Advisory Committee

About the Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a group of individuals that have the experience, expertise and capacity to support the National Committee meet the objectives of engage in their future. Its objective is to provide support and advice to engage in their future.

As a group, they are distinct to the National Committee but are bound by the same constitutional obligations, Charity Commission guidelines and any relevant legislation. Members of the Advisory Committee are not expected to be involved in the day to day management and operations of the organisation or to regularly attend meetings.

Brendan Heneghan OBE

Advisory Committee Member and Trustee

Richard Boyle

Advisory Committee Member

Antonio Munoz-Bailey

Advisory Committee Member

Lynn Richards

Advisory Committee Member

Bernard Allen

Advisory Committee Member

John d’Abbro

Advisory Committee Member

Brendan Heneghan OBE

Advisory Committee Member and Trustee

Brendan is the former Principal of The William Henry Smith School, a Non-Maintained Residential Special SEMH School for boys aged 8 to 19, in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Brendan has worked in the field of SEMH since 1984 and remains passionate about supporting the development of pupils with SEMH. He is also particularly keen on the key concepts of engage in their future, namely, sharing good practice, offering peer support, and influencing policy and debate at a national level.

A founder member of engage in their future, Brendan worked hard to develop the North East Region in his capacity as Regional Representative on the National Committee, a position he held from 1998 until 2018. He also held the office of National Secretary from  2003 until 2019.

Brendan regularly represents engage in their future at the National SEND Forum, which is hosted by FLSE, an organisation he was involved in starting some years ago. He was previously a Trustee of the Cicely Foundation and since his retirement has maintained his links with WHSS also as a Trustee. In addition he is a Governor at a large Secondary age Special School in Calderdale.

Brendan was awarded an OBE for service to Special Educational Needs in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.

Richard Boyle

Advisory Committee Member

I am honoured to be a member of the engage in their future, Advisory Board.

For the last 20 years as a Regional Representative  of engage in their future and NASS, I have been directly involved in most aspects of regional SEN development and leadership/management policy, where this affects special schools. I have also been involved in national policy forums regarding learning behaviour, special schools, leadership and management, contractual working and outcomes development in the regions, in particular establishing professional learning communities. In this work I have piloted inclusion work with our local schools and developed outstanding support to the locality in terms of developing resilience, good practice and building capacity.

I am currently working  as a consultant and advisor on developing positive specialist communities and building staff effectiveness.

Richard Boyle M.Ed.

Antonio Munoz-Bailey

Advisory Committee Member

Antonio has worked with and around looked after children and SEMH for 20+ years as a residential care worker and as a teacher within both primary and secondary SEN sectors and has worked in senior leadership roles for the past 10 years. His professional practice and commitment to vulnerable young people have led to him developing skills is specialist areas such as ASC and executive function disorders and associated SEND. In 2008 he completed a law degree to ensure a solid understanding of the Youth Justice structure to support young people with offending cycles. He is committed to supporting holistic and nurturing models of education and to creating and maintaining both local and national networks to help support schools and services who deal with SEMH issues come together and share good ideas, practical support and advice in order to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved for all young people.

Antonio took on the position of Regional Representative for the North West in July 2010 and was elected to Treasurer of the National Committee in 2012. He replaced Jon Lees as Chair of engage in their future in September 2015.

Lynn Richards

Advisory Committee Member

Lynn is a senior marketing professional with proven ability in revenue generating roles encompassing customer acquisition, retention, insight and customer communications. She has over 25+ years marketing experience working for several blue chip companies across Financial Services, Data Bureaus and Telecoms.

For the last 10 years Lynn’s focus has been in Customer Insights and with her vast experience of working with many types of data she has lead the delivery of insights that have directly influenced company strategy, marketing plans and product development.

Lynn has solid financial and business acumen with the ability to influence at board level and drive forward stakeholder management Many of Lynn’s roles have been to either set up new teams or deliver stability and transformation at a time of change. She has successfully transformed dysfunctional team into ‘Centres of Excellence’ which has led to efficiencies and productivity improvements along with client satisfaction.

Lynn joined engage in their future in 2008 as CEO to use her knowledge and skills to develop and drive forward the foundation plans for the future of the Association. Lynn returned in early 2013 as a Co-opted member to support the committee in continuing this development.

Bernard Allen

Advisory Committee Member

Bernard talks and writes for a living. He led a series of successful schools over a period of twenty years before becoming a full time writer, consultant and expert witness. He writes books and provides training courses on the psychology of behaviour. He works across the UK and abroad, advising courts, insurers and governments on liability issues relating to behaviour. He is on the register of expert witnesses and a member of the society of expert witnesses.

He describes himself as a very curious person and few disagree.

John d’Abbro

Advisory Committee Member

John is Head of the New Rush Hall Group, an organisation that works with children experiencing social emotional and/or mental health difficulties (SEMH). The Group consists of an all-age day special school, Pupil Referral Units, an adolescent psychiatric unit, an Outreach Team and The Piccolo an Early Years provision. The Group has a national reputation for the quality of the work it does. The school was judged outstanding for the third successive Ofsted inspection in November 16.

John has been awarded an OBE and Honorary Doctorate for services to Special Education, is a National Leader in Education and an Apple Distinguished Educator. John has given evidence on several occasions to the House of Commons Education select committee and has been a member of several DfE working parties. Most recently he was a member of the DfE Independent review of behaviour in schools.

In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance John cooks, makes things and enjoys mountain climbing.

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