Eliana Penn

Eliana Penn

PHD (training), QTS, MSc, BA (hons), Coaching

Personal Summary

I am an experienced teacher and middle manager, specialising in Special Needs Education and the advocacy of well-being of children and young people. I have predominantly worked in special educational needs state schools for the last 7 years. I have a particular interest in developing educational provisions for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and in the training of teachers to create a structured and organised learning environment that encourages each student to achieve his or her potential.

My experience as a teacher and middle manager has encompassed a broad range of responsibilities and activities including: taking lead responsibility for the Achievement for All (AfA) government initiative; being a Key member of the Special Education Special Needs Coordination (SENCo) Team; and leading on associated Annual Reviews and Educational Health Care Plans (EHCPs). I have also led on school based initiatives to coach lead staff teams to achieve excellent practice and impact for pupils with ASD and served as the pastoral leader for a group of teachers leading in a school’s ASD department. A large part of my previous experience has revolved around leading collaborations to review and innovate a school’s curriculum. As an example, my work on leading the incorporation of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural provisions and learning objectives into the curriculum was awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating by OFSTED.

Recently, I have diversified my teaching experience into higher education, taking an Associate Lecturer role within Canterbury Christ Church University. This role involves instructing professionals from the education sector about Autism Spectrum Disorder at a post-graduate level. My aspiration is to continue to be a leading influence on the design and provision of training and coaching of professionals, from inside and outside the educational sector, and to work effectively with children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Background & Qualifications

I hold a first class BA (hons) in Graphic Design and an MSc in film-making and a Diploma in History of Art. I originally worked with the BBC as graphic designer and from this position advanced into the production of documentaries. It was in this capacity that I was introduced to the subject of special educational needs and discovered a passion for the provision of education for children with Autism. I undertook teacher training and obtained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Secondary Education as an information and communication technologies specialist. It has been in this capacity that I obtained much of my professional experience as a teacher and middle manager.

I am currently undertaking a Doctorate of Education (Ed. D) in Special Needs and Inclusion. My thesis addresses the experience of the utilisation of inclusive and assistive technologies by professionals who work with children with Autism. I have recently started working in the higher education sector with educational professionals from a broad range of positions and backgrounds (e.g. Head Teachers, SENCOs and Teaching Assistants).

My Speciality

I aim to safeguard and promote the education and well-being of children and young people and can work with any individuals/organisations/Institutions who wish to develop their practice in dealing with children and young adults with Autism. I have particular experience in:

  • The provision of teaching and coaching on the subject of Autism and associated special educational needs policy
  • Assessment of current level of practice with respect to provisions for special educational needs
  • Aligning practice with government policy/recommendations
  • Curriculum development. I have particular expertise in ICT/computing
  • The design and implementation of social, moral, spiritual and cultural subject matter into the working culture
  • The provision of pastoral care for staff involved with interacting with children with special needs
  • One to one consultation on provisions for special educational needs e.g. goal setting and career development

How I Work And My Approach To Coaching

My approach to working with clients is highly flexible and depends entirely on the nature of their requirements. I can work on an individual basis with clients or as a consultant on a team. I can conduct workshops and seminars and organise lectures. I can also organise events (of varying durations) for groups of clients, as appropriate. I believe in providing a supportive environment for my clients using communication skills fostered by years of working with professionals from different backgrounds and children/young adults with a range of special needs. My philosophy is to empower clients to use reflection on their current practice and skill-set as an integral part of the process of achieving their developmental and personal goals with respect to special needs provisions.