individuals who have autism using Intensive Interaction.
I have learned an immense amount, including theoretical background knowledge and feel that the work that I am already undertaking and plan to undertake will be greatly enhanced.’
Sarah Elkington, Workforce Development Manager, Nash College, Croydon
‘On behalf of Creative Support, I would like to thank you for the excellent training you provided, Intensive Interaction. There was nothing but positive feedback regarding Janet Gurney’s ease of delivery and depth of knowledge on her subject. I feel I can say with confidence that each delegate will have left this training with regained confidence and new knowledge themselves, regardless of what level of experience they have already.’
Brenda Moss, Creative SUPPORT
Andrew Hall has worked in primary and secondary schools, residential special schools and PRUs for almost thirty years. He was Head of Education at a national inpatient psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. Andrew is an experienced headteacher, both permanent and interim. His last headship was at a split-site primary and secondary special school for children and young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in east London. OFSTED graded the school ‘Good’ with outstanding features, particularly for care, guidance and support. Andrew and his colleagues developed innovative strategies for students whose complex emotional needs led to the most challenging behaviour.
Andrew delivers courses and workshops throughout the UK and works as a consultant and interim headteacher. He aims to spend time working directly with children and young people, particularly aiming to engage disaffected students, those suffering from emotional stress and mental ill-health and students with learning disabilities. Andrew is particularly keen to share his knowledge of high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Andrew is now a specialist safeguarding trainer and consultant, including child protection and e-safety
Andrew is currently associate headteacher of a London special school for young people aged 2 – 19 with a range of special needs, including communication disorders, autism and PMLD.
Nigel has over 30 years experience in education, 26 years in special education with 15 years as Headteacher. Nigel has specialised in working with young people who experience emotional and behavioural difficulties in both day and residential schools, care settings, and including secure accommodation.
‘Nigel gave an excellent presentation; he has a nice manner and a pleasure to listen to. Very good course, really informative, would recommend to parents / carers’
Childcare providers, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
‘I enjoyed the session as it stimulated my imagination and helped to open my eyes to ways I hadn’t previously thought of.’
Haringey Council Children and Young People’s Service
Laura has worked as a lecturer in the Supported Learning Department of 2 large Mainstream Colleges teaching Numeracy, Literacy, Life Skills and Childcare. She also worked as the Life Skills Co-ordinator at a residential college for young people with severe physical disabilities. Laura was the Assistant Head Teacher, then Head Teacher at an independent special school for children with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.
In March 2013 Laura founded Positive Autism Support and Training (PAST.) PAST provides support to families who have children with autism and other associated conditions. As well as organising support meetings and training for parents, Laura works with children and teenagers with Autistic Spectrum Conditions including PDA, providing them with emotional and behavioural support and teaching strategies to help them regulate their emotions and manage their own behaviours. Laura successfully supports and advises parents and carers of children with ASC, PDA and other emotional and behavioural difficulties. Laura also works as an Educational Consultant working closely with schools and colleges providing training and advice to ensure that the needs of learners with all Autistic Spectrum Conditions are fully met. The autism training programmes that Laura has developed at Level 2 and 3 are accredited by The Open College Network (London Region) and recognised by the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF.)
Laura works with Dr John Hall, Educational Psychologist providing evidence from school observations for SEND tribunals. She has recently trained to use 3Di assessment software so can do some preliminary autism assessment work with Dr Hall.
Laura has a degree in Psychology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Special Education (Autism) a PCGE in Life Long Learning and holds NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). Laura also has a Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and NOCN Level 3 Certificate in Working with Students with ADHD. She is a recognised Surrey Autism Champion and is a trained ABA tutor.
With 30 years experience as a practicing musician, composer, conductor, teacher and consultant, Eric has worked with special needs clients ranging from young children to the elderly. He now delivers workshops to a variety of organisations, focusing on issues such as communication, team building and leadership using the performing arts.
‘Very enthusiastic and engaging tutor. Learnt a vast range of ideas of how to adapt story styles to suit the listener. Had a very enjoyable day’
Alissa Colucci Shooting Star Chase
Having just retired from 40 years of teaching, Stephanie has worked in the field of autism and complex needs, for over 30 years in a number of roles. She has been Headteacher of several residential schools, Principal of Children’s Services and her last role as Director of Education involved setting up a brand new school. The school focuses on children with communication, imagination and socialisation difficulties.
She also teaches management skills on the Leadership pathways programmes and helps organisations examine their practice for improving outcomes. As a published author Stephanie’s books are used as a resource for teachers and support staff to help children with high functioning Autism and Aspergers.
