Joanna Poole

Lead Specialist Teacher

Joanna Poole is a Lead Specialist Teacher supporting children and young  people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Joanna Poole was born and raised in Bedford, the daughter of well regarded educators. Several close family members are on the Spectrum, so she has a good understanding of the joys and challenges of living with, and providing workable strategies for, autistic loved ones.

Joanna worked in industry for the Pig Improvement Company after completing her degree in Animal Science at Nottingham University. After having her children she studied for her Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Brunel University and then taught science in both mainstream secondary schools and special schools within Buckinghamshire.

She gained a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Education in SENCo Provision, from the Open University, prior to taking up her most recent post with the Specialist Teaching Service, ASD Team.

She was an integral part of this Team for over six years, promoting inclusion and integration of pupils from Year R to Year 13 with Statements of Special Need for ASD. She also was responsible for providing a bespoke service for schools who require support for social and communication strategies for pupils who do not have a Statement of Special Needs.

Joanna has achieved a Level 3 certificate ‘Taking a Lead in Autism’ from the Autism Education Trust (AET) and in May 2013 was also awarded the Autism Education Trust Silver Award for her dedication to improving the education of children with autism.

She is a NMH Registered AS Study Skills Tutor and as such supports young people in universities.

Jo also holds the NAS qualification to support adults on the spectrum.

Joanna also works with pupils in their own home and other out of school environments providing support for them and their parents in furthering their understanding of how autism affects them, providing a visual structure at home and managing behaviour within the family.

Joanna is also the Safeguarding Lead for the Autism Teaching Company.

We’ve always know our daughter thinks differently – Jo has helped her understand why she thinks as she does.  She has also educated us, as parents, in how to understand our daughter’s individual version of autism and what makes her tick.  As a family we have all had so many lightbulb moments over recent weeks.  Jo was just what we needed when we needed it!

Jo’s house is a safe place to talk, she gets me” – in car on the way home