About The St Jude Foundation
The St. Jude Foundation was set up in 1988 with the general aim of promoting the education and welfare of handicapped (disabled) people, particularly children. In its early years, the Foundation's main activity was funding training courses for teachers of children with severe or profound learning difficulties. Because of the high costs involved, it was not possible to continue this project for more than two years.
Since then, the Foundation has concentrated on supporting the work of a special school in Africa, namely, Heri Special School at Mporoto, a village near Mbeya in south-west Tanzania. In 1998, the Foundation arranged for the school's Head Teacher, Mr. Egha R. Egha, to spend six weeks in England visiting and working in special schools in the London area. Mr. Egha felt that he had learnt a great deal from this experience, and he has since been working to apply that knowledge in the education of his pupils at Heri Special School.
Like all registered charities, the St. Jude Foundation comes under the supervision of the Charity Commission. The Foundation’s accounts are audited annually by Messrs. Povey Little, Chartered Accountants, of Sidcup, Kent; we are most grateful to them for giving this valuable service free of charge. Copies of the Foundation’s accounts are available for anybody who would like to see them.
Managing Trustee and Director: Dr. Vivian Hinchcliffe
Dr. Vivian Hinchcliffe has been working in special education since the 1970’s. He first worked at Rectory Paddock School as a Teaching Assistant in 1978 before he returned as a teacher in 1981. Mark Roberts was the Headteacher of Rectory Paddock at this time. Mark was an inspiring influence and mentor to Viv. Mark involved him in his research and writing about teaching children with severe learning disabilities and Viv took forward some of the ideas in Mark’s book “In Search of a Curriculum”, a groundbreaking book that changed the landscape of education for teachers working with children with special needs. Viv left Rectory Paddock in 1990 to teach at Brunel University, training teachers to work with children with severe learning disabilities. Viv continued to be in close contact with Mark Roberts and Rectory Paddock School. Viv’s first book ‘What Teachers Do’ (1995) celebrates the innovative work of teachers in special schools. Viv returned as Headteacher of Rectory Paddock School when Mark retired in 1996. He remained at Rectory Paddock and Riverside until 2011 when he moved to Lewisham to be Executive Headteacher of Drumbeat School and ASD Service, a new special school. Viv’s latest book “Curricula for Teaching Children and Young People with Severe or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties”, written with Peter Imray, was published last year. Viv has had a long association with the St. Jude Foundation. He has been a trustee since 2001 and is committed to continue the support for the Heri Special School in Tanzania. Viv met Egha, the founder headteacher of the Heri School on his visit to the UK. Viv understands the context and mission of the school and is well qualified to support the work of the St. Jude Foundation.
Founding Trustee: Mark Trevor Roberts M.B.E.
Mark Roberts (29 October 1936 - 10 February 2015), devoted most of his life to specialist-education for severely handicapped children and was awarded the M.B.E. by the Queen in 1985 for his pioneering work in this field, as Headmaster of Rectory Paddock Special School in Kent. He founded the St. Jude Foundation in 1988.
Mark was driven by deep-seated knowledge and understanding of teaching children with severe learning difficulties. He had an unswerving passion to always do the best for children and their families. He showed how every disabled child could make progress and taught that even the smallest steps were significant. In terms of curriculum development Rectory Paddock Special School led the country. Mark had published the second edition of ‘In Search of a Curriculum’ in 1983, a book that changed the landscape of special education. To most special educators, it will remain the best book that has ever been written about special education. In Search of a Curriculum was a school partnership, containing the school’s educational programmes, it’s practical work and theory (always theory drawn from practice), but really the book was Mark’s lifetime work – a distillation of all Mark had learned about teaching children with learning difficulties. Mark founded a school-based teacher-training programme at Rectory Paddock for mainstream teachers. He trained 4 teachers through this scheme and they went on to teach in special education. Later, through the St Jude Foundation, Mark raised thousands of pounds for the Heri Special School in Tanzania, quite literally building the school from scratch.