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Lizzie Shearing BA(Hons) QTS, NASENCo, SpLD AMBDA

Founder: Study Buddy 

Specialist Dyslexia Teacher and Assessor 

Lizzie has been teaching for fourteen years. She has taught across the age ranges from EYFS to Key Stage 4. She achieved her SENCo award (NASENCo) in 2013 with the University of Birmingham and her Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in SpLD (Dyslexia) in 2019 (AMBDA). Lizzie is a Specialist Dyslexia Assessor and a Learning Support teacher in her day to day role in school. She has worked with thousands of children with additional needs over the years and has a passion for enabling children to thrive.


Janine Harris 

SEND Specialist Teacher (ADHD) 

Founder: ADHD Wise 

Jannine is a well-known face and voice for ADHD in the UK. She is a SEND Specialist Teacher, Trainer, Psycho-educational Coach and an MSc Psychology student with the University of Liverpool (online). Perhaps more importantly, she has raised 3 children with ADHD (one is also on the autistic spectrum) and she has ADHD herself. Her talks are always informative and brutally honest.


Maria Burns

EYFS Early Years SENCo and Teacher 

Founder: Early Years Send UK

Maria has been working with children with SEND and their families for over ten years. With a degree in Early Child Development, Maria is able to utilise her extensive experience and provides training and consultancy for a variety of EYFS settings; supporting the development and inclusion of children from all backgrounds. Maria can offer bespoke support to both families and settings caring for children with special needs. 

Melanie Howell

Melanie Howell LLB(Hons), PGCE, MSc

Autism Specialist Teacher and Researcher

Melanie has worked with children with a primary diagnosis of autism in a number of different settings including special schools and home settings. Her teaching specialism is working with children with autism who have severe learning disabilities, minimal language and challenging behaviour but enjoys training, advising and supporting those working with children with a range of needs. With a younger brother with autism, she has grown up with a family perspective of the condition which complements her professional experience.

Melanie is currently in the final stages of completing her PhD with a research focus on the educational assessment of autistic children in special schools. She has also taught on undergraduate and postgraduate Autism Studies degree courses at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent. 

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Cathy Parvin

Dyspraxia Specialist

Director of Dyspraxia Education

Currently she is Director of Dyspraxia Education a charity which supports children with dyspraxia/DCD in education. She is a visiting university lecturer for SENDCo Award, P.E, PGCE, BA honours and Early Years courses and has delivered conference seminars and keynote speeches both nationally and in Europe. She attends numerous conferences, study days and training events, however, it is her daughter Lydie, who has given her a very deep and meaningful insight into the challenges and benefits of living with dyspraxia and other neurodiverse conditions.


Suzanne McDowell BSC(Hons) PGCE Dip SpLD AMBDA

Founder: Dyslexia West Midlands

Suzanne has a vast range of experience working in education and has always had a particular passion for ensuring children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities succeed. She is the founder of Dyslexia West Midlands, she is a specialist teacher/assessor and she is a SEND consultant and advisor to schools across the West Midlands. 

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