Paul Burnett is Director of Paul Burnett Associates Ltd a company providing interim management, consultancy and project management services to local government and other organisations in the field of children and adult services.He is currently independent chair of the children and adult safeguarding boards in Leicestershire and Rutland and on the Isle of Man. He is also Interim Chair of the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board. He has previously chaired LSCBs in Nottingham City and Slough. He also works as an Inclusion Quality Mark assessor in schools.
Paul Burnett was Corporate Director for Children and Young People in Northamptonshire County Council from 2007 until 2011.
He began his career as a secondary school teacher in Northamptonshire holding a variety of roles including pastoral, staff development and special educational needs support posts. His local government career began with East Sussex County Council where he held a variety of posts covering in-service training, special educational needs, resources, strategic planning and support services as well as spending a period in the Executive Office. From 1997 he was Assistant Director in the new unitary authority in Brighton and Hove. Initially responsible for Parent and Pupil Services he took a lead role in the strategic planning for Children’s Services and the creation of the Children, Families and Schools directorate that drew together education and children’s social services. Between 2003 and 2007 he worked in the London Borough of Greenwich first as Director of Education and subsequently as Director of Children’s Services.
Paul has sat on a number of national groups focusing on provision for children in public care.
Rebecca is an Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Heulfan in Gwersyllt, Wrexham, which gained the prestigious IQM Flagship Award in 2014.Rebecca started her teaching career in 2000 following the completion of a BA (Hons) in Primary Education with QTS from the University of Wales. Her first post was teaching in Year 4 at a Junior school in Wrexham, which later amalgamated with the attached infants in 2005, to form Ysgol Heulfan. Following the amalgamation she requested a move into the Nursery class where she began implementing Foundation Phase initiatives and took on the role of Assistant Headteacher. In 2009 Rebecca achieved Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ in all areas of Foundation Phase learning from Estyn (the inspection body of Wales). The setting was the first in North Wales to achieve this.
Her success within Foundation Phase led to Rebecca being called upon by Wrexham LA to offer advice and support to other schools in the county. She presented at conferences and shared her expertise with both existing teachers and those training to be teachers at Glyndwr University. In 2014 Rebecca gained the National Professional Qualification for Headship following a gruelling exam and interview which she describes as “just like being on BBCs The Apprentice!!”
Rebecca has undertaken consultancy work for the company INCERTs which strives for excellence in assessment. As an Ambassador for the British Council she has travelled to Berlin, Swansea and York to share good practice with teachers from across Europe. In 2014-2015 Rebecca undertook work for the Welsh Government, supporting Newly Qualified Teachers in their Induction across North Wales.
Rebecca is often asked why she hasn’t moved on from Ysgol Heulfan: “The simple answer is I enjoy my job too much to leave! I work with some fabulous people and the children are wonderful. At Heulfan we keep abreast (and sometimes ahead of) the latest initiatives within education and as a Senior Leadership Team we are strong enough to embrace these new ways for the benefit of all. There’s never a dull day, I’m happy and have a great work-life balance.”
Smeeta Vaghela is currently the Primary SEN Learning Consultant for Enfield Local Authority School Improvement Service. She has experience supporting Headteachers, SENCOs and Senior Leaders with strategic and operational advice on developing Inclusion and SEN provision and has developed and delivered bespoke SEND/Inclusion training packages for leaders, teachers, support staff and governors.Previously she was a SENCO and Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion at an outstanding National Teaching School during which time the school was awarded Flagship IQM School status. Smeeta has a Masters in Special and Inclusive Education and is passionate about SEN and Inclusion.
Kenny retired after seventeen years as the Principal of a large, mixed, inclusive comprehensive school on the Isle of Dogs in East London that was well known for its inclusive ethos and practice. She is passionate about inclusion, improving teaching and learning and developing leadership in schools. Developing and supporting teachers and leaders to help them become the best teachers they can be is part of the inclusion agenda. She has been a governor in a local primary school for nearly twenty years.Since she retired from headship, Kenny has been working as an Education Consultant and has been carrying out research on Teacher Rounds as part of her doctoral studies at Brunel University. She has worked with the Inclusion Quality Mark for over three years and enjoys seeing the fantastic work that is going on in schools across the country.
I have been involved in education for almost thirty years and have been a SENCo for the past thirteen. I am currently a deputy Headteacher at a large primary academy, which is proud to hold the Inclusion Quality Mark and indeed Flagship Status. I have a passion for inclusion and constantly strive to ensure that all pupils are seen as unique individuals where every one of their achievements is celebrated.When I am not in school I take great pleasure in spending time with my children and grandchildren, who keep me sprightly and young!
Teresa is a wife and mum with three adult children who have all flown the nest. She spent her childhood living in Kidderminster in the Midlands where she went to school at St Ambrose’s PS. These were very happy, formative years which Teresa believes gave her the values and love for education which have have inspired her ever since.Having moved to Northern Ireland at the age of 12 she spent most of her Post Primary education at Dominican College, Fortwilliam before completing her B.Ed in History and French. She spent all her 37 years teaching in Post Primary schools. During these years she completed a Diploma in the Advanced Study of Education focusing in special education and in 1990 then achieved a M.Ed also in Special Education at QUB.
From 1989-1990 Teresa was seconded to Belfast Education and Library Board to support Special schools with the new NI Curriculum. These 2 years out of school (no doubt for good behaviour) were a wonderful insight into teaching and learning in an environment which was a new experience for her.
