Compassion, Courage, Creativity
Providing our young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult life they deserve.

Support for Young People

Claire from The SEN Expert


Are you struggling with school? Finding social situations difficult to navigate? Need help finding what support you are entitled to as a young person with special educational needs? Mentoring with The SEN Expert offers you a bespoke mentoring support programme. Following an initial planning meeting we will design a mentoring package for you that fits your needs, and can take place in-person or remotely. During your weekly mentoring sessions The SEN Expert will work with you for up to 1 hour a week to provide you with the support you need. Together, you will create a plan-of-action for the following week that will support you in achieving your goals.

Diagnosis Support

Being diagnosed with special educational needs can be a challenge. However, that does not have to be the case. A diagnosis, if properly understood by all involved, can open many doors and be a life changing and positive experience. The SEN Expert will provide you and anyone else you nominate with a Diagnosis Support Session – a how-to-guide on how to lead a successful and happy life with your new diagnosis. You will be provided with a range of resources to take away and follow-up support sessions upon request.

Revision & Exam Support

Preparing for exams is challenging, especially when you have a learning difference that means you remember things differently. The SEN Expert will work with you to design ways of revising and retaining information that is linked to your needs – so that you can go into your exams happy and confident. We also offer a Exams Concession Health Check. The Health Check will ensure that you are receiving the exam concessions you deserve and that your school or college is putting everything in place to ensure you are well supported during your examinations.

Dyslexia Screening

Are you worried you may have dyslexia? Are you struggling with literacy at school? The SEN Expert offers Dyslexia Screening, providing you with a quick and simple summary of your learning needs. The screening can also be used to support your teachers, helping them to understand your areas of need, so they can create suitable teaching strategies. Dyslexia Screening is charged on a case-by-case-basis.

Claire from The SEN Expert
About The Founder

Claire Walley is a working mother who understands the challenges parents face when trying to ensure their children are happy and successful.

Claire and The SEN Expert team aim to provide young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult life they deserve.

We look forward to working with you!

Claire from The SEN Expert

Support for Parents

Claire from The SEN Expert

EHCP Services

An Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs; explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. EHC plans are for children and young people whose special educational needs require more help than would normally be provided in a mainstream education setting (e.g college, school, nursery). Although the plan can include health or social-care needs, your child will not get a plan if their needs do not affect their education. An EHC plan can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0 and 25 years. EHC plans are drawn up by the Local Authority after an EHC needs assessment. You, your child’s educator or your child (if over 16) can ask your Local Authority to carry out an assessment.

EHCP Application Support

We provide support for parents, young people and schools to complete the application process for EHCPs. The SEN Expert has a 100% success rate with EHCP applications and has increased funding in many applications, in some instances by as much as £25,000. A successful EHCP application not only means funding, it can also mean securing the school of choice for your child. EHCP Application Support will ensure this process is hassle-free and your child secures the outcome they deserve. This package will include a telephone conversation or meeting with parents to discuss the EHCP. The SEN Expert also offers support with EHCP meetings in schools at an additional cost.

EHCP Health Check

A thorough check of your child's EHCP to ensure that all the strengths and difficulties described in the EHCP assessment and, where applicable, annual reviews of the EHC Plan are included in the EHCP, with appropriate outcomes and specific provision relating to each identified area of need included. This package will include a telephone conversation or meeting with parents to discuss the EHCP and parents' views, and a written report following the check identifying any areas of concern.

EHCP Tribunal Support

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where your child’s needs are not being met, either by them not being accepted for EHCP assessment or because their school or college is not putting their EHCP in place properly. We offer support with this through advocacy, meeting support and document health checks. The SEN Expert can provide you with the specialist knowledge you need to ensure your child’s EHCP is put in place correctly and provides them with the outcomes they deserve. EHCP Tribunal Support is charged on a case-by-case basis.

Advocacy Services

Attending meetings with professionals can be daunting at times, especially if you are new to the SEN experience. The SEN Expert offers advocacy services to ensure your voice is heard with regard to securing the best support possible for your child. Advocacy services come in many forms. We offer in person support in meetings, planning sessions prior to meetings, telephone support and email support. We will do whatever it takes to ensure you feel empowered when it comes to your child’s special educational needs. Advocacy Services are charged on a case-by-case basis.

