A graduate of the University of Birmingham, Hannah completed her PGCE in secondary History and then a PG Dip Education at Bath University. Having taught in, and then led, a History department for six years, she transitioned to become her school's SENCO, completing her National Award for SEN Co-ordination and then a PG Dip in Dyslexia at Bath Spa University. An experienced senior leader, Hannah now oversees the special needs provision of a 2-18 school in Worcestershire, as well as working on three national projects to improve provision for children and young people with SEND.
Frustrated by the postcode lottery of provision across schools nationally, Hannah envisioned a National SENCO Survey in order to establish a national expectation of protected time for those who oversee SEN Co-ordination in their schools. She has been privileged to work alongside colleagues at the NEU, nasen and Bath Spa University to oversee the creation and execution of a national SENCO survey in September 2018. Published at the end of 2018, the Survey received almost 2000 responses and the team are now working on securing the recommendations made. You can find the published report here.
Inspired by the many wonderful children and young people she has worked with, Hannah dreamt up The Generation CAN Awards as a way to shine a light on the many heartwarming and remarkable stories of those with special educational needs and disabilities. Purposed with a mission to encourage and empower, the charity Generation CAN has huge aspirations to grow across the United Kingdom and beyond. You can find out more about the Worcestershire Awards here, as well as the Phase One trial of the Schools' Awards.
Following on from the findings of the National SENCO Worklad Survey, Hannah is currently working with a team of SENCOs and a parent from Sheffield, Bath, Newcastle, and London to create a user-friendly guide to getting the best outcomes from SENCOs in their setting. This project has been funded by the DfE through Whole School SEND. You can find out more here.
I loved this book. If you've ever been interested in what Finland has on us in education terms, then this is a good read. I found it fascinating learning about the education systems from some of the most successful countries identified through PISA testing. This book is enlightening through its highlighting of consistencies and it has persuaded me to question assumptions with systematically argued and well-evidenced points. I think we have a lot to learn from it, especially from the systems in place to enable the weakest learners to achieve better. I loved it so much, I bought the book so I could keep it forever!
I didn't think I was a feminist. I think I've just thought that women should be brilliant and shine on, letting their outcomes speak for themselves and spend less time talking about it. And then I read this book. I wasn't overly keen on the chapters about how Mary Portas has structured her own company (although there were some interesting points) but I was incensed when I read some of the statistics around female employment and the very significant impact that not having women in positions of senior leadership has on the nation as a whole. I genuinely believe comments like "for the little extras" would never happen if more women were represented at the highest levels of office. Come on ladies - there's work to be done.
If you've never read a Gladwell, get thyself to the nearest Waterstones now. I think he might be my favourite author. Gladwell explains and analyses the 'tipping point' when ideas, trends, social behaviours cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire. Anything from syphilis to crime rates, shoe sales to cult books. I always learn something new from Gladwell. My absolute favourite book of his is 'Outliers' though. All teachers should read it.
I love a good book about neuroscience. This one, I have to say, keeps sending me to sleep! That said, I am really enjoying it. I am reading this book with a deep sense of impending terror about how much sleep affects our health, our learning and our mental well-being. In some ways, it's nothing new; in others, it brings home a very clear message which is hard to ignore. I've given assemblies on it, so much impact has it had on my awareness of the importance of healthy sleep routines on learning outcomes. If you can keep your eyes open, I'd urge you to read it.
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