Tony McDaid

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Tony McDaid

Tony is currently Head of Education (Curriculum and Quality) for South Lanarkshire Council, a post he took up in April 2013. Previously, he was head teacher of Calderglen High School in East Kilbride. The school was formed from the merger of Hunter High and Claremont High and Tony led this process from 2006 as designate head teacher of Calderglen High and head teacher of Hunter High.

In his time as head teacher, Calderglen High School was recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Education for its vision and the delivery of, a Curriculum for Excellence. Inspectors acknowledged the excellent innovative teaching approaches and use of technology; the invaluable contribution of partnerships and innovation; the school’s holistic approach to health and wellbeing and the impact of leadership at all levels across the school.

Tony started teaching physical education in Lourdes Secondary School in Glasgow. He was principal teacher of physical education in John Bosco Secondary School, Glasgow and Cathkin High School, Cambuslang, where he was also Depute Head Teacher. He has worked with the Scottish Qualifications Authority as Senior Examiner and Principal Assessor for National Qualifications in physical education.

Dr Patricia D Jackson

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Dr Patricia D Jackson

Dr Jackson was educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, trained at Edinburgh University Medical School and worked as a Consultant Paediatrician in Children’s Services NHS Lothian. She trained in neurodevelopment and as a Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, has a continuing interest in teaching and research in this area of practice. Previously she contributed to the development of the Early Years Birth –Three publications. Currently she is helping Scottish Government with work to improve services to children affected by alcohol before birth, and their families. Her special interest is in children with additional support needs, particularly those with complex health care needs, and she was the first Lead Clinician for the national network NMCN(CEN) to support this group of children.

Dr Jackson acted in an advisory capacity to the Scottish Government in the development of the ASN Legislation and has a continuing interest in its review and implementation. She was a member of the SIGN Guidelines for Management of Epilepsy in Children & Young People,and has been a member of several working groups looking at the safe administration of medication in school and social care settings. She is a past Chair of the Scottish Association of Community Child Health, a member of British Association of Community Child Health Council, and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Her support to voluntary organisations include being a founder member and past Director of the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, Member of the Advisory Group for MOVE, Convener of Down’s Syndrome Medical Interest Group for the UK and Republic of Ireland from 2002 – 2005. In December 2015 she completed her term of office as Vice Chair of the Family Fund U.K., and is currently Vice Convener, and Board member of Children in Scotland. 

She is committed to the ideal of parent and child responsive services, and an integrated approach to service provision to optimize opportunities for children.

Joy Beaney

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Joy Beaney

Joy has many years’ experience in both mainstream and special education.  She has managed a facility for children with autism that was attached to a mainstream primary school, Assistant Head at a special school and manager of an Inclusion Support Service that provided training and outreach support for staff in mainstream schools. Joy is a part time lecturer at Brighton University delivering their Post Graduate Certificate in Autism. Joy has published books on autism including Autism in the Primary Classroom, Autism in the Secondary Classroom and Creating Autism Champions.

Joy set up Autism Train to promote a positive message about autism, describing the individual’s strengths but also explaining the differences and possible challenges the child or young person might face. 


Stephanie Guidera

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Stephanie Guidera

Stephanie is from Liverpool and performs a remarkably versatile range of classical, jazz and modern music. As an Apprentice with the Monteverdi Choir, Stephanie enjoyed an exciting year performing in Europe, with solo performances at the Palace of Versailles and the BBC Proms. During this time she was diagnosed with Dyspraxia which affects her coordination and processing abilities. She recently featured in a BBC news item about Dyspraxia and continues to raise awareness in her role as a Patron of the Dyspraxia Foundation. Stephanie is appearing this month in the musical, Oliver, at the Royal Court Theatre and as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.


Dr Lindsay Peer

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Dr Lindsay Peer

Lindsay is widely recognised as an expert in the range of specific learning difficulties, SEN & mainstream education. In 2002 she was appointed CBE for services to Education & Dyslexia. In 2011 she was awarded the Outstanding Lifetime Academic Achievement Award by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA). She is a Patron of GroOops, a charity dedicated to creating an emotionally healthy dyslexia aware world. Lindsay has lectured extensively as keynote speaker internationally since the late 1980s & advises governments, trade unions, policy makers, lawyers, adults, schools, psychologists, therapists & parents. She delivers school INSETs.

Lindsay is an Associate Fellow & Chartered Scientist of the British Psychological Society & a Fellow of both the International Academy of Research in Learning Disabilities & the Royal Society of Arts. She is a member of the Association of Child Psychologists in Private Practice & of the Association for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH). She is registered to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Lindsay held the posts of Education Director & Deputy CEO of the BDA until 2003. She has many years’ experience as a teacher, teacher trainer & SENCo. She has published a considerable body of material both theoretical & practical & published the first ground-breaking book linking ‘Glue Ear’ with Dyslexia.

Lindsay has a private practice using offices in Watford assessing children, students & adults facing challenges in learning and at work. She is authorised to assess for public examinations. Expert witness experience: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, AD/HD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Speech & Language Difficulties, APD, Hearing Impairment, Global Delay, MLD and Emotional challenges.

Kay Al-Ghani

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Kay Al-Ghani

Kay Al-Ghani has over 40 years of experience in Education and is currently a specialist teacher for inclusion support and involved with training professionals, students and parents in all aspects of ASD. As an international author and a mother of a son with ASD – the illustrator Haitham Al-Ghani – she has spent the last 30 years researching the enigma that is autism.

