Teresa has over 40 years of experience in education including over 30 years as an Educational Psychologist with 4 LEAs. In the 1990s she was the Senior Project Consultant to the SENJIT Parent Partnership Consortium based at the Institute for Education in London, working closely with the Council for Disabled Children. In this role she advised 10 Local Authorities on development of their work with parents of children with special educational needs. She has taught in Special schools, mainstream primary schools (one with a Hearing Impaired unit) and a Regional Assessment Centre and Secure Unit for delinquent adolescent boys.


Teresa has an MSc in Developmental and Educational Psychology, a post-Graduate Certificate of Education, a Bsc Hons in Psychology from Bristol University and has contributed to a number of national conferences and publications. She has supported development of advocacy schemes for parents e.g. Special needs Advocacy project SNAP in Wales, and Action ’81 (which became Network ’81), and initiated the project with local schools that resulted in Learners Community Library.


Teresa has family experience of severe hearing impairment, specific learning difficulties and medical needs. She is now retired and volunteers at LCL on Tue and Wed, in fundraising and helping run LCL as a director.


Sue has over 35 years of experience in the education sector. She has a Certificate of Education with which she qualified as a teacher in 1975, and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Special Education: Autism (Children) at Masters Level from Birmingham University completed in November 2006.

Sue has spent most of her teaching career in the Primary Sector. From 1975 to 1984 she worked as a mainscale teacher in three different Junior Schools. In January 1985 she was appointed as Deputy Head Teacher at a Primary School in Essex, and from 1989 until 1995 held the post of Head Teacher in two different Primary Schools.

Following a serious road traffic accident Sue retired from her Headship as a result of ill-health and took up the post of Learning Support Assistant for three years. She became a Visiting Teacher for Autism with the Special Advisory Service in 2005, and was promoted to the post of Advisory Teacher within the same service in January 2009.


After Sue retired, she did not want to sever her ties with education and took up the position as Governor in a local junior school. She currently goes into the school regularly on Monday afternoons to run a lunchtime Book Club for interested Year 5 and 6 children and a Guided Reading session for a small group of Year 5 children. She volunteers at the Learners Community Library on Wednesday afternoon once a month whenever other commitments allow her to do so and helps in fundraising and networking.


Jonnie has over 40 years’ experience in education and for 13 years was employed as the Hertfordshire Advisory Teacher for Specific Learning Difficulties. In this role she provided advice for schools and the local authority as well as providing training for SENDCOs, teachers and teaching assistants in secondary schools.

Jonnie studied at Homerton College, Cambridge and began teaching Science in mainstream secondary schools. In 1993 she taught in the Barnwell SPLD Base in Stevenage where she became joint base leader. The Barnwell SPLD Base was one of only 2 facilities in Hertfordshire to provide teaching for secondary students with the most severe and complex dyslexia and provide training and support for Hertfordshire secondary schools.

Additional qualifications include an Advanced Post-Graduate Diploma (SEN); RSA Diploma SPLD; Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (CCET); Certificate of Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A).

Since her retirement in 2014 Jonnie has continued to work with Hertfordshire local authority to arrange funded accredited SPLD training for Hertfordshire teachers. She also continues to assess students for GCSE/GCE access arrangements.

Jonnie is a volunteer on Wednesday afternoons.


Sue has been a primary school teacher for 39 years. She has taught children from 5-11 including many with special needs in five different schools and two different education authorities in the local area and is retiring in the summer. She loves teaching particularly, English, Drama and Design and Technology. She believes that children learn best through fun and purposeful activities.

Sue has 2 grown up sons and lives in Bishops Stortford. 

Sue volunteers at LCL on tuesday evenings and wednesday afternoons and helps  in the fund raising aspects. Her family experience of Dementia is also now helpful at the Dementia Drop Ins


Emma is an experienced administrator with a BA honours degree in Business Economics. She has worked across a range of industries including food manufacturing, internet research, business coaching and crowdfunding and currently works with small businesses and entrepreneurs as a Virtual Assistant.

Emma has recently joined the team of volunteers advising on development of our administrative systems, having been a parent member before this. She is currently a member of the fundraising team at her children’s school and has voluntary experience as a classroom helper at various schools her four children have attended over the last 20 years.


