Jane Opie

Jane Opie

Director, Course Leader, Specialist assessor

My interest in supporting people with literacy began as a student studying for a degree in English Literature and Linguistics. I also worked as a volunteer on an adult literacy scheme and discovered how much I enjoyed working with adults and seeing them grow in confidence. I then went on to train as a teacher in further education teaching GCSE, A Levels, return to learn, access courses, and literacy groups. Many of my students were easily able to articulate themselves but struggled with reading and spelling and I wanted to find out more. I trained as a specialist teacher and taught children, young people and adults with literacy difficulties, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and Autism. Later, I also completed my training as a specialist assessor.

I have had some varied roles, working as a manager in further and higher education responsible for language and literacy support, equality and diversity and learning support. I have also worked as head of a university’s disability service and as a specialist consultant advising schools and colleges across the country. I work across all age ranges, with primary, secondary. higher education and adults in the workplace . I have run training with large corporations around how to support their neurodiverse work force. I also deliver training for teachers, lecturers, employers, parents, and young people. I have tutored and delivered training for the professional association, PATOSS

I am part of a neurodivergent family, and I am aware of the strengths and challenges this can bring. I am now a grandparent of a neurodivergent grandchild and enjoy finding creative ways to support him with his learning. This was part of my motivation to set up Dyslexia Herts, almost 12 years ago.

The thing that enthuses me most about my role as a specialist assessor is that I am always learning and enjoy reading, researching, and finding out more. Since qualifying, I have engaged with as much as training as I can and am now able to assess adults who may have traits associated with Dyspraxia (DCD) and ADHD. My days are full and varied, working with people of all ages and enjoy teaching and tutoring our Level 7 students and supporting them through their journey to being a specialist assessor.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and Portuguese Water Dog, Luna, exploring new places in our campervan, reading, knitting, crochet and sewing.