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Speakers

The Festival of Inclusive Education line up includes leading voices from schools, colleges and universities from across the UK and beyond.

Our Festival keynote speaker is...

Kate Griggs, Founder and CEO of Made by Dyslexia

Kate is an award-winning campaigner who has been researching and campaigning in the field of dyslexia since 2005. She is the founder of Made By Dyslexia, a global charity led by successful dyslexics here to redefine dyslexia and help the world understand, value and support it. Kate is leading the charge to disrupt the world’s thinking around dyslexia and championing the value of Dyslexic Thinking skills which are vital for the workplace of the future.

Follow Kate @kate_griggs

Amanda Kirby

Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do IT Solutions Ltd

Professor Amanda Kirby has an international reputation in the field of Neurodiversity. She is a trustee of the ADHD Foundation, works closely with the BDA, Dyspraxia Foundation and several Autism charities. Her 9th book has been published in 2021:'Neurodiversity at Work, Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce'. She is the CEO of Do-IT Solutions, who are Disability Confident Leaders. She was chosen as one of the top 20 LinkedIn voices in the UK for 2020.

Follow Amanda @profamandakirby

Antony Ruck

Antony Ruck, Vice Chair, BATA

Antony of Archent Consulting has worked in the AT industry for over 15 years at senior management level, working with manufacturers, publishers and service providers to deliver first class products and customer experience. Now working as a freelance AT Industry Consultant, Antony provides information, advice and guidance on service delivery, operations, commercial development, sales and marketing, and event management.

Follow Antony @AntonyRuck

Charlie Love

Charlie Love, Quality Improvement Officer - Digital at Aberdeen City Council

Based in Aberdeen, Scotland, Charlie Love works to further the development and adoption of Digital Learning across Education. He provides advice to the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority on digital learning and computing science. His current interests include flipped and blended models of learning, the use of video and AI to make learning accessible for end users, games development and games based learning and the use of social media in education. In his current role, he leads on the deployment of digital tools for learning in Aberdeen City and the programme of support to deliver 21st learning experiences.

Follow Charlie @charlie_love

Cheryl Shirley

Cheryl Shirley, Director of Computing and Digital Skills at the LEO Academy Trust

Cheryl is a primary school teacher with over 10 years experience in schools across South West London. She is a Google Certified Trainer and Coach and spends lots of her time supporting and coaching teachers with their use of technology to enhance teaching and learning for all pupils across LEO Academies and beyond.

Follow Cheryl @MrsShirley8

Deborah Martinet

Deborah Martinet, SEN SpLD Consultant and Assessor

Deborah Martinet has worked for 30 years in primary and secondary schools in the UK and internationally. Although an experienced teacher of the primary curriculum, KS1 and KS2, and French at post primary, she moved on to qualify and work in SEN and particularly Dyslexia / literacy difficulties. She worked for the local authority in Northern Ireland as Post Primary Coordinator and advisory teacher supporting teachers and those pupils with SpLD for Literacy difficulties, delivering training and bespoke support programmes. She has also taught EAL students and has been SENCo and Head of Learning Support in International schools in the Middle East (Oman) and in Europe (Switzerland). She has recently returned to Northern Ireland with a view to supporting students who have struggled to access the curriculum during the pandemic.

Donna Stevenson

Donna Stevenson, Head of Training and Consultancy at the British Dyslexia Association

Donna has a background in Nursery Nursing and Primary Teaching. She has worked at the British Dyslexia Association for 15 years in BDA's Education Team and currently manages the Training Department.

Helen Ross

Dr Helen Ross, Owner and Founder of Helen's Place Education Consultancy

Dr Helen Ross is dyslexia specialist and former SENCO, currently working in a mainstream school in Wiltshire. She provides expert advice and research consultancy, assessment and CPD, through her own enterprise ‘Helen’s Place’. Helen is a Trustee of the BDA and Chair of the Wiltshire Dyslexia Association. She has consulted for the BDA, The Committee for Science and Technology, and Wiltshire Local Authority. Helen is an independent researcher. Her research explores stakeholder experiences of SEND provision in mainstream education, focusing on empowering young people and those supporting them.

Follow Helen @drhelenross

Elmaz Soyal

Elmaz Soyal, Teacher & Assistant Vice Principal of EdTech Curriculum & Learning Technologies Lead at Aylward Academy

Elmaz has taught Art and Photography for many years and has always been an advocate of using technology in her own classroom. She decided to gain her Level 1 and 2 Google Certified Educator Certificate and then quickly became the 'go-to' person for EdTech within her own Academy - training staff and students on how to use tech to enhance teaching and learning. In 2020 she led remote learning for her own Academy as well as becoming a lead InnovAETor for the AET during the COVID 19 crisis.

