We closely collaborate with professionals in the field of SEN and work with specialists within our Group, to deliver events that inspire, inform and engage parents, carers and professional. Find out more information about our speakers here.
Professor Amanda Kirby is a Clinical Advisor for Witherslack Group, CEO of an online screening and assessment company, Do-IT Solutions, and also an emeritus Professor at the University of South Wales.
Amanda started her career as a GP and changed profession when her second child was diagnosed with Dyspraxia at the age of three years old. Her experience as a parent led her to navigating the health and education system, which resulted in her consequently opening an interdisciplinary specialist centre to provide practical support for parents and children more than 25 years ago.
Amanda’s passion to provide practical solutions has been evident throughout her career. Her PhD (after she became a professor) led her to develop screening tools, which are now used internationally. She has also written over 100 research papers and nine books, which have been translated into multiple different languages.
Amada is internationally recognised in the field of neurodiversity as both a clinician and researcher. She has sat on government advisory boards, as well as advising UK and international charities in the field of neurodiversity.
Dr Amelia Roberts is a Clinical Advisor for Witherslack Group and the Deputy Director of the University College of London (UCL) Centre for Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education.
Her role at the UCL includes working globally (Oman, Falkland Islands, Moldova, Singapore, Sweden) and with UK local authorities and school alliances to improve the attainment and participation of pupils with SEN and disabilities. Amelia is the joint programme leader for the MTeach (SEN) and supervises doctoral students. She lead on the Knowledge Exchange programme in Social, Emotional and Mental Health; SWERL (Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning) which has been rolled out to over 55 schools since 2018.
Amelia’s PhD research focused on teacher professional development in the context of high quality teaching for inclusion and her current research interests include exploring wider outcomes for vulnerable pupils, including looked-after children. She lived and worked for 10 years in Hong Kong, including lecturing in the Psychology of Education at Hong Kong City University.
Anne-Marie is trained in PECS, Social Stories and Division TEACCH. She has worked in education, family support, early intervention and National Autistic Society (NAS) training development. Anne-Marie is the Author of ‘Babies Are Noisy!’, a book developed for families with an autistic child expecting a baby and is acknowledged for her contributions to the NAS Healthy Minds Programme (2013) and ‘PLAN A is for Autism’.
Anne-Marie has delivered training globally to education, health and private sectors. She lectures at the University of Hull and delivers training for NAS.
Anne-Marie established Ideas Afresh Education in response to her personal experience and needs of families and teachers. The training offers engaging, fun and focussed CPD accredited training days. She also provides a unique and tailored follow up service, ‘beyond training’ which assists in implementing changes in school and / or home.
As the Training Director of the ADHD Foundation, Colin’s role is focused on his passion to deliver training courses to professionals to further develop their awareness of neurodiversity, and explore ways in which organisations can adapt their practices to support inclusion.
Colin is particularly interested in ADHD, mental health and education. As part of his work with the ADHD Foundation, Colin has the pleasure of meeting inspiring and committed educators, child care professionals and parents and carers, who attend courses and share his and the Foundation’s vision to promote and develop the understanding and support for neurodiversity.
Emma is currently the Director of Early Years Services at the ADHD Foundation. In her role, she works with the youngest population of children with emerging symptoms of neurodevelopmental conditions.
Emma has a keen interest in early intervention and support for sleep as it plays a key role in daily function for all children, particularly those with ADHD. In her role, Emma works with parents and carers to provide them with information and guidance around positive sleep measures.
Rory is an experienced psychotherapist, counsellor and lecturer. His experience comes from working at a variety of school-based settings. One of his specialist areas is Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), an approach that involves helping people to explore key emotions and reflect upon ways to bring a sense of balance and calm.
Rory has worked closely with the founder of CFT, Professor Paul Gilbert and researchers at the University of Derby to find ways to further develop training in CFT interventions and research within schools. He has also successfully delivered workshops to pupils, teachers and parents, as well as the NHS and across business settings
Rory currently works for Witherslack Group as a Lead Mental Health Practictioner where he works with children and young people with a wide range of SEMH needs, and assesses their mental health and recommends appropriate interventions by working closely with each individual to devise a fully personalised care plan.
Sean joined the Centre for Mental Health as Director of Criminal Justice Programme in 2006, and later became Chief Executive in 2011. Before this, Sean was Director of Health and Social Care for Criminal Justice at the London Development Centre and offender health consultant for the Department of Health.
Sean was Vice Chair of the National Advisory Group to the Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board, which was set up following the Bradley report in 2009. Sean is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health and in 2013 was awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Most recently, Sean joined the Mental Health Network as Chief Executive in November 2016. He has focused on influencing politicians, policy makers and heads of public sector organisations and other key stakeholders to deliver evidence-based intervention with a sound economic basis. In 2020, Sean joined Witherslack Group as a Clinical Advisor.
Born and raised in Anfield, Liverpool, Tony studied philosophy before training as a psychotherapist. He worked for several years in public education as a child and adolescent psychotherapist.
Tony was the lead researcher in the ADHD studies Coherence Training in Children with ADHD, Cognitive Functions and Behavioural Changes, and co-author of ‘Using emWave Technology for Children with ADHD.’ Tony has also published academic papers frequently in the sector press and co-authored EU documents on transition from CAMHS to AMHS and the ‘UK ADHD Disease Impact Report – A lifetime lost or a lifetime saved.’
Tony was listed in the FT OUTstanding LGBT Executives in 2017 and 2018, and awarded the National Leadership Club Award for Education in recognition of his work as CEO of the ADHD Foundation.