My name is Gayl Staines and I have lived in Bishops Stortford for 21 years. I am married with 2 grown up children.  I currently work for Hertfordshire County Council as  deputy manager for Bishops House and Buntingford Day Services.  I have had a number of roles prior to this with HCC including SEN officer, deputy manager with the Specialist Childrens Team & Assistant Manager for East Herts Contact Service.  I have also spent 6.5 years working for the Alzheimer's Society initially as a Services Manager and then Operations Manager for Hertfordshire.

Julie up until a recent change in family commitments was one of our directors. She has a BA (Hons) in Business Administration and has worked for Essex Police, Essex County Council (Student Awards and Grants ), and in telephone banking.

Julie is a mum of 2 children, (one primary, one secondary age), who both have special needs. Her son is at special school and has severe learning difficulties and is severely autistic. Her daughter is at mainstream secondary school-she has high functioning autism. Both have various medical needs.

Julie has attended numerous appointments with a wide range of professionals in health and education and social service departments. She has also participated in many courses and support groups for parents of children with special educational needs and autism. She is happy to speak to other parents about her experiences with her familys’ journey with autism and the range of literature and advice she has tried out.

Julie volunteers at  LCL and has helped with administration, promoting the LCL at the Bishops Stortford Carnival, fund raising and delivering leaflets/posters. Julie also regularly donates useful tried and tested resources to LCL that she has used with her children.



Angie is the highly efficient main organiser of our resources. She ensures that these fit in to our limited space, and that they are clean and safe and mends things when needed. 


Angie is Mum to two boys who are both at University. She worked as an administrator in a local secondary school. She has been a volunteer at LCL since 2013 on Wednesday afternoons and on many other days.

Gill has been a teacher for 39 years and has recently retired. She has taught children and adults with learning difficulties in both special schools and mainstream settings across several different authorities, including a London borough in an area of deprivation.

Gill was the Base Leader at a Hertfordshire Primary Specific Learning Difficulties Base for 20 years. This role involved advising and supporting local primary schools as well as running training for Hertfordshire local authority.

Additional qualifications include RSA Diploma in teaching pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD); Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in SEN (Cam).

Since retiring Gill continues to keep up to date with current practice by volunteering in a primary school and also a special needs nursery.




Lesley is the SEN TA in a local primary school. She has attended various courses from her local SALT and is 'A Lets Talk' tutor for Elklan. She has a Training  Diploma in special educational needs.


Lesley has close family experience of specific learning difficulties, dyspraxia, aspergers, and dyslexia,and is happy to share her experiences both as a parent and TA.


Lesley helps regularly on Wed in the latter half of the session. Besides being responsible for many of our displays she also makes useful equipment for LCL that she finds works in the classroom and is very practical in working out strategies to use.


Tara worked as a civil servant for 20 years at the Dept for Work and Pensions and has worked in CAMHS (Child And Adolescence Mental Health Service). She is now working part time as a administrator for the Learning Disability Service East Herts Partnership Foundation Trust. She is also a mother of 2 children who both attend local secondary schools.


Tara is our treasurer and assists with the receptionist role if needed.


Georgette is a qualified teaching assistant and first aider with experience of working in multiple schools across the county with a career spanning the last 14 years.

Georgette volunteers at LCL on Wednesday afternoon.


Alex is a Director of the LCL. She is a mum to a 15 year old sonand 12 year old daughter, with undergraduate and masters degrees in Psychologyfrom Cambridge and the Institute of Education respectively. Alex hasworked in charities and schools for more than 20 years, and particularlyenjoyed her job as student support manager in an inner London secondaryschool. She works as an academic learning co-ordinator in a sixth form inEnfield where she oversees, monitors, analyses and strategicallyplans the development of academic skills including implementing interventionstrategies, monitoring progress and mentoring, to allow post 16 students toachieve their full potential. 


Mary worked for nearly 30 years in a Hertfordshire primary school as Finance Secretary and recently volunteered to help with admin tasks at LCL as well as assisting in fundraising. She is now our paid receptionist on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.



John attended Harlow College before studying Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. Since a young age he has always enjoyed using computers for recreational and professional uses which caused him to pursue a career in the industry.

John began volunteering at Learner Community Library because it was a local voluntary organisation  which worked with schools to assist the children. Given that his mother worked in a local primary school he was aware of the need for a charitable work  like Learners Community Library to prevent and assist the childrens needs! He has developed the LCL website, maintains the laptops, and helps with ICT queries. 

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Kitwood Unit, Herts & Essex Hospital, Bishop's Stortford, Herts, CM235JH