Janet O’Keefe

Janet is an Expert Speech and Language Therapist with over 30 years experience of working both in the NHS and independently with children and adults with communication challenges. She is also the parent four sons, one of whom is adopted and has complex needs including a life threatening heart condition, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. The book Towards a Positive Future (second edition) which she has re-written with Raymond Aaron, New York Times Best Selling Author will be published in September 2016.

Janet is the Clear Communication Queen helping you be heard.

Through writing the book and establishing this annual conference Janet has identified the 10 things that parents tell her make a difference to them and their children not just in attainment but also in their well-being.

Dr Emma Derbyshire

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder affecting many aspects of life. This includes the ability to learn and interact with others, in education settings and beyond. Whilst conventional medications are available there is growing evidence that omega-3 and 6 fatty acids have important roles to play, acting as an effective adjunctive therapy to these. The current workshop describes what is meant by an ‘adjunctive therapy’ and provides an insight into the latest evidence in this field. Particular reference will also be given in relation to aspects of behaviour and learning.

Dr Emma Derbyshire is a registered Public Health Nutritionist. She has a degree in Nutritional Biochemistry, PhD in Human Nutrition and experienced background in teaching and academia, research and advisory work. Emma has written over 100 scientific publications, has contributed to Government reports and is the author of “Nutrition in the Childbearing Years” published by Wiley-Blackwell. Her main areas of expertise are maternal nutrition, child nutrition and general aspects of public health nutrition.

Fiona Scolding QC

Fiona Scolding QC is a specialist public law barrister from Outer Temple Chambers in London, whose practice focuses upon challenges concerning both central and local government and quangos. She has particular expertise in the areas of education, community care, equality, healthcare and procurement law but also practices in immigration, prison and general public law work. Fiona has been recommended as a leading junior in the field of education law for the past 12 years, and is also recommended for her work in the Court of Protection and in Public and Administrative Law. She is noted for her work concerning children and vulnerable adults, and often gives cross-disciplinary advice on these issues.

Dr Rebecca Blake

Dr Rebecca Blake is an autism and behaviour expert from Seattle USA. Becky will tell you how to Unlock Your Child’s True Potential! Get to the root source of struggles & learn how to better understand your child in order to best help them.

Laxmi Patel


The Children and Families Act 2014 came into force on 1 September 2014. The changes have been called the biggest reform to special educational provision in 30 years. Part 3 of the Act affects all children and young people with special educational needs. The changes promised a more holistic approach, bringing education, health and social care together to support our most vulnerable children and young people. The promises were ambitious.

What has actually happened? Laxmi will share her thoughts on the changes – the good and the not so good – and the pitfalls you need to be aware of.

Laxmi Patel is a special educational needs solicitor and Head of Education at Boyes Turner. Laxmi is a regular commentator on SEND issues and keeps a close eye on reforms. She works closely with parents guiding them through the Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and conducts appeals, including representation, to the SEND Tribunal. Laxmi advises parents on how and when to ask for an EHC plan and what to do when parents are either unhappy or unsure about the adequacy of their child’s educational provision. Her team also provides a health check on the contents of existing Statements/EHC plans and can advise parents on how to go about amending the Statement/EHC plan if they want a different school (maintained, independent, special or mainstream) named on their child’s Statement/EHC plan or if they want more support for their child in school.

Anita Devi

Anita seeks “to maximise the additional benefit that can be created by procuring or commissioning my services, above and beyond the benefit of merely the service and the defined deliverable/outcome itself”
(adapted from The Social Value Act 2012

I believe in innovation through collaboration.
So all my work is bespoke to the project or the client.
I do not generate standard ‘products’ to sell; I create & deliver solutions to a high standard.

Anita aspires to provide, model, and develop quality first inclusive education as an entitlement for all. In doing so, contribute to an education system that offers all learners varied and creative opportunities to nurture skills for life and ensure sustainable employability. In value and promote an education system that promotes life-long learning and human & personal excellence, at all levels

Kiran Hingorani

Kiran Hingorani is Principal at Swalcliffe Park School – a specialist day and residential school.

