This episode is a recording of the online conference and webinar that was held on 15th July 2020. The event and this recording contains presentations and talks from Professor Barry Carpenter and Dr Tina Rae, as well as a 65 min discussion and Q&A session with a panel of educational leaders from a wide range of settings and contexts (Sharon Gray OBE, Vijita Patel, Sally Apps, Martin McKenna, Ali Erskine and Polly McMeeking).

The 2 hour event pulled together some of the incredible amount of development and work that has gone into planning and enacting the recovery and transition back to effective learning for our children and young people.

It was also an opportunity to celebrate the mammoth collaborative effort that has underpinned the recovery and reconnection process at schools, colleges and other places of learning during the pandemic.


Prof. Barry Carpenter CBE OBE (Prof. Mental Health in Education, Oxford Brookes University) 

Dr Tina Rae (Child Psychologist, prolific & award winning author)

Sharon Gray OBE (ex-Headteacher, ex-Ofsted, Member of Youth Justice Board)

Vijita Patel (Principal, Swiss Cottage School DRC)

Sally Apps (Executive Principal, Cabot Learning Federation)

Martin McKenna (Headteacher, Foxfield School/Deputy Headteacher, Palmerston School)

Ali Erskine (Head of School, KS1, Whitfield Aspen School)

Polly McMeeking (Chair of Governors, Chaddesley Corbett EPS)

This episode is packed full of valuable insights, with colleagues sharing their experiences as well as their ideas, priorities and plans for how the recovery and reconnection process is being approached at their schools, settings and multi academy trusts.

Below is the audio-only version of the recording…

Episode 15: A Recovery Curriculum – Part 15 Reflections on Recovery: Reigniting Children’s Learning (Webinar July 2020)

This episode is a recording of the online conference and webinar that was held on 15th July 2020. The event and this recording contains presentations and talks from Professor Barry Carpenter and Dr Tina Rae, as well as a 65 min discussion and Q&A session with a panel of educational leaders from a wide range of settings and contexts.

The video below contains the audio from LearningShared Episode 15 with visual slides from the presentation.

Download an extended copy of Dr Tina Rae’s presentation from the webinar:

Dr Tina Rae – Ways to Recovery Through Well Being (.pptx Copy)

A Toolkit for Wellbeing

Dr Tina Rae & Hinton House Publishers officially launched and introduce Tina’s newest publication, A Toolbox of Wellbeing during the event.

Download an info-flyer on “A Toolbox for Wellbeing” (PDF)

Link to Hinton House Publishers website for ‘A Toolkit of Wellbeing’:

About the Speakers and Panellists

About Barry Carpenter CBE OBE PhD

Barry Carpenter was recently appointed to the UK’s first Professorship in Mental Health in Education, at Oxford Brookes University. He is Honorary Professor at universities in the Ireland, Germany and Australia. He has been a Fellow of the University of Oxford.

He has been awarded an OBE and CBE by the Queen for services to children with Special Needs. In 2017 he was entered into “Who’s Who” in acknowledgement of his national and international contribution to the field of Special Education.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Headteacher, Principal, Academic Director, Chief Executive, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project. Since completing that research, Barry has overseen the development of a national project developing online ‘Training materials for teachers of children with severe, profound and complex learning disabilities” (

He is the author of over 150 articles and many texts on a range of learning disability/special needs topics. In the last 12 months, his work has been translated into German, French, Dutch and Russian. His most recent book publications (with Carolyn Blackburn and Jo Egerton) focus upon Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Most recently he co-authored “Engaging Learners with Complex Needs” (Routledge).

Barry lectures nationally and internationally. In recent years this has included China, Japan, Abu Dhabi, USA, and Germany. In 2018 he will be giving lectures in Australia and New Zealand. He is the co-founder of the National Forum for Neuroscience in Special Education. For the Mental Health Foundation, he Chaired the National Inquiry into the Mental Health of Young People with Learning Disabilities. He is currently Chairing a working group looking at the needs of Girls on the Autism Spectrum, which is the focus of his latest book.

Barry has 3 children – one a School Principal, one a Senior Occupational Therapist and a daughter with Down’s Syndrome, who now has a home of her own, published her first book in 2017, and is on an Apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant.

For more information:
Professor Barry Carpenter’s website:

About Dr Tina Rae

BA (Hons) PGCE MA(Ed) Msc RSADipSpLD ALCM DipPsych Doc App Ch Ed Psy

HCPC registered Educational and Child Psychologist, Author and Educational Consultant

Dr Tina Rae has over 30 years’ experience working with children, adults and families in clinical and educational contexts within local authorities and specialist services.