Throughout her career Stephanie has developed her passion for ”the moving arts’ involving massage, movement, yoga and drama games. She has created these into short programmes called Body Basics, Yoga Games, Caretouch, TouchTalks and Aromatouch. Stephanie teaches movement, massage and drama all over the world, with 70 Aromatouch therapists recently qualifying in Japan. She has also presented her work to the First and Second World Conferences in Australia and Africa. Now she works a trainer both in the UK and as a Educational Advisor for a charity in Romania, working with abandoned children in the state orphanages.
Lynn McCann began her teaching career over 25 years ago as a mainstream class teacher and has been an early years lecturer and SENCO. A move to a specialist Autism school gave her qualifications, training and experience in supporting children with complex needs and Autism from the Early Years to KS4. She has trained and had practical experience in autism theory and research, PECS, TEACCH, Sensory Integration, SCERTS, ASC and puberty / SRE, Emotional and Mental Health and Social Stories. She is also a qualified Forest Schools Leader.
Appointed as the Autism special school’s Outreach Teacher, Lynn has had over 10 years experience of supporting pupils with autism in mainstream settings, delivering training and making bespoke resources. Now working as an independent Autism Specialist Consultant, she has written articles for Special Children magazine, two books about supporting pupils with autism in primary and secondary schools and is developing a range of resources to help busy classroom teachers. Her experience covers supporting primary SENCOs and classroom staff with the knowledge, understanding and resources they need to make school successful for pupils with autism. In secondary schools she has developed resources and programmes to support individual and groups of ASC pupils in understanding their autism, dealing with challenges, emotional and mental health (including stress about exams and transition) and understanding growing up, sex and relationships. Lynn has been involved in applying for many EHC Plans and understands the needs and processes that schools have to go through to fulfil the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice.
Hilary is a teacher in Further Education and a member of the Institute for Learning. Her FE subject specialism is Business and ICT and Hilary has great experience of teaching both in 16+ mainstream and supported/foundation learning (including adults).
Having managed, trained and developed a department of 20 LSAs and 22 volunteer LSAs in an additional learning support environment, Hilary became a specialist in devising and implementing behavioural management techniques. Since then she has successfully set up and managed a behavioural support department at a medium-sized mainstream FE college, implementing whole college procedures and systems for the transitional support, ongoing support and monitoring of students with BESD, Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Aspergers Syndrome.
In 2009-2010 Hilary was the appointed BESD Specialist Lead for Action for Inclusion in Surrey and in this capacity Hilary worked closely with Surrey Local Authority and colleges in Surrey.
Hilary now provides staff training and INSET to FE and 6th form colleges nationally, also occasionally supporting students through transition to colleges where there is no dedicated behavioural support facility.
‘Returning to school today I am hearing an incredible amount of positive feedback from staff that attended, some of whom had been on previous Autism courses and have expressed how much more informed the day was. Please pass on their thanks.’
Marysia Lopuszanska, Senior Teacher, Training & Development, The Moat School
Janet Price is co-founder and Managing Director of Concept Training. Concept Training was set up in 1998 in response to the lack of independent and unbiased training in the use of multi-sensory rooms and equipment. Since 1998 Janet has used her vast skill and experience to deliver training to both adult and children’s services, aiming to dispel the mystery that can surround the use of multi-sensory rooms.
Providing ‘Practical Ways of Using Multi Sensory Equipment’, one of the company’s most popular courses, Janet’s passion and hands on dedication ensures the training is positive and realistic providing ideas which delegates can take away and use immediately.
‘This course opened my eyes to the opportunities for using the equipment, and of low cost alternatives.’ Lianne Hayes, Senior Inclusion Support Facilitator, Rotherham
‘This course should be an essential part of our school training due to its sensory focus. I wish I had the opportunity to come on the course 6 years ago!’ Becky Lea, The Robert Ogden School
‘Excellent course. I gained lots of new ideas to go away and use. Best course I have attended in ages.’ Marie Anne Kershaw, Willoughby School, Lincs
‘Thank you once again for the brilliant course you delivered today in Maidstone. Every part of it was informative, relevant and practical. I was so pleased to receive basic training that took into account the differing needs and experiences of all the course members, without anyone feeling that they were being left behind or disregarded. I feel really enthusiastic about using all the equipment and making sure the door of the multi sensory room is not left locked anymore!! Your advice for saving money and finding suitable equipment at a low cost was also invaluable in this age of ever decreasing funding!! Once again please thank your office staff for their excellent support and advice too. I would have no hesitation in recommending this and other concept training courses to all my colleagues. It was great value for money and my only complaint was it was over too soon!! Thank you very much’ Charis Lambert (Balfour Junior School, Chatham, Kent.)
Morag Scally is a performing arts specialist working with children and adults with a wide range of learning disabilities. She specialises in working with people with autism and challenging behaviours using music and drama. Morag also delivers training and consultancy for people working with those with a learning disability supporting the development of arts practice in community and education contexts. She is a visiting lecturer at The University of Winchester and mentors young artists joining the profession.
