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New Educational Lead shares her heart for families and schools

    • Jan Tippett

Shine is delighted to welcome Jan Tippett as its new Education Lead. Besides being the parent of someone with hydrocephalus and spina bifida, Jan has been a teacher of English in secondary schools and an examiner and moderator for English A Level, before becoming a field worker for a charity for children with brain injuries.

As Education Lead, Jan will be developing our education support for families and for staff in schools, as well as joining up our services with other charities and organisations. Jan sees her appointment as a golden opportunity to give a helping hand to the new families who have a child with a neural tube condition, affecting learning, movement and health.

Jan's hero, unsurprisingly, is Roald Dahl, who not only wrote some of the best-loved children's books but also saved his own infant son from the damaging effects of hydrocephalus, when brain injured in a road accident in 1960. Roald Dahl assisted with the invention of the valve and shunt system in partnership with engineer, Stanley Wade, and neurosurgeon, Kenneth Till, who went on to produce the Wade-Dahl-Till valve.

Roald Dahl said of this achievement, "We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine." This remarkable invention has since been used to save the lives of thousands of babies, children and young people all around the world.

As Miss Honey says in 'Matilda', "The human brain is an amazing thing."

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