Updated: 19/08/16

Staff groups: Educational, Clinical, and Occupational Psychologists

There are many similarities between EPs, CPs, and OPs. All are applied psychologists who have had extensive training and experience in a range of psychological theory and practice. For clients this often means different psychologists will be able to offer a different range of skills such as therapeutic interventions or specific types of training. Each group will use their expertise in psychology to help move situations forward, while the EP for the school ensures that support for a child is coordinated.

EP training focuses on children and young people from birth to 25 and the systems within which those children live and learn such as schools, families, and colleges. Typical areas of work for EPs include removing barriers for those who experience needs in a wide range of areas. As well as  learning difficulties, EPs  will consider whether emotional, behavioural or social communication factors or other needs impact on the child or young person’s inclusion and participation.

CPs are likely to work in a similar way, offering a range of services from consultation to training, group and individual therapeutic work. CPs have their own training which includes the entire life-span from children through to older people. This is reflected in their skill set, for example, the use of therapeutic approaches with systems (e.g. families), groups and individuals and to support a range of mental health needs which might include anxiety, depression or self-harm for example.

OPs carry out work with children with learning difficulties and are able to work to support change in the settings in which children learn.






EBSS_161101_13-25-04 Dr James Thatcher Joint Principal Educational Psychologist 
As well as sharing the leadership of EPSS and contributing to local authority strategic developments, James has particular overall responsibility for the development of traded work, for the ASD team, and for the Trainee EP scheme. James is committed to developing approaches to meeting children’s needs within their communities and to parent and child participation in Service evaluation and development
Stephen Higgins EBSS_161101_13-28-52 Joint Principal Educational Psychologist
Stephen became an Educational Psychologist in 1989 and has held various management posts in different parts of Norfolk since 2000. He has been part of many changes but emphasises that our purpose remains that of providing the best possible service for vulnerable and needy children, directly or through working with others in all parts of Norfolk.
EBSS_161101_13-27-49 Rita Adair  Senior Educational Psychologist
Rita is an experienced teacher and educational psychologist.  She has led on several innovative projects focusing on attendance, anti-bullying, developing behaviour forums and challenging homophobia. Her passion is for anti-bullying work and through her work as eastern regional adviser working for the Anti-Bullying Alliance (2004 -2010), she established consistent approaches across the east.
Dr Helena Bunn EBSS_161101_13-24-01 Senior Educational Psychologist
Helena is an experienced educational psychologist, with a portfolio including local, national and international projects focused on educational inclusion for children with special educational needs and those publicly fostered. Helena’s key interest in promoting virtuous cycles of development for vulnerable children is reflected across her professional initiatives.
EBSS_161101_14-09-07  Elaine Nickolls Senior Educational Psychologist
Elaine is an experienced educational psychologist and member of the leadership team, with interests in autism and neurodiversity. Prior to training to become an EP, she had experience of working with pre-school children and then across the school age-range as a learning support teacher and, later, as a secondary SENCo. Elaine is passionate about applying psychology to ensure that all children can be the best they can be and can enjoy their time in education, whatever their needs.
Dr Ian Mann EBSS_161101_14-02-10 Senior Educational Psychologist 
EBSS_161101_13-26-41  Dr Karen Fields Senior Educational Psychologist
Karen is a Child and Educational Psychologist passionate about making the voice of children heard where it matters.  She has lots of experience in working with children of all ages and loves being a member of the EPSS.
Ruth Smallwood EPSS_Symbol_CMYK Senior Educational Psychologist
Dr Sarah Hatfield Senior Educational Psychologist
Sarah has worked as an educational psychologist for 15 years, spending 7 of these years working as a specialist senior psychologist for Looked After Children. Sarah was responsible for setting up the Norfolk Boarding Partnership in 2008 and retains involvement with the project as part of EPSS wider working.
Sean O’Donoghue EBSS_161101_14-05-37  Educational Psychologist 
Sean has been working as an Educational Psychologist in Norfolk for thirty years, having previously been a SENDCo in East London. He presently works in North Norfolk in both urban and rural schools. He has a a developing interest in SEND/EAL. Individual casework remains central to his work.
EPSS_LK_a Dr Lucy Kimber Educational Psychologist 
Lucy is an Educational and Child Psychologist. Her interests are in supporting children and young people with social emotional and mental health needs, by working collaboratively with their school and families. She enjoys working directly with children using therapeutic approaches and is keen to advocate for the needs of vulnerable children.
Jane Sarmezey Educational Psychologist
