Meet the Team
Director/lead teacher – Narinda Algar LLB(Hons) PGCE, ATS (SpLD) Dyslexia. (ATS No: 16/ATS11040) British Dyslexia Association November 2016
Narinda spent 2 years studying at the Institute of Education and was awarded Approved Teacher Status (ATS) of the British Dyslexia Association (BDA). She has completed a Level 5 BDA accredited course and is officially recognised as competent to teach those with Specific Learning Difficulties Dyslexia.
Narinda is a trained teacher, gaining a 1st level at PGCE in English & Drama from the Institute of Education, and has been working within education for the past 20 years. She has spent years dedicating herself to private tuition and learning about dyslexia/related issues. Narinda has a plethora of knowledge regarding both teaching & learning for children with dyslexia/dyscalculia, and dealing with professionals within the education system. She also endeavours to provide a supportive role for parents/carers, as, having gone through the journey herself, she has empathy and understanding for the challenges they face. Narinda has been tutoring SpLD Dyslexia for 10 years and pioneered the "the FSD way".
Business Consultancy– Matt Algar (BA Hons in
Psycho-Social Studies, Prince 2 Practitioner)
After working as Kent County Council’s Business Transformation Programme Manager for the Kent Troubled Families Programme within Patrick Leeson’s Education and Young Peoples Services Directorate, Matt provides support to the team and parents and has a wealth of experience that he brings to the team. He is an experienced Project and Programme Manager, has worked for Connexions Kent as a Project Manager helping young people back into education, employment or training and has worked for over 10 years’ as a professional trainer.
Teacher – Karen Simmons B.Ed. (Hons)
Karen has been with us since August 2013.
She is a fully trained and experienced teacher in both state & independent schools. She has also home tutored/flexi-schooled her own 4 children (who are successful grown-up’s now) and embraces this approach. Karen is passionate about teaching children ‘learning for life’, and is a creative maths specialist.
Teacher - Sarah Carey
Sarah has had an incredible amount of experience with dyslexia, SEN provision, the rights of parents as advocates for their children and in education in general. She has a dyslexic brain type herself and can, therefore, bring a deep understanding to her role as a trainee teacher/support worker. She is a mother of three children, all with variant levels of dyslexia, one of whom attended FSD. In the education sector, Sarah has more than twenty years’ experience across Early Years Education & has worked as a Development Office for a Local Education Authority, where she identified and developed training needs for those working with children from birth to Foundation Stage. Drawing on her 16 years’ experience as a Montessori practitioner, Sarah is acutely aware of how a positive education will have a huge impact on a child’s development and future learning.
Teacher - Anna Nuttall OCN Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties
Anna has always had a passion for people and cultures and in turn helping individuals to communicate with one another. This love lead her into teaching from the age of 19 years old, teaching children and adults in different countries; her speciality is English language. For 4 years, Anna was involved in delivering online work, teaching numerous students from South East Asia. She has recently completed her Level 5 BDA accredited course and is officially recognised as competent to teach Specific Learning Difficulties Dyslexia. Anna is proud to be part of the Flexi-SchoolDyslexia team and working with our amazing children, helping them fill in the gaps, teaching them fun and engaging methods in ways that they absorb best.
Teacher - Heather Barrow
Heather joins the FSD Team with a wealth of experience. She trained in Theatre Costume Production and has had a life- long love of creativity, which she brings to her teaching. After working in professional theatres, she pursued her passion, working with children in Summer Camps in America, working with children aged 7-18 years. Heather then went on to work for big companies in London, including the Royal Institution of Great Britain, gaining experience in organisational roles. Heather has always had a keen interest in the different way people learn, and has experienced the pain and difficulties caused by neurodiversity both within her own family and through the learning journey of Lucia Algar, the founder of FSD’s daughter, whom she watched progress through the creation of Flexi-School Dyslexia. Now with two children of her own, Heather has decided to pursue her passion for children’s learning and is very keen to bring her creativity, humour and sensitivity to the classroom.
Teacher - Bex Appleton
Bex is an extremely creative person who has a dyslexic brain type and will be able to use her own experiences and knowledge to help build pupil’s self-esteem and belief that they too, can go far. Bex has done extremely well in her education and career, despite finding it difficult at times. She attended college and then university to acquire a BTEC in art and design and an HND in graphic design and went on to work in publishing, working to tight deadlines on glossy lifestyle magazine’s as Head of Production for over 20 years. Bex's son also has dyslexia and attends FSD. She has been so overwhelmed by his experience so far, that when the opportunity arose, she decided to hand in her notice in order to take on the role at FSD to support, help and encourage others.
Teacher - Hazel Blackman - BEd (Hons), OCR level 5 Diploma in Teaching Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties
Hazel has extensive experience working in the area of Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) teaching; investing a great deal of her own time and finances to complete a plethora of professional development courses in the field; specifically in dyspraxia(DCD)/handwriting, precision teaching & multisensory . Hazel has worked within mainstream schools since 1992, firstly as a class teacher and then as a supply teacher as her own family grew up. More recently she has followed her passion in teaching pupils with SpLDs as an Inclusion teacher and tutor at Westborough Primary School, which she still undertakes on a part-time basis, alongside her position at FSD. Hazel’s interest for specific learning difficulties began when she experienced dyslexic tendencies within her own family; these personal experiences have resulted in a strong empathy for pupils and their families. Patience, and the time to really understand a child’s learning style is of paramount importance to Hazel when she is teaching. To be able to watch a child grow in confidence and self-esteem, by supporting and encouraging a positive mind-set is the absolute high-light of her job. Having joined FSD in September 2021, she now loves the opportunity of team teaching effectively, in a positive, nurturing environment.