Teresa further enhanced her professional development by completing a PQH and was fortunate to be appointed as VP of St Rose’s Dominican College, then Principal where her school was the first Post Primary school in Belfast to be awarded the IQM. This award was a tribute to the wonderful work of all the staff. The school also held the prestigious Charter Mark and Investors in People.
Teresa successfully applied for European Peace money of over £250,000 for both parent and student projects ensuring that special needs students were a high priority for support. Additional funding also came from the Big Lottery, American Philanthropists and the Dept for Social Development which enabled a very successful link with Invest NI.
After a busy professional career Teresa retired in 2013 to take life a little easier. This definitely gives time for some lunching but Teresa is not a lady to rest on her laurels. She works part time at BMC in their Inclusive Learning Department mentoring students, is on the Board of Governors of a post primary school and works with a charity Families First.
This is a snapshot of a lifestyle still dedicated to the most vulnerable of young people but an enjoyable time of life with plenty of socialising, travelling, learning new skills not forgetting a ‘wee’ bit of pampering!
Since becoming Head of Woodfield Special School in 2003, we have had three inspections. The first in 2005 was judged ‘good with outstanding features ‘followed by two outstanding judgments in 2008 and 2010.In 2009, we were designated as a Specialist College for Sports and ICT and have used PE and Sport as a catalyst to raise standards across the curriculum. In 2010 Woodfield was designated as a National Support School and I became a National Leader of Education with a track record of supporting other special schools across London as part of The London Challenge Programme.
I worked with the LB Brent ‘Building Schools for the Future’ which was very close to success when the programme was withdrawn in 2010. However, the work was not in vain as another Head and I took one of the key aspects of the bid and put the plan into action. We devised a transition programme between a special school and a mainstream school where pupils at the end of KS3 from Woodfield transfer as a group to the additionally resourced provision at Alperton Community School for KS4 and then move onto KS5. This programme has worked successfully since 2012 when the first cohort moved to mainstream.
In 2013 Woodfield became a Teaching School with the aim to raise standards for all children in Brent through training teachers and non teachers to be experts in SEND. All trainees have a school experience in a special school and all NQTS have a balanced induction programme of SEN and mainstream pedagogy.
In 2014, Woodfield converted to academy status to ensure that the curriculum would continue to meet the needs of pupils and in 2016, I worked with two HT colleagues to submit an application for a free school ‘The Avenue’ to enable Brent parents to have more choice for their children and to increase capacity of the existing special schools. This was approved in July 2016.
Andrea has thirty years’ experience in education as a teacher, project manager, Special School Head Teacher and Inclusion Specialist. After five years working as Executive Director for Inclusion and Associate Education Director for a MAT and International school network, she is now Owner and Director of Andrea Atkinson Education Services Ltd. As a development partner, Andrea works with schools and educational networks, providing coaching as required and offering specialist leadership consultancy through guidance and on-going support.Based on a solid foundation of educational practice in the United Kingdom, Andrea now also works extensively in schools in Sweden, North America and the Middle East. She shares her experience of multi-disciplinary team management, pedagogical development and inclusion policies, showing how to put appropriate skills effectively into practice in areas such as special needs, developmental safeguarding audits and can also provide training and specialist coaching for school leaders and inclusion practitioners alike.
As a development partner, Andrea can work with established schools or start-ups, with trusts, academy groups and education providers, to deliver successful and effective change management and improved outcomes for children at all levels of ability and need.
Andrea is an accredited Visible Learning Plus Consultant (Cognition Education), a Consultant Principal for Kunskapsskolan Education (UK) and an IQM (Inclusion Quality Mark) Assessor.
Jo is the Head of School at Fairchildes Primary, an outstanding school in New Addington, Croydon. She has worked at the school for the last 26 years, working her way up from NQT to Head and has had many coordinator roles within that time including SENCO and Inclusion Manager. Jo believes that the success of Fairchildes is based in its Inclusion. “No child is left behind!” was a quote from the last OFSTED report. Fairchildes has had three successful Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship reviews which have helped the school to focus on its provision for gifted and talented, its role in the community and its pastoral care.
Jo enjoys music and runs a large choir for junior pupils at her school, as well as a smaller choir for staff. When Jo is not at school she enjoys playing the steel pans as part of the Croydon Steel Orchestra.
I have been a teacher for over 30 years and have enjoyed working in a range of primary schools and across all the age groups.
My most recent role in school was as the Head teacher of a successful and forward thinking primary school in Northampton. During my twelve years of headship, I introduced the Inclusion Quality Mark and was so proud that we achieved Flagship Status twice, most recently in 2017.
I am passionate about sharing good practice and recognising positive school development. I feel very privileged to be able to do this as an assessor for IQM.
I chose to retire from school in August 2017 and enjoy making the most of travel opportunities out of term time! With my husband retired, and our grownup children living in Switzerland and Holland, I feel very fortunate to have time to visit them, while continuing my passion for education.
I was headteacher of an Ofsted ‘outstanding ‘primary school for 15 years and during this time gave support to staff in other schools wishing to develop their vision and effectiveness. I led training sessions for other professionals and particularly enjoyed sharing expertise and success stories. I first became involved with IQM in 2004 when my school became one of the first 4 schools in Hertfordshire and one of the first 12 schools nationally to achieve the award. I am passionate about the inclusion of all pupils but especially the most vulnerable who often need a great deal of specialised support to achieve their potential. As a classroom teacher I taught across Key Stages 1, 2 and 3 with a special interest in the arts and in particular dance and drama. Earlier in my career I studied for and achieved a post graduate Advanced Diploma in Arts Education at De Montford University.
