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Meet the specialist - Mandy

Education Officer

How long have you worked in the education/SEND sector?

I began my teaching career in 1985 in a primary school in Northampton. My time at nasen began in 2018 when I was appointed to the education team as an Education Officer. My specific responsibility includes leading on Early Years including the various DfE funded EY projects. 


What can you tell us about your background? 

During my career, I have worked in primary schools in Northamptonshire and Coventry. During that time, I had various roles including SENCO, Science, Maths and Assessment Lead, and assistant head teacher. I broadened my experience by becoming the teacher governor of the primary school where I worked and was a co-opted governor of a secondary school.


What do you enjoy most about working for nasen?
I love having the opportunity to have a countrywide impact on the provision for children and young people with SEND, particularly in the Early Years sector, which is my passion. I find it satisfying when my articles, training and resources are used to support practitioners in their work. 


What are the benefits of subscribing to the SENCO Support Service?
As a SENCO for 9 years in a large primary, I understand the enormity of the role and the time it takes to find out answers to the huge number of questions that arise daily. I think there is a real need for somewhere for SENCOs, particularly those who are new to the role, to go to have concise, accurate information at their fingertips. The SENCO Support Service is perfect for that.

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Are there any SEND topics that you feel particularly passionate about? 
My personal interests include the early identification of SEN in the Early Years as it is so crucial to provide the appropriate support as soon as possible to ensure every child’s individual needs are fully identified and accommodated. Getting this right has a positive effect on children’s life chances further down the line.
I am also passionate about the effective teaching of reading and how it should be carried out from the start, including to acknowledging that every child has individual strengths and weakness amongst the myriad of skills that are involved in this complex and fascinating process. Again, because reading is vital for other learning, it is crucial to get it right for every child.


Are there any further qualifications/certifications that you would like to share with the community? 
I studied the teaching of reading in depth at University with Roger Beard (then an influential author on the subject) and hold the ASE Certificate in the Teaching of Primary Science. I am a trained facilitator of the Early Years SEND Reviewer training.