Meet Our Team!

Hirstwood Training are a growing, dynamic and enthusiastic team of expert consultants, whose mission it is to share the very best sensory approaches to breaking down barriers to learning for all pupils with SEND.

Our expertise is based upon experience. All of our associate consultants are expert practitioners in their specific field; they are passionate about what they do and have a vast knowledge and a plethora of practical ideas and strategies to share with you.

Our training is empowering, creative, inspiring, confidence-boosting, innovative – and FUN!

We work with special schools; EYFS services/providers; mainstream schools and those with specialist provision; adult services/providers for adults with a learning disability; adult special education colleges and transition services.

We deliver services within the UK and worldwide. This year we have delivered training in New Zealand; with a trip later this year to the UAE. We have previously delivered training in Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, Malta and Singapore,

Lead Consultant and Founder of Hirstwood Training

Richard Hirstwood is the founder of and lead consultant for Hirstwood Training. He is passionate about enabling educators/practitioners to maximise the impact of delivering sensory learning opportunities, in a sensory room or other learning environment, with the resources available to them. He has developed innovative ways of delivering key skills and competencies via face to…

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Senior HTA advisory SEN specialist

Clive has a long association with Hirstwood Training and has well over 30 years’ experience working with children and adults with Autism and complex additional needs. With Richard Hirstwood, he co-authored a chapter in the book ‘Dual Sensory Impairment’ in 1995 which was one of first books in the UK to feature a chapter on…

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Hirstwood Training Associate – Autism Specialist

Chris Barson founded Positive About Autism in January 2009. Prior to that he was External Training Manager for the National Autistic Society. Chris has a long involvement with disability and autism and first joined the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 1996 as a Project Officer in Wales on a Children in Need project reviewing short…

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Hirstwood Training Associate – Technology Specialist

Carol Allen is an education advisor for ICT and Inclusion, currently offering specialised support to Local Authorities, schools, parents and carers and a wide range of educators across the world. She has taught since 1980 in both mainstream schools – primary and high, and schools for students with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties. Recognising,…

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Hirstwood Training Associate – Teacher of the Deaf/ Sound Specialist

Naomi is an experienced teacher of the deaf who has chosen to work with children with complex needs. She has an in-depth understanding of deafness in combination with autism, profound learning difficulties, epilepsy, visual impairment and physical challenges. She has always championed a non-subject based curriculum for semi-formal learners in favour of a multi-sensory topic-based…

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Hirstwood Training Associate – Teaching and sensory Specialist

Julie has worked in Special Education for thirty seven years. Her main area of specialism and passion is in Sensory Approaches to Learning, understanding sensory processing, sensory integration and regulation strategies. She is also skilled at mentoring staff on understanding sensory behaviours; producing CASP plans – (consistent approaches to support pupils learning) and sensory profiles.…

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Hirstwood Training Associate – Teaching and Visual Specialist

Helen has been a SEN practitioner for twenty one years working at Fountaindale Special School for children and young adults with complex learning, sensory and physical disabilities. Fountaindale is currently OFSTED rated as Outstanding. During her career, she has provided outreach support to mainstream schools on visual and hearing impairments; adapting the environment; making resources…

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