I have been an Associate Headteacher for a primary school preparing for inspection and was proud to be part of that school’s journey from ‘requiring improvement’ to ‘good’.
I am a school governor chairing the Teaching and Learning Committee with special responsibility for the monitoring of the inclusion and progress made by pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding. I also serve on the Safeguarding Committee.
For me preparation for the IQM award incorporates the essential elements of great schools determined to focus on the needs of every pupil. Involvement in IQM assessments continues to be a highly valued experience and it has been an honour to visit so many incredibly inclusive schools.
Ralph retired from teaching after thirty-nine years service. He started and finished his career in the London Borough of Enfield. He became a deputy in Upshire Primary School in 1990 and later became the headteacher there. He then became head of Honilands Primary School in 2007 and retired in 2017.
He saw the school through many changes and helped raise it from Requiring Improvement to Good. He oversaw the transition from a two-form entry school to three forms of entry. Honilands has a high level of deprivation and Ralph believes that children should be given as many opportunities as possible to succeed in life. The children are divided into three ‘families’ (one class from each year group) and each is led by a family leader. Each family has its own playground and area within the school. The parents like it as it makes the school appear to be smaller. Honilands welcomes many visitors to see its IQM Flagship school. It operates a fully inclusive ‘College’ for its KS2 students every Wednesday afternoon. Parents are invited to see their children graduate at the end of each half term.
As the college was so successful we created a parents’ college and each term we hold a graduation evening when children are invited to see their parents succeed.
Ralph now lectures for the Forest Independent Primary Collegiate running their Professional Studies Course. He mentors School’s Direct trainees and is delighted to support new teachers at the outset of the careers.
Pat has 40 years’ experience in the teaching profession across schools in London. She has been Headteacher of an outstanding Primary school for the past 14 years, having previously been a Deputy Headteacher and SenCo for 10 years. She is proud of the inclusive ethos of her school, which is underpinned by values education. The school achieved IQM Flagship Status in 2014. It is also the lead school in a Teaching School Alliance, which includes a school for children with autism. The Teaching School trains new teachers and leads a range of CPD.
Pat is a National Leader of Education, with a proven record of supporting schools across London, helping them to secure improvement. She also shares the role of London Pupil Premium Champion, with a fellow Headteacher. Together they carry out Pupil Premium reviews, deliver training on best practice in Pupil Premium and train Pupil Premium Reviewers from across the country.
I am an Inclusion Manager and SENCo at Whitefield Primary School in Liverpool. Whitefield Primary is a highly inclusive school which gained status as an IQM Flagship school in 2016. Whitefield Primary was also judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in all areas following an Ofsted inspection in 2017. I have always been passionate about working with children with special educational needs and finding innovative ways to ensure they reach their best possible outcomes. After starting out as a mainstream teacher, I soon moved to teach in a specialist resource base for pupils with speech, language and communication needs and became SENCo. I started working at Whitefield Primary in 2011 and have enjoyed working with pupils from very diverse backgrounds and a wide range of additional needs. It is also wonderful to work with staff who truly understand the needs of the children and are always willing to try any alternative arrangement that may make the difference. No child is left without the support they need to flourish and the person-centred, holistic approaches ensure that the school motto of ‘Nothing But the Best’ is truly realised.’
Iain Witts has been a headteacher in Kent since 2012 and had been Deputy Head (in Kent and Oxfordshire) for a further 9 years before this. He is currently Executive Headteacher of Kingsnorth and Brenzett CEPs and the lead for the DfE funded English Hub – 1 of 32 Nationwide.
Iain believes that the successes gained whilst in school leadership have been driven through a basis of ‘inclusion’, values and ‘the whole child’. He is currently working through the NPQEL training with LLSE and has used this to ensure the schools are best placed to lead the English Hub. Iain is passionate about sharing good practice and recognising positive school improvement.
Iain has undertaken consultancy work for the Inclusion Quality Mark UK since 2015 and ensures he stays up to date with policy by being part of the Kent Association of Headteachers, the Canterbury Diocese Board of Education, Kent Safeguarding Children Board and playing an active role in Aquila (Diocese of Canterbury Academy Trust).
Kingsnorth has been through two Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship reviews which have focused the school and ensured best practice inclusion across both schools. Iain is passionate about sharing good practice and recognising positive school improvement.
Iain is a strong believer in coaching for the individual and for the work place. He recognises that the key to self-improvement lies within us all and a school to school self-improving model relies on school staff to coach and be coached!
I am currently a Vice Principal at Harris Primary Academy Merton, which is an outstanding primary school in Mitcham. In addition to being outstanding in all areas, we achieved IQM Centre of Excellence in summer 2018. At Harris Primary Academy Merton, I am the SENCO as well as the manager for the additional resource base for Autism. Since graduating in 2002 with a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education from Glasgow University, I have worked in a variety of educational settings including schools in Canada and Ecuador. My experience varies including working with asylum seekers who are new to the country, hearing impaired children (as I am a fully qualified Teacher of the Deaf) and SEN children in a mainstream school.
Amjid has worked within both mainstream and specialist settings for over ten years, with two years middle leadership and subsequent five years senior leadership experience. During this time, he has had the privilege of supporting children and young people from a wide range of abilities, ages and backgrounds.
As a dedicated and innovative professional and an Ofsted recognised outstanding leader, Amjid has the proven ability to: succinctly gather and analyse evidence to reach justified evaluations, create and monitor initiatives that foster inclusive learning opportunities, lead on staff’ development, devise a broad and balanced school curriculum and implement effective systems to monitor and raise whole school standards. He has previously led on the School Direct programme and supported the sustainable improvement of an all through (4-16) mainstream school requiring special measures.
