Big Education Challenge:
Meet finalist Caitlin Glover

Read more about the Big Education Challenge

Caitlin Glover, aged 18, from Chelmsford, struggled at school due to dyslexia and ADHD, which she now recognises as her “superpowers”. She is creating Cognexus, an app that identifies neurodivergent traits and gives learners personalised strategies to help them succeed in education and life.

“As a Big Education Challenge Finalist, I’m excited to use technology to change the way we deal with neurodivergence and give every child the opportunity to learn in a way that works with their brain.”

About Caitlin

Caitlin had a difficult time in education due to dyslexia and undiagnosed ADHD. Understanding strategies for neurodivergent learners changed her experience completely, and once able to access the content taught in school she excelled. She saw many young people like herself, but without the diagnosis or support they needed.

This experience fuelled her passion for accessible education. During Covid she provided one-to-one and group online tuition for neurodivergent students.

The problem

“Our current education system was designed for neurotypical thinkers and leaves behind a whole demographic of valuable and innovative thinkers.”

Between 30-40% of the population are estimated to be neurodivergent. This means at least nine children in an average classroom may struggle with traditional teaching methods.

Schools do not have the time or resources to diagnose these students or provide the help they need to succeed. The shortage of educational psychologists and funding in SEN departments means that neurodivergent people are diagnosed late or not at all.

This has negative short and long term consequences for neurodiverse learners, and there isa lack of evidence-based learning strategies for these students.

The bold idea

A mobile game application that looks to identify neurodivergent traits in primary age students and gives them personalised strategies.

Cognexus aims to support parents and teachers by flagging potential neurodivergent conditions for further investigation, which prevents children falling through the gaps due to lack of SEN funding and support in mainstream state schools.

It will use a different approach to SEN support than is currently used in education. Cognexus wouldn’t label children with disorders, but instead take a holistic approach and identify specific areas that they may need support in.

Caitlin ultimately wants to prevent neurodiverse children falling through the gaps and fighting through an education system that is not designed for them.

“I deeply understand the problems that neurodivergent children face in schools and this was amplified during COVID. I knew many primary-age students who were completely disengaged, they weren’t getting help and they were falling massively behind.”

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