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SEND Champions

There are a number of Luton services across Education, Health and Social Care that support Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs. 

Key organisations and the services they  provide are listed below.  Within each organisation/service SEND Champions have been identified.

The role of the SEND champion is:

  • to drive forward change and help to embed positive changes to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND
  • to ensure that actions in the Written Statement of Action are undertaken
  • to ensure that quality and performance of SEND services are monitored
  • to promote working as a Local Area

Each organisation has identified champions who represent people at different levels of the organisation:

  • Board/Executive
  • Service wide
  • Operational

Our SEND Champions

Director of Children Services, Amanda Lewis

Amanda Lewis, Director of Children Services

I joined Luton Council as the Corporate Director for Children’s Services in 2017 from the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in Wales – the fourth largest health board in Europe. My previous experience includes several posts with Powys County Council, including Strategic Director for People and Head of Children’s Services. I also worked in Children’s Services for councils in Dorset and Somerset and started my career as a social worker in various London boroughs, including Newham and Southwark.


John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

I joined the council in 1981 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and also served as a head teacher at Foxdell Junior and Riverbank Primary Schools.
I have extensive experience and leadership in the education sector and always thrive to benefit Luton’s schools and pupils and community.
Currently I am leading on number of services including:

  • Admissions
  • Pupil Referral Unit and Alternative Provision
  • Music and Catering Services
  • Virtual School
  • Education Welfare
  • Governor Services
  • Safeguarding in Education

SEND Improvement Programme Director, Stephanie Cash

Stephanie Cash, SEND Improvement Programme Director

I am the SEND Improvement Programme Director for Luton and my role is to oversee the implementation of the SEND Written Statement of Action following the Ofsted/CQC inspection of SEND services in December 2018.

I have been seconded to this role from my job as Service Manager for Flying Start and Flying Start Children's Centres. I have a degree in nutrition and dietetics and a Master's in Public Health.

I have worked in children's services in Luton since 1986 in Community Health Services, for the CCG and in the Local Authority.

I am passionate about supporting change and improving outcomes for children, young people and their families. Since coming into post in 2017 as the Flying Start Children's Centre Service Manager, I have worked to ensure our Children's Centre provision has improved its offer to parents with children with early identified needs and more recently I led on the transformational work to support speech, language and communication needs for early years with the Talking Takes Off Programme.

I look forward to working as a SEND Champion with our children, young people and their parents to improve outcomes alongside colleagues from across the Luton system.


Lucy Hubber, Service Director Children’s Integrated Commissioning

Lucy Hubber, Service Director Children’s Integrated Commissioning

I have worked in the health service and local government for over 25 years and a lot of my work has focussed on improving the health and wellbeing of women and children.  In my current job, I am responsible for a number of different things.  As a Consultant in Public Health, I work with communities and providers to improve the health of the population, through encouraging people to take up healthy choices, like getting more active or stopping smoking.  I am also responsible for the cultural facilities and events in Luton, such as the carnival, the Mela, libraries and the museums.  Finally, I am responsible for the planning of services for improving the health and wellbeing of children in Luton.  This means that I look at what the population needs, how well current services meet these needs and what we need to do differently.  For SEND, this means getting involved with the planning of services for diagnosis, treatment, therapies and checking on the quality of these.  


Anne Murray, Chief Nurse CCG

Anne Murray, Chief Nurse CCG

 

I qualified as a registered nurse in 1980 at Bedford Hospital. Following a clinical career in accident and emergency, trauma and orthopaedic nursing and tissue viability services. I went into nurse management working in specialist nursing, practice development and education roles across Acute Trusts. I also completed a degree in specialist nursing and a masters in research and evidence based practice which included a post graduate certificate in medical education.

I worked in commissioning since 2009 when I joined NHS Bedfordshire PCT. I have been a Director of Nursing since 2010, working across Bedfordshire, Luton and more recently Milton Keynes. I am also Director for Children’s Commissioning and Chief Nurse.