Kath Lawson

Kath Lawson, Director of Inclusive Support at YES@ Arete Learning Trust

Kath has 30 years’ experience in education including time spent as a mainstream primary teacher, a specialist teacher for North Yorkshire County Council, and currently developing inclusive support for the Arete Learning Trust which encompasses three large secondary schools. Kath studied for her MA (SEN) when she was faced with barriers to support and understanding when her own son started school. She works closely with national support groups and professionals spearheading positive change within SEND provision and has been invited to contribute to national inclusion events.

Follow Kath @YesSpLD

Lilian Soon

Lilian Soon, Educational Adviser at the University of York

Lilian Soon is an educational adviser at the University of York, who is passionate about digital accessibility, inclusive practice and staff development. She has worked on several UK and European teaching and learning projects, staff development programmes and inclusive learning projects. She continues to support colleagues across the UK through the Future Teacher 3.0 project. Her current research interests include progressing accessible mathematical text, the experience of disabled staff and students and appreciative inquiry as a model for staff development.

Follow Lilian @xlearn

Louise Warriar

Louise Warriar, Director, BATA

Louise is a Consultant DSA Needs Assessor with a background in one-to-one support and assistive technology. She has been supporting students with disabilities in Higher Education for over 15 years, focusing on assessing for the last eight years

Patrick McGrath

Patrick McGrath, Head of Education Strategy at Texthelp

Patrick is currently Head of Education Strategy at Texthelp, responsible for evangelising the impact that technology can deliver to teaching and learning across primary, secondary and third level education. Whilst focusing on how technology can make a real and meaningful impact on teaching and learning for all, Patrick has a particular interest in inclusion and equity. Most of all though, he loves to support teachers and leaders with the knowledge and skills around tech tools that are transformative, yet easy to use.

Follow Patrick @TH_PatrickM

Richard Sparks

Richard Sparks, eLearning Strategy Manager at the Academies Enterprise Trust

Richard Sparks is eLearning Strategy Manager at Academies Enterprise Trust and a certified Google Trainer and Innovator. An advocate of the Cloud, Richard was part of the team who led the transition to Google Workspace for all schools at the Trust. This strategy has led to increased access to world class technology for students, improvements in team working, greater organisational collaboration, increased creativity and significant cost savings. Richard is passionate about collaborating with people to identify the best technology for their needs and sharing, training and collaborating with them to develop new and creative approaches to the delivery of technology.

Follow Richard @innovaetors

Simon Tanner

Simon Tanner, Trust Director of SEND for Bohunt Education Trust

Establishing a consistent and inclusive SEND framework across the Bohunt Education Trust is a challenge to which Simon is striving to achieve. Ofsted has frequently recognised SEND provision for BET as outstanding which is testament to the systems and structures that Simon and his team have established. Simon completed the MAT SEND Leadership Programme through Whole School SEND in 2018. Through this experience, he was invited to join a small team of SEND leaders to develop the DfE's MAT review guide in 2019-2020. Most recently, Simon has formed and chairs a 'MAT leadership SEND Forum' providing a networking opportunity for those responsible for SEND in MATs across England to join and share best practice.

Follow Simon @simontanner_SEN

Tracy Galvin

Tracy Galvin, Education Developer, Queen's University Belfast

Tracy (she/her) is an education developer at the Centre for Educational Development at Queen's University, Belfast (QUB). She is a Senior Fellow with Advance HE and currently completing her PhD and SEDA Senior fellowship. Her key area of expertise is initial teacher education, academic practice and professional development specialising in equality, diversity, inclusive and accessible practices through Universal Design for Learning. External to QUB she is part of two international UDL groups International Collaboratory for Universally Designed Education (INCLUDE) and UDL-IRN Antiracism SIG and also a member of the UK JISC Community Leadership team on accessibility.

Follow Tracy @TracyGalvin77

Victoria Schoenhofen

Victoria Schoenhofen, Specialist Support Teacher for South Lanarkshire Council

Five years ago, Victoria accepted a role as a Specialist Support Teacher for South Lanarkshire Council, originally supporting two secondary schools. In her time in this role, she has covered six high schools, an SEBN school and 5 primary schools. She now works 2 days a week for Social Work, supporting Care Experienced young people in accessing the curriculum and meeting their potential academically, and developing their resilience and mental wellbeing.