Marie Smith BSc Hons, PGCE, PG Cert Autism (children)
Marie Smith has been a qualified teacher for 16 years working in both Early Years and Primary education with a focus on special educational needs SEND, disabilities and a specialism in autism and associated conditions. Marie completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Social Studies at Aston University and then completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Primary) at Wolverhampton University.
Marie worked as a class teacher and SENCO in two Walsall schools, working with specialist groups of vulnerable children before joining Walsall’s Early Years SEN Team as teacher with responsibility for autism, Language for Learning Groups lead, teacher for travelling children and represented the team at Walsall’s Child Development Centre’s Initial Assessment panel. This involved undertaking home visits with other professionals, completing developmental assessments in the home and arranging packages of support including home teaching, specialist groups, multi agency assessment and referrals to other services.
Marie was a member of Walsall’s multi agency assessment team for autism, Vice Chair of Walsall’s Autism Working group and part of Walsall’s Autism Project, a pioneering team of multi-agency professionals who delivered training and support to schools and settings across the borough.
Marie’s passion for autism led her to enrol on a Post graduate course in autism at Birmingham University completing her PG Cert in autism (children). From here Marie went on to spend 3 years developing and leading Dudley Local Authority’s first primary autism base. This involved overseeing renovations to an unused set of mobiles, resourcing and staffing and then leading the provision. In this time Marie designed and commissioned an autism friendly outdoor area for the base including Orchard and allotment.
Marie then went onto become an Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion and Child Protection (DSL) for a primary school in Birmingham LA.
She now works as an independent SEND consultant delivering high quality, bespoke training and packages of support within early years settings, schools and groups within the community with an aim to develop the capacity of all staff to provide the best support for children with additional needs in their setting.
Marie is passionate about all aspects of special educational needs and disability. She believes that all children should be offered the highest quality care and education allowing them to achieve to the best of their ability and that we should celebrate the ‘uniqueness’ of every child.