Helen Watson, Designated Clinical Officer

Helen Watson, Designated Clinical Officer

I have a background in Children’s nursing spanning over 20 years. I spent a large part of my early career working in Paediatric Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street Hospital where I gained a degree in professional practice; and additionally worked as a retrieval nurse for the Children’s Acute Transport Service. I have also worked within the local specialist schools and children’s hospice; and have more recently undertaken various community roles in Luton including working for the Children’s Safeguarding team; and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Edwin Lobo Centre where I supported children with a range of neuro-disabilities; managing sleep and ADHD medication regimes as a nurse prescriber; offering post diagnosis support to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and conducting annual Down Syndrome reviews. Throughout my career I have gained vast experience in working with children and young people with SEND and their families; supporting them to meet their health needs in a variety of settings; and enabling them to meet their full potential through contribution to the Education Health Care Plan process; and signposting to the appropriate services to meet their needs.

My current role as Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) supports Luton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and agrees the health services to be provided within an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. I am looking forward to working in co-production with local families to ensure that their voices and lived experience are encapsulated in service redesign; and identifying any gaps in current services. I also look forward to working closely with the DCO for Bedfordshire Jo Drew, to champion the provision of joined up services for children and families with SEND County wide.


Jo Drew, Strategic Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keyes (BLMK)

Jo Drew, Strategic Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keyes (BLMK)

I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in Manchester, and I have worked in a variety of acute and community settings, special and mainstream schools. My clinical career has included work in the areas of Cleft Lip and Palate, Hearing Impairment, and Autism. I have managed the Children’s speech and Language Therapy Team, and been the lead for CCS Allied Health Professions across Luton and Bedfordshire. I have worked in Bedfordshire children’s’ community health settings for over ten years.

My role as Designated Clinical Officer (DCO) supports Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to meet its statutory responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and agrees the health services to be provided within an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

My role supports joined up working between health services and the local authority, for children, young people and adult services (0-25 years). A DCO promotes communication of advice to local authorities, schools and colleges regarding the health needs of children and young people who may have SEND. It supports schools, for example, with their duties under the ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions’ guidance. The DCO has lead role in ensuring that there is an awareness and understanding of the SEND Reforms by local Health providers of services. This can be through training, or through individual discussions with teams and clinicians.

My role is also strategic across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, working with colleagues to ensure that we optimise coordination, quality and efficiency of services in and across our local areas. I work closely with the DCO for Luton, Helen Watson, and together we aim to champion the provision of joined up services for children and families with SEND.

SEND Services

Provided by the Local Authority, services include

  • Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT)
  • Special Educational Needs Service (SENS)
  • Educational Psychology
  • Post-16yrs team
  • Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

SEND Champions

Director of Children Services, Amanda Lewis

Executive: Amanda Lewis, Director of Children Services

I joined Luton Council as the Corporate Director for Children’s Services in 2017 from the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in Wales – the fourth largest health board in Europe. My previous experience includes several posts with Powys County Council, including Strategic Director for People and Head of Children’s Services. I also worked in Children’s Services for councils in Dorset and Somerset and started my career as a social worker in various London boroughs, including Newham and Southwark.


John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

Service: John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

I joined the council in 1981 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and also served as a head teacher at Foxdell Junior and Riverbank Primary Schools.
I have extensive experience and leadership in the education sector and always thrive to benefit Luton’s schools and pupils and community.
Currently I am leading on number of services including:

  • Admissions
  • Pupil Referral Unit and Alternative Provision
  • Music and Catering Services
  • Virtual School
  • Education Welfare
  • Governor Services
  • Safeguarding in Education

Davina Stubbs, SEN Service Manager

Operational: Davina Stubbs, SEN Service Manager

I am passionate about working with children and young people with SEND.   I am a qualified teacher with substantial teaching experience across mainstream and special schools. During my teaching career, I specialised in the development of language and communication in children with severe learning difficulties and went on to set up a specialist provision for children with Autism.


I moved into local authority work in 2002, working as an Assessment Officer in statutory assessment teams across the Bedfordshire area. I then joined Luton Borough Council in 2010 to manage the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (responsible for statutory assessments). 


