Improving learner outcomes

Tutor support

Online learning means that participants can log in to their course anywhere at any time, using a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, making it possible to fit study sessions around work and home life.

Participants don’t study alone, however, as they’re assigned a personal tutor for support and guidance from enrolment to completion date (usually 12 weeks). Participants can contact their tutor online, or arrange a phone call, to discuss any questions about their course and assignments, and will receive a response within 2 working days.

Talking in person to my tutor was most helpful, as it was easier to discuss different techniques.

– Teaching Assistant (2021)

OLT tutors

OLT tutors are education specialists who have experience of working as advisory teachers, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and heads of service.

In addition to coaching participants through their course and assignments, they provide two virtual meetings (usually via Zoom) to help participants reflect on their learning and plan changes to their practice.

This course is very user-friendly, informative and thought provoking. My tutor has been very supportive and helpful with feedback.

– Teacher (2021)

In-house tutors

If a school or local authority enrols a number of employees on a course, they can opt to have an in-house specialist provide tutor support and become a delivery partner. In this situation, we will provide tutor training after the in-house specialist has completed the course(s) to prepare them for tutoring others. In this way, delivery partners can reduce their cost per course place by more than 50%.

It was really useful to go through this course prior to other staff at my school so that I can support them in their understanding and we can have a common language to talk about a child's needs.

– SENDCo (2021)


Tutor profiles

Linda Boyd

Linda Boyd
The OLT courses provide a high quality, interactive and flexible learning experience through which participants can develop their knowledge of SEND at their own pace. By applying theory to practice and setting SMART goals, participants can achieve successful outcomes for pupils with SEND in the classroom. The forums are a great way of sharing experiences and collaborating with others. The videos offer good examples of inclusive practice in different settings.

Linda is a qualified teacher with qualifications in dyslexia, speech and language difficulties, autism and AAC. Linda has extensive experience working as a peripatetic advisory teacher with a local authority. During this time she became an OLT tutor, enthusiastically delivering courses to teachers and teaching assistants within the authority. Linda has always been passionate about the use of assistive technology to help children overcome learning and communication difficulties, which led to her role as Specialist Coordinator for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). In 2015 Linda was awarded an outstanding achievement award for her work in helping children and young people with severe communication difficulties to express their voice and communicate.

  • Four years as a mainstream primary school teacher
  • Twenty-seven years as a specialist advisory teacher supporting children with dyslexia, speech and language and communication needs and autism

Relevant qualifications

  • Cert Ed, Dip RSA SpLD, AMBDA, PG Dip Autism, PG Certificate AAC

Siobhan Duvigneau

Siobhan Duvigneau
I am delighted to join OLT and its community of teaching practitioners, and look forward to helping professionals in our community to strengthen their capacity to support the learning goals of young people with SEND. This role aligns with my own professional efforts to champion the right to quality education for all, and links to my passion to help young people develop the skills to make enriching life choices and lead equanimous lives.

Siobhan is a qualified teacher specialising in teacher-training in international country contexts, pastoral care, wellbeing and information literacy skills.

She has supported educators in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and has qualifications in Youth Mindfulness.

  • Two years as a primary school teacher and interventionist working with children with social and emotional needs in KS2
  • Four years as a secondary school teacher specialising in ICT
  • Eight years training lecturers, researchers, and library staff to improve learning outcomes, innovate pedagogical practices, and strengthen research practices in the Global South
  • Youth mindfulness coach helping students to cultivate resilient minds and behaviours

Relevant qualifications

  • PGCE KS3/4 ICT
  • Masters in Education/Online Distance Learning
  • Youth Mindfulness Coach

Naomi Forster

Naomi Forster

This tutor's details will be added in the near future.

Naomi is a qualified Teacher of the Deaf and Qualified Teacher of Multi-Sensory Impairment with over 20 years of experience teaching in schools and supporting schools and families as a peripatetic teacher. She is also the parent of a child with a disability, and has seen the huge impact effective support in school has on her child’s life. She lives and works in London, enjoying the rich diversity of inner-city life.

Relevant qualifications

  • Currently pursuing a Masters in Multisensory Impairment
  • PGDip (Ed) Teaching Hearing Impaired (deaf) Learners
  • PGDip (Ed) Teaching MSI (deafblind) Learners
  • CACDP BSL NVQ level 3, CACDP BSL Stage 2, CACDP BSL Stage 1

Jan Hughes

Jan Hughes
The OLT courses combine a range of user-friendly learning materials with the flexibility of self-study. The videos and case studies provide real-life examples of inclusive good practice for children and young people with sensory impairment. The tutored courses provide a complete learning package through a combination of online resources, together with forums which provide an opportunity to discuss practice and experience with cohort members, and support from an allocated tutor for personal support and encouragement.

