Meet the Team

Katie Nelson


BA HONs QTS, Post Graduate Certificate Dyslexia, Post Graduate Certificate Dyscalculia, Post Graduate Diploma Special Needs, AMBDA, SPLD APC (Patoss)  National SENCo Award

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes

Member of Professional Associations: PATOSS, Dyslexia Guild.

Katie is the founder of ESENDI Services and is a highly experienced Primary School Teacher, where she has taught all of the Primary age range. Her wealth of experience is in areas of dyslexia, dyscalculia and Irlen Syndrome where she provides diagnostic assessment, Multi-sensory, structured tuition, study skills sessions and drop in clinics at the Dyslexia Centre North West based in Preston as well as within the school setting. Katie has a current PATOSS practising certificate, which enables her to assess children, young people and adults for dyslexia and dyscalculia. Katie works in secondary schools across the North West, providing access arrangement assessments. The Dyslexia Centre also runs a variety of free workshops for parents and students to attend, each with a theme that promotes learning in a multi-sensory way. Katie also offers these services to schools further and higher education and the workplace.

In addition to this Katie works as a Primary School SENCo, which keeps her knowledge of SEND up to date. Katie is currently devising a multi-sensory, structured Literacy programme for Teaching Assistants to use with children who have specific learning difficulties.

As the Code of Practice and OFSTED call for greater parental involvement, she is currently rolling out a new parental workshop which aims to help parents to support their child with different areas of S.E.N.D. This is an area that Katie feels extremely passionate about as two of her own children have additional learning needs and require a variety of support, interventions and confidence building strategies in order for them to meet their true potential.

Ailsa Smith


M Sc clinical psychology

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes

Member of Professional Associations: Consultant Clinical psychologist registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Full member of the British Psychological Society

Full Practitioner member with the Division of Neuro –Psychology

Ailsa is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with 26 years experience in the NHS.

Ailsa has always specialised in the assessment and treatment of children with learning Disability, Autism and other neuro developmental disorders or additional learning needs.

Ailsa obtained her Clinical Psychology qualification in 1990 in London and worked mainly in the East End of London and also spent 18 months at Great Ormond Street Hospital training specifically in Paediatric Neurology.

Adene Hall

BA Hons, Post Graduate Certificate SpLD Dyslexia

For the last 20 years Adene has worked in Special Needs, initially as an Outreach Teacher for a Special School and more recently for a large secondary school as a specialist teacher of MLD (Moderate Learning Difficulties) and SpLD (Specific Learning Difficulties). Adene is now working freelance as a Dyslexia/Literacy/Numeracy Specialist.

Adene provides INSET Training for whole school staff or individual departments on various Special Needs issues including Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autism, ASD, PDA and Multi-sensory teaching .

Adene can assess children to identify problem areas (including Dyslexia) and specialises in developing individualised programmes of work and uses a variety of evidence based approaches and interventions.

Helen Selby

BA Hons Social Studies, Post Graduate Certificate Education, Post Graduate certificate Dyslexia and Literacy, Post Graduate certificate SEN and Additional Needs- Autistic Spectrum Disorder, National SENCO Award.

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes Member of Professional Associations: PATOSS, Dyslexia Guild.

Helen has many years of teaching experience as both class teacher, specialist teacher and Inclusion Manager. Helen has had many ‘outstanding’ graded lessons. Helen is fully committed to helping all children reach their true potential. Helen believes strongly in the importance of multisensory teaching, using a structured, cumulative approach. Helen has postgraduate qualifications in ASD and dyslexia.

Helen’s other area of responsibility has been English as an Additional Language. Helen devised an induction programme for new arrivals and ensured that children’s acquisition of English language skills and their integration within the mainstream classroom was closely monitored and effective. Helen has recently worked within a Key Stage 1 department to implement the Talk Boost programme that has been devised by the I Can communication charity and which has been shown to has a highly significant impact on children’s expressive language development. Helen has taken on responsibility for policies linked to Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Child Protection. Helen has also consulted with parents, governors, staff and pupils to write and implement a new Behaviour Policy that has led to much improved behaviour across school.

Helen was Inclusion manager at an inner city primary school with approximately 480 pupils, the majority of whom come from multi-ethnic backgrounds and speak English as an additional language. Helen was a member of the SLT and had lead responsibility for Behaviour and Safety across the school, as well as being Inclusion Manager. Helen started working at a school when the school had already been in special measures for 18 months. However, the most recent Ofsted report (March 2013) described the provision as ‘highly inclusive’ and labelled them as ‘champions of equality’.

Helen has been granted Associate Membership of the British Dyslexia Association and am also a member of both the Dyslexia Guild and the Professional Association of Teachers and Tutors of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS). This ensures that Helen is aware of new research, resources and recommended practice. The Approved Teacher Status also means that Helen am deemed proficient to carry out specialist literacy sessions using Dyslexia Institute Literacy Programme and provide multisensory structured maths support as well as conducting diagnostic SpLD assessments. In one of her current settings Helen works as an education mentor for children with ASD and challenging behaviour.

Dawn Frith


DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes

Membership of Professional Bodies: BAOT (British Association of Occupational Therapists), HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).