In my current role as SEN Service manager includes strategic management  of the SEN Assessment Team, the post 16 Transitions Team and SEN Advisory Services. I am committed to developing quality local provision that parents and families can be confident will meet their children’s special educational needs. I also oversee high needs funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities across the local area.

Education

Provided by the Local Authority, services include

  • Early Years
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Alternative Learning and Progression Service (ALPS)/Avenue Centre for Education (ACE)
  • Virtual School

SEND Champions

Director of Children Services, Amanda Lewis

Executive: Amanda Lewis, Director of Children Services

I joined Luton Council as the Corporate Director for Children’s Services in 2017 from the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in Wales – the fourth largest health board in Europe. My previous experience includes several posts with Powys County Council, including Strategic Director for People and Head of Children’s Services. I also worked in Children’s Services for councils in Dorset and Somerset and started my career as a social worker in various London boroughs, including Newham and Southwark.


John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

Service: John Wrigglesworth, Service Director Education

I joined the council in 1981 as a Newly Qualified Teacher and also served as a head teacher at Foxdell Junior and Riverbank Primary Schools.
I have extensive experience and leadership in the education sector and always thrive to benefit Luton’s schools and pupils and community.
Currently I am leading on number of services including:

  • Admissions
  • Pupil Referral Unit and Alternative Provision
  • Music and Catering Services
  • Virtual School
  • Education Welfare
  • Governor Services
  • Safeguarding in Education

Davina Stubbs, SEN Service Manager

Operational: Davina Stubbs, SEN Service Manager

I am passionate about working with children and young people with SEND.   I am a qualified teacher with substantial teaching experience across mainstream and special schools. During my teaching career, I specialised in the development of language and communication in children with severe learning difficulties and went on to set up a specialist provision for children with Autism.


I moved into local authority work in 2002, working as an Assessment Officer in statutory assessment teams across the Bedfordshire area. I then joined Luton Borough Council in 2010 to manage the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (responsible for statutory assessments). 


In my current role as SEN Service manager includes strategic management  of the SEN Assessment Team, the post 16 Transitions Team and SEN Advisory Services. I am committed to developing quality local provision that parents and families can be confident will meet their children’s special educational needs. I also oversee high needs funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities across the local area.

Children’s Social Care

Provided by the Local Authority, services include

  • Social Care Neighbourhood teams
  • Children with Disabilities team
  • Early Help teams
  • Looked after Children
  • Short break respite
  • Youth Offending team

SEND Champions

Director of Children Services, Amanda Lewis

Executive: Amanda Lewis, Director of Children Services

I joined Luton Council as the Corporate Director for Children’s Services in 2017 from the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in Wales – the fourth largest health board in Europe. My previous experience includes several posts with Powys County Council, including Strategic Director for People and Head of Children’s Services. I also worked in Children’s Services for councils in Dorset and Somerset and started my career as a social worker in various London boroughs, including Newham and Southwark.


Children and Young People's Community Health Services

Provided by Cambridgeshire Community Services, services include

  • Community Paediatrics (Edwin Lobo)
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Health Visiting
  • School Nursing
  • Special School Nursing
  • Community Nursing
  • Continuing Care

SEND Champions

Julia Curtis, Chief Nurse

Executive: Julia Curtis, Chief Nurse

I have been in the role of Chief Nurse since 2017 and have worked in a number of roles throughout CCS since joining in 2002.

I undertook my Adult Nurse training at Addenbrookes Hospital followed by qualifying as a Health Visitor in Sheffield in 1991.  Since then I have worked in a number of roles including Health visiting for 11 years, Leading the Portage service  for Cambridgeshire (a multi–agency, pre -school home visiting scheme for children with additional needs) and Quality, Governance and Professional Practice roles.

I have also undertaken a role with the Nursing and Midwifery Council for the last 5 years as a registrant member of their Fitness to Practice, Conduct and Competence process.