Kay is also a part time lecturer at Brighton University delivering their Post Graduate Certificate in Autism. Kay is an international author of many ASD related books, published by Jessica Kingsley, including the best seller, The Red Beast: Controlling anger in children with Asperger Syndrome.


Laura Beveridge

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Laura Beveridge

After spending 7 years within the care system as a looked after child, Laura decided her career choice had to be within the care system. She left care at 16 years old, homeless and unemployed. She took the difficult decision to return to education at that point and managed to get enough qualifications to set her on the right road to working in the care sector.

Early in her career, she began as a Behaviour Support Assistant at Gorgie Mills School in Edinburgh. She then moved into a new role as a Locum Residential Care Worker, continuing her employment with Edinburgh City Council.  She enjoyed working directly with young people, supporting them through their challenging times in various residential settings.  However after a few years, she moved into a Home & Parent Support worker role that enabled her to support the individual needs of children and families in family support environments.  Laura’s final job in

the care system itself was based in Fife as a Senior Residential Care Worker. This provided some of the toughest times of reflection for Laura, as it became clearer to her that she was part of a system and a culture of working with young people that had not only let her down badly as a looked after child, but was continuing to do so for young people in her care.

In September 2015, Laura took up a new position at Who Cares? Scotland as a Development Officer. She described this as being an exciting opportunity to be part of an organisation that champions the voice of care experienced young people. Laura facilitated, organised and contributed to group work, events and other activities at a local and national level, empowering care experienced children, young people and adults to be heard.  Laura believes that there is hope for every child, no matter how unreachable they seem and is looking forward to the day when all care experienced young people will thrive in a life they are proud of, and in control of.

During her time at Who Cares? Scotland she became an active campaigner for the charity speaking at various events including her Keynote at the annual SIRCC conference hosted by CELCIS, the Centre for excellence for looked after children in Scotland in 2016.  Laura has also delivered a Tedx talk in June 2016 called “Kids in Care: Lets Start a Revolution” and took part in the STV documentary Who Cares.  Laura has also been writing a regular column in Holyrood Magazine.   In October 2016 the First Minister announced the root and branch review of the care system, this was the moment that Laura and her care experienced colleagues and friends felt that they had been heard.

Laura has just left Who Cares? Scotland in October this year as she wants to take some time out to spend more time with her husband Steven and their 4year old daughter Maia.  Laura would also like to develop as an Independent Consultant before starting her Law degree at Strathclyde University next year.   Laura continues to be a member of the Who Cares? Scotland Alumni of care leavers and is proud to be part of the care experienced movement.  

David Rex

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David Rex

David Rex has a first degree in Chemistry and Food Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Masters in Food Policy. He is a Specialist Dietitian for Highland Council’s Care &Learning Directorate. He also has a lead public health role for Food & Health in schools, nurseries and Children’s Residential Units; and for 14 years, has been providing specialist dietetic advice for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


Robin Balbernie

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Robin Balbernie

Robin Balbernie is currently clinical director of PIP UK, a national charity dedicated to help establish parent-infant projects across the United Kingdom. (See: www.pipuk.org.uk)  Previously he was Professional Lead for child psychotherapy and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist in Gloucestershire CAMHS. For over a decade, beginning with the Sure Start programme, he worked with the Children’s Centres in the county as clinical lead of the team providing an infant mental health service, known locally and nationally as ‘Secure Start’. He was also involved with the Intensive Baby Care Unit at Gloucester Royal Hospital and ran supervision groups for Health Visitors for over 25 years. His interest in working with adopted children led him to the field of Infant Mental Health and early preventative intervention; and this became his speciality following a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship to look at related projects in America. He is an advisor to the Association of Infant Mental Health and was a member of the Young Minds’ Policy and Strategy Advisory Group. He has published papers in many journals, including the Infant Mental Health Journal, the British Journal of Psychotherapy, Family Law, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Attachment & Human Development, Young Minds, Nursery World, The International Journal of Birth & Parenting Education and the Journal of Child Psychotherapy.

Christine Puckering

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Christine Puckering

Christine Puckering is a clinical, forensic and neuro psychologist by training with a special interest in infant mental health. She has worked with parents and children both in clinical and academic roles. Her PhD was based on the effects on two year old children of maternal depression. Developments in the imaging of babies’ brains and the understanding of the development of the neurological substrates of learning, behaviour and emotional containment have now justified her life-long pre-occupation with the fundamental importance of the first 100 days from conception to age two.

She is co-author of the Mellow Bumps, Mellow Babies and Mellow Parenting programmes, a family of programmes designed to help parents build good relationships with their young children, using a combination of self-reflection, video feedback and supported joint activities. For parents who have never experienced secure relationships in their own childhood, discovering how to nurture and have fun with their babies and children is a sometimes difficult but always rewarding journey.

Christine has published in the area of infant mental health and been a key-note speaker at infant mental health conferences in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. She was chair of the Scottish government short term working group on infant mental health and author of the Good Practice Guide that resulted from the work of that group. She remains passionate about the importance of infancy for later good development across the life span and across all aspects of life.

She was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2015 to investigate how other countries which have good outcomes for children recognise and support families in need of additional help right from pregnancy. She was a finalist in the PipUk awards for Infant mental health in 2016 and winner of the Association for Infant Mental Health UK award for her contribution in the area.