Jan has over 35 years’ experience working in schools, local authorities and the voluntary sector with children and young adults with sensory impairment. She is a qualified teacher of children with hearing and visual impairment, and also a qualified mobility teacher. She has specialist skills in the provision of services for children and young people with sensory impairment and additional disabilities, and has worked in the field of multisensory impairment for more than 25 years. She has a particular interest in the development of training materials; being the co-author, course tutor and external examiner for a range of accredited courses in MSI and working with children with sensory and physical disabilities.

  • Nineteen years as an advisory teacher for children with sensory impairments
  • Twelve years managing local authority services for children with physical disabilities and sensory impairments
  • Seven years leading on voluntary sector services for MSI children and young people in Wales

Relevant qualifications

  • B.A. (Hons) Combined Studies (Education and Audiology)
  • MEd Special Education (Visual Impairment)
  • Certificate in Orientation and Mobility for Visually Impaired Children

Edith Kiss

Edith Kiss
The OLT Understanding and Supporting Behaviour course is an excellent way to further your understanding about the underlying reasons why a child might struggle to regulate their behaviour. It equips education practitioners with valuable insights and strategies to enable students to access learning and thrive in various learning environments.

Edith is a Qualified Teacher with an MA degree in Visual Arts Education. She is a dedicated and motivated individual with extensive experience and knowledge in the field of Education, Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Positive Behaviour Management. She has six years of teaching experience in primary, secondary and SEN settings, including mainstream and private schools and has taught children and young people between the ages of 3-19.

Relevant qualifications

  • MA degree in Visual Arts Education
  • Qualified Teacher Status
  • Training in Positive Behaviour Management and teaching students with Special Educational Needs, including Dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Rod Markham

Rod Markham
For me I see many advantages of OLT, not just its accessibility and flexibility. It has, at its heart, the philosophy of inclusion, encouraging and enabling staff to adapt their practice to meet the needs of the pupils and young people they support. Feedback from participants has frequently mentioned the powerful and sustainable impact the course had on them, and on their learners through the review and evaluation of SMART goal setting over time. I feel privileged to tutor these highly sought-after courses.

Rod is an Educational Psychologist (EP) and an accredited VIG (Video Interaction Guidance) practitioner. During his time working as an EP for a London authority, he developed an interest in Autism and took on a specialist role. This led to him training as an OLT tutor, delivering courses within the authority to 550 members of staff. Rod has tutored participants from nursery to post 16 settings, with a wide range of staff, including teachers, mealtime supervisors, Learning Support Assistants, Inclusion Managers, SENCos, Speech Therapists, advisory teachers and EPs.

  • 16 years as a mainstream primary and secondary school teacher in Inner London schools
  • 8 years in a key stage 4 Pupil Referral Unit
  • An Educational Psychologist since 1999

Relevant qualifications

  • TCert, Adv. Dip. Ed. (SEN), BA (Hons), MSC, CPsychol, AFBPS, HCPC registered

Gwyneth McCormack

Gwyneth McCormack
The OLT Vision Impairment (VI) course is a positive experience, which provides a clear structured introduction to the breadth of knowledge and skills required to support the successful inclusion of children with VI. OLT training provides a creative and interesting way to further your understanding of the specific and individual needs of children with visual impairments. The videos offer excellent examples of good inclusive practice.

Gwyn is a qualified Teacher of Visual Impairments (BPhil. Spec.Ed. V.I. Distinction) Qualified Teacher Status (Cert.Ed.). She is an enthusiastic, passionate, committed and motivational individual, with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of education and visual impairment. She has a clear understanding of inclusion from the School, Service, Child and Family perspectives.

  • Six years as a mainstream secondary school teacher
  • Eleven years as a Teacher of Visual Impairments in a Peripatetic Support Service supporting children and young people, 0-18 years old
  • Five years managing a Local Authority, Peripatetic Support Service for Children with Visual Impairments

Relevant qualifications

  • Cert Ed, BPhil.Spec.Ed.VI (Qualified Teacher of VI status)

Leighton Reed

Leighton Reed
OLT courses provide an excellent learning platform to develop and enhance knowledge and skills in relation to sensory impairments.The videos and case studies are relevant and thought provoking and support the learning process all the way through making it interactive and fun!

Over my teaching career I have held many posts - head of service(s), advisory teacher and classroom practitioner. Throughout that time I have sought to emphasise and celebrate the importance of continuing professional development and have worked closely with universities and voluntary agencies to support placements, course development and training.

Relevant qualifications

  • B.Ed. in Special Educational Needs
  • Certificate in Hearing Impairment
  • Diploma in Visual Impairment
  • M.Sc. in Educational Management

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