Jean is a popular speaker and writer on children’s issues. She is passionate about achieving better life chances for children and young people who don’t have much going for them in their lives and dedicates her time to trying to make a difference for this group. She has been lucky to have the sort of jobs that take her to see great practice across the country, and that is what she shares in her talks. Whatever the issue – language or literacy difficulties, special needs, lack of parental engagement, low self-belief, unmet social and emotional needs – school leaders and teachers will find in her talks practical strategies with evidence of impact.
Jean has been a teacher, an educational psychologist, head of children’s services in a local authority, and a Visiting and Associate Fellow at three universities. She has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to government on early years, behaviour, wellbeing and special educational needs policy. Until 2011 she was the government’s Communication Champion for children and young people, responsible for promoting the importance of good language skills. Before this she headed a charity responsible for the very successful Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts one-to-one tuition programmes. As a Director of the government’s National Strategies she led work on overcoming barriers to achievement, including the influential SEAL approach to developing children’s social and emotional competences.
She is the author of numerous articles and best-selling books, including 'Beating Bureaucracy in SEN' (NASEN/Routledge, 3rd edn. 2015) and 'Time to Talk' (Routledge, 2013).
She was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year’s honours list, for services to education.
"Your session was, as expected, quite brilliant and hugely valued by our delegates."– David Bartram, Director for SEND at the London Leadership Strategy
"You made a world of difference to the success of our conference ... we received an incredible amount of positive feedback from delegates about how informative and useful they found your talk."– Helen Wright, Headteacher St Mary's Calne, President of the GSA
"Could I put 'double' excellent? The best Keynote speaker ever!!"– Conference Participant Learning Works Annual Conference
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