Amjid has a proactive ‘can-do’ approach; building on capacity through a strategic, school-led, review based approach. Whilst having the proven ability to promote inclusion and developing experiences of cultural diversity, raising aspirations of students, families and wider society; primarily, challenging the expectations for every child and young person to maximise all that life has to offer.
Having qualified as a teacher in both primary and secondary education in 1977, I have worked in both areas of teaching, but in the last 30 yrs, predominantly in the field of special education. In my last school, a special school for learning difficulties, complex speech and language and Autism, I have been a department lead, pastoral lead including DSP for Child Protection, DT for Children Looked After and more recently Head of School. I regularly continued to work directly with the children despite my workload as Head of School and successfully introduced a LOtC (Learning outside the Classroom) curriculum into the school, which was recognised by the National Autistic Society as excellent practice for ASC children. For this, I myself trained as both a Forest School Leader and an Internal Quality Assurance Assessor to moderate examination work with the ABC examining body. I have both led and line managed senior staff in a variety of accreditations including IQM, Autism, Healthy Schools, Anti Bullying, Learning Outside the Classroom and Dyslexia.
Holly Evans is an experienced senior leader in both primary and secondary schools. She has also worked with two local authorities as a school improvement advisor. She has specialised in inclusion for over fifteen years. She is currently employed as an Assistant Headteacher in a London primary school and volunteers as a school governor in a neighbouring borough.
Holly is especially interested in children’s wellbeing and mental health. As well as working at a primary school she also has a young family.
I am a successful Primary Headteacher and National College Local Leader of Education with a specialist knowledge of high quality Inclusive practice and Early Years’ provision. I have over twenty-eight years of experience in Education, fourteen of which have been as a Headteacher. I have led two Hertfordshire schools to “Outstanding”. I am currently working as an Executive Headteacher with a Primary Multi Academy Trust in the south west. I also mark assignments for the National SENCo Award which has enabled me to continue to maintain a clear understanding of excellent Inclusive Practice.
Julia is a highly regarded school improvement consultant, trainer and key note speaker. Until 2015 she was Director of Education at Tribal Education, responsible for the development of school improvement training and CPD programmes. As a successful lead inspector and Headteacher in primary and special education she was awarded her Doctorate in 2005 for her work on inclusion and school improvement. She currently works delivering school improvement, inclusion and effectiveness consultancy and training throughout the UK and Internationally and works as a critical friend to schools, particularly those struggling to improve. She is most proud of the positive impact her work in is having on improving teachers, middle and senior leaders professional and personal skills. Julia was appointed as a Trustee of Young Epilepsy in February 2015.
I believe I am a true advocate for inclusion in schools. I am passionate about offering the best provision for all children in order to enable them to be successful, independent and happy. I believe in looking beyond behaviours in order to support the most challenging needs and ensure that all children feel safe and well supported, as well as equipped for the next stage in their lives. “Inclusion and integration go hand in hand at Riverside and it is a pleasure to see.” (IQM July 18)
As Headteacher of a mainstream school with funded places for children with ASD and VI, my mission has been to ensure that my staff look beyond behaviours and have a real understanding of additional needs. We are all experts in inclusion and as a result, we offer a personalised approach to the curriculum and environment in order to successfully integrate children with complex, challenging needs within the mainstream classes. We are in our third year of being recognised by IQM as a Centre of Excellence for Inclusion and now have staff from other schools visiting us to learn from our best practice. In September 2018, we expanded to accommodate 2 forms of entry and have more than doubled in size, with happy children and staff who embrace individual needs and differences.
I was raised in a Naval Family in Yeovil, Somerset, but my parents are both from Sandwell. From the age of 15, working with people with learning needs and disabilities at Sandwell Leisure Project, I knew that my future was in SEN provision. I completed my degree in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion in Society, at Wolverhampton University. I continued at Worcester University for the National Award for SENCos. I have worked in Sandwell for 12 years been the SENCO at Wodensborough since Easter 2016. I also support LAC, post LAC pupils and Young Carers at Wodensborough Academy. I am committed to inclusivity of pupils from all walks of life and I believe every child has a potential that, when nurtured, can exceed all expectations, including their own. I feel honoured to have been awarded ‘Centre of Excellence’ as we recognise inclusion in all our basic values.
I am Headteacher of a therapeutic special school for students with social, emotional and mental health issues. I have a Masters’ Degree in Primary Education and have taught for many years in Early Years, Primary and Special Education. I have been an initial teacher trainer for both the B.Ed QTS Primary programme and the PGCE Primary and Secondary School programmes. I have been part of a team who wrote, validated and then delivered a Master’s Degree in Early Years Education. I have also been a Lead Inspector for Ofsted Inspections in Nursery, Primary and Special Schools around the country. I have been a Headteacher in my current role for 13 years, and have loved every minute of it, having set up the school from the beginning of its inception and having guided it through Ofsted inspections to achieve Outstanding in all elements of provision. I am, and always have been, fully committed to the inclusive nature of schools as a learning community for students, staff and families. High levels of well-being promote effective learning and commitment, but the promotion of well-being does not happen by accident and cannot be secured in policy alone. Relationships of trust and respect across a school community together with the courage to ‘think outside the box’ can help a school to identify strategies that help to make them truly inclusive. To me this means valuing everyone’s perspectives, efforts and achievements and making sure that everyone has a voice that is heard.
