Frances is highly experienced in SEND and a champion of children/ young people with SEND. She is also neurodivergent. For the last 3 ½ years she has been a headteacher of a Secondary Special School (11-19) in Kent for learners with Autism and associated difficulties.

Frances spent 7 years as a teacher, SENCO and assessment centre lead in alternative provision (PRU). Over the last 20 years, she has worked in a variety of roles across primary, secondary and special/AP from Assistant Headteacher, SENCo and Art/DT Teacher to a local authority advisory teacher: this role involved advising schools, across all phases, on effective support for children with AEN/SEN type difficulties and who had not necessarily been diagnosed. She then took responsibility for Speech and Language across 56 schools liaising with speech and language therapists across the borough.

Frances started her career in Education as a mainstream Art & Design teacher up to GCSE level. She has always taught Art, even in senior leadership positions. She is a member of the NSEAD (The National Society for Education in Art & Design) ARAEA (Anti-Racist Art Educator Action) network and she is a member of council for NSEAD.

Frances is also a founder of the BAMEed SEND network as part of BAMEed Network. This is a diverse network for educators that aims to ensure diversity and address racial inequities in education.

In the past year, Frances has been offered several opportunities outside of school to speak at national level at conferences, podcasts and through written articles.

“I am proud that I have been able to use my voice to campaign around intersectionality, Art, SEND and equality on a wider scale.”

Frances Akinde