She is currently working as a Consultant Educational and Child Psychologist in a range of SEMH and mainstream contexts and for Compass Fostering as a Consultant Psychologist supporting foster carers, social workers and Looked after children.

She was an Academic and Professional tutor for the Doctorate in Educational and Child psychology (University of East London) from 2010-16. She is a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council, a member of ENSEC (European Network for Social and Emotional Competence) and a former trustee of Nurture UK.

Tina is a member of the editorial board for the journal Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties and for the International Journal of Nurture in Education. She is also a member of the Advisory board for Fresh Start in Education.

Tina is a prolific author and has over 100 publications to date. Recent publications include the following:

  • Rae, T., Such, A. & Wood, J. (2020) The Well Being Tool Kit for Mental health leads in schools A comprehensive Training Resource to Support Emotional Wellbeing in Education and Social Care (Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers)
  • Rae, T. & Such, A. (2019) The ASD Girls’ Wellbeing Toolkit An Evidence based Intervention Promoting Mental, Physical & Emotional Health (Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers)
  • Rae, T., & Wood, J. (2019) The Essential Resilience and well-being tool kit for the early years (Buckingham: Hinton House Publishers)

You can find and follow Tina on Twitter at:


Tina’s YouTube Channel website (CPD Resources):

Coffee Time CPD with Dr Tina Rae

  • Session 1: Using Tools from CBT with Children and Young People
  • Session 2: Anxiety
  • Session 3: Grief & Loss
  • Session 4: Peer Group Supervision
  • Session 5: Emotional Literacy & Emotion Coaching
  • Session 6: Understanding & Supporting CYP with Body Image Eating Disorders
  • Session 7: Understanding & Using Mindfulness to Reduce Stress
  • Session 8: Self esteem & Growth Mindset
  • Session 9: Using Solution focused Brief Therapy with CYP

Visit and subscribe to Tina’s YouTube Channel (above) for free access to these and other CPD resources.

Link to Tina’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #8

About Sharon Gray NLE OBE

Sharon has been a Headteacher for 18 years. This includes 12 years headship leading special schools including residential units for children and young people experiencing severe social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) and 6 years as the Headteacher of a larger than average mainstream school with an enhanced provision for children excluded from other schools due to experiencing significant social emotional and mental health difficulties. Sharon has also led two nurture units and a provision for vulnerable 2 year olds. During this time Sharon became the Executive Head whilst supporting an additional school in need.

All three settings that Sharon led were judged as Outstanding by Ofsted. She has also been an Ofsted inspector for 9 years and is a BSO accredited inspector.

Sharon is currently an Education Consultant at Wholehearted Learning, a co-opted member of ‘engage in their future’ – representing special schools nationally for young people experiencing severe social, emotional and mental health difficulties. She is also a member of the Youth Justice board – with the strategic overview project lead; of education in custody and the development of our first secure school.

Sharon is a published author and describes her work and purpose as taking a systemic approach to help adults, teams, school, communities, local authorities to create environments that enrich the emotional well-being, creativity and learning of children and young people. The focus being to release a child’s innate desire to learn and for them to discover joy in their learning and so achieve the best outcomes possible.

Her philosophy is one of authentic inclusion and her aim is for everyone within the community that she works with to see themselves as a responsible and vital part of securing positive outcomes for all.

Sharon’s website:

You can find and follow Sharon on Twitter at:

Link to Sharon’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #7

About Vijita Patel NLE

Vijita Patel is the Principal of Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre, a special needs school for children aged 2 to 19 in London. The school is a designated National Teaching School, leading a large alliance of schools, organisations, and higher education partners to drive systemic improvements in the school system for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

As a National Leader of Education, Vijita supports Headteachers, Senior and Middle Leaders, SENCOs, and Local Authority teams on leading locality and provision developments as the complexity of need increases with this new generation of children with SEN.

She has contributed to the development of programmes for teacher training and leadership development, and also worked with Post-Graduate students on personalised learning through research on cognitive processing.

Vijita is co-author of the London Leadership Strategy ‘SEND Review Guide’, developed to place ownership of strategic solutions directly with teachers and school leaders. She is also a Trustee of the Varkey Foundation.

Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre is one of eight schools in the country to have six consecutive ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Inspections. 

Swiss Cottage School, Development & Research Centre

Varkey Foundation

Link to Vijita’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #3

About Sally Apps

Sally’s career began in Manchester teaching English, and she has worked in several schools with challenging contexts. In 2011 she moved to Bristol and joined the Cabot Learning Federation as Vice Principal at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, a school she went on to lead as Principal before leading John Cabot Academy as Executive.