Anne Thomas

Anne is an author, speaker and trainer for emotional intelligence. She works with personal development groups as well as public and corporate organisations sharing insights into a motivational profiling system called The Enneagram which explores the nine different types of ego. This system answers the question, ‘why do people behave the way they do?’, and demonstrates how people can improve themselves by making very simple changes. She has worked with various NHS Trusts, Charities, MacMillan Nurses, Banks, Law Firms and Engineering and Retail Companies. Her series of programmes, called ‘Natural Superheroes’, offer people the chance to profile themselves and learn simple and specific strategies to better manage themselves and others under extreme pressure.

Joanna Grace

Joanna Grace is a special educational needs and disabilities consultant and founder of The Sensory Project. The Sensory Project provides training and conference presentations on sharing sensory stories, delivering structured sensory art and on other topics relating to sensory engagement, inclusion, behaviour and bullying.

Libby Hill

Libby qualified as a speech and language therapist from the prestigious University College, London in 1986. She remains as passionate about what she does now as she was then, which most definitely comes across in her work. Her practical, pragmatic approach works well with all children. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and language therapists and ASLTIP and is registerevd with the Health Professions Council. She also has an enhanced CRB/DBS check. Libby set up Small Talk Speech and language therapy in 2007 which has grown to include speech and language therapists, SLT assistants, early years practitioners and counsellors with access to Clinical Psychology and Educational Psychology. She set up Smart Talkers Pre-School communication groups in 2009 which are franchised in the UK and abroad. In 2011 she created S & L World, the global bulletin for Speech and language professionals which she continues to edit.

Jessica Kingsley

Writing, Directing, Producing or Acting; Jessica loves every part of what makes up Magical Quests! Especially the challenges the parents throw at her. In one weekend she can go from being a Flamenco Dancer, A Mermaid to a Pink Power Ranger!
Also trained in BSL and working with SEN.

Claire Hall

I am a fully qualified reflexologist and a member of the association of reflexologists. One of the most wonderful things about reflexology is that through touch to the reflex points (usually the feet) an immense feeling of relaxation can be attained. By targeting this touch to specific areas so many people report positive changes to their health also. It is so heart warming for me as a therapist to not only witness the relaxation the client attains but to hear them articulate the positive experiences that follow.
Now as a TCRP instructor that heart-warming feeling has evolved further as I witness parents (and grandparents) developing the required touch to support their baby or child. Each week I receive so many positive comments for parents regarding the reaction of their child from them delivering the reflexology.

As a reflexologist I have studied preconception, maternity and post natal reflexology and it is wonderful that so many people are introducing their children to reflexology at a young age, particularly those who received reflexology when pregnant themselves.
Prior to studying reflexology I worked for 13 years as a learning disability nurse. As well as providing reflexology to adults and children I am also keen to encourage people with learning disabilities and additional needs to discover the positive benefits of reflexology. I have a growing number of clients who i provide regular 1:1 reflexology appointments with but am equally keen to ensure that parents and children with additional needs are also accessing and benefiting from TCRP.

Mags Kirk

Mags Kirk is a Speech and Language Therapist based in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
Two Can Talk is her independent practice, providing specialist speech and language therapy tailored to a wide range of individual needs. Mags specialises in helping babies, children and young adults to improve their quality of life. She is able to assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of communication difficulties; and can also help if your child has feeding problems.

My first love was treating children with articulation difficulties and stammering. Since then I’ve developed a passion for working with children who have special needs, including (but not limited to) children who have Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

One of the big issues for families is that you don’t know what you don’t know. I know this morning I’ve had a few parents say to me, “I didn’t know that”, “I didn’t know that was happening”, “I didn’t know this was coming”, “I didn’t know that would apply to us.” so I think it’s really important for families and for practitioners. I think sometimes it’s good to hear about parental perspective in a very relaxed, independent atmosphere.

Debs Aspland

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