Special Needs Village is here to help you. We know what it’s like to be a special needs parent, but we also have a wealth of experience from the ‘other side of the gate’, having worked in various educational settings and advocated for many families to receive the care, support or provision they need.

Peta Slaney

Specialty: EHCP applications, DLA & benefits advice, parent mentoring, SEND training for parents, interventions & behaviour management for children.

I have worked in care and education for many years, and it’s something that’s very important to me. Both of my children have SEN and require varying levels of support. I’ve worked as a support worker to teens and young adults with challenging behaviour; private tuition for adults learning English as a second language; working as a teaching assistant and family support worker. One of my favourite settings was a Special Needs Support Centre attached to a mainstream primary school. I worked there whilst studying for a degree in Education Studies, and I learnt so much about supporting the learning of children with additional needs.

I am currently conducting a research project with Anglia Ruskin University for my MA Education (Special Education Needs & Disabilities).

CPD & professional memberships:

Ruth Evans

Specialty: Sensory processing difficulties, establishing sensory needs and implementing a sensory diet, Sensory Circuits.

Born and raised in Liverpool, I am mum to three (now adult) children. All three have varying and different additional needs which means I have experience of supporting both adults and children with complex needs and disabilities. Having both a boy and girls has also helped me be aware of the different presentation between boys and girls with difficulties. I have completed various training courses in Autistic Spectrum Condition, as well as Sensory Processing Difficulties.

I am a qualified teaching assistant and worked in a mainstream primary school setting, helping children of all ages and abilities. In that provision I began advocating for families in desperate need of support through the SEN system, including helping parents to navigate the diagnostic pathway.

My experience of SPD has inspired me to raise awareness and support those who experience their surroundings differently and I feel such a satisfying sense of fulfilment when able to help such ones so that they can reach their potential.

I am thrilled to be on board with Special Needs Village and fully embrace their ethos.

CPD & professional memberships:

Kelly Bundy

Specialty: Social media, visual aid design & production, blog contributor, researcher.

•Mother of one
•Home educator
•Neurodiverse
•Photographer, Designer, Photo-editor, Horticulturalist
•BA hons in Photography Media & Society, City & Guilds in Organic Horticulture, Experimental Textiles, Music Expression, Art Foundation.
•Volunteer gardener at Kew
•Lover of JW, Art, Nature, Music, Books, Design, Neuroplasticity, Underdogs, People on the Spectrum, Museums, RHS & Classical Civilizations.

Jaki Parsons

Specialty: Advice on Education Other Than At School, de-registering from mainstream & special schools, Home Education for children with SEND

Originally I worked as a network childminder caring for children with English as a second language and young children with developmental delays and possible autistic traits, I was fascinated by the difference in behaviour of young children in different settings. I developed a love of supporting families of children with additional needs. This has included assisting with primary aged children who have been temporarily expelled from school; liaising with various departments; such as social services, Education  Welfare Officers and other educational professionals; and founding a home education group.

This group became a CIC and I sourced tutors who were able to cover a wide range of subjects across all age groups. This ensured all young people had access to formal exams. This Home Education  group was the first in the country to be able to offer the subjects Classical Civilisation  and Drama; subjects which are notoriously difficult to access as a private candidate due to the controlled assessment component part of the exam. Part of my role was to ensure that children with additional needs were properly catered for; both in terms of accessing exam lessons and being able to take formal exams in a safe setting.

I also supported families experiencing issues with Social  Services and the Local Authorities by acting as a volunteer Advocate. This involved writing reports outlining the legalities of Home Education, supporting families in case conferences, being a Mackenzie Friend in court hearings and eventually setting up a hub for private candidates to sit exams. I worked there as a tutor and have also hosted numerous information days for local authorities, parish councillors, social services, education welfare offices and the home education community to engender mutual respect.

CPD & professional memberships: