Speakers and Panels

Research Strand

SpeakerProfessor Sue Roulstone, (PhD, MEd, FRCSLT), Underwood Trust Professor of Language and Communication Impairment, University of the West of England. Professor Roulstone was the lead for the research paper Investigating the role of language in children’s early educational outcomes (June 2011)

Sue Roulstone qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in Manchester and has worked as a clinician, an educator, a manager and a researcher. She has worked with children and young people of all ages and has always been interested in the interface between therapy and education.

Sue was Chair of theRoyalCollegeof Speech & Language Therapists from 2004-2006.

Her research interests include:

  • children and family perspectives on speech and language impairment
  • professional judgement and decision making
  • epidemiology of speech and language impairment
  • evaluation of speech and language therapy service delivery

Panel – Neil Wilson, Head Teacher, Newall Green High School, Manchester. Here is a link to a recent BBC Today programme where Neil Wilson was a speaker.

Neil Wilson is Executive Headteacher of the SMILE 3-19 federation foundation trust (South Manchester Inclusive Learning Enterprise). The federation is a trust with the trustees being; Manchester Airport PLC; University of South Manchester Hospital Trust; Barnardos; Parkway Green Housing Trust.

There are 2000 young people in about 600 families in the federation. The schools involved are Newall Green High School, Baguley Hall Primary School and Benchill Primary School. The federation serves a challenging part of Manchesterbut have this year attained record examination results at both key stage 2 and key stage 4.

Newall Green High School has recently completed a £19m BSF (Building Schools for the Future) build and a £4m 6th form programme. The federation is leading on a national communication programme and Neil is leading on a Manchester Resilience Project. He was elected North West Secondary Headteacher of the year in 2007 and has been a National Leader of Education.

PanelDr Suresh Victor, Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neonatologist, St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester

Dr Suresh Victor joined theUniversityofManchesteras Clinical Lecturer in April 2007. He completed his early paediatric training in India and UK before commencing his PhD in University of Liverpool. His PhD thesis was on, “Cerebral electrical activity and cerebral fractional oxygen extraction in human preterm newborn infants”. He completed National grid training in Neonatal Medicine in 2006 and was awarded CCT in Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine in 2007.

His research interests are in the prevention and treatment of brain injury in newborn babies and randomised controlled trials. He has published in neonatal neurophysiology and applications of near infrared spectroscopy in preterm newborn babies.

He is the Lead for the Year 4 Families and Children Module inManchesterMedicalSchooland has an extensive teaching profile in the School of Nursing,University of Manchester.

Policy Strand

Speaker – Abigail Moss, Deputy Director, National Literacy Trust

Abigail Moss started as deputy director of the National Literacy Trust in March 2010. She supports all aspects of the charity’s work and its contribution to social justice and social mobility. Before joining NLT Abigail led a local government improvement programme at Museums, Libraries and Archives London and from 1999 to 2009 was at Arts Council England, London, latterly as Director of Children and Young People’s Strategy. She has also worked as a secondary English teacher, literacy coordinator and a performer and is on the board of Arts Inform, a cultural education charity.

Panel – Councillor  Mike Amesbury, Manchester City Council, Fallowfield Ward and  Executive Member for Culture and Leisure

Mike Amesbury was elected to Manchester City Council in 2006, representing the Fallowfield Ward is currently the Executive (Cabinet) Member for Culture and Leisure.

Mike has a Social Science Bachelor of Arts Degree and is Postgraduate Qualified in careers guidance and education and is Director of the National Football Museum, Manchester Concert Halls, Library Theatre Board, Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust, Manchester International Festival and Chairman of Velodrome Trust.

His political achievements over the last three years include staging the first Manchester International Festivals and the 2008 – A Year of World Sport programme, which included the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the 9th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), the BUPA Great Manchester Run, the UEFA Cup Final and the Hi-Tec World Squash Championships.  Building upon the legacy of the successful Commonwealth Games in 2002.  Securing investment for the renewal of the library network including the transformation of Central Library.

Panel – Ruth Churchill Dower, Director, Earlyarts

As Director of the award winning training network, Earlyarts, Ruth Churchill Dower has developed a pioneering approach to creative early education. Working in collaboration with 25 Pathfinders (training partners) who train 600 cultural and early years professionals each year, Earlyarts members enhance the lives of over 20,000 children and families each year.

In 2009, Ruth won the Ogunte Women’s Social Leadership Awards for her work in building Earlyarts to make real change happen in young children’s lives. She continues to drive this agenda forward through her active membership of the RSA, the Cultural Learning Alliance, the Social Enterprise CoalitionSmall Size, the national strategy group for Youth Music and supporting the government task force on EYFS.

Renowned author, advisor and media commentator, Ruth helps strategic thinkers to make sense of complex agendas, always keeping the focus on how any policy, curriculum, research or practice will impact positively on a child’s life. Ruth’s most recent publications can be read freely at: Born Creative (2010, Demos, ISBN:978-1-906693-54-1);  Cultural Entitlement in a Nutshell, (2009, Lulu, ISSN/ISBN:978-1-4092-8587-8), and Ruths Blog. Her favourite activity is puddle-splashing in theYorkshire hills with her two young children.

Practice Strand

Speaker – Guy Dartnell, Performer, Oogly Boogly – an event for babies and their grown-ups

Guy Dartnell is an inter/national award winning solo and collaborative artist and film-maker. He has made five solo shows and is a long time collaborator with Improbable, Lone Twin Theatre and Heart n Soul. He has specialised for many years in voice-movement integration and improvised performance and is a Dance4 associate artist. Alongside Tom Morris, Artistic Director at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, and Emma Gladstone, Artistic Programmer at Sadler’s Wells, he is the Co-artistic Director of Oogly Boogly, an improvisational movement based event for babies and their parents/carers. Oogly Boogly has toured the world to great acclaim since 2004, including Melbourne Festival, and is presently involved in a research project with Oakfield Special School in Nottingham exploring the adaption of its performance process to working with children with multiple disabilities.

Panel – Kathy Coates Mohammed,  Principal, Martenscroft Nursery School and Children’s Centre, Hulme

Kathy Coates-Mohammed is Principal of Martenscroft Nursery School and Sure Start Children’s Centre, based in Hulme in central Manchester.  Martenscroft provides integrated care and education for children from the age of 6 months to 4 years. 

Kathy and the centre hold a strong commitment to providing a range of creative activities for children and over the last few years have worked with a variety of creative collaborators and developed strong links with the museum and gallery services.   

Kathy has led the staff team in becoming an ‘Outstanding Centre.’ Their success has recently been recognised in being awarded ‘Early Years National Teaching Centre’ and being shortlisted for the national ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Award.

Prior to the role of Principal, Kathy spent 5 years as a Foundation Stage Consultant within the city.  She was part of the team who developed and delivered the accredited ‘Creative Collaboration’ CPD for teachers within the city, in response to the study trip to Reggio Emilia schools in Italy.

 Panel – Carla Henry, Drama Practitioner and Actress

Born in Moss Side in Manchester, Carla Henry received a 1st Class (BA HONs) degree in Theatre Arts and Devised Performance from Bretton Hall,UniversityofLeeds. Working with storytelling, movement and live music, Carla explores the world of bringing stories alive through a sensory interactive experience for 0-5 Year olds and their parents/carers. To create and develop her work Carla uses her background as Actor / Performer and Theatre Devising skills to create interactive storytelling, using objects, environment and sound as a stimulus to the story sessions.

Carla’s team includes qualified teachers and early years practitioners. Carla is a mother to her 3 year old son, who was the inspiration for Drama 4 Tots and her work with early years.

Carla has engaged in several projects as a early years drama practitioner for the following organisations: The Royal Exchange Theatre;ManchesterArtGallery; Sure Start St Peters; NCT Parents Playgroup. She currently provides regular weekly sessions for several nurseries.

Carla’s work as an actress covers Films, TV, Theatre and Radio.


One Response to “Speakers and Panels”


  1. Speakers and panel page now live « Culturebaby - November 3, 2011

    […] Speakers and Panels […]

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