Sally now works as Executive Principal within the 3-19 team as part of the wider Cabot Learning Federation Executive. Her key areas of responsibility lie in secondary strategy and Alternative and Specialist Provision across the trust. She is passionate about disadvantage and about the cultural and systemic changes that need to occur within and beyond schools in order to ensure equity for all. She also sits as part of the South West Regional School’s Commissioner Headteacher Board and has a role as a trustee of an academy trust local to where she lives.

Here’s a link to a think piece that Sally wrote with her initial thoughts around the recovery and reconnection process:

Towards Recovery: A think piece

Sally Apps discussing CLF Recovery Approach on  SW TSC podcast link

Sally appeared with Dr Jim Rogers on the SW TSC podcast. Well worth a listen. The SW TSC podcast covers some great topics with some excellent guest. Always thought-provoking and enlightening and well worth subscribing to:

TSC SW Podcast #3 Dr Jim Rogers And Sally Apps Cabot Learning Federation

Cabot Learning Federation


Link to Sally’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #10

About Martin McKenna

Martin began his career into SEN in 2007 as a teacher in SEN at Palmerston school. Throughout his years as a teacher he has worked closely with staff both within Palmerston and in mainstream schools to ensure the curriculum is personalised and meets the needs of a range of pupils across ASC, PMLD, SLD and the MLD spectrum.

As part of his role he is responsible for developing, monitoring and training to improving the quality of teaching and learning within the school and supporting other schools as a Specialist Leader in Education.

In 2013 he became a member of the SLT and has helped to guide the school though the last two outstanding judgements in Ofsted.

In September he is moving to the Wirral to undertake his first headship in Foxfield school.

Link to Martin’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #5

About Ali Erskine

Throughout my teaching career, I have taught in both mainstream schools and special schools.

Thirty years ago, I started teaching in a school for children with learning and behaviour challenges, I was part of a team who valued the importance of personalised learning. I saw what a difference making learning relevant and meaningful for each child made to the children’s motivation and ability to learn.These experiences were invaluable, both in my next role in a mainstream school, and then when I started teaching in a school for children with profound, severe and complex learning needs.

During this time I taught in every key stage from Nursery to Post-16. Eight years ago, I joined Whitfield Aspen, a unique fully inclusive primary school, and I am now Head of School KS1, and part of our creative leadership team.

Link to Ali’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #4

About Polly McMeeking

Polly McMeeking is Chair of Governors at Chaddesley Corbett Endowed Primary School in rural Worcestershire. She has had a long career in mainstream and special education, retiring in 2011 as Director of Education for the Arc group of independent day schools serving children with complex emotional needs and their families for whom the state sector had not been able to make successful educational provision.

Previous work included SENDCO posts and Headship of outstanding SEMH special schools.

Polly has always worked tirelessly within the voluntary sector, including roles for IPSEA, independent consultancy for parents facing SEND challenges, and serving in multiple school governance roles.

As a Chair of Governors, she has been a forceful advocate for the Recovery Curriculum approaches which she feels have application potential within governorship management as well as in children’s services during this period of readjustment and rebalancing.

Link to Polly’s podcast episode in the LearningShared Recovery Curriculum series:

Episode #11

More info on the Recovery Curriculum

For information on the Recovery Curriculum, including the original Think Piece entitled “A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic”, lectures, resources, reference materials and details of the online communities of practice, visit:

Join the conversation about The Recovery Curriculum:

Clearly any form of Recovery Curriculum will need to be unique to each and every school, contextualised to the ethos, culture and values of that school, as well as its existing curriculum and crucially reflecting and addressing the needs and aspirations of its unique population of learners.

We have created private groups in LinkedIn and Facebook where colleagues and peers can discuss and share thoughts, ideas, experiences, resources and learning in relation to education and provision post pandemic. The groups are also an opportunity to connect people and help you to build a network that can support you on your own important journey over the coming months.

Facebook Group: Recovery Curriculum

We’ve set up a private facebook group specifically for The Recovery Curriculum at:

or search for “recoverycurriculum” in Facebook.

Facebook: EfL SEND Community Group

Join us at:

or search for “eflSENDCommunity” in Facebook.

The purpose of the group is to provide a safe, closed space to seek out and share ideas, experience and resources that can help with any and all aspects of SEND provision. It’s also a community for practitioners and schools that use Evidence for Learning and Insights for Learning to share ideas, resources and support each other in using these apps. This is a peer-moderated and supported group.

Linkedin Group: The Recovery Curriculum

The group is called “A Recovery Curriculum for children & schools post-pandemic” and you can find it at: