Who does the training?
What is her background in SEN?
When did she become interested in SEN?
How did she become the trainer?
What does the role involve?
Our trainer is Mrs Eirwen Grenfell-Essam. (said Eye-r-when)
Eirwen qualified as a teacher in 1974, and has taught all ages from 2 to 19 and beyond.
She taught mostly within the primary age range and was a SENCO for 12 years.
She has two daughters both with Dyslexia and ADHD.
Her elder daughter also has M.E.
Interest began from having various friends in Primary and Secondary school with SEN and trying to support them.
When she started teaching in 1974 Eirwen immediately began her search for how to help her students with 'extra' needs.
She enrolled on courses to help her understand and practically know how to help these children.
Following her elder daughter's diagnosis of Dyslexia Eirwen undertook, in 1995,
a Post Graduate Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia).
She has since studied courses on various SEN topics including Dyspraxia,
Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, ADHD and ASD. She continues to do so and also reads as widely as she can.
Her involvement with Network 81 began while she was a SENCO in 1996 when she trained as a Befriender.
In 2004 she was asked to join the board of the charity as a trustee.
She then became active within the training side of the charity and in 2007 was appointed
as the national trainer. Throughout the period she has continued to act as an advocate for families.
Currently Eirwen spends her time split between supporting parents at SEND tribunals, assessing
individual children/young people for Dyslexia, reading SEN paperwork, advising
parents on any aspect of SEN/DDA and Exclusions, as well as writing the course materials
and delivering all of Network 81's training.
Within her mixed roles within the Charity she meets MPs and Head of Service within Local Authorities to discuss with them what
we are finding from our advice line. In 2006 she gave oral and written evidence to the
Commons Select Committee and its report on SEN. In November 2008 she appeared on TV
on Channel 4 News discussing SEN funding.