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ELCISS aims to enhance language and communication in secondary school children with primary language and communication impairment through narrative/storytelling and vocabulary enrichment.

ELCISS Advisory Group

The ELCISS Advisory Group acts as a forum for discussion regarding all aspects of the research project. In particular it provides opportunity for:

  • the consultation and critical discussion of ideas
  • monitoring the development of the project in order to ensure its reliability, validity and ethical coherence.
  • the discussion and management of any difficulties encountered and also to celebrate any achievements made.

The Group is able to offer complimentary skills and knowledge from all its members and has proved effective and valuable in the progression of the project.

The Group meets approximately every 5 months.

The Group consists of all staff members who are working full time on the project as well as other professionals with a particular interest or expertise in this research area - these include:

Tim Pring

Professor of Psychology/Research Methods, City University.

Tim is a Professor of Psychology/Research Methods in the Department of Language and Communication Science, City University. He is also the Research Director and Module leader for Research Methods.

His research interests are in acquired and developmental disorders of language and methodological issues in Speech and Language Therapy research.

Tim is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders.

He is also an honorary Fellow of RCSLT Teaching.


Charles Hulme

Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University

Charles is a professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. His research interests are in cognitive and developmental psychology, particularly in the areas of verbal memory mechanisms and their development, and in reading development and disorders.

Much of his work has been concerned with applying techniques from cognitive psychology to understanding the nature of developmental cognitive disorders (including dyslexia, reading comprehension impairments, developmental coordination disorders, and reading and memory impairments in children with Down and William's syndrome) as well as the normal development of reading, memory and phonological skills.

A second major interest is in the mechanisms underlying immediate verbal memory and their relationship to speech processing mechanisms (studied in adults). Charles is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.


Elspeth McCartney

Senoir Lecturer, The University of Strathclyde

Elspeth is a senior lecturer in the University of Strathclyde. She has qualifications both as a speech and language therapist and teacher. Her main academic teaching and research contributions relate to children with developmental speech and language difficulties, and aspects of inter-professional working.

Elspeth teaches developmental speech and language disorders; collaborative practice in health and education, and the clinical education of speech and language therapists.
She researches interventions for children with language impairment within the Faculty theme The Development of Professional Practice.

Elspeth is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, is registered with the Health Professions Council as a speech and language therapist and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Mary Hartshorne

Head of Expert Advisory Services I CAN

Mary Hartshorne is I CAN’s Head of Expert Advisory Services; she manages a team of specialist professionals from education, speech and language therapy and care. This team provides specialist advice and support across I CAN’s services and operations as well as developing the charity’s knowledge and evidence base.

Mary is a specialist speech and language therapist with a Masters qualification in special educational needs and many years experience of working in education - in special and mainstream schools, both as a practitioner and manager. She is also involved in post graduate training in communication disability for teachers as a lecturer, tutor and trainer.

Mary’s focus has been developing the classroom as an environment for language development, and looking at the ways that teachers and therapists can work together in schools. A specific area of interest is the link between communication disability and emotional, social and behavioural difficulties.

Recent work includes authoring I CAN’s The Cost to the nation of Children’s Poor Communication. 


Debbie Reith

Head of Speech and Language Therapy, Barking and Dagenham PCT

Debbie qualified as a speech and language therapist a long time ago (!) and has worked for many years in a range of children’s settings. Most recently she spent a very enjoyable 5 years working as one of the team at a Primary Language Unit in Havering and then 2 years at Moor House School, Oxted, Surrey.

During the second year she was Coordinator of therapy for Key Stage 3. Debbie completed her MSc in Human Communication from University College London while working at Moor House. Since coming back to Barking and Dagenham Speech and Language Therapy Department she has developed experience as the Team Leader and is now Head of Profession for the Trust.


Karen Wright

Co-ordinator:  Speech and Language Needs, Education Inclusion Team, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Quality & School Improvement Division, Children's Services, Westbury Centre, Ripple Road, Barking, IG11 7PT

Karen has worked with pupils with speech and language needs in a mainstream setting since 1986.  She has worked in speech and language provisions in Barking and Dagenham, Essex and Newham.  Since 2002 Karen has been an advisory teacher and co-ordinator for pupils with speech and language needs in Barking and Dagenham, part of the education inclusion team.

The work includes an enjoyable combination of working with pupils and training the adults who support them.