Rekha Bhakoo has recently left headship after 25 years and has had extensive experience in leading and manging schools to achieve rapid school improvement. She has worked as a National and Local Leader in Education and also as an Executive Headteacher. Rekha has had experience in mentoring and supporting new Headteachers as a Professional Partner. She has particular expertise in developing senior and middle leaders, inclusion, teaching, learning and assessment. Rekha was awarded the CBE for her services to education.
Sarah is a dynamic and strategic leader with a wide expertise of inclusion, notably through her different leadership roles. As Deputy Headteacher responsible for Inclusion at a successful Secondary School in Tameside, Sarah has enjoyed many accolades, including more recently being awarded the IQM Flagship School status. She graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in Hispanic Studies and went on to complete her PGCE in 2006. She speaks Spanish, French, Italian and Catalan and taught English in a Spanish secondary school for one year. Sarah achieved her first leadership role during her NQT year when she was successfully promoted to Head of Department. During successive leadership roles at Assistant Headteacher level, Sarah gained substantial experience of whole school leadership across all aspects of school improvement (progress and outcomes, inclusion, teaching and learning, safeguarding, behaviour and rewards, CEIAG, disadvantaged students, SEND provision, more able students, staff appraisal and CPD). She was successfully selected for the Future Leaders Programme in 2012 and was lucky enough to go on a study visit to New York to experience the American Charter Schools, with a focus on improving provision and outcomes for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2015, Sarah completed the Serco Ofsted Training which has supported her own School’s evaluating, monitoring and improvement planning but also enables her to carry out internal and external reviews (across all Ofsted categories) and offer support at other Secondary Schools.
I have been lucky to be teaching in inner city primary schools in Birmingham for over twenty years and am currently an Assistant Head Teacher with responsibility for inclusion at Lozells School in Birmingham. Lozells School was judged to be Outstanding in March 2015 and we were excited to be awarded our IQM Flagship status in July 2015 and are about to embark on our next three year cycle as a Flagship school. Our intention as a school is to create an ‘oasis of calm’ for our children and families and we are passionate about all children having the opportunity to reach their full potential. High quality inclusion and individualised provision, along with harmonious relationships with parents are fundamental to achieving this and our staff and children are totally amazing (but perhaps I’m a little bit biased!)
I have led on staff development by delivering the Outstanding Teacher Programme to eleven staff in school and have worked alongside our SENCO to develop an Outstanding Teacher Assistant Programme focussing on maths interventions for SEND pupils. I am currently leading on the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools Award and a Junior Leadership Project where year 6 children have led on whole school initiatives such as; online safety and grooming, fundraising and improving teaching and learning from the child’s perspective. Sharing new experiences with my own two children aged 11 and 7, is something I love to do – they certainly have ideas and opinions about these opportunities and have taught me the importance of pupil voice!
Azra Butt is the Headteacher at Eldon, an outstanding, inner city primary school in Preston. Having worked in education for 27 years, in three challenging settings, she is committed to pursuing excellence through establishing a caring and ambitious ethos, ensuring equality of opportunity and learning through innovation and creativity.
In 2018 Eldon scored a hat trick! Not only did it secure a local and regional award for ‘The Primary School of the Year’, it went on to gain the nationally acclaimed TES award in the same category. However, it is no surprise that Eldon’s inclusive ethos underpins the very foundations of its success, as it inspires a hugely diverse community boasting more than 20 different languages and that’s just in the school itself!
Under Azra’s leadership, Eldon achieved IQM Centre of Excellence status in 2015. Three years later it became the first primary school in Lancashire to achieve IQM Flagship status. Eldon’s nationally recognised work on developing ‘Life Skills’ through creative learning approaches has been shared widely and with other IQM schools regionally.
As well as being a dedicated school leader, Azra is a proud mother of two amazing daughters. She exudes a love for learning and life and, as such, enjoys travelling and sampling different cuisines.
After running a successful business with my husband, I left the corporate world to become a teacher in 1999 . In my career I have worked in all year groups and eventually in 2010, I became a Headteacher in a large Primary School in the North West. As a school we gained the IQM in 2014 and I still see this as a great achievement. The school is in an area of significant deprivation and has high levels of special need which drove me to ensure that all children were given the best chance in life despite their circumstances.
In the course of my career I was lucky enough to become a Leading Teacher in Literacy and worked alongside the local Authority for many years. One of my passions is phonic teaching in the Early Years and my dissertation for my Masters degree in Educational Leadership was based around the barriers to early phonic acquisition.
I am also a pastoral adviser for the Liverpool Diocese and am taking up a position as a Foundation Governor in the near future.
I am a qualified teacher working in Special Educational Needs since 1994. I started my teaching career in a specialist school for primary aged children with SEMH and was until recently, in an advisory role for the London Borough of Merton’s central SEND Support Team for Heads, SENDCos , Teachers and support staff for 17 years. I am now freelance and work in schools and with parents across SW London, Surrey and beyond, offering practical support, training and advice. I have experience in working with children with a raft of needs including:
• ASD/Asperger’s/PDA (Diagnosed and undiagnosed)
• Down’s Syndrome (I can use simple makaton)
• FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome)
• Speech and Language needs
• Auditory processing difficulties
• Attachment Disorder
• Sensory Processing Difficulties
• Sensory Integration Dysfunction
• Dyspraxia/pro-prioception difficulties
I retired in August 2017, after 37 years in teaching. I have taught in seven schools within Hampshire, East and North London and West & South Yorkshire. Originally a mainstream secondary PE teacher I moved into special education in 1985, when Inclusion first began to drive the national special education agenda. The introduction of the National Curriculum and the national reorganisation of special education provision motivated me to complete my MEd in Special Needs Education in 1996. I have taught children/young people aged 2-19 years with the full range of special educational, additional needs and disabilities. I am committed to quality first teaching and personalised provision that enables each child/young person to achieve their full potential no matter the barriers or setting.