Teacher - Carol Franklin - BA(Hons) Childhood Studies, HLTA
With over 13 years experience in mainstream education, Carol has worked with many children who have/will not reach their full potential because they are unable to access the demands and pace of the curriculum. She has witnessed these children being unfairly labelled as low achievers or worse, as lazy, and these are the children she is drawn to because she believes it is her duty as an educator to provide all pupils with opportunities to learn and achieve the best they can. Carol took it upon herself to enrol on a self-funded training programme to gain a Professional Certificate in Structured Teaching Intervention for Dyslexia and Literacy (Level 7) and is now using these techniques, together with her experience, to work with the children she feels so passionately about at FSD. Carol is also a Certified Irlen Screener and has extensive knowledge about the effects and solutions available for visual stress. She thoroughly enjoys the teaching and learning at FSD and specialises in our Maths programme.
Teacher - Lara Walford - Bsc (hons) Psychology, PGCE, DClinPsych
Lara is a qualified primary school teacher and has experience teaching across the primary school age range with a particular focus on KS2. Since qualifying, she has also worked in learning support with individuals and small groups providing literacy and maths interventions.
Lara previously worked for the NHS as a Clinical Psychologist providing psychological therapy to children across a number of settings where her work has involved interventions to help with adjustment, adherence, anxiety and self -esteem. She has extensive experience of liaison with schools especially
regarding transition back to the classroom following medical treatment and behaviour and learning recommendations. Lara has carried out doctoral research looking at how we can adapt therapy to developmental needs. She is passionate about adopting a respectful, collaborative approach to empower children and parents with their learning and finding strategies that work for them. Lara was a perfect choice for FSD and she is thoroughly enjoying working as part of the team.
Teacher - Sarah Ee. PfGCE (DTLLS), PGCE
Sarah comes from a background of art and design. She has previously run her own business as a fashion designer/maker in London, has over 10 years’ experience as a yoga instructor, and has worked in education for over 5 years teaching art and design. The links between creativity and neuro diversity are of particular interest to Sarah and she is an advocate for the benefits of creative expression and mindfulness, which informs her teaching practice. She aims to nurture the innate creativity of her young students at FSD, to foster self-confidence and a positive mindset towards learning and the gift of dyslexia. Sarah has recently completed her Level 3 Award in Supporting Learners with Dyslexia (CPD).
Pastoral Support - Hollie Capon
Hollie is a very experienced childcare specialist having worked with children for over 15 years in a range of age-groups. This experience has ensured she now has a high level of understanding regarding children's everyday needs and how to communicate effectively with them on a pastoral level. Hollie has gained Level 2 in Child Care and is a qualified paediatric first aider. She started her career as a Nursery Room Leader then moved into Nannying. When she had her own children, Hollie sought a position with hours that allowed her to be available as a mother to her lovely children....she also wanted to work in a fun environment with like-minded adults. This is when she found FSD! Hollie is an absolute gem, bringing fun, laughter, a safe pair of hands to run to and a caring pair of ears to offload to! The pupils and staff alike adore her.
Pastoral Support - Robert Darroch
Rob is a former Flexi-school student, who after personally seeing how much a difference Flexi-school had made to his early education wanted to come back to help give these opportunities to other students who are in a similar situation to him.
In the pastoral role he helps to give support to the students who he can personally empathize with and provide them with a role model to what dyslexia can allow them to become.
Rob has recently finished the IB diploma program with amazing results, with 36 out of 45 points, that he hopes to bring forth to showing how his dyslexia can push him forward.
Office Manager - Lucy Smith
Lucy joined the team in September 2017 after working 26 years for Kent Police as an Intelligence Analyst. Starting off her career as a PA, she went on to gain vast experience and knowledge of analytical processes and data analysis with the Police which gave her extraordinary organisational capabilities; along with her famously fast ‘tippy-tappy’ fingers on computer keyboards!
Whilst Narinda and Matt guide pupils and their families through their difficult learning journeys, Lucy provides a timely response as the first point of contact to all parents/carers (new and old), mainstream schools and outside agencies. She has attained considerable knowledge about dyslexia, co-occurring issues and the fights and struggles that can accompany them whilst navigating the education system and she is able to fully support any parental concerns in a sensitive and informative way; providing much-needed advice during difficult times.
Lucy is always there to lend an ear and provide a smile and she keeps us all on our toes, ensuring that we are all as efficient as she is!
Shobha Coutinho – MSc – Dyslexia (University Of Southampton);AMBDA (British Dyslexia Association) CCET (Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing) – Level A Practising Certificate Number 0507/20 issued by the Dyslexia Guild
We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with Shobha Coutinho, Director of Dyslexia Unlocked. Shobha has a wealth of experience within the field of Dyslexia and we have been working very closely over recent years. Shobha has agreed to provide her skills and expertise to our team supporting our quality assurance. We are also able to refer children directly to Shobha for an independent full diagnostic assessment.