I am a passionate advocate for high quality patient care and my underlying ethos is that respectful and trusting relationships between staff and patients enables this to happen.


Simon Harwin, Service Director

Service: Simon Harwin, Service Director

Hello my name is Simon Harwin and I worked in the NHS for over 11 years working within senior operational, strategic and corporate roles. I have range of experience in Hospital to community settings, most recently in Hertfordshire Children’s services leading Quality improvement, transformation programmes and Service delivery. Prior to this I worked across Mental Health and Community Services in London leading transformation programmes to improve access to services, develop the links between primary and secondary care and enabling communities to improve health and wellbeing.

I have held senior leadership roles across both Adult and Children’s services with a passion for quality improvement and working together across the healthcare system to improve the meaningful outcomes for Children and Families.

I have a MSc in Occupational Therapy and I am graduate of the NHS leadership academy in Executive healthcare leadership.


Tina Charlton, Head of Children and Young People’s Service

Operational: Tina Charlton, Head of Children and Young People’s Service

I have a background in Children’s Nursing, starting my career in Great Ormond Street’s intensive care unit. The majority of my career has been in various community roles including the management and commissioning of community health services. I am passionate about the importance of enabling every child reach their potential removing barriers of disability and illness.

I have worked closely with Educational Colleagues in several roles. In Hertfordshire I undertook a Multi-Agency Project looking at provision for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, both within the county and in out of county placements. The learning from this project lead to the commencement of Hertfordshire’s PALMS service (Positive Behaviour Autism Learning Disability and Mental Health Service).

I have also worked as school Governor with responsibility for SEND and I am delighted to be a SEND champion.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Provided by East London Foundation Trust, services include

  • CAMHs - Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  • CAMHs -Neuro-developmental team

SEND Champions

Jo Meehan

Executive: Jo Meehan

I am extremely proud to be a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMHN) who is fortunate to have had a varied career providing me with a wealth of experience in all areas of mental health nursing spanning an educational career over 23 years. Throughout this time I have had the honour of working in a variety of clinical settings, both inpatient and community based, across a wide range of service areas including acute adult inpatient, adult community crisis, adult substance misuse, forensic care, medium secure inpatient and now CAMHS.

I commenced my nurse training in 1994 establishing the footings of my career; like all nursing programmes my training provided me with a range of workplace opportunities within the field of nursing and a solid knowledge base to underpin my practice.

I believe we are always learning, every situation whether it be a positive or negative experience for us can offer us an opportunity to enhance our practice for the future.

I am a firm believer in getting the basics right, if we can support staff with the rights tools we can develop skills and boost confidence, this is particularly empowering for our staff group and in turn improves overall performance.

I am currently working as the Associate Director for CAMHS in ELFT and extremely proud to have been awarded  the Trust's Leadership Award in 2019


Cathy Lavelle

Executive: Cathy Lavelle

My name is Dr Cathy Lavelle, I am a Consultant Child & Adoelscent psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Chidlren's Services for ELFT, including services in East London and Luton & Bedfordshire. This means that I have overall clinical responsibility for ensuring that we are providing high quality mental health services for children across our patch.

I am from Yorkshire, and completed my medical degree at Birmingham University. I spent a  year working in NZ and then trained as a junior psychiatrist in Glasgow, before moving to London to complete my specialist Child & Adolescent Training. I have been a consultant for 20 years, initially in Newham, East London with a special interest in Paediatric Liaison (children with physical health difficulties and associated mental health problems.) After 10 years in community CAMHS, I  moved to work in an Adolescent Psychiatric  in-patient Unit in East London, The Coborn Centre, where I stayed for 5 years. I first came to work in Bedford as Associate Clinical Director in 2016, leading on the development and improvement of local CAMHS services. During my time in Bedfordshire I worked clinically in most of the CAMHS services which I found really helpful in gaining an understanding of the needs of children and Young people across the area, and contributed to my involvement in establishing a range of new services including the CAMHS Crisis team, the Eating Disorder service, the CAMHS Schools team and GP Liaison workers. In April 2019 I moved back to London to take on the role of Clinical Director, but I remain involved in the development and management of the services in Luton & Bedfordshire.  