I moved into senior leadership in 2003, completing my NPQH in 2007. In 2008 I became a Deputy Head, three years later a Headteacher. In 2014 I opened a new 20 place resource, to extend provision to include young people of mainstream ability with barriers to learning arising from their Autism Spectrum Condition and/or Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs. The school’s established collaborative transdisciplinary approach enabled several families to successfully overcome long-term barriers to school attendance, enabling their young people to attend, enjoy, learn and succeed in school.
Throughout my career I have fully embraced inclusion and diversity and really do believe that every child does matter.
Kelsey is a positive and experienced school leader with a passion for ensuring every child receives the high quality support and educational experience they deserve in order to ensure they reach their full potential. She has over 20 years’ experience working with children and families, specialising in supporting some of the most vulnerable; children who have experienced trauma and abuse, often with complex social, emotional and mental health needs and challenging behaviour.
Over the past 14 years Kelsey has worked within a senior leadership capacity in both special and mainstream schools.
Most recently, Kelsey has spent a year in an Interim Headship role in a one form entry primary school in an area of significant deprivation in York where Kelsey led the school on a journey of rapid improvement throughout the academic year. Huge focus was given to the culture and ethos of the school, with positive relationships at all levels being a priority. The behaviour policy was reviewed and a number of new and exciting initiatives, with a focus on Inclusion, positivity, the quality of teaching & learning, relationships, kindness, attendance and outstanding behaviour were launched. Leaders at all levels were empowered and bespoke support plans for identified staff were implemented. Outcomes in July 2018 were significantly improved – with the school being identified as having the most improved results in the LA – combined measure in KS2 moving from 29% in 2017 to 75% in 2018 – above National average. In Oct 18 the school was awarded “School of the Year” in the Pride of York Community Awards.
Until 2015, Kelsey was Deputy Head Teacher at a 5 form entry East London Primary School in an area of extremely high deprivation, with over 1100 pupils, leading in Social Inclusion. She joined the school as part of a restructured leadership team in January 2013 when the school, in the eyes of OFSTED, was “requiring improvement”. Within 18 months the school was judged to be “Good”. In July 2015 the school was awarded “Centre of Excellence” status by the Inclusion Quality Mark and the creative, solution focused approaches used to support their most vulnerable pupils have been recognised and shared with other local schools.
Kelsey has also led in the successful conception, strategic development and day to day operations of 3 London Local Authority specialist settings, based upon Nurture Group principles, for pupils with significant SEMHD (Social Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties), all of which have been judged by OFSTED as Good or better.
In July 2015 Kelsey relocated, with her husband and two children, from London to a village just outside York. Since then Kelsey has been working on a consultancy basis, supporting schools in London and throughout the North of England in school improvement, with a particular focus on Outstanding Leadership and developing PDBW.
Her philosophy is one of high expectations, firm boundaries and genuine warmth and affection for all she encounters; young people, parents and professionals. Within her current role she uses therapeutic skills, coupled with knowledge and experience of school leadership to offer training, consultancy, mentoring and coaching to a range of educational and mental health professionals to support school improvement and better enhance nurturing provision for children and families.
I started my teaching career in 1986 and have worked in a variety of schools for over 30 years, predominantly in the Special school sector. I taught French in a Secondary school initially and then re-trained to work in an Outstanding special school in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. I taught children from the ages of 5 to 19. I was a Headteacher in a school for pupils with complex needs as well as a Deputy Head in two schools in N.E London. I have also been a tutor for the University of Kingston in the areas of Speech and Language Impairment as well as Autism. Since starting my own private SEN Consultancy company, I have acted as an SEN consultant for mainstream schools and a specialist college, supporting Senior Leadership Teams in their drive to improve SEN Provision in their settings. In addition, I helped shape a Local Authority’s response to the new Code of Practice and delivered training to multi-disciplinary teams. I am passionate about Inclusion and the right for all children to feel that they belong and can flourish in their learning.
I retired in 2015 after 39 years in Education, Community Education and Youth Work. Eighteen of those years were spent in Senior Leadership roles including Senior Community Education Manager, Assistant Head, Deputy Head, Associate Head and Director of Youth Services.
I started my career as a teacher of Physical Education working primarily in inner London Schools where I also taught Economics and Business Studies and latterly CEIAG. On my CV I describe myself as a qualified teacher with significant experience in education, community engagement and leadership.
I am committed to Inclusion and the idea of learning as a lifelong process. I believe that children do not bring only their heads to school but a whole range of complex issues and experiences. I believe that schools are most effective when they work in partnership and that learning can and does take place in a variety of settings, in addition to schools. This, in my view, is best achieved through strong and effective partnerships and by using the community as a classroom.
I have actively supported and developed staff across a range of disciplines including teaching, youth work and third sector organisations. I am an effective leader and have experience of managing in multi-disciplinary settings. Whatever my role is, I am a consistently strong advocate of Inclusion and the Every Child Matters’ Agenda.
During my 18 years in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets I have worked on a diverse range of school and community projects, including capitol projects, all of which have benefited the achievement, learning and employability of young people and families living and working on the Isle of Dogs and the wider Tower Hamlets Community.
