Behaviour Advisor for the Department of Education
Now a behaviour advisor for the Department of Education, John d’Abbro, spent over 30 years as a headteacher, leading an all-age special school, overseeing pupil referral units, adolescent and psychiatric units, an outreach team and an early years’ provision. He gave evidence to the Elton, Steer, Taylor and Bennett reports into behaviour in schools and the Education Select Committee on several occasions.
The school’s John lead were always judged at least ‘Good’ in Ofsted judgements, including 9 “Outstanding” ones. John has always been at the core of educational development - extracting the good, the bad and the ugly issues and turning them around into positive progress for specialist education. Awarded an OBE and Honorary Doctorate for services to Special Education, John is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.
Strategic Lead, Regional Mental Health Delivery (North) Department for Education
Mark is a member of the Regional Implementation Team responsible for delivering the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision green paper. Living and working in the North East, Mark’s focus is on ensuring that green paper commitments are delivered in ways that are relevant / responsive to local and regional needs.
He and his team work with education settings and in close partnership with NHS England to introduce Senior Mental Health Lead training, Mental Health Support Teams and to promote Whole School and College Approaches.
Prior to joining the civil service, Mark worked in mental health commissioning, NHS public engagement and in services for older people. He has an interest in social models of disability and wellbeing.
Schools Advisory Service
Paul has a passion for helping people do well in high pressure environments, believing success does not have to come at the cost of well-being and happiness.
Most recently he has been coaching and consulting to organisations in recruitment, technology, and in education.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Human Development and has been a faculty lecturer at the Chartered Institute of Directors, and a visiting lecturer at both Cranfield School of Management and Derby University. He is a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and holds certification in a range of talking therapies.
CEO, River Tees Multi-Academy Trust
Christina is the CEO of River Tees Multi-Academy Trust. She has a background in school improvement, focussing on disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. A qualified SENCO, specialist teacher and SEND Reviewer, she has many years’ experience working with learners with mental health needs in mainstream and specialist settings. As CEO of an Alternative Provision Multi-Academy Trust she sees the impact challenging behaviour and mental health needs have on educational opportunities. River Tees Multi-Academy Trust’s team work with learners who struggle to attend school, or to engage appropriately while there. The Trust’s whole child approach to Personal Development draws on best research and practice. The curriculum is constructed to support learners in challenging situations, quickly identifying disruptions and filling them so every learner has the chance to succeed.
River Tees Multi-Academy Trust has four Alternative Provision academies and a Hospital Teaching Service in the North East (based in Middlesbrough and Gateshead) offering aspirational education to the most disadvantaged learners. The Trust is due to open a Free Special School for the Tees Valley in 2022.
Public Health Practitioner, (Sexual Health, Risk and Resilience), Sunderland City Council
Ryan has vast experience working in sport, physical activity, health improvement and wellbeing within private and local government organisations in the UK, Australia, and USA. At Sunderland City Council Ryan leads on key elements of the public health vision and City Plan to reduce health inequalities for children and young people across Sunderland. Ryan has an extensive track record of implementing programmes in a range of settings including statutory, voluntary, and academic agencies to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.
Public Health Lead (Children and Young People) Sunderland City Council
Wendy has a wealth of experience in both commissioning and implementing a varied range of public health programmes in support of positive health outcomes and reducing health inequalities for the residents of Sunderland. Wendy leads the Starting Well Team to deliver on key priorities of the City Plan relating to young people including healthy weight, sexual health, best start in life, mental health and risk and resilience for 11-19 years.
Lecturer in Public Health and Qualitative Methods, Newcastle University
Steph Scott is a Lecturer in Public Health and Qualitative Methods at Newcastle University. Steph holds a Trustee role with the charity NE Youth and her research interests include marginalisation, stigma and health inequalities, particularly in relation to justice-involved families, young people, vulnerable populations and those experiencing multiple, complex needs.
Assistant Headteacher, Whickham School
A senior leader with 25 years' experience in secondary education, currently specialising in strategic oversight of Mental Health Support, SEND, Personal Development and Enrichment.A senior leader with 25 years' experience in secondary education, currently specialising in strategic oversight of Mental Health Support, SEND, Personal Development and Enrichment.
Coalition Lead, The Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition
Charlotte is Coalition Lead for the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Charlotte leads on the Coalition’s work, including their policy and public affairs work.
