The targeted and specialist support (TaSS) team sit within the heart of BFET. Our mission is to find the difference that makes the difference. We are driven by our uncompromising belief in equality of opportunity. This is embodied in our purpose to provide a responsive, dynamic and flexible service. The function of the TaSS team is multidimensional meaning that work is varied and encompasses casework, training, systemic work and research. Our impact data from the last academic year were impressive and highlighted both the necessity of the TaSS team across BFET and the distinctive contribution made by our psychologists.
There are currently six members of the TaSS team: a head of service (principal child and educational psychologist), three child and educational psychologists, one speech and language therapist and one trainee child and educational psychologist.
Our team follow the ‘plan, do and review’ cycle of consultation. In terms of casework, we frequently carry out a variety of assessments (standardised, play-based, dynamic) and where necessary will offer on going therapeutic work. We also offer each of our schools ‘CEP drop ins’ on a frequent basis. This is primarily preventative work and offers school staff an opportunity to discuss a concern with a psychologist via a brief consultation.
We are strongly focused on preventative work and building capacity within schools. On-going systemic work relates to early intervention, behaviour, literacy, autism and dyslexia.
Dr Adam Rumble – Child and Educational Psychologist
Adam Rumble joined BFET as a Child and Educational Psychologist in September 2014, following the completion of
the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of Manchester. Adam is extremely positive, passionate and enthusiastic about using psychology to support children, young people and the adults around them. Adam strongly believes in working holistically and using an individualised approach with students to develop a shared understanding and to meet their needs in the most effective way. He also enjoys systemic work and building capacity of parents, carers and school staff who support children and young people on a daily basis.
Adam has worked in several special and mainstream schools, enjoying a variety of work with primary and secondary students as well as with young adults. He worked for several years as an Assistant Psychologist and Therapies Assistant in a residential school for children with severe and complex needs, particularly those with autism. Adam is especially passionate about helping children with autism or social communication difficulties and will continue to develop specialist knowledge in this field whilst developing the provision for autism within BFET.
Adam is also interested in the impact of working memory on learning and development and has recently conducted research into the implementation of whole-class working memory interventions. Adam’s interests also include attachment, emotional wellbeing and eliciting the voice of the child or young person.
Dr George Thomas – Child and Educational Psychologist
After completing his first degree in Psychology in 2009, George began his career in education working as a HigherLevel Teaching Assistant at a secondary school in North Manchester. George completed his teacher training in 2011 and worked as an A-level Psychology teacher until 2012. In 2015, George completed his Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of Manchester and joined Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET) as an Educational Psychologist within the Targeted and Specialist Support (TaSS) Team.
George’s doctoral thesis focussed on the impact of mindfulness on primary school aged pupils’ attentional skills and he has developed specialist knowledge in the areas of dyslexia; English as an Additional Language; and, cognition and learning difficulties. George also has a keen interest in neuropsychology.
George is taking a strategic lead on research and evidence-based practice within the TaSS Team and has recently been appointed as an Honorary Tutor in Education within the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester.
Speech and Language Therapist
The trust has several Speech and language contracts with NHS providers. The therapists work as part of the TaSS team providing high quality provision for our pupils.
Deeba Akram is one of the Speech and Language therapists who work in our Manchester schools. Following a degree in Speech Science, Deeba began her career as a Speech and Language Therapist with the National Health Service (NHS) in 2003. She went on to complete an MSc in Human Communication Sciences, for which she won both a Health Sciences Association (HSA) Major Scholarship and an NHS Speech and Language Therapy Research Award. Deeba has extensive experience of developing and delivering universal, targeted and specialist Speech, Language and Communication (SLC) interventions for children and young people as well as bespoke training packages for staff.