2018 Judging Panel
Octavia Holland | Director | The Communication Trust
Octavia Holland is the Director of The Communication Trust, which is hosted by I CAN. The Trust is a consortium of 52 not for profit organisations working to support children and young people’s speech, language and communication in England, especially those who struggle as they have speech, language and communication needs. Before joining The Communication Trust in 2015 Octavia worked across central government and the charitable sector in delivery, policy and campaigning roles. Octavia most recently led policy, advice and communications for Gingerbread, the national single parent charity and prior to that spent four years as Chief Executive of Coram’s Fields, a children and young people's charity. Octavia spent the first ten years of her career in central government, in a range of policy and leadership roles for the Department of Children, Schools and Families.
Lesley Munro |Education & Speech and Language Therapy Manager | Pearson
Lesley Munro is the Education & Speech and Language Therapy Manager at Pearson Clinical Assessment. Prior to this, she worked as a speech and language therapist and lecturer in schools, clinics and universities in the areas of paediatric speech and language and adult voice disorder. She has been a judge on the Shine a Light panel since the inception of the awards.
Peter Sutcliffe | Editor | SEN Magazine
Peter has been the Editor of SEN Magazine, the UK’s leading magazine for special educational needs, since 2009. The Magazine has a a wide readership amongst teachers, parents and SEN professionals, providing comprehensive news and feature coverage of all aspects of special educational needs. Prior to taking up this role, Peter edited Family Magazine and headed-up editorial teams for publications in the education, music and entertainment sectors. He also has extensive experience of the creative and commercial aspects of publishing. Peter has managed the development of digital media platforms for magazines and currently edits the SEN website.
Malcolm Reeve | Managing Director | Firmament Education Ltd
Malcolm Reeve is Managing Director of Firmament Education Ltd. He was formerly CEO of Columbus School and College for children with special educational needs and Executive Director for SEND & Inclusion at Academies Enterprise Trust - the UK’s largest academy chain. Malcolm is a National Leader of Education and a Member of the National SEND Forum. He is Patron of the Centre Algarve holiday centre for people with special needs.
Kamini Gadhok | MBE - Chief Executive | RCSLT
Kamini has been RCSLT Chief Executive since December 2000. Her primary role is to deliver service change by building strong partnerships with key stakeholders across Government, charities, other professional bodies and the Health Professions Council. Over the years Kamini has been involved in a number of Government initiatives, including a secondment to the Department of Health’s Care Record Development Board and as an adviser to the Bercow review of services for children with speech, language and communication needs. She received an MBE for her service to the allied health professions in 2009.
Bob Reitemeier CBE | CEO | I CAN
Bob became Chief Executive in January 2016 and has over 30 years’ experience in the voluntary sector in England and internationally. Prior to his appointment at I CAN, he was Chief Executive of Essex Community Foundation and Chief Executive of The Children’s Society. Internationally, Bob started his career as a secondary school teacher in Zaïre, followed by posts as Country Director for Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) in Chad and Country Director for ActionAid in Bangladesh. He settled with his family in England in 1994. Bob has served on several national Boards supporting children and young people, including The Youth Justice Board, the Social Work Task Force, the Children’s Workforce Development Council and as Chairman of Children England. He received a CBE for services to children in 2012.
Hilary Berry | Chair | Cheshire West and Chester Association of Primary Headteachers
Hilary Berry is a member of the Communication Council and is currently Chair of Cheshire West and Chester Association of Primary Headteachers. As a key system leader in Cheshire West and Chester she demonstrates the ability to broker professional dialogue and conversations between colleagues so that they can co-create strategies to deliver national policies whilst incorporating their local priorities. Hilary also acts as a mentor and critical friend to Headteachers, influencing and guiding their personal and professional development.