Lind Hurst

Service: Linda Hurst

I am Linda Hurst, the General Manager for Luton Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) and the Countywide Eating Disorder Service. My role is both strategic and operational, working alongside clinical colleagues to deliver an effective service to children, young people and their families/carers. I also work with partner agencies to enable a whole system approach to mental health services across Luton.

I joined the NHS in 2000 originally as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Chair then Project Manager within the Performance Management corporate service before moving into operational management in 2004. I progressed to general management within local CAMHS services and remained within the Luton and Bedfordshire NHS.

I went to work in East London NHS in 2012 undertaking various senior management roles within Adult IAPT services, which included setting up a new service from inception which allowed me to use my extensive management and organisational experience within a totally new setting.

During the past 4 years I have provided general management and leadership across Luton CAMHS and the Eating Disorder service which has included service and workforce development for various work streams. I am particularly proud to have secured funding for the provision of both school and primary care facing services and contributing to the new stepped care model currently rolling out across Luton.  


Operational: Jenny Doe

Hello, my name is Jenny Doe, I’m a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. I started work in the NHS at the age of 18, in hospital administration, and qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1994. Having worked in schools and summer play-schemes before I qualified, I have always been interested in child and adolescent work, and am currently the Clinical Team Lead for the Emotional and Behavioural Team in Charter House, and joint Psychological Therapies Lead for Luton CAMHS. I’ve got special interests in combining systemic and cognitive models; working with people with Autistic Spectrum Condition; using formulation in assessment and across therapeutic modalities; measuring outcomes effectively; and working with trauma cases using EMDR. I’m also fascinated by how people collaborate in groups, teams and communities; and how to optimally support and supervise colleagues, in order to help develop and evolve their skills.

I have also worked as a volunteer for homeless charities, and consulted to various cancer organisations; most recently working with MacMillan Cancer on their Prehabilitation project. I’ve also consulted to the BBC, and to several theatre companies, on mental health aspects of scripts and productions. I live in London, have two grown up kids, and own a Border Collie who sometimes helps me with dog-phobia therapy, and takes me running every weekend.  


Marc Van Roosmalen

Operational: Marc Van Roosmalen

My name is Dr Marc van Roosmalen, I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Joint Psychological Therapies Lead in Luton CAMHS. This means I help to lead our services in a way that is as responsive as possible to all communities living in Luton.

I originally come from South Africa, where I completed my degree and honours degree in psychology at Stellenbosch university in South Africa, after which I did my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology at the Free University in Amsterdam, Holland.

I started working in the UK in 1994 as a Clinical Psychologist, also completing my Doctorate, and have since 1996 been working in child and adolescent mental health services.

I started working in Luton in 2001, joining a crime prevention project called On Track, a multi-agency project including CAMHS. I have led on developing mental health services for children, young people and families with schools, early years’ services, early help services, children’s social care services and our other partners in Luton, trying to make our services as accessible as possible for all communities in Luton. We are about to start a service that will work with local GPs to make it easier for children young people and their families to ask for help when they need it, in their communities, along with our established services working in and with schools.


Acute Services

Provided by Luton & Dunstable Hospital, services include

  • Paediatric inpatient
  • Paediatric outpatient clinics
  • Paediatric Physiotherapy

SEND Champions

Tanith Ellis

Service: Tanith Ellis

I have been Divisional General Manager for Women’s and Children’s services at Luton and Dunstable hospital since 2014 starting as Assistant General Manager for Paediatric Services in 2009 and developed since then. I am committed to supporting the development of services to ensure the most effective support for children and families.

The Neonatal and paediatric units at Luton an Dunstable Hospital aim to work together with families listening to individual needs and stories to give the best possible care when a baby or child needs either inpatient or out patient care. We try to provide environments that support sensory and developmental needs as well as putting in place individual care plans for children attending for a planned procedures. .