‘Brilliant tutor who made it fun and easy to learn. Great ideas to go away with, inspirational.’
Claire is an experienced educationalist with nearly 21 years experience of teaching across both primary mainstream and specialist provision. She has also taught within the HE sector at both undergraduate, post graduate and masters level. In 2015, she had a chapter she had contributed to on autism spectrum conditions accepted and published within a text which supports SEND professionals and trainee teachers.
She combines her teaching commitment in a specialist provision for children on the autism spectrum (enabling her to keep her practice up to date and relevant) with her work as a consultant, trainer and lecturer.
She specialising in supporting pupils on the autism spectrum and working with children displaying challenging behaviour but has gained experience over the years of many areas of additional educational need!
She has recently been involved in developing the skills, knowledge and experience of training teachers in preparation for working with children and young people with a range of learning difficulties and opportunities and approaches to working with families of people with AEN.
Last summer Claire worked as a volunteer for Amaze in Melbourne, Australia working within the team responsible for supporting schools and disability services in providing best-practice provision for people on the Autism spectrum.
She delivers training that is relevant, practical, engaging and enjoyable with her aim being to develop the practitioners confidence so that they may effectively support and offer effective strategies enabling children to achieve their own potential in a supportive environment.
Kathryn is an Early Years Teacher who knew from a young age that she wanted to teach Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. She began her career as a mainstream teacher then moved to a Pre-School Language Centre where she worked with children with delayed language, social communication needs and associated challenging behaviour.
For the past ten years, Kathryn has worked as an Area Special Educational Needs Coordinator in 2 Local Authorities, supporting staff in over 100 pre-school settings. She has been praised for her dedication, empathy, specialist knowledge and sense of humour in the most trying of circumstances!
Kathryn appreciates that successful inclusion presents challenges to staff but genuinely believes that good practice for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is good practice for all Children. With extensive experience of writing and delivering training, Kathryn ensures her training is fun, practical and empowers staff by giving them the confidence they need to return to their setting full of ideas, enthusiasm and the belief that they can make a difference.
- 20 years experience working as teacher/headteacher in schools for pupils with special educational needs.
- National SEN Co-ordinator for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.
- Consultant Advisor for Companies providing electronic communication systems for children and adults without speech
- Research Fellow for Government Project on Language and Communication for children with learning difficulties
“I can’t leave today without saying how fabulous our day was with Mike. It has been a long time since I have been part of a training that was perfectly pitched, generously delivered, and packed full of integrity.
On behalf of the team, thank you. We are collectively optimistic and inspired and, importantly, believe we will be able to improve our practice.
Thank you for being so impressive, at every stage of our experience with you.”
Acting Headteacher Wandsworth Hospital and Home Tuition Service
Colin Troy’s rich and varied career of many years includes experience as a school and college head, manager, teacher, foster carer, trainer and consultant both nationally and internationally, including Eastern Europe, The Middle East and Asia.
He is now a consultant, trainer and lecturer specialising in pupils and students of all ages with special educational needs, including Autism, Emotional and Behavioural Needs and Specific Learning Difficulties.
Colin also runs mentoring courses for students and teachers, management seminars and advises on inspections. He has also been a Foster Carer for children with special needs.
Colin has worked extensively in the UK and has trained for schools, colleges, parent partnerships and local authorities. He is still practicing in schools and also works with and supports adults and young people with a variety of special needs. He has worked with the UN Development Fund promoting awareness on special needs issues and was a keynote speaker at several International Schools Conferences including Prague, Madrid and Cambridge.
‘Excellent presentation. Well paced and level appropriate. Colin is so knowledgeable’
Bev Badu Essex County Council, family and child support manager
‘Interesting and thought provoking. Colin has an easy style of delivering information, which is interesting and directly from his own experience’
Karen Halley, Wokingham Borough Council, Early Years Inclusion Advisor
‘I’m pleased to have worked with Colin over the last 6 months and have seen the positive impact to many frontline roles of Workforce Staff and Volunteers. I have also found Concept Training support staff provide a prompt and professional service. I would recommend that this training be available to all staff, volunteers and organisations working with children, young people and families.’
Clare McCarty-Brooker, Children’s Workforce Development Training Officer
Helen Wood is the Head of Staff Professional Development and NVQ Manager at a residential school for young people with autism, severe learning difficulties and associated challenging behaviour. With an academic background in psychology, Helen’s main interest is in understanding behaviour. She provides training in positive behaviour support nationally and is accredited with the British Institute of Learning Difficulties as a Principal Trainer. Through her courses she shows how Autistic Spectrum Disorder, sensory impairment and tactile defensiveness affect the way people respond to touch. She teaches how to use this understanding to develop coping strategies and positive interventions
Other areas of specialism include; autism, communication and sensory processing difficulties. Helen has a practical and hands on approach to training and aims to increase course participants understanding and empathy towards those that they support.
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