Who We Are

Laura Harmer

Laura joined the Burwood Centre in November 2021. She will be your first point of contact and is brilliant at organising our waiting lists and assessments.

Lorna Gravenstede BSc (Hons), MRCSLT, ACS dip, MSc
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist/Head of Centre

Lorna has a wealth of experience in the field of speech and language therapy and children who are deaf.  She has previously worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in community clinics, mainstream schools with resource bases and specialist schools for the deaf.  Lorna has a Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language (BSL) and has worked with children who use BSL, Sign Supported English and those who communicate orally.  Lorna holds the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s advanced clinical skills diploma in working with people who are deaf and has completed an MSc in Human Communication Science (speech and language therapy with deaf people).  In addition to her work at the Burwood Centre, Lorna is a module leader for the MA Teacher of the deaf course at the University of Hertfordshire and she frequently writes articles for magazines and journals on issues relating to deafness, speech and language.

Professional Memberships: Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists; Health and Care Professions Council; Associate member of British Association of Teachers of the Deaf; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Julie Heald BA Hons (Education and Audiology) 
PG Cert, Early Years and Deafness

Julie is a qualified and experienced Advisory Teacher of the Deaf, who has worked, in wide ranging roles with deaf children and their families for 36 years.  Julie graduated from the 4 year Teacher of the Deaf training course at Manchester University in 1985.  She has had a long and varied career teaching deaf children and young people, mainly across London and the South East.  Julie taught for many years in nursery, primary and secondary resource provisions and at a school for the deaf. She has also managed a large primary resource base for deaf children.

Julie moved to work within a local authority sensory team, as a Specialist Teacher Advisor, where she remained for 16 years, supporting pupils aged 0-19 years.  She worked with families and deaf children at home and in a variety of school based and early years settings, including supporting deaf children with a range of additional needs in special schools and at home.  During this time, she also worked closely with the Cochlear Implant Team in Southampton, supporting pupils through the rehabilitation process and beyond.

In addition to supporting deaf pupils in their educational settings, Julie worked closely alongside colleagues at the Paediatric Audiology Department at the local hospital, guiding families through the early stages of diagnosis. and working with newly diagnosed pupils in their school settings. 

Julie also ran training programmes for school settings, pupils, teaching and support staff to ensure all deaf pupils in local mainstream schools had optimum access to education and learning and the correct support with emotional and social needs relating to their deafness.

As a Specialist Teacher Advisor, Julie was involved with the contribution to, application for and appeal processes for Education Health and Care Plans and additionally supported families through the tribunal process.

Julie has also represented her local authorities at various action groups dedicated to improving education for deaf children. Julie has a Level 2 Certificate in BSL from the CACDP and has worked with children and families with widely varying communication needs. 

Julie joined the Burwood team in 2015 and, alongside contributing to assessments at the Burwood Centre, she has completed the Post Graduate Certificate Course in Early Years and Deafness. Julie has also taught on a course for trainee Teachers of the Deaf, supervised teaching placements and contributed to short courses run for professionals who work with hearing impaired children.

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