School Search

We can conduct a School Search in your chosen geographical area. We will look at the schools from a policy level, making sure they are compliant. We contact the schools and discuss your child’s profile to see if it is a good fit. We then assist you in booking school tours, attend the tours and offer a critical eye on the schools in question. We then provide you with support with the application process and ensure we secure a good place for your child and attend any meetings that are needed. We will attend up to 4 school tours. School Search is charged on a case-by-case basis.

Support for Schools

Claire from The SEN Expert


It is good practice to take a moment to step back and really consider if the SEN provision at your school is fit for purpose. The SEN needs of your school will change year-on-year, and so the provisions provided should change with it. The SEN Expert provides a specifically designed auditing tool that gives schools a deep dive into their current provisions and provides a series of straight-forward actions to follow, securing impact, fast. The SEN Expert will visit your school to complete the audit and provide you with a comprehensive report that is ideal for use with School Improvement Plans, Governors' Meetings and school improvement in general. Auditing is charged on a case-by-case basis.

SENCo Coaching

Being a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is a challenging and often isolating role. SENCos are often the only staff member with their skill-set in a school and often do not have other professionals in the same field to collaborate with. Also, the nature of SEN work can be highly emotive and SENCos need to be supported emotionally, as well as practically with the demands of their jobs. The SEN Expert provides a coaching service for SENCos. This includes 1:1 coaching sessions in-school or remotely, support via phone or email and support with networking with other SENCos and outside agencies. Coaching is great for people new to the role or for staff members who may have trained some years ago and need a refresh. SENCo Coaching is charged on a case-by-case basis.

SEN Budget Reviews

The SEN budget system in schools and Local Authorities can be complex. The SEN Expert provides schools with a review of their SEN budget to ensure that schools are receiving the funds they are entitled to and using them in a cost effective and impactful way. The SEN Expert will have those tricky conversations with Local Authorities so you don't have to, and with extensive experience working with over 30 different Local Authorities, Charities and outside agencies, The SEN Expert can also signpost schools to additional funding that could really help your students. SEN Budget Reviews are charged on a case-by-case basis.

Meeting Support

The SEN Expert can be hired to provide planning support and attend SEN meetings in school if required. Meeting Support is charged on a case-by-case basis.

About Us

The SEN Expert was set up by Claire Walley in 2020 following a successful career spanning 12 years in school improvement, special educational needs, safeguarding, and the arts.

Claire has worked as a Deputy Headteacher, Assistant Headteacher, Consultant and SENCo in both state and private schools in inner-city London, the South-West, the Midlands and the USA. Claire has a First-Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, hence her creative approach to SEN.

She has also secured a PGCE in Art and Design, the NPQSL (National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership) and the Inclusive Leadership Award.

Claire secured Gold Flagship status from the Inclusion Quality Mark at her last school.

Claire was awarded NASENCo Level 7 (The National Award for SEN Co-ordination) from Exeter University.

Claire is a Level 3 Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA).

Throughout her career, Claire has ensured good outcomes for the young people she has worked with – be that a set of good exam grades, a placement in a specialist setting, or getting a part-time job.

Meet The Team


I’ve always had a keen interest in helping children and young people achieve their aspirations and this interest has drove my career choices. I have 20 years’ experience of working as a classroom teacher in secondary schools, working with children and young people with SEN. I am a primary school governor with special interest in SEN and pupil premium. After leaving teaching, I worked as a SEN Caseworker for a local authority and SEN project worker for a national charity. I’m passionate about understanding how to help children to thrive in education and supporting parents to navigate the world of SEN. I’ve recently completed the Level 1 & 2 IPSEA SEND Law course to help me to develop my knowledge of the law relating to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Working as a member of the SEN Expert team has allowed me to apply my knowledge of SEN to help families to ask for and secure the outcomes they want to achieve. It’s a great place to work!

Alison's Top Tips for Parents

Keep a diary where you can record when you receive reports, assessments and information about your child. Trust your instincts and ask for help.

Alison's Top Tips for Professionals

Try to capture the voice of the child.



I’ve worked as a SENCO for over seven years in busy inner city secondary schools. I started as a science teacher but quickly realised my passion was supporting those students in my classes with SEN. I love thinking outside the box to help students with additional needs to access learning in a fun and supportive way, whilst also helping young people to flourish and develop their own independent learning skills. I now work as a SENCO in a sixth form college, where I am able to see young people take the next big step in their lives and prepare for adulthood. With the right support, all young people will flourish.