I am a School Governor at Clapton Girls Academy, in Hackney East London. I trained as an Assessor for Inclusion Quality Mark in 2016. I work as a part time consultant for x 2 Virtual Schools focusing on LAC. I completed Ofsted training in 2014. NPQH in 2004 and achieved a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management in 2008 whilst working full time.
I have considerable experience in fundraising. For the last twenty years I have been a Trustee/Committee Member with the East End Community Foundation (EECF). EECF connects business and individuals with grassroots organisations, including schools that are making a difference to the lives of young people, communities and families living and working in the East End of London. In the last year alone EECF have awarded grants of £1 million. As a result, many Tower Hamlets Schools have benefitted from additional funding.
Preparation for the IQM award gives schools the opportunity to review and showcase the extraordinary work they do, often in very challenging circumstances. It also highlights the very strong commitment that schools have to children and families, strengthening and promoting stronger more healthy and cohesive communities. It has been a joy to visit so many incredibly hard-working staff in creative and inclusive schools.
Lisa has been a teacher for over 20 years and began her career working in primary schools. After having the privilege to work with children with additional needs in her mainstream classroom, Lisa chose to specialise in the area of SEN. She became a teacher in a special school and since 2004 has gained experience working with young people with complex needs across all key stages. Lisa currently works at Churchill Park Academy in Norfolk. In 2010 she developed and implemented an in-house programme to support pupils’ social and emotional wellbeing before taking on her current role as School Partnerships Lead.
Lisa first became involved with IQM when her school applied for the award and was recognised as a Centre of Excellence in 2016. She works closely with mainstream nursery, primary and secondary settings across West Norfolk to support staff working with pupils with additional needs. Lisa is passionate about sharing good practice and develops and delivers bespoke training packages for staff working at all levels within education to implement inclusive practice.
I lead a local authority team of specialist SEN support teachers who provide direct teaching and inclusion support for children with a wide range of SEND in mainstream primary schools and maintained nursery settings. The service aims to ensure the inclusion and achievement of children and young people with special educational needs and the building of expertise and capacity within schools, in line with current local and national strategies. We provide support to the child and school and liaise regularly with parents and carers.
Within this role I have delivered training on a wide range of inclusion and SEND topics including nationally on behalf of NASEN. My role includes a consultancy element working with schools to identify, plan and implement developments and ensure quality teaching and learning for all. I have completed an MA Education (SEN) at the University of Northampton. I have been involved with the Inclusion Quality Mark for over 4 years and have provided support to schools within my authority as they engage in the IQM process.
John has worked in and with schools for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience as a practitioner, senior manager and consultant.
He has held a number of senior roles within schools and the Local Authority and in the recent past was also a qualified Ofsted Inspector. John has built up an extensive range of skills and knowledge in regard to inclusive principles, techniques and practices and believes in the practical application of these to support the learning potential of all children and young people. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a consistent track record of working successfully with schools, staff, the children and young people and families that they serve.
John is also an experienced trainer with an excellent reputation for designing and delivering courses that whilst providing a theoretical basis are very much rooted in the practical application of the techniques that support it.
I have been involved in education for 18 years and have been a SENCo for twelve years and involved in SEND provision for both children and adults throughout my teaching career. I am currently a Headteacher at a Primary School, which is proud to hold the Inclusion Quality Mark Centre of Excellence. I have been involved with IQM for 10 years as a SENDCo, Deputy Head and Headteacher.
I am a passionate advocate for academic and social inclusion and strive to drive schools towards greater inclusivity where pupils and families are celebrated for the unique individuals they are.
I am currently Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion at The Hyde School, a mainstream primary academy in north London, where I have been since 2013. I have been a SENCo since 2005, and also worked as an advisory teacher for autism for seven years. Although I started my teaching career in Humberside, I have worked in London schools in Hackney and Barnet for more than twenty years. I have an MA in Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in SEN, and I am a level 5 accredited dyslexia teacher.
Our school made a rapid journey from special measures in 2012 to outstanding in 2015. Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at The Hyde; we were awarded Centre of Excellence for Inclusion in 2016 and were the first school in Barnet to hold IQM Flagship status.
I have always enjoyed working in challenging circumstances and my determination to do my best for children and families is underpinned by a strong sense of social justice. Part of my role involves working with other local schools, as well as across our academy trust, the Elliot Foundation, offering outreach and support for colleagues. I occasionally attend SENDIASS tribunals as a witness for the local authority. I have been an IQM assessor since February 2018.
During my career, I have been fortunate to have worked across phases in a range of schools taking on roles with increasing challenge and strategic responsibility. I have developed and led a large and successful Inclusion team, establishing excellent links with external agencies and parents to support students in the school to achieve their potential.
I have also strategically developed local authority resource bases for both ASC and Speech and Language, managing both within school.
I have constantly worked to increase my knowledge and skills in supporting children with additional needs and have worked to support staff development and awareness. I have delivered individual and full-staff CPD training on a wide range of special needs issues and, as part of my NPSLBA, worked collaboratively with the school’s senior management team to deliver behaviour management INSET over a number of sessions.
One of the key challenges during my time at the Grange was the management of the reorganisation of additional needs provision during the period of conversion from separate Nursery, Infant, Junior and Secondary schools to an all-through school, which required the development of a single SEND department, of which I was lead.
I have always worked to develop a holistic approach to supporting young people with complex needs and their families, to ensure they were nurtured and supported to achieve their full potential.
