I am a native of Barnsley, and I have spent my teaching career in South Yorkshire. After graduating from the Sheffield Polytechnic College of Education in 1982 with a B.Ed, I taught Home Economics in secondary schools for 8 years, before completing an Advanced Diploma in Guidance & Counselling from Leeds University.
This led me onto work as an Education Welfare Officer, where I developed my counselling skills, and then became a ‘Home Tutor’ working with pupils excluded from school. Alongside my one to one teaching work I studied for a Diploma in Special Educational Needs from Nottingham University.
As a Learning Support Teacher, I found myself supporting primary and secondary schools to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs. I then qualified as a Specialist Teacher for Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia), and took the opportunity to take charge of a Unit for Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia).
I became convinced that the needs of dyslexic children could be met within their local school and became an advocate for the development of dyslexia friendly schools as part of an inclusive approach to education and high quality teaching in the classroom, one-to-one and small group situations.
As the Advisory Teacher for Dyslexia for Barnsley LA, I collaborated with Neil Mackay and the Dyslexia Aware Consortium of Local Authorities to develop and moderate the standards for its ‘Quality Mark for Dyslexia’. I also developed training and support for dyslexia aware schools.
I have continued my work outside of the school environment with personal assessments and one-to-one teaching helping children of all ages with literacy difficulties and dyslexia to be able to work with confidence and success and out perform their peers in school-work and exams.