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FIONA SPEIRS Education Consultant: Training & Consultancy Learning Disability & Autistic Spectrum Disorders Website:

B.Ed (Hons) Special Education. ACE Autism. DfES/DH/TPU Approved Teacher of PHSE & SRE. C&G 7402 Counselling & Guidance Skills ILM Level 5 Coaching & Mentoring Highly Commended by the Pamela Sheridan Award for SRE Work 2009 Former Assistant Headteacher – Rosehill School Nottingham. Tel. & Fax: (0115) 9671866 e-mail: Fiona Speirs is former Assistant Headteacher at Rosehill School in Nottingham, a school that caters for pupils on the autistic spectrum. She now works as an Education Consultant specialising in Learning Disability and Autistic Spectrum Disorders in particular. She offeris training and consultancy work around a variety of issues and continues to work directly with people with a learning disability and/or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.. Fiona has extensive ‘hands on’ experience of working with young people with learning difficulties and ASD in particular, having graduated in 1985 with a B.Ed 2(i) Honours degree in Special Education (formerly known as ‘Mental Handicap’). She taught for 8 years in a Special School in Kirkby-in-Ashfield (Nottinghamshire), teaching children with a severe learning difficulty across the age ranges. She then went on to spend 14 years teaching the 16-19 year old age range in a specialist school for pupils on the autistic spectrum and in her role as Assistant Headteacher, had particular responsibility for developing and overseeing the 14-19 curriculum and delivering ASD specific training both internally and externally. In addition to gaining the Advanced Certificate in Education relating to ASD awareness, Fiona has also attained qualifications relating to skills associated with Counselling, Mentoring and Coaching and has used these to enable her to work more effectively with able young people on the spectrum who for example may need support to address issues of abuse, personal safety, poor self esteem, anxiety and obsessive thought processes and other issues that are proving to be barriers to learning and happiness. Fiona works closely with parents and carers, helping to address aspects of challenging behaviour that may be causing problems in the home but also to offer support with issues that parents/carers may be struggling with on a more personal level. Fiona also has a special interest in Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE) and Sex & Relationship Education (SRE) and has completed training to become a DfES/DH/TPU Approved Teacher of PHSE & SRE. She has produced two resources that are distributed across the UK and have proved to be very popular amongst teachers, healthcare staff and social workers. The resources are entitled, ’Sex & Relationship Education: A Programme for Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders’ and ‘ A PHSE Programme for Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders’. Fiona has completed a third resource entitled, ‘Enterprise Education for Learners with Special Needs’ which is also available.


FIONA SPEIRS Education Consultant: Training & Consultancy Learning Disability & Autistic Spectrum Disorders Website:

She currently works with adults with Asperger Syndrome, some of whom have previously been housed in secure units or have committed sexual offences, using an educational approach to support the giving of information in accessible ways alongside a coaching/mentoring approach. Fiona has experience of speaking at conferences and delivering training for a variety of agencies regarding a variety of areas relating to the teaching and support of learners with Learning Disability and/or ASD. She successfully co-presented a week of seminars to parents and professionals in Shanghai China, raising awareness of autistic spectrum disorders by speaking via an interpreter. She delivers 2 OCN modules at level 2 & 3 (‘Understanding ASD’ & ‘Supporting Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders’) and delivers training on a regular basis around issues of Sexuality and the Autistic Spectrum for the Family Planning Association. Fiona is also an associate trainer for the National Autistic Society delivering training around a number of issues upon request. She has also run sibling workshops and worked in a consultancy role for various agencies including a local FE College keen to develop provision for learners with ASD. In 2009, Fiona received an award at National Level for her work developing and delivering a course of Sex & Relationships Education for students with Asperger Syndrome accessing the Foundation Studies course within this college. Fiona has a personal as well as a professional interest in autism as she is the sister of a man with a classic presentation of the condition and has first hand knowledge of growing up in a family affected by issues relating to the needs of a family member with an ASD. She is often asked to talk about her personal experiences of living with a brother on the spectrum. In Summary: Qualifications:

B.Ed 2(i) Honours degree in Special Education (formerly known as ‘Mental Handicap’).


Sister of a man with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder Teacher for pupils with severe learning disabilities Teacher for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders Head of 16+ provision for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders Assistant Headteacher 14-19 provision for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders Training and Consultancy work

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