Jane is an experienced Educational Psychologist.  Special interests include working to support children who have experienced early trauma, and therapeutic work with children (including therapeutic storywriting and therapeutic play).   Jane emphasises the need to consider all contextual factors when promoting the education and life chances of children with additional needs.
EBSS_161101_13-48-24 Dr Patrick Halcrow Educational Psychologist
Patrick is an Educational and Child Psychologist. He is passionate about working collaboratively with parents and schools to understand and support the holistic needs of children and young people so that they can continue to thrive and achieve through learning and education. He trained at the Tavistock and Portman NHS in London and has worked in Educational Psychology Services in London and Essex, prior to joining Norfolk EPSS in 2016. Patrick undertakes a range of tasks in Norfolk, including facilitating therapeutic consultations, and a range of interventions to develop relationships and resilience in children, families and schools (e.g. Video Interaction Guidance with adults and play/resilience groups with children).
Dr Sue Ackerley EBSS_161101_14-30-27 Educational Psychologist
Lloyd Smith Trainee Educational Psychologist
Lloyd is a Trainee Educational Psychologist studying at the University of East London. He has previously worked as an Assessment Consultant, a Teaching Assistant and a Support Worker in the community. Lloyd is passionate about working with and supporting parents of children and young people with SEND.
 Sarah Raspin EBSS_161101_14-18-08 Trainee Educational Psychologist
Sarah is Trainee Educational Psychologist studying a Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology at the University of Nottingham. She is currently in Year 3 and is researching staff attributions towards challenging classroom behaviour. Her previous experience includes teaching music and performing arts, further study in cognitive neuroscience and working as an Assistant Educational Psychologist.
Emma Speed Trainee Educational Psychologist
Georgina Turner Trainee Educational Psychologist
Georgina is a Trainee Educational Psychologist studying at the University of East London. She joined EPSS as an Assistant Educational Psychologist in 2015, having worked in mainstream and special schools, as well as teaching at a Sixth Form College. Georgina has a particular interest in supporting pupils who may be at risk of exclusion from school, and she is currently researching children’s experiences of “Managed Moves” as an alternative to permanent exclusion.
Helen Holderness Trainee Educational Psychologist
Helen is currently a year 2 trainee, undertaking a Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology at the University of Nottingham. Previous to this, she was an assistant EP for 6 months, worked as a teacher and senior leader at a complex needs school in Norwich for 10 years, and taught in mainstream for 10 years. I have a BSc in Psychology, a BA in Philosophy and French, and a PGCE.
Kirstie Summers EPSS_KS_a Trainee Educational Psychologist
Kirstie is a year 2 Trainee Educational Psychologist undertaking a Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology at the University of Nottingham. Prior to this, she was part of the EPSS team as an Assistant Educational Psychologist. Kirstie has a particular interest in supporting children’s social and emotional development and promoting inclusive practice.
Nikki Palmer Trainee Educational Psychologist
 Rachel   Wade  Research & Development Assistant/
Assistant Education Psychologist 
Rachel Wade is a Research and Development Assistant/ Assistant EP who joined the team in September 2018. Prior to this she was a primary school teacher working within Oxfordshire County Council. Rachel holds a BSc in Psychology, childhood and aging and a PGCE.

Working in Association with EPSS

EPSS also work with independent Educational Psychologists.  The Associate Educational Psychologists help us manage the ever increasing demand in Norfolk and expand the qualified and experienced EP capacity of EPSS.

Robin Farman Associate Educational Psychologist
Robin is an experienced teacher and educational psychologist. He studied at the Universities of Birmingham, Washington and Zululand. Robin qualified as an Educational Psychologist (Pretoria) and Counselling Psychologist (Natal), where he lectured in Educational Psychology, Special Education, Sports Psychology and Counselling Psychology. He served as a Senior Educational Psychologist in a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in England for twelve years. He has served as an expert witness in Family Court Cases and SEND Tribunals.
Diane Haward Associate Educational Psychologist

Tony Tarrant  Associate Educational Psychologist
Tony’s experience has included being a Principal Educational Psychologist, tutor on two Educational Psychology training courses the British Psychological Society Training Committee. He has particular interests in change processes in organisations, in the social development of young people and in evidence based positive psychology

Staff groups: Critical Incident Lead Officer – CILO

The Critical Incident Team, led by the CILO, is a multi-disciplinary team trained in trauma management and psychological support, who assist education settings following critical and traumatic incidents. The CI Team receives some core funding from the local authority, and an annual subscription service is offered to academies and independent schools. The team offers consultations in relation to bereaved children in education settings, providing research based support and advice, as well as referrals to outside agencies. The CILO also provides training in relation to managing critical incidents and supporting bereaved children. Please contact Dr Bianca Finger-Berry for further information.