Becky's Top Tips for Parents

If they will let you, try to see new schools in action. Open days are important but there is nothing like seeing a ‘normal’ school day and seeing how pupils interact with each other and with the staff.

Becky's Top Tips for Professionals

Remember that behind the reports is a unique young person! Make sure you're listening to them too, and putting them at the centre of every decision you make.



As an experienced school leader, Claire knows how to help schools secure solid outcomes for their SEN students. Claire is a working mother, and understands the challenges parents face trying to ensure their children are happy and successful. Claire aims to provide young people with a creative route to the personal and professional adult lives they deserve.

Claire's Top Tips for Parents

Try to build strong channels of communication between home, school, and the child or young person. Working collaboratively will allow for a well–rounded approach to your child’s case. You and your child need a team to support their progress — you should never feel alone in this.

Claire's Top Tips for Professionals

Behaviour is a communication of need. Sounds simple, but children and young people may often be presenting in a certain manner in order to communicate something that cannot be said. Allow time, courtesy, and care when it comes to communication.



I started my career teaching mainstream primary in London, which gave me the advantage of seeing the specific boundaries for children with special needs in our current education system. From there, I joined another mainstream London primary school to create and run a specialist provision for children with Autism. During this time, I also had many roles in the school including Assistant SENCO, PSHE leader and SEN Lead Teacher, where I worked with primary school children with a range of needs and supported families. I am now supporting children and families at home through tutoring and specialist advice. I am passionate about providing children with SEN with the best education possible. The SEN Expert team provides families with an exceptional range and quality of services, which I’m proud to contribute to. I’m also able to reach more families and help to provide them with the help they need and deserve.

Genevieve's Top Tips for Parents

Genevieve's Top Tips for Professionals



A decade and a half of experience working in schools as a teacher and SENCO, mainly within the London and surrounding area. I have taught in a variety of settings including schools with specialist SEN provision for communication and interaction needs. I was awarded The National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination in September 2014 from The Institute of Education. My passion for SEN comes from personal family experience and thus the drive to ensure that all young people receive an education which enables them to reach their full potential. I wanted to utilise my own knowledge and experience alongside a team of experts, parents and young people that are driven by the same goal and shared passion; to ensure better outcomes for our young people.

Louise's Top Tips for Parents

Louise's Top Tips for Professionals



CEO of Words First Ltd

Her workshop was outstanding - she managed to unpack some complex topics into manageable chunks while keeping us all engaged and interested.


Mum, London

Claire has been working with my daughter for six months and we have seen a huge improvement in her confidence and her school work as a result. Claire is so patient and kind and my daughter absolutely loves her.


Mum, London

Claire […] has been extremely flexible and accommodating throughout our EHCP journey, no question is too small and her speedy responses are very reassuring. Every SEN parent needs a SEN Expert like Claire.


Mum, London

I highly recommend Claire from The SEN Expert. I was struggling with my son's EHCP and needed someone to step in and take the reins […] I feel a huge weight has been lifted and I'm really thankful to have found her!


Teacher, London

Claire’s knowledge of the diversity and complexity of children's needs is outstanding and the mechanisms and practices she has at her disposal means she is a trusted pair of hands when it comes to everything SEND.


Mum, Devon

We were so lucky to have Claire. I don't think anyone could have helped us more than she did.


Vice Principal, Brixton

The quality of Claire’s planning and resources is second to none. She produced a new and detailed set of policies around SEND including a comprehensive handbook for all staff to use.


Mum, London

[...] a refreshingly frank, honest and no nonsense approach which was paramount in finally securing a very well thought out and structured EHCP for my son.


Principal, DLD College, London

I was impressed with her extensive knowledge and pragmatic approach [...] she instilled confidence in both the students and teachers.


What is Echolalia?

Genevieve McNamara
March 25, 2024

Echolalia is the repetition of words, phrases, or sentences. Echolalia may be immediate, where the person repeats what they have just heard, or delayed, where they repeat phrases or sentences they have heard in the past. Learn more about how you can support a person who uses Echolalia. 

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Claire from The SEN Expert
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The SEN Expert is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13523478.