Tom is usually to be found working as a teacher of Additional Support Needs (ASN) in a large secondary school in Aberdeenshire, Ellon Academy. He works with 2 or 3 small classes of learners with a range of additional needs like Down’s Syndrome and Autism. Alongside a team of other teachers, he designs and delivers courses to these learners, tailored to their needs. He also teaches some English for Speakers of Other Languages(ESOL) and he has been involved in coordinating the transition for learners with ASN from feeder primary schools, as well as setting up work experience and college placements for older pupils.
Tom has been interested in educational research for many years and both his MSc work on bilingual learners with ASN and his PhD on transitions and collaboration support for children and young people with ASN reflect this interest. Between February and July of this year, he is seconded to the TEAMS project. His main role is to set up knowledge exchange (KE) events with teacher colleagues, academics and others across Scotland. One of the focal points of the KE events will be to offer support to English as an Additional Language (EAL) support teams. These teams work with children from migrant backgrounds ‘on the ground’ and we hope that the wok of TEAMS will be beneficial and relevant to their professional practice in Scottish schools.