About Me

Pearl Barnes MA(SEN), BSc(Hons), PGCE, PGCertEd, CPT3A

Pearl is a registered accredited assessor with the British Psychological Society/Psychological Testing Centre

Pearl is a fully qualified and practising teacher


Pearl has a wide and varied educational career spanning over 24 years across both the maintained, special school and independent sector. She has worked at a local and national level, developing and advising upon SEND provision and teacher professional development relating to SEN and Disabilities, including mathematical learning difficulties. 

Pearl began her teaching career as a mainstream teacher and soon specialised in Special Educational Needs, studying for a Masters in SEN through Plymouth University, whilst teaching at a Special School. She has subsequently worked as a SENCO and Head of Learning Support, a Local Authority Consultant and Adviser and as Head of Education within a multi-disciplinary specialist school for children with complex disabilities. 

In addition to teaching and consultancy work, Pearl has worked for the voluntary sector as Vice-President and President of NASEN, the only national charity overseeing all special educational needs and disabilities. She was tasked with working with central government to develop SEND policy and delivered a  number of keynote addresses in Northern Ireland, Bristol, Westminster and Central London. She was also responsible for managing the Advisory Board and Board of Trustees. 

Expert Profile Summary: 
  • Member of the Expert Inclusion Panel at the Department for Education's Standard Testing Agency (STA): current
  • President, Director and Chair of the board of trustees, NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs): (2010-2012)
  • Pearl has been an Expert Witness for the Public Accounts Select Committee in 2011, giving advice and information relating to young people with SEN/D. 
  • Member of the DCD Consensus Group, a multidisciplinary group consisting of international professionals to decide upon the diagnostic criteria for developmental co-ordination disorder for the DSMV (2011)
  • Vice-President of NASEN (2008-2010)
  • NASEN Specialist Advisory Group: (2006-2010)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (RSM): Pearl worked with Senior Clinicians to deliver multidisciplinary training for clinicians and educationalists nationally (2004-2006)
  • Educational Representative for the Children's Emotional Wellbeing Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2002-2006)
  • Pearl worked  on the 'Changing Minds' campaign, the National Service Framework and developed national training information for teachers. 2002-2004
Published Works:

Pearl has a number of published works relating to SEN policy and practice, assessment, mathematical learning difficulties and multiagency working, which can be accessed here. 



Pearl was honoured to have her services to children recognised by the Prime Minister in 2009, when she was invited to a special Reception at No. 10, Downing Street.

Education and Training:

Pearl is a fully qualified specialist teacher with a Masters degree with a specialist interest in Special Educational Needs and a Level 7 qualification in assessment and access arrangements. 

Certificate of Competence in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A)
2009 - Real Training endorsed by Dyslexia Action and registered as an accredited assessor on the Register of Competence in Psychological Testing, British Psychological Society/Psychological Testing Centre
PGCert Ed Post-graduate Certificate in Early Mathematical Development (PGCertEd)
2008 -   Edge Hill University
MA(Ed) Special interest in Special Educational Needs
2005 -   University of Plymouth
P.G.C.E. Mathematics
1993 -   St. Luke's, University of Exeter
BSc(Hons) Biomolecular Science (Biophysical Chemistry): 
1986  -  University of Portsmouth
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Subpages (1): Published works