Success-for-all > Succeeding with SEND Series

Succeeding with SEND Series

Succeeding with SEND series

This exclusive series of insightful conversations between SEND students and experts, explores their journey to diagnosis as well as the support they received to enable them to succeed throughout their education.

In support of Dyslexia Awarness month, the series launched with a focus on Dyslexia on the 14th of October, with Helen Boden, CEO of the British Dyslexia Association. Followed by a focus on Autism with Dr Calum Harley in November. 


Focus on Dyslexia


 Focus on Autism


Focus on Supporting Students during difficult times

With the gradual return of students to school, and the new systems put into place to stop the spread of the virus, it is anticipated that there will be a rise in anxiety, behaviour and Mental Health issues. Teachers will now be faced with new challenges, due to students being out of the classroom for such a long period of time. To delve into this subject and provide support to students we have brought together an advisory teacher/SENCo, Mary Long and an Educational Psychologist, Melanie Adkins, to have a conversation on what to expect this school year and how to create a whole school approach on dealing with these issues.

 You can also view snippets of this episode on:


Expert speakers

Helen Boden headshotHelen Boden, CEO, British Dyslexia Association

With a background in education and training since 1990 and a qualified specialist dyslexia teacher, Helen began work for the BDA in 2002 and has been with the organisation for 15 of the last 17 years.

 After running the organisation’s training department, Helen became CEO in March 2018, with a focus on empowering dyslexics through lobbying, raising awareness, training and direct support.  



calum-hartley-headshotDr Calum Hartley is a Lecturer in Psychology at Lancaster University.

He is an internationally-recognised expert in autism and his research focuses on how this disorder impacts children’s symbolic communication.

Calum was awarded his PhD in 2014 which investigated how minimally verbal children with autism understand pictures and words. In 2016, he was awarded a Future Research Leaders Fellowship by the Economic and Social Research Council to profile how children with autism identify, retain, and generalise the meanings of words. Calum is currently supervising several PhD projects exploring this topic. He is also interested in aspects of social cognition, including sharing and ownership, and is involved in a long-running outreach project (‘Science Hunters’) that uses Minecraft to introduce science to children with special educational needs.

For more information about Calum’s publications, please visit his university web page.


Mary LongMary Long - advisory teacher/SENCo 

Mary is a qualified SENCO with 20+ years experience in teaching and learning, leading in SEND, EAL and EMA in mainstream schools and in a specialist provision, and now part of an advisory team ( working with students, staff and families across London and beyond. 




Melanie Adkins

Melanie Adkins- Educational psychologist 

Dr. Melanie Adkins is a Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist for a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service. Melanie has been an EP for fourteen years and has experience of both Local Authority and private practice. Melanie has also been an Academic Tutor on EP Doctoral training. Melanie is also an Accredited Play Therapist, Clinical Supervisor and Sandplay Practitioner. Prior to training as an EP, Melanie was a teacher in a variety of primary schools, part of the School Leadership Team and a School SENDCo. 


Student speakers   

ruby-photoRuby Jensen-Jones

Ruby is 16 and has just completed her GCSE’s and is now studying for her A levels in Geography, Politics and Economics. 
Ruby’s interests include music, (she plays the piano and flute both to Grade 8) and sings in the school choir. She enjoys netball and keeping fit and has recently started volunteering with a local dyslexia organisation.

Ruby’s dyslexia was discovered when she was struggling with her reading and spelling at primary school.  Through strong support at home and school, Ruby has overcome many obstacles associated with reading and has achieved excellent results in her GCSE examinations including a 9 (A Star) for English Language.


Mollie-photoMollie Lee

Mollie Lee, is a 21 year old post-graduate psychology student at Lancaster University studying developmental disorders. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 17, when she was already interested in psychology and atypical development which she now gets to pursue.




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