Who we are

Nicola McGuinness


Head of Service 

Nicola has overseen the service since it’s inception when we were previously called ‘Parent Partnership’. She is the longest serving member of staff and has years of experience with supporting children and families with SEND. Nicola is a mother to a daughter with a disability and has extensive knowledge in specific conditions affecting children and young people. 

Cheryl Wyatt


IAS Officer and DRS facilitator

Cheryl has been with the service for several years and is the main contact for Dispute Resolution and for statutory assessment (EHC) support.  She has a degree in social science but has a specific interest in special educational law, with legal training to bar accredited level. In addition, she is qualified to teach adult learners and hosts our parent/ professionals training. Cheryl is mother to a teenage son who has an EHC plan. 

Mike Hirst


IAS Officer and AMITY mentor for young people

Mike has been with the service for many years and has a great deal of expertise in working with families and young people with both SEND and emotional health needs. He is a qualified counsellor and works in schools around Bolton offering 1:1 support to young people. Mike is also an IAS Officer with an interest in mentoring young people. He is also a father to an adult son with a disability.  

who we are continued

Karen Partridge


IAS Officer

Karen is legally trained at IPSEA level 1, and is working toward full bar accreditation. A qualified teacher,  Karen has a wealth of experience in Education, having worked in the sector for 38 years. This included schools for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs, and SEN provision for children with moderate learning difficulties and complex needs. Karen currently works Wednesdays and Fridays in IAS.

Karen is also a Trustee at COG. 

Nan Cooper


IAS Officer

Nan is new to the IAS team, but not new to Bolton Parents! Nan is the current chair of the local parent carer forum, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the difficuties that parent carers face. Mum to a young person with SEND, Nan is legally  trained to IPSEA bar accreditation, and will be working with the team part time so that she can continue with her forum duties too. Nan will continue to co-host training for parents and carers with Cheryl.

Lindsey Allardice


IAS YP Outreach worker

Lindsey  is supporting with the ISAP children and young persons consultation activities. She has level 1 legal training and is supporting young people in the community as part of IAS outreach. She also works with young children with SEND and is studying Childcare. Lindsey has personal experience of SEND and previously worked supporting adults with autism.


Supporting the work of IAS

IAS is based in COG nursery. 

The staff at IAS are supported by the business manager, Annette Dodd. We also have two volunteer receptionists, Ailsa Pearcey and Emma Wright.

We have a very good working relationship with Bolton Parent Carer Consortium, and Kidz2gether charity, who support us with some of the work that we do.