Meet the Team


Clair Swinton

I have worked in special education for 14 years and have taught pupils in EYFS right up to KS3. I have a degree in Early childhood and Education studies which I followed with a PGCE. Most recently I completed my Masters Award in Education where my assignments focused on SEN provision. My final dissertation allowed me to do extensive research about reading and writing for pupils with Down Syndrome and how best to support them. I am currently completing the National SENDCO award. I have a passion for teaching and learning and aim for this to reflect in my practice in supporting inclusion for all pupils in all settings.


Becky Houltby

I’m Becky and I have worked at St Francis School for 30 years and I have loved every moment of it. I initially trained as a TA completing City and Guilds and NVQ qualifications. I have also completed a foundation degree at Bishop Grotesque University in Learning Support. Over the years I have been mainly involved  in working with the younger pupils in school and I am really passionate about ensuring we give them all the best chances they can have to communicate and learn. I am a research driven practitioner and have completed lots of courses in relation to AAC, AT and working with pupils with complex needs. Working for PD Outreach one day a week allows me to bring my knowledge and passion to support pupils in mainstream settings.


Carla Nicholson

Hello, I’m Carla Nicholson. I started my career teaching mainstream primary. For the last 15 years I have been based at St Francis Special School, teaching pupils from F1 through to key stage 4. I am passionate about meeting the needs of all our pupils and preparing them for adulthood. My particular strengths are in supporting English and general curriculum support. I can also support with ensuring inclusion in the curriculum through the use of assistive technology. I am also experienced in using communication aids with pupils. I have provided outreach for LCC for five years and have worked with many schools across the county.  I have also developed and delivered training packages for the Outreach Service, BG University, The English hub (LEAD Equate) and teacher training. I continually update my own professional development in order to share with others and have built good relationships with other professionals. This means that I am able to signpost to many other services and specialists for support. Please e-mail me if you believe I could support your setting in any way.


Mandi Baptist

I’m Mandi, I’ve worked at St Francis for 17 years now and fifteen of those years in PD Outreach. I love the variety of my role and especially the inspiring children that I meet. Over this time, I had made the most of the opportunities to gain many qualifications in children’s development, assistive technology and moving and handling. My background is that I trained as a nurse in adult nursing, mental health and went on to teach nurses. During my nursing career I worked on children’s, adult surgical/medical, theatre, mental health admissions wards. As a clinical tutor I taught mainly about pressure area care. I am a parent of a feisty young woman with a physical disability. This gives, me the unique position of “seeing things from both sides”, I hope that parents can talk to me about any of the problems that they face. I provide training in moving and handling, personal care and disability awareness. I can teach bespoke courses relating to a specific physical disability. My aim is to allow children and young people to take part in any activity by reducing the risk to as low as possible. “Where they is a will there is a way”.