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Keynote speakers for celebrating success; succeeding against the odds

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Aaron Phipps
Aaron Phipps is a former Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby player and London 2012 Paralympic athlete. He is a Sky Sports Living for Sport athlete mentor and a professional speaker. He inspires audiences with his powerful story about resilience and positive choices. Not content with just competing at the highest level in sport, in 2016 he took on his biggest challenge yet: to become the first person in the world to climb Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair unassisted.

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Paul Whiteman
Paul Whiteman was formerly the director of Representation and Advice at the NAHT, having joined the association five years ago. He was promoted to general secretary in September 2017.

Prior to joining NAHT, Paul spent a decade as a national official at the FDA, the union for civil servants. He has a first-class grasp of education issues as well as many years' experience in the wider trade union movement.

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Jean Gross CBE
Jean is a national expert on special educational needs and has frequently acted in an advisory capacity to the government. She was until 2011 the government's Communications Champion for children, tasked with promoting the case for better support for children with speech, language and communication difficulties. She is also chair of the Bercow Ten Years On Review of services for SLCN.

Previously, she headed the charity responsible for the very successful Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts one-to-one tuition programmes, and was senior director within the National Strategies, responsible for work on overcoming barriers to achievement.

She is the author of numerous articles and best-selling books on SEN, including Special educational needs and school improvement (David Fulton, 2004), Beating Bureaucracy in SEN (NASEN/Routledge, 3rd edn. 2015) and Time to Talk (Routledge, 2013). She was awarded a CBE in the 2011 New Year's honours list for services to education.