Meet the Speech & Language team

We have a SaLT team in each of our Academy schools including Speech and Language assistants.

Below is a short introduction to each of our Speech and Language therapists:


Alison Futerman

Joint Head of Therapies - Speech and Language Therapy

As Joint Service Manager, Alison has responsibility for shaping and delivering the Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) Service across the Trust and has worked within our schools since 1995.

Alison works with the rest of the SaLT team to identify our pupils' barriers to communication, and works closely with the education teams to ensure that communication is embedded in all aspects of our pupils' day at school with everyone that they come into contact with.  Alison is passionate that each of our children in the Trust find a way to express themselves.

Lauren Garfield

Speech and Language therapist

Lauren is the clinical lead for Speech and Language therapy and has worked at Eden Academy since 2011.

As part of this role, Lauren looks at developing initiatives that promote 'best practice for communication' in and outside the classroom, for example, creating training packages for staff and delivering specialist workshops for parents to attend.

Lauren splits her caseload between Grangewood and Moorcroft School. She has a special interest in Autism, complex developmental Learning Disabilities and AAC (alternative and augmentative communication).

Lauren is passionate to ensure every student can communicate to their full potential.

Charissa Venkatesan

Speech and Language therapist

Charissa works at Pentland Field School and leads the Speech & Language Therapy Outreach Service for the Academy.

Her interests are in building positive communication environments and empowering staff to develop pupil's communication skills throughout the school day, through play development, social skills development, language modelling and the implementation of a total communication environment.

Charissa’s specialist area of interest is working with speech sound disorders and improving speech clarity.

Rupam Patel

Speech and Language therapist

Rupam qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2010 and has worked in a variety of roles in mainstream and special schools since graduating. Her areas of interest are learning difficulties, Autism, Downs Syndrome, social communication and use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC).

She is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist working at Pentland Field School four days a week and Outreach work at a mainstream primary school one day a week.

She is also an ELKLAN tutor which allows her to deliver formal accredited courses to support school staff members with their understanding of how we can better support our pupils to develop their language and communication in the school environment.

Sophie Jackson

Speech and Language therapist

Sophie is a Speech and Language Therapist and started working for The Eden Academy in 2017. She works at Grangewood School and also for the Speech & Language Therapy Outreach Service, visiting mainstream schools. 

Sophie has recently completed a 4 year degree in Speech and Language Therapy and has also worked at a play scheme for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder/complex needs for the past 6 years. She has always had a passion of working with children in Special Schools. 

Her special interests include Autism, learning difficulties, complex needs,  Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) and believes in every child having a way to communicate.

Katie Sheridan

Katie Sheridan

Katie qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2015 and has extensive experience working with children age 3-19 in special schools and mainstream settings.

Katie has worked with children with various speech, language and communication difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, language delay and disorder, acquired brain injury, global developmental delay and complex needs. Katie has a special interest in children with Autism and learning difficulties.

Katie is passionate about empowering families to support their child to reach their full potential and considers this to be an essential part of her practice. Katie also works closely with other professionals and school staff to ensure a holistic and multi-professional approach to a child’s care. Katie is currently working as a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist at Grangewood school.