Angela Webb B.Ed (Hons.) MA, PhD, Chairman of NHA
Formerly a primary school teacher, Angela is a psychologist working with children with developmental disorders particularly those whose motor coordination is poor. This has led to a particular interest in children who experience handwriting difficulties. She works on a multi-disciplinary team at The Group Analytic Practice in Central London and as an advisor in schools. She also lectures part-time at the Institute of Education, London University where her research area is the link between handwriting problems and poor written composition.
She took over as chair of the NHA in 2006 and also coordinates the in-service training programme for teachers and therapists.
Catherine Elsey Dip. COT, HPC Registered
Catherine qualified in Occupational Therapy in 1983 and has worked predominantly in neurology, specialising in paediatrics since 1997. Catherine assesses and treats children experiencing difficulties at school or at home to optimise their functional and learning potential. She has extensive experience working with children with specific learning difficulties, including Developmental Coordination Disorder (Dyspraxia), Attention Deficit Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Integration difficulty.
Catherine joined the National Handwriting Association Committee in 2005 and is currently the Vice Chair.
Anna Barnett BA (Hons.), PhD, Cpsychol. Reader in Psychology
Anna is a Reader in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on various aspects of perceptual-motor development but she has a special interest in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and in the assessment, teaching and learning of handwriting. Anna has been involved in producing the second edition of the popular Movement ABC test and is principal author of the Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (the DASH). These tools are being widely used by health and educational professionals to identify and help children with movement and handwriting difficulties. Anna's other publications include work on the assessment, description and developmental course of DCD, the effect of brain damage at birth on later motor development, and the teaching of handwriting in primary schools.
Anna has been on the NHA committee since 1995.
Gwen Dornan Teachers Certificate, Diploma in Calligraphy RIHE
Gwen trained as a primary school teacher and worked as a mainstream teacher for a number of years. She took up calligraphy during a career break while her own children were small. This led to teaching the subject at adult college and also sparked a particular interest in children's handwriting. She continued to develop this interest when she returned to part-time teaching in schools and spent ten years, until 2000, specialising in the teaching of handwriting throughout the junior department (ages 4-11) of a girls' school. She now works with individual children needing help with handwriting.
Gwen has been a member of NHA since its early days, has served on the committee for a number of years and is currently the Information Officer. She has written or co-authored the NHA publications: Which Handwriting Scheme, Choosing a Handwriting Scheme and Writing Left-handed and edits the Tips for Handwriting. She is part of the INSET team.
Mary Howard Dip.SpLD, Cert.Ed. MEd, PhD, AMBDA, Dip.O.T.
Mary is Education director of the 3D Centre for Specific Learning Difficulties (for Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia) in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Mary initially trained as an occupational therapist and worked in paediatrics and psychiatry before becoming a teacher. She taught in special and mainstream settings from birth to secondary age and eventually joined the Assessment and Learning Support Service in Calderdale. When this was disbanded in 2000 Mary continued to work independently and set up the 3D Centre to provide assessment and tuition for children and training for school staff. She was one of the first cohort of students on the Diploma in Handwriting at the Institute of Education run by the NHA and now tutors on the course. She has a postgraduate certificate in developmental co-ordination disorder/dyspraxia and is currently researching for an MA in the assessment of dyslexia.
Mary is Hon Sec of the NHA, a member of the Inset Committee and administers the Tutor Register.
Amanda McLeod BA (Hons), PGCE, SpLD, AMBDA
Amanda McLeod originally trained as a Primary School teacher before becoming a Dyslexia specialisist. She now runs her own Centre for handwriting and touchtyping in Central London.
Amanda is a member of the sub-committees for publicity and in-service training.
Hilary Cook Cert Ed, RSA Dip SpLD
Hilary worked for many years in mainstream primary education as a class teacher, deputy head, and specialist support teacher. Until recently she was the Inclusion Manager at a school in Hackney. During her eleven years in this post she worked with children with a wide range of physical, emotional and learning needs. Building and developing a well trained team of more than twenty Teaching Assistants was a key part of her job.