Dr. Bianca Finger-Berry EBSS_161101_13-26-07

Critical Incident Lead Officer 

Bianca trained in social pedagogy in Bielefeld, Germany and after working as a social worker in West Sussex she joined EPSS in 2001. She completed her Doctorate in Education in 2015, and her MA in Advanced Social Work in 2018. Bianca is a trained EMDR therapist. She is part of the EPSS leadership team and leads on work relating to critical incidents, bereavement, trauma and is involved in some suicide prevention activities.

Tel. 01263 739064/07887 832413

Staff groups: Specialist Learning Support Teachers – SLSTs

EPSS also includes SLSTs who, as well as being widely experienced in working with children who experience difficulties with learning, have a range of additional qualifications and/or experience in areas including dyslexia, social communication difficulties, nurture group theory and practice and solution focused brief therapy. SLSTs are qualified to identify dyslexia and complete assessments for access arrangements.

SLSTs work alongside EPs to advise schools and parents on meeting educational needs and offer support including consultation and advice, assessment and direct interventions with individual and groups of children. They can offer a range of interventions including parent workshops, staff training and ‘surgeries’ to discuss individual learning needs.

Liz Jones Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Liz Jones has been employed by Norfolk County Council since 1978 – first as a class-teacher, and joining the then Norfolk Psychological Service in 1985. Liz has worked in the fields of learning support and provision for children excluded from school, and was Course Tutor for the Diploma for Teachers of Learners with SpLD (Dyslexia) for 13 years. She has advanced qualifications in the areas of SEND and learning difficulties and her current role is Specialist Learning Support Teacher within EPSS working with a range of schools from primary to secondary.
EBSS_161101_14-20-24 Anna Pearson Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Anna started off working as a primary teacher and then worked on several research projects, including one investigating the development of young children’s Theory of Mind.  Anna has been very happy working for EPSS for nearly twenty years.  Her special interests are Dyslexia and Autism.
OCR Level 7 SpeLD (Dyslexia), University Certificate in Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Joan McLauchlan EBSS_161101_13-42-29 Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Joan has many years of experience teaching in Primary Schools in Scotland and Norfolk. She was SENCO in a Norwich School prior to joining Norfolk’s Educational Psychology Service in 2001.
She has worked closely in the past with Norfolk’s Advisory Service in rolling out Wave 3 Maths materials and writing a maths assessment focused on filling gaps in pupils’ maths knowledge. She has an interest in dyscalculia.
Now working as a Specialist Learning Support Teacher across all age ranges for Educational Psychology and Specialist Support, she holds a post-graduate qualification in Dyslexia and an Assessment Practicing Certificate in assessing and teaching learners with specific learning difficulties.
EBSS_161101_13-35-48 Jenny Harris Specialist Learning Support Teacher 
Jenny enjoys teaching children to develop their skills – from basic literacy to GCSE English.
She delivers Sound Discovery training. Using formative and dynamic assessment, Jenny uncovers the learner’s needs to guide next steps.
Level 7 Assessment Practising Certificate and Teaching Practising Certificate
Level 7 Assessing and Teaching Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)
Sarah Gentle EBSS_161101_13-32-28 Specialist Learning Support Teacher 
Sarah is an experienced teacher and SENCO who has worked in a wide range of educational settings from mainstream schools to Pupil Referral Unit (SSSfN) and across all key stages. Her specialist area of interest is children’s and young people’s social, emotional and mental health.
EBSS_161101_13-43-22 Kate McCaul Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Dave Pearce EBSS_161101_13-51-54 Specialist Learning Support Teacher
EBSS_161101_14-23-32 Carrieanne Miller Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Adrian Knott EBSS_161101_13-46-50 Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Adrian is an experienced teacher who takes pride in working with schools, parents and young people. Adrian was recently awarded a scholarship to undertake a research degree at Leeds Beckett University with the centre for LGBTQ+ inclusion in education.British Dyslexia Association Level 7 Assessment Practising and Teaching Certificate
Postgraduate National Award for SEND Co-ordination
Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Physical Education (QTS)
Helene Coates Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Carolyn Nixon
Specialist Learning Support Teacher
With experience across primary and secondary phases as a science teacher Carolyn went on to develop her awareness of special needs as a SENDCo. In her current role for 14 years, she enjoys finding ways to motivate children who are stuck, involving them in drawing up targets based on their strengths.
OCR Level 5 Certificate: Teaching Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)
Jo O’Donoghue Specialist Learning Support Teacher
Jo has extensive experience of working with children with SEMH difficulties in a range of settings. She works as an Associate for EPSS carrying out assessments and giving advice and delivering training to schools. Jo is also a trained psychodynamic counsellor. She is a respite and emergency foster carer for Norfolk children.


