The Natspec Awards is judged by an independent panel of judges. The main judging panel is as follows:
- Nigel Evans
- Yolande Burgess
- Jane Hatton
- Rohan Slaughter
- Liz Maudslay
- Lorraine Mulroney
- Jeff Greenidge
- Alex Johnson
Meet the Judges
From 2007 until 2018 Nigel was one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors for learning and skills, he was also Ofsted’s national lead for learners with high needs. During his time at Ofsted he worked on many projects relating to learners with learning difficulties including leading Ofsted’s survey report Moving Forward, on how well the Children and Families Act was being implemented. Before becoming an inspector, Nigel had extensive experience in further education. He developed and managed a range of innovative programmes for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities, young people excluded from schools, those in need of social, emotional and behavioural support and adults with mental health difficulties and people returning to, or entering employment. Since 2018 Nigel has worked with a wide of learning and skills providers supporting these organisations with quality improvement, restructuring and capacity building. When not working within the education sector Nigel works for the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival.
I am very excited about being involved in the Natspec awards; Natspec has always been at the forefront of encouraging and supporting the best educational practice for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, and these awards are a fantastic way of celebrating innovation and excellence in specialist further education
Yolande is the Strategy Director for London’s Communities at London Councils and is responsible for policy development and service delivery that impacts on London and its residents.
Yolande’s areas of responsibility affect Londoners of all ages, from early years to adulthood, and include children, education, and young people; health, care & wellbeing; community empowerment, resilience & safety; and innovation & improvement.
Yolande also oversees the delivery of projects supporting marginalised residents to reengage with learning and employment and the Pan-London Grants Programme that addresses homelessness and domestic & sexual abuse.
With 30 years’ experience in public service, Yolande has developed expertise in strategic leadership, policy development, statistical analysis and interpretation, commissioning and programme leadership.
Jane is a disabled social entrepreneur, having worked in inclusion since 1990. She is Founder and CEO of Evenbreak, established in 2011, an award-winning social enterprise run by and for disabled people. This helps employers attract talented disabled candidates through a specialist job board.
Widely published in this field, including “A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People” (2017) and “A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People” (2020), she is on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative. Winning a number of inclusion awards, she was 7th on the Shaw Trust Power 100 ‘Britain’s Most Influential Disabled People’ list in 2019.
Rohan has been working to support technology in the education sector for more than 20 years. Rohan has an IT, assistive technology, and education management background. Between 2015 and 2020 Rohan worked for Jisc, the EdTech not-for-profit that provides support to colleges and universities. Rohan was previously employed at Beaumont College as assistant principal and formerly as the head of technology. Rohan is a member of the Natspec technology strategy group and is currently vice chair of the Karten Network board.
Rohan joined the University of Dundee as a senior lecturer in Assistive Technology at the end of 2020. Rohan is working to support the development and delivery of an MSc in Educational Assistive Technology that aims to professionalise the assistive technologist role and to provide professional development pathways for people who wish to support the assessment, provisioning and ongoing support of Assistive Technology. The first cohort started in January 2021 with a second cohort commencing work in January 2022.
I look forward to working with Natspec on the awards project. The first Principal I worked with at Beaumont College, Steve Briggs, saw specialist colleges as being the ‘engine for innovation’ in developing exemplar practice in supporting disabled students that can be replicated to other parts of the sector. I look forward to further exploring the exciting new ways that Natspec colleges are developing and deploying technology to support their student’s independence and achievement.
Liz Maudslay has spent all her working life in Further Education as a teacher then manager in provision for students with special educational needs. For seven years she was FE Policy Director at Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, and has recently retired from her role as Policy Manger for SEND the Association of Colleges. This role included working closely with DfE on issues regarding the many students in FE with high needs, and also the far larger number who have some kind of disability, learning difficulty, or emotional and mental health need.
Lorraine Mulroney is the National Specialist Advisor for SEND in NHS England. She leads the National SEND team and programme.
Lorraine is passionate about joint working across education, health and care, she works closely with colleagues from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education and many other stakeholders from National to local level.
2023 is classified as Lorraine’s 32nd year in the NHS. As a graduate of the Nye Bevan Executive Leadership Programme Lorraine is proud to work in the NHS.
From 2016 to 2021 Lorraine worked as the Senior Nurse for Children and Young People in NHS England and held SEND in her portfolio. She has previously held clinical nursing roles across hospitals and community settings. Prior to moving to her national role she focused her career on improvement and commissioning at a local and regional level.
Jeff Greenidge is an experienced teacher, coach and leadership mentor who has worked across the education and training sector for over 40 years. With a track record of delivery performance, Jeff has been providing focussed consultancy and coaching to organisations with a drive for inclusion and diversity. As a board member for several organisations in the public and private sectors, including Learning and Work Institute and the UFI Voch Tech Trust, Jeff supports organisations to thrive through inclusive leadership to develop an inclusive and diverse organisational culture. Jeff Greenidge has recently been appointed as Chair of the Governing Body at Bridgend College.
Jeff is the Director for Diversity for Association of Colleges (AoC) and is responsible for driving plans to increase diversity within the Further Education (FE) workforce, particularly at senior levels, and promoting inclusive practice in colleges.
Alex Johnson is a very passionate disabled rights campaigner. He believes that people with a disability should be able to access any educational pathway they want. Alex has decided in the last year to devote his life to changing the way we think about how we support people with disabilities. This change can only be rewritten by people with disabilities and the people who support them in their daily lives. Alex is devoted to the development of disabled rights the new way.