DisabilityEd UK Development Group

We are a small team of disabled educators from across the UK. Our disabilities are diverse, but we share a passion for our collective community and for raising the profile of the rights of disabled teachers across the UK.

Details of how you can join us are at the bottom of the page.

Elizabeth Wright

DisabilityEd UK Ambassador

Elizabeth Wright FRSA is an editor, consultant, speaker, and activist. She brings forth all of her life experience to challenge people around disability, diversity, and inclusion. 

Born with limb difference, Elizabeth was raised by parents who taught her how to fight for equality and opportunity. They also taught her to work hard for her dreams. Elizabeth is a 3x Paralympic Medalist. She holds degrees in Fine Art and Character Education. And she is an international speaker, consultant and coach. Elizabeth is also editor of Disability Review Magazine and Conscious Being – a publication for disabled women.

Ruth Golding

Founder of DisabilityEd UK

Ruth is Head of School in Plymouth, England. She is an experienced senior leader, trainer and coach and the founder of @DisabilityEdUK. In addition to this, Ruth is a National Leader for WomenEdEngland and has written a chapter on leading with a disability for the forthcoming book ‘Being 10% Braver’. Ruth has written a number of articles on disability for various education and disability magazines. She has recently become Vice Chair of Governors in a local secondary school and she hopes through DisabilityEdUK we will attract more disabled people to governing bodies and Trust Boards.

Ruth was born with congenital lymphoedema in three limbs and has experienced first hand the challenges faced by disabled people for acceptance, access and adjustment. She believes that education should fully represent society and that society is the disabling factor in many peoples lives.

Ruth passionately believes that as disability intersects all other characteristics and all groups have to work together to make changes in society. These changes come from education, inclusion and training. 

Twitter @LearnerLedLdr

Laura McConnell

Development Group- Scotland

Laura is a mainstream primary school teacher, speaker and writer who lives in Edinburgh. She is Autistic, Dyslexic, has ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Hypermobility, PTSD and some additional diagnoses of disorders that are commonly linked to Autism and ADHD. She is proudly Neurodivergent.

During lockdown 2020, Laura founded the Autistic Teacher’s Support Group. In the past she has participated in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for ADHD at Westminster and spoken about her experiences of negotiating the health care system at the Scottish Parliament. Recently, Laura became a user representative for NDTi evaluating The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Autism and Learning Disabilities that is due to be rolled out across NHS England. In January 2018, Laura founded the Edinburgh ACEs Hub which recently changed its name to Edinburgh- Trauma Informed.

Laura passionately believes that neurodivergent children and young people need neurodivergent role models in school, and that more neurodivergent teachers should be recruited to schools, while those already teaching should be supported to remain in the profession. For details on how to join the Autistic teacher’s support group, please use the contact details below.

Vivienne Porritt

Development Group

Vivienne Porritt is a leadership consultant working with school leaders on impact, vision, strategy, professional learning and development, and women’s leadership.  She is also Vice President of the Chartered College of Teaching in England. Formerly, she was a secondary headteacher, Director for School Partnerships at UCL Institute of Education and a Chair of Governors in London. Vivienne is also a co-founder and, joyously, a Strategic Leader of WomenEd, a global movement that connects, supports and empowers women leaders in education.

She is the co-editor, with Peter Earley, of Effective Practices in CPD, Lessons for School (2009).

Vivienne is also co-editor, with Keziah Featherstone, of 10%braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education (2019) Sage Education. She is the co-editor of WomenEd’s second book Being 10% braver, forthcoming December 2020, Corwin.

Shabnam Anam

Development Group

Shabnam is passionate about authenticity, equality and empowerment. She has been in Primary Education for over 20 years, serving diverse communities as a Class Teacher, SENDCo, Head Teacher, Trustee and now as a Lecturer for Primary Teacher Education at Leeds Beckett University.

A values-driven practitioner, she loves working with educators and families to help them understand and challenge barriers from an informed and posthuman position. She is particularly interested in how educational settings address neuro diversity in their staff and students in order to be trauma informed across all domains of the organisation and how South East Asian communities can be better informed to identify and support neuro diverse children therewithin.

She is part of the BAMEEdNW network and executive member of BOLO, a charity for women in the UK and Bangladesh.

Shabnam identifies as neuro diverse and queer and is the proud mama of four fine neuro diverse children.

Want to work with us?