Jackie Harland

Managing Director

Jackie is a speech and language therapist who has been in paediatrics for over 30 years and has a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She has set up multidisciplinary children’s centres and early years provisions in the UK, and internationally, in India, Pakistan and Dubai. Jackie speaks at international conferences and has written and taught a Masters level programme in ‘Childhood Communication Impairment’ accredited by Anglia Ruskin University. She developed and owned the largest private therapy practice in the UK and now consults to clinics in London and India.

Helen Garnett

Director of Education

Helen has a wealth of experience in teaching. Initially working in the primary sector, she co-founded a preschool in 2005, where she developed a keen interest in early intervention and the positive effect this has on a child’s development and progress. In 2015, Helen became an Early Years consultant and author, working initially with Think Equal, a global initiative to promote empathy in young children, now being successfully implemented across 5 continents. Helen has written a book, ‘Developing Empathy in the Early Years: a guide for practitioners’, which won the Nursery World Awards Professional Book Category in 2018. Helen is currently writing a book for Early Years Alliance on creating a resilient workforce in the early years. She writes articles for leading parent and early years publications such as Parenta, the Early Years Teacher Organisation, QA Education and Early Years Educator.

Kevin Byrne

Chairman

Kevin founded Checkatrade.com as a concept in 1998. Copied by many but exceeded by none, Checkatrade now employees around 335 team members and generates around £3.5 billion a year for the 30,000+ trades and services that have put their trust in Checkatrade to generate them more work and a greater public pro le. Integrity and making a difference are foremost. Believing the best in people and helping those in need is close to his heart. Kevin exited his business in November 2017. He is regarded as one of the South Coast’s more successful entrepreneurs and has won numerous awards, including The Queen’s Award, IoD London Award, and South East Director of the Year.

Karen Purdie

Curriculum Advisor

Karen graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of South Australia in 2000. Since this time, she has worked with children and their families both in her home country of Australia and internationally. Over the years she has developed a particular interest in working with children with autism, and since 2010 has been involved in establishing services and support for children with autism in Tajikistan. In Australia Karen has worked in both the government and non- government sector in community-based teams that have provided support to children at home or in their educational setting. Karen has also spent time working in China, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.