Over the past couple of years we have been extending the role of Natspec so that we are able to respond to the needs of Further Education professionals across the mainstream and specialist sector. We have worked with stakeholders on their behalf and meeting their training needs to improve the quality of provision for students with Additional Learning Needs, particularly those with complex needs.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Kirsten Jones to a new role, Natspec Policy Officer (with a focus on Wales). This position will allow us to expand our capacity in Wales. We will be able to focus on supporting members and working collaboratively with all FE providers and stakeholders in Wales to a much greater extent than we have been able to until now.
Kirsten joins us after a rigorous recruitment process in which she demonstrated her knowledge and passion for the sector. Previously, she was Vice Principal of specialist further education college Coleg Elidyr for five years. Since 2016 she has served as a Natspec Director where she has played a key role representing the sector as Additional Learning Transformation in Wales progresses. Kirsten worked for 15 years in higher education as a Senior Lecturer in psychology and departmental head, widening access to higher education to disadvantaged groups in the south Wales valleys. She is a Doctor of Education and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research areas include SEND, vocational curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Kirsten has strong project management experience and a keen interest in how specialist further education impacts positively on individuals’ life chances.
In her new role, Kirsten says:
“I am thrilled to be joining the Team and look forward to contributing to Natspec’s important work in specialist further education for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities in Wales and across the UK.”