Planning Group

Barry Sullivan

Barry has been an Educational Psychologist for over ten years and had the privilege of working with numerous staff from a large number of different types of educational settings and families. During this time he worked closely with the Child Development Centre in developing and delivering training on ADHD to primary schools. The part of that that he is most proud of was an ‘empathy session’ which included parents with lived experiences sharing the difficulties and successes that they had had with school staff. Barry’s whole professional purpose is to help improve outcomes for children and young people and he is passionate about ensuring some of the our most misunderstood children get the support and attention they need.

Ali Hirst

Ali has been working in education for 30 years as a teacher, head teacher and SENDco. During her first teaching job, which was in an inner-city primary school in Gloucester, she became interested in inclusion and the challenges a mainstream school setting presents for children with complex additional needs and this early experience has shaped her teaching career.

In her current role of SENDco in a large primary school in Exeter Ali supports parents, their children, teachers and work with other professionals to find ways to best meet the needs of our children. This work can feel like we are battling to fit a square peg in to a round hole.

In her experience there is less understanding of ADHD to say other conditions such as autism. Teachers, support staff and the wider school community is often at a loss as to how best support the behaviour of these children and lack strategies to do this well. Therefore, she is very keen to be involved in the ‘tools for schools’ project.


Lynne is a parent to a child with additional needs. It’s been an uphill battle to get her son referred and subsequently diagnosed at 8 ½ years old. She has listened to people in various settings over the years give a rather outdated and inaccurate portrayal of ADHD. She is interested in being involved in this project as she feels there needs to be more awareness in schools to assist kids with ADHD and those suspected to have it in the classroom and support the teacher on how to do this.

Liz Hampton

Liz is a senior educational psychologist and an academic tutor at the University of Exeter. As a psychologist she is interested in all work relating to schools, parents and children aged 0 – 25, however much of her current work and interests relate to understanding the causes and support systems for children with behavioural difficulties and working with children with complex needs. She is keen to help to gather a better understanding of how adults can support children with ADHD type difficulties through a biopsychosocial perspective.