Mike Robinson OBE
Mike has a wealth of experience in the special educational needs sector.
He retired in 2023 as Chief Executive of the third largest autism charity in the country, whose main areas of activity include a residential school and young adult homes for young people severely affected by autism and other complex needs.
Prior to this, Mike was the Managing Director of a group of 15 special schools across the country.
Mike also brings a wealth of broader business and marketing experience from his earlier career in UK and overseas in sectors as diverse as Food, Wine, Retailing and International Schools.
Jacinta is an independent education consultant with 36 years teaching experience, including 28 years specialising in the education of vulnerable children across all Key Stages. This has involved working with challenging behaviour, Special Education Needs/Disability (SEND) and Mental Health Difficulties.
She was the first Manager of a Key Stage 3 Pupil Referral Unit for Leicestershire County Council and subsequently managed the county's Behaviour Support Service. She was responsible for the introduction and management of Leicestershire's highly successful Behaviour Partnerships, which were recognised by the House of Commons Select Education Committee (Nov 2010). In 2016, Jacinta was invited to join the Government's Behaviour Expert Group, chaired by Tom Bennett, who wrote the DfE publication: Developing behaviour management content for initial teacher training July 2016.
Jacinta has a Postgraduate SEN qualification and is a former SENCO with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy experience. She provides training and coaching to staff and support for children and families with diverse needs including Autism, ADHD, Attachment Disorder, Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties, Promoting Positive Mental Health and Managing emotional outbursts.
She is an experienced SEN witness for Independent Review Panels for permanent exclusion from school. She also has experience as a former Court Officer for the prosecution of non-school attendance.
Ben formerly worked as Home to School Transport Manager for Oldham Council for five years and implemented Spectrum Courses for the area's drivers and passenger assistants during that time.
Having seen at first hand the improvements Spectrum Courses made to his own team, he now advises other local authorities from an operational perspective.
Qaiser works for a London law firm, and his family includes a son who is deaf.
The family’s first experience of Home to School Transport shocked Qaiser to change his own professional working life to ensure his son arrived at school safely, calm and ready to learn.
Qaiser joins the Spectrum Advisory Board as an important parent voice to help us raise standards and reduce incidents through improved understanding of vulnerable children and adults.
Jennie is an experienced Transport Specialist and has worked as an independent SEN Transport Advisor to numerous local authorities across England, as well as undertaken full reviews of SEN and other transport contracts.
She has also managed transport services in a Pupil Referral Unit in the south of England and has personal experience of working with Vulnerable Adults and their transport needs. Jennie has vast experience with numerous transport providers, local authorities, the NHS and many other professional organisations across the UK. Her common sense approach and vast knowledge offer a unique insight into best practice.
Charles has extensive experience working in special schools for children with SEN and is currently manager of a school and children’s home in the North East for children and young people with severe and profound autism.
Adrienne has worked as a Headteacher in special schools, working in the maintained and independent sectors. She has an MA in Complex Needs and Autism.
With more than 30 years experience in Special Education in London, Adrienne has worked with pupils aged between 3 - 19 in special schools and has also worked in Outreach Support to mainstream primary and secondary schools.
In 2000, Adrienne set up and established one of the first specialist Autism provisions in a mainstream secondary school in North East London. Her work was commended in the House of Commons as an example of best inclusive practice.
Gemma co-founded Spectrum Courses. She is passionate about working towards better standards for children and young people with Special Educational and/or Additional Needs, having spent time observing communication and education and transport at an Ofsted Outstanding primary school in Greater Manchester.
Gemma is a fully qualified Psychotherapist, with a Masters Degree in Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy. She is a BSc graduate in Sociology from the University of Bath.
She now runs her own successful private practice.
Marina is recognised as a leading expert in autism and associated conditions and has run a group of specialist schools and residential children’s homes in the East of England.
Her commitment, motivation and dedication has gained her an enviable reputation of success for vulnerable children with profound difficulties.