Staff groups: ASD and Social Emotional and Mental Health Teams

ASD Team – The Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialist Support Assistant (ASD SSA) team have been delivering services to children, schools and others in Norfolk for over 15 years. The team is now comprised of 4 full-time staff who have a remit to support children in schools and local authority pre-school settings through core or commissioned work. The team are also able to offer ASD training to school staff.


Caroline Hall Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Team Leader 
Caroline has extensive experience in working with vulnerable and challenging children in a range of settings, including a Pupil Referral Unit, a Specialist Resource Base and mainstream schools. She has a BA Hons in French and a BSc Hons in Psychology. She completed a Post Graduate diploma in Child Development with the O.U. in 2011 and has a special interest in supporting children with mental health difficulties.
Sara Dale Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Team Leader
‘Sara is a Registered General Nurse who previously worked as a Community Macmillan Nurse nationwide for 20 years. She moved to work as an SEMH Practitioner with EPSS in April 2018 following 5 years’ experience of working within an education setting with young people at risk of permanent exclusion from school. Sara is passionate about inclusion for all young people supporting them in accessing support and mental health services across Norfolk in order to reach their full potential . She has been key in developing the SEMH service to encourage early intervention and prevention of exclusion in Norfolk schools.
Julie Stewart ASD  Support Team Coordinator
Julie has over 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people with ASD or social communication difficulties across a range of settings. Julie has received extensive training including TEACCH, PECS, Social Stories and Lego based therapy. Julie  also supports colleagues within the Neurodevelopment pathway to deliver Cygnet and Earlybird training to parents of children with an ASD diagnosis.
Jeni Mein ASD Specialist Support Assistant 
Jeni has 19 years of working with autism within mainstream, specialist and a specialist resource base provision. She is trained in TEACCH, PEC’s, Social Story writing and Lego-based therapy. Jeni is also a licenced EarlyBird trainer and co-runs parent support programmes.
Louise Cotton EPSS Specialist Support Assistant
Tayla Esgate-Menear EPSS Specialist Support Assistant 
Tayla has had experience working with a range of children aged 4-18 years with ASD traits and/or ASD diagnosis within specialist settings. Tayla also has experience providing short term respite care to children with disabilities within Norfolk. Tayla now specialises in supporting children with ASD or social communication difficulties in mainstream settings. Tayla also supports health organisations to deliver Cygnet training to parents of children who have received an ASD diagnosis.
Toni Harrison SEMH Specialist Support Assistant
Beryl Bond SEMH Specialist Support Assistant
Beryl has been working within the Primary education sector for the last 34 years. She enjoys supporting children around their social, emotional and mental health needs to help them become more confident and positive. She also works with families to support them with parenting strategies.

Staff groups: Traded Services Support  and Business Support – BSO
Our BSO Team promote a philosophy of putting children & young people’s needs first at every opportunity they have a keen eye for detail and are the backbone of our service. They are the secondary point of contact for telephone and personal inquiries, supplying information and directing matters as appropriate.

Traded Services Support Officer

Our TSSO is your primary contact for any and all queries regarding new and ongoing contracts. The TSSO’s primary duties are to assist in plans to establish this site and extend promotional arrangements, to review financial and business monitoring processes, and to enhance quality assurance and business intelligence systems.

A.J. James Brooks


Traded Services Support Officer 

James has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience on both sides of the Atlantic.  This vast experience and his continued growth have helped him become a vital part of the EPSS Team. Based in our Carrow House offices, James is typically the first point of contact for any traded queries. james.brooks@norfolk.gov.uk 01603 306362


Business Support Officers

01603 307550

Irene Hoare- BS Manager

Michele Blazey

Cheryl Gedge

Sue Burt

Bridget Tinsey

Donna Cropley

Diane Leslie

Gerry Dickerson