Jonathan Douglas | Director | National Literacy Trust
Jonathan Douglas is Director of the National Literacy Trust – the independent charity committed to raising literacy levels in the UK’s most deprived communities. Jonathan joined the Trust in 2007. He has developed the strategy for the 2008 National Year of Reading generating 2.5million new public library members, formed the All Party Parliamentary Literacy Group, expanded the National Literacy Trust schools’ programme to include 7,000 schools and engaged a wide range of businesses (including Boots Opticians, the Premier League, McDonald’s and KPMG) in the campaign for UK literacy.
He is Chair of Governors of St William of York Primary School in Lewisham. In 2014 Jonathan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Oxford Brookes University.
Liz Tyler |Director - Learning Services, UK Schools | Pearson
Liz Tyler is Director of Learning Services for UK Schools at Pearson Education. She has worked for Pearson for 20 years and is responsible for the development of teaching and learning materials for use in UK primary and secondary schools and FE colleges. This involves understanding and interpreting educational policy and the latest research on effective pedagogies in order to create services that support teachers have a greater impact on learners.
Victoria Roe | Secretary and Deputy Chair | SMIRA
Victoria Roe spent her teaching career working in Slough and Leicester. She specialised in music, language development with Bi-lingual pupils and Special Educational Needs. Since 1980, she has worked to help children with Selective Mutism and has been involved with SMIRA (Selective Mutism Information and Research Association) from its foundation.
Victoria gained a Master of Arts in Educational Studies from the University of Leicester in 2011, doing research into Selective Mutism in adolescents. A paper on her research can be accessedwww.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/203095.pdf
Victoria is one of those from SMIRA who attend meetings of The Communication Trust and Consortium.
Janet Cooper | Early language and Communication Strategy Lead | Stoke on Trent City Council and 2011 Winner
Janet is a qualified SLT with extensive experience of child development and children’s developmental speech, language and communication difficulties.
Since completing her BSc (hons) degree in speech/language pathology and therapeutics in 1988 she has held a wide range of roles in both the health authority and in education. In 2004, she set up and developed the ‘Stoke Speaks Out’ multi-agency programme to tackle early language and communication difficulties which us currently in its 12th year. In 2004, Janet was invited to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister in recognition for her services to children. Stoke Speaks Out has won a range of National awards for working with parents, multi-agency strategy and team of the year. Janet is currently employed by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Partnership Trust- but commissioned by Stoke on Trent City Council to lead on communication development for school readiness, ‘Stoke Speaks Out’ and ‘Stoke Reads’.
Theresa Redmond | Lead Professional Advisor | The Communications Trust
Bio coming soon
Zoё Peden | Co-founder | InSane Logic
Zoё is the mastermind behind Insane Logic alongside co-founder Andrew Jackman (aka Chief Code Monkey). Zoё’s 10-year career in educational and professional publishing, and subsequent senior position at The Makaton Charity, has made her passionate about supporting children, young people and adults’ language development and working with people with learning disabilities. This passion is what drove her to co-found Insane Logic, the company behind MyChoicePad – a language development platform for mobile tablets, which uses symbols and signs to reinforce language and is designed to help those with communication difficulties.
Julie Steele | Specialist | Speech and Language HLTA and Local Champion
Julie Steele is a Specialist Speech and Language HLTA. Julie supports SLCN pupils and their Parents in school, and practitioners from other schools. Julie has worked with Primary school SEN children for over 14 years in all areas of Speech, Language and Communication Needs. SLCN support is a passion of Julie's to help children find their voice, their confidence and to help them reach their full potential.
Wendy Lee | Director | Speech & Language Solutions
Wendy has worked as a speech and language therapist for 30 years, in clinical practice, as a senior lecturer and in the third sector. Until recently she was Professional Director at The Communication Trust where she led on a number of projects to develop and share interventions, information and resources, as well as inputting on national policy and research. Wendy is currently working independently, working directly with academies, trusts and schools and with national charities and other organisations on all things speech, language and communication. She also has a small team of therapists working directly with children and young people.
Shane Dangar | Communication Champion 2013/14
Shane Dangar is a former Young People’s Champion (YPC) and Communication Champion of the Year, 2013/14. Shane is currently studying psychology and SEND/inclusion at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.