She has been the recipient of four Best Practice Research Scholarships and has carried out a number of school-based literacy and numeracy projects working with a research team from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. She has also worked in collaboration with other professionals on the use of music and movement in the EY/FS. In 2006 she received a National Teaching Award as Special Needs Teacher of the Year.
Hilary joined the committee of the NHA in 2010. She is Honorary Secretary and INSET Liaison Officer.
Wendy Cumines Dip COT, MA SEN, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
Wendy is an Occupational Therapy Lecturer at Cardiff University. Prior to this she worked for 23 years as a paediatric occupational therapist in a range of community, hospital and school settings across the UK. Wendy has extensive experience of working with children with motor and handwriting difficulties and with developing collaborative working practices between occupational therapy services and schools.
Wendy has recently joined the NHA committee as a sub-editor of the journal, with particular responsibility for the ‘Tips for teaching' section.
Lorrie Sugden B.Sc., M.Sc, Diploma in the Provision for Children with Developmental Disorders
Lorrie's Bachelor and Masters degrees are in Kinesiology from the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently the SENCo and Learning Support Teacher for three schools within the Silcoates Foundation: Silcoates Junior School (KS1 and KS2), Sunny Hill (Early Years) and St Hilda's (Yearly Years and KS1).
Lorrie is responsible for editing the Reviews section of the NHA journal, Handwriting Today.
Robert Erhlander-Lawrence B.Sc., F.C.I.B. - Hon.Treasurer
Bob is semi-retired and has worked most of his life in the finance sector through banking (both home and abroad), insurance and lately accountancy. He is very active in education through his various maths and physics workshops for gifted and talented children.
Laraine is the Director of Learning Support at Danes Hill School in Surrey which is mixed day Preparatory school for 900 pupils aged 3-13 and a member of IAPS. She is a representative of IAPS on the ISC SEN Group. Her current role encompasses the identification and management of SEND, EAL and exceptionally able pupils from their early years to Common Entrance and scholarship exams for the Independent school sector. She also serves on the Pastoral, Academic and Reading Committees at the school. Her role of oversight of school admissions helps to ensure that all needs for new pupils can be identified. She has a good interest in handwriting and the development of writing skills in the wide range of children she encounters. Prior to her current post, she worked with ‘statemented’ children in Surrey, taught children who lived in temporary accommodation in London and with children who were referred to a behavioural unit in Bristol. She also set up and ran a Nursery in the Middle East.
Pam worked in primary education as a class teacher, senior manager, and advisor on all aspects of reading and writing. Her passion for the teaching of reading and writing led to involvement in a number of literacy projects within the UK and Europe including UKLA/QCA collaboration in More than Words: Multimodal Texts in the Classroom (2004).
From 2000-2003, Pam represented the UK Literacy Association on the International Reading Association’s European Committee (IDEC). She has attended seminars and presented literacy workshops throughout the UK and Europe. Pam’s key interest is the development of writing skills through the use of imagination and fantasy.
Following retirement from class teaching in 2010, Pam now combines voluntary work and individual tutoring of children. She has recently joined the INSET committee of the National Handwriting Association.
Joanna Moore DipCOT HCPC Registered
Joanna is a paediatric occupational therapist who has over 20 years experience specialising in paediatrics having worked in community paediatric services, paediatric brain injury rehabilitation, two specialist schools for pupils with specific language impairment and numerous mainstream and special schools. Over the last 10 years she has worked in independent practice assessing and treating children in both mainstream and special schools within the state and independent sectors. Joanna also provides specialist assessments and evidence for SEND tribunals. Her specific areas of interest lie with children who have developmental co-ordination disorders (including dyspraxia), handwriting difficulties, sensory processing disorders and autistic spectrum disorders.
Joanna is a member of the NHA for INSET committee.