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Wendy Harris

GEMS Wellington Cluster Director of Inclusion and Assistant Headteacher

GEMs Wellington International School

I love teaching and spent the early part of my career leading Drama departments in a number of different schools in the UK, before making the decision to retrain in the field of SEND. I am extremely passionate about Inclusive education and I strongly believe that every student has the right to be educated in a school like WIS. I love the continual, lifelong learning that working in education provides and have a number of post graduate qualifications, including Advanced Certificates in Education in both SpLD and Autism. I gained the UK National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination, and was a Senior Leader SENDCo in the UK before coming to Dubai in 2010. I have also gained the Masters level Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements (CPT3A). I joined WIS in 2010 as Secondary Head of Inclusion and soon become part of the Senior Leadership team, taking on the Pastoral Care and Support role for Secondary for a number of years. In my current role as Assistant Head Teacher for whole school Inclusion at WIS, I love to see how students grow and develop through school and I am very proud that our dedication and success with Inclusion has been reflected in outstanding judgements from KHDA every year. My wider role as GEMS Wellington Director of Inclusion ensures that I can create further opportunities for staff, parents and our students of determination across the cluster, and take our Inclusive practices beyond outstanding.


30 October, 2023 | 11:30 to 11:50
The GEMS Wellington Difference - The Cluster Director's Role

The Wellington Cluster of Schools has created a variety of Director roles to work across the cluster to improve outcomes. I will be discussing how I have developed the role of GEMS Wellington Director of Inclusion over the past year, and the impact this has had in the 4 schools of the cluster. I will be talking about what I have learned in my first year in this role and highlight some of the projects I have developed.  I will also be looking at what still needs to be developed, how my vision has changed, and what my plans for the future are, hoping to give other schools some ideas to develop their own inclusive practices and ways of working.

31 October, 2023 | 14:50 to 15:35
Inclusive education: what does it truly mean?

This panel focuses on the true meaning of inclusivity in education and our role as educators to achieve that. The panel will discuss a variety of experiences and best practices from those involved in education or with students and families on a day-to-day basis. Why is inclusion so important and why is the gap between inclusive education and inclusive workplaces significant? How can schools play a role in addressing this issue? The panel will share valuable insight on the biggest challenges being faced and how education leaders can support families in preparing their children for the future.