Prior to this, Charlotte worked as Policy Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing at The Children’s Society where she was responsible for the charity’s policy work in this area. Charlotte also previously worked for her Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, where she played a role in performance monitoring
School Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Whickham School
Nicola is an experienced UKCP & BACP qualified Psychotherapeutic counsellor with a child and young person specialism using a core model of Transactional Analysis and an integrative psychodynamic approach. Counselling within schools is shown to support children and young people with 1:1 sessions to deliver specialist therapeutic interventions. Nicola uses a humanistic, person centred approach with the philosophy of equality and respect for everyone. Nicola has experience in providing therapeutic support to children, young people and adults in mental health services with specialist training in working with children, young people and adults with ASD. She has worked with numerous primary, middle and secondary schools, alongside charity organisations such as the Toby Henderson Trust. Nicola is also a member of the Northern Guild where she practises as a therapist, supervisor and tutor.
Psychology Educator, The MIND less FULL
Julie has 25 years experience of teaching Psychology, along with an enthusiasm for sharing simple, effective ways to improve wellbeing. The MIND less FULL aims to bring psychological knowledge and practical applications into the community and workplace.
Working in the post 16 sector both as a teacher and a Senior Manager, Julie has a genuine understanding of the current challenges facing education and believes that staff wellbeing is fundamental to a thriving organisation.
Julie delivers workshops on a wide range of topics including Stress Management, Mindfulness, the Menopause, Digital Overload and the Teenage Brain. She has worked with staff in many educational settings from Primary through to FE, as well in the NHS, industry and the private sector and loves working with organisations who value staff wellbeing.
Mindfulness Practitioner, Alliance Psychology
Chris works with children, young people and adults in a variety of contexts including schools and educational settings. He enjoys creating mindfulness stories and meditations, often with a nature focus, to help children and young people understand, manage and connect with their emotional awareness.
Mindfulness Practitioner, Alliance Psychology
Jo Bradley, through her online school membership, transforms mental and emotional wellbeing in schools and homes by prioritising a regular mindfulness practice that empowers children, teachers and parents to live, learn and work with more happiness. Once an assistant headteacher and teacher herself, she now offers school membership mindfulness programmes, courses and staff training. She absolutely loves what she does.
Beth Williams, School Partnerships Officer, ImpactED
Beth is a school partnerships officer at ImpactEd, where she works directly with schools and multi-academy trusts to support them with effective evaluation. Beth has previously worked for the Children's Commissioner for Wales, ensuring that children's rights are protected, and has also worked on delivering the National Tutoring Programme to schools in England.
Chris is a director at ImpactEd, supporting strategy and partnerships. Alongside his work at ImpactEd, he is a consultant who supports charities and social enterprises to design strategies for impact, financial sustainability and growth. He recently stepped down as CEO of The Brilliant Club, an award-winning education charity.
Campaign Leader, Tyne & Wear Citizens
Simon Mason is a leader in Tyne & Wear Citizens, a chapter of Citizens UK. He is one of the leaders in the regional and national campaign for the provision of counselling in schools and further education colleges in England.
School Chaplain, St Thomas More Catholic High School
Michael Thompson is the lay School Chaplain at St Thomas More Catholic High School in North Shields. He has experience of working with young people in the context of faith since 2009 and has been in his current role since 2015. Michael has been a leader with Tyne & Wear Citizens since 2017 and has been involved in several campaigns in that time. He served as a commissioner on the Tyne & Wear Citizens Commission on Mental Health, led a team of young people to win change at the local CAMHS clinic to re-design and re-develop some of their therapy spaces, and now sits on both the Regional and National Action Teams for the Schools-based Counselling campaign. He hopes that one day every young person in every secondary school and college setting will have access to counselling provision if they need it.
Newcastle Research School Lead
Newcastle Research School Lead working across the North East to support teachers and leaders using evidence to improve outcomes for all.
Emotional and Wellbeing Lead, River Tees Multi Academy Trust
Steph has worked as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse for many years specialising in positive behaviour support.
Steph is passionate about the wellbeing of young people, this led her to her current role as Emotional & Wellbeing Lead across the River Tees Academies.
Steph believes that making connections with our learners is fundamental. She loves the work of Brene Brown.
“Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship” – Brene Brown
Educational Consultant working across the North East to support teachers and leaders using evidence to improve outcomes for all.
Primary Teacher and Educational Psychotherapist, Author, Speaker and Advocate for Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Clare has worked in primary schools, mental health and education provision and within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). She has led on national initiatives for local authorities as the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) Consultant, leading on training, curriculum implementation and development as well as the local coordination of the National PSHE CPD programme.
She was a consultant trainer for the Institute of Education, London, and a trainer for the Education Development Association at Homerton College, Cambridge, providing courses for overseas teachers.
As the manager of a multi-agency service for vulnerable children at risk of exclusion, Clare developed Thrive Education Zones, an alternative provision based on nurture principles.
Chief Executive Officer, The Edwin Group