I am a passionate believer in the need to ensure that all children with additional needs receive timely comprehensive targeted support in all aspects of their social, emotional and academic development and that it is essential to work in partnership with families and multi-agency professionals to achieve this.
I retired from teaching in September 2017. Since retirement I have worked for IQM and completed a number of assessments of a range of schools in the north west.
Ray is a Deputy Head Teacher at Harlington School in Middlesex. It is a large, mixed, Foundation Secondary School serving a diverse local community. He has been a teacher since 2004, having completed a Sports Science Degree at Borough Road University. As Assistant Head for Inclusion, one of his key remits was to achieve the IQM Award. The key driver of his initial IQM work was based around the Inclusion of students at risk of exclusion. As the school progressed through the award, culminating in Flagship Status, the focus evolved into their work on supporting students for whom English is an Additional Language.
During his time as Assistant Head Teacher he has continued his professional development through the completion of the NPQH and also qualifying as a Specialist Leader in Education for Behaviour, Attendance and PE. Since working as Deputy Head for Teaching & Learning and Staff Development, Ray has undertaken a Coaching Qualification with the British School of Coaching. He is also a Governor at a local University Technical College. His outreach work has enabled him to participate in a number of developmental peer review programmes which has resulted in him celebrating good practice, supporting other schools and reflecting on elements of his own work.
I have a long-established career in Education in a variety of mainstream and special school settings and as part of the local authority Special Needs and Psychology Service. I believe all children must have the opportunity to improve their life chances through education. The school must set up robust systems to ensure children are nurtured and supported to overcome barriers to learning and provide inspirational teaching to ensure they succeed.
I was appointed Headteacher of a Junior School in January 2003. Under my leadership, the school has gone from strength to strength and this has been achieved by creating a culture and ethos of success where all children thrive and have a love of learning.
During this time, I have undertaken 3 Executive Headteacher positions: leading an outstanding school pending the appointment of a new Headteacher (2011); leading a school in very challenging circumstances which was underperforming (2012-13); and leading our partner infant school. In 2016, I was appointed Head of the Primary, which has very quickly become a successful primary after a seamless transition. I attribute this to leading and managing the team to continuously improve teaching and learning for all our pupils.
In 2013, I was appointed Chair of the Basildon Educational Services Trust and a member of the Basildon Excellence Panel. Partnership working has been an important feature in improving education for the children of Basildon. I am currently a member of an Interim Executive Board, supporting a school in challenging circumstances.
Having worked with Inclusion Quality Mark in the past, I welcome the opportunity to be involved again as an assessor. Given my wealth of experience, I believe I have the skills and expertise to fully understand and validate the essential elements of Inclusive provision.
Lynne Le Marinel
I have recently been appointed as Headteacher of a school in Macclesfield which is an absolute pleasure and I am thoroughly enjoying the new role. Prior to this I was a Deputy Head for three years in a large primary school in Widnes. I introduced the IQM to my school and found it extremely rewarding. I was proud that we achieved Centre of Excellence status back in 2017.
During my teaching career I have worked across three local authorities and had a variety of leadership roles. I have spent the last 4 years as a SENCo having completed the qualification two years ago.
Being an IQM assessor is an absolute privilege and it is wonderful to share the inclusive practice that goes on in so many schools. I have established some great links with schools I visit year on year, and I am extremely honoured to be invited back and see their IQM journey continue and go from strength to strength.
I was a Headteacher in North Tyneside for 16 years, leading a primary school and Children’s Centre towards an Ofsted outstanding grade and achieving IQM Centre of Excellence. As Executive Headteacher I also led a large, maintained nursery school before moving to West Yorkshire to take up an Executive Headteacher role in an area of high deprivation and diversity.
As a National Leader of Education and Head of a Teaching School, I held the inclusion agenda at the forefront of school improvement, offering school to school support with the aim of empowering teachers to raise standards for all children in an environment where every individual can thrive and where mental health and well-being are given high priority.
Since retiring, I became a school governor and work as an educational consultant when I am not travelling.
IQM | COVID -19 Update
As a result of the ongoing pandemic and the impact it is having in schools we are responding to this challenge by offering our services online where possible whilst still enabling schools to work with us in furthering their inclusion journey.
Taking into account the amount of effort and commitment from colleagues in schools in preparing for Centre of Excellence and Flagship reviews, we are carrying these out online for the foreseeable future. If, however, a school would prefer a visit, we will check if the assessor is happy to do that and confirm either way. If, however, we are not able to find an assessor who can visit the school, we will have to move to an online format. The protection of our assessors and colleagues in schools is of utmost importance to us.
Please note that all of our cluster group meetings are being held online during the autumn term. Some have taken place in the first half of this term whilst others are being held between Halloween and Christmas. Invitations to the meetings will be sent out electronically from the Ambassador responsible for each group.
All one day assessments will be carried out online until further notice. We would strongly recommend that you continue to submit your paperwork as normal. Feedback will be provided as normal.
Two day assessments are being treated differently – see below
Day 1 – Will be conducted online via Zoom or MS Teams and telephone calls.
Day 2 – A visit by the assessor to the school or a second day of online meetings will be agreed with the school. We reserved the right to move the second day to an online format if necessary.
If your school has registered to do the Award but is not at the assessment stage and you are working your way through our Self Evaluation Report document, please feel free to submit one or two elements at a time for feedback to email@example.com and members of our team will continue to feedback as normal.
Interested in Inclusive School Award
Finally, if you haven’t begun the process yet but would like more information on the Award, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or download a free information pack from our website www.iqmaward.com.
The IQM Team