‘Dawn is a Highly Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist who has comprehensive experience of working with children with both mild and complex needs. Dawn is able to offer assessments of both motor skills and perceptual development and prescribe a tailored Occupational Therapy programme for parents and carers to follow. Dawn is also able to prescribe specialist equipment to promote the child’s independence and to also meet their postural needs such as seating for home and school and moving and handling equipment.

Dawn has a caring and understanding approach and always delivers child and family orientated therapy and care.

Dawn is also a member of the College of Occupational Therapists Independent Practice Special Interest group and maintains her continuing professional development.

Dawn has comprehensive experience in implementing sensory strategies to help manage challenging behaviours and promote a child¹s level of productivity. This includes using sensory input such as deep pressure touch or proprioceptive input. Dawn is currently module 2 trained in Sensory integration and is due to complete module 3 over the next few months.’To Dawn is a trained sensory integration therapy practitioner and is able to complete sensory processing assessments, offer sensory integration therapy and prescribe sensory diets.

Charlene Foley


MBACP Registered, PGDip Integrative Psychotherapy

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes

Membership of Professional Associations: BCAP

Charlene offers one to one counselling and psychotherapy to children in schools struggling in their daily lives. Her approach is integrative and is individual to each child’s personal needs and may include different approaches including integrative, person-centred and play therapy.

Nicola Robinson

Graduate Diploma in Professional Counselling, 2009; Advanced Certificate in Counselling Skills, 2007;

BSc Hons in Applied Psychology, 2005

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance:Yes

Membership of Professional Associations: BCAP

Nicola is a qualified person-centred counsellor; She has experience of working with adults, young people and children with a wide range of complex issues.

Nicola works in various therapy centres and schools. Previous to this she specialised in working with young people who self-harm and those who have suicidal thoughts. She has also worked and volunteered for several organisations providing one-one support and therapy dealing with different issues; domestic abuse; care leavers; victims of crime, and people facing homelessness.

Within each of the areas that she has worked there is often many other underlying issues for example; self-harm, suicidal ideation, loss/bereavement, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem and confidence, anger, depression, isolation, loss of identity, abuse (physical and emotional), eating disorders, bullying, attachment, behavioural issues and addictions.


BSc Speech and Language Pathology
Registered with the Health Professionals Council
Registered with Royal College of Speech and Language TherapistsEsendi blog pic
Member of ASLTIP (Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice)

DBS: yes

PI: yes

Frances is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist who has worked with children (1-19 years) since 2002. Frances has worked in many primary and secondary schools within the North West; offering consultative advice, coaching TA’s to run groups and providing in house training. She strives for evidence based practice and a person centred approach in her therapy.

Frances has worked with children with mild and complex speech and language needs within mainstream schools, early years and special schools. She has developed a sound knowledge of AAC, PECS, intensive interaction and signing. Frances has specialist training in stammering (lidcombe, parent child interaction, school-aged stammering), early language development (Hanen and Elklan certified) and has extensive knowledge as well as an interest in the areas of stammering, language delay and speech sounds.

Frances provides high quality assessment, advice, reports, programmes and therapy to children either individually or within a group.

She has delivered training on communication friendly environments, has been an ICAN accreditor and enjoys working in a multidisciplinary team.

Diane Sheron

Bachelor of Education (Hons)esendi-pic

Masters in Special Educational Needs

National Group Nurture Certificate

Diploma ASD

DBS: Yes

PI Insurance: Yes

Diane qualified as a primary teacher in 1987 and has a wealth of experience in mainstream schools. She has worked across both key stages as a class-teacher, SENCo, deputy head-teacher and as an acting head-teacher. She has also worked for 12 years in an MLD special school and currently leads an outreach team at a primary pupil referral unit. Diane’s specialism is within challenging behaviour and social and emotional needs, having a particular interest in ADHD and Attachment. She is passionate about inclusion, providing bespoke programmes of support for individual children, schools and families.

She is currently undertaking the Paws.b course so will soon be teaching Mindfulness to 7-11 year olds.

Diane has trained students at the University of Cumbria and provides training for teachers, support staff and lunchtime supervisors within mainstream schools in how best to support and manage young people with difficulties of a social, emotional and behavioural nature.

Felicity Cunningham

BA Hons, P.G.C.E., National Award for SEN Co-ordination.

DBS: Yes

P.I.: Yes

Felicity has thirty years teaching and SENCO experience, throughout the key stages in mainstream and special schools and currently works part time as a SENCO in a primary school. Her recent experience working as a specialist advisory teacher for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions has involved advising teachers and mentoring children and young people in both primary and secondary settings. Felicity has worked closely with the Autism Education Trust, delivering training on ASC to teachers, parents and carers in a variety of settings. Felicity successfully managed an Inclusion Unit which enabled the inclusion of pupils with profound, multiple, moderate and severe learning difficulties in a mainstream setting. She has worked as a moderator supporting staff in primary schools to use PIVATs to appropriately assess their pupils. Her  work has been praised by OFSTED.

Felicity has a wealth of experience in working with children, young people, their parents and carers. Throughout her career, she has taken a lead role in promoting and developing SEN practice including working with a range of agencies and professionals to support the development of children and young people. She is committed, above all, to working closely with individual children and young people to ensure that their needs are met.

“At our school we have a huge emphasis on developing the whole child and emotional well-being is at the core of a lot of what we aim to achieve. Thank you ESENDI for assisting with this!” – Teacher, Blackpool