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Personal profile


I am a Deputy Head in the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. I am a SFHEA who is particularly interested in students’ learning journeys. My teaching spans undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. My core subjects are interprofessional leadership, child and family practice, child and adolescent development and the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. 

My work in HE has involved workforce development with partner employers on the design, development, leadership, delivery and quality assurance of undergraduate and post graduate programmes and initiatives for children, families and communities. I have represented Northumbria University as a school governor, a member of various local authority and voluntary sector workforce development committees, an external examiner and an external panel member for approval processes at other HE institutions.  

Research interests

My main areas of interest are interprofessional and interdisciplinary provision for children, young people, parents and families. My work is supported by my commitment to the core conditions of person-centred and relational practice.

Although my expertise is more in teaching and learning than in research, I see both as equally important and entirely interrelated. The research and evaluation work I have done has the same underlying aims as my practice and teaching: to improve the life chances and wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are in situations where disadvantage and discrimination are common experiences and where they have little power over their circumstances.

Over recent years, while volunteering in a riding school, I have paid close attention to the powerful positive effect that interactions with horses can have on young people for whom life may have been chaotic and not provided them with experience of relationships characterised by respect, trust and problem solving. This has caused me to reflect on the concepts of active learning and intrinsic motivation, both of which have been core elements of my practice and teaching for many years. My professional experience had already made me very aware that authentic interactions and relationships are essential components of practice in the ‘scaffolding’ (Bruner, 1996) of children and young people’s learning, development and wellbeing. As a result of this line of thinking, my doctoral research develops the argument for the place of horses as authentic and therapeutic partners in relational work with young people with low self-esteem.  

Education/Academic qualification

Health & Social Research, PhD, Self-esteem, Resilience and Wellbeing in Adolescence: The Potential of Horses as Therapeutic Partners, Northumbria University

… → 1 Feb 2022

Award Date: 1 Feb 2022

Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Learning and Teaching, PGCert, PG Cert Academic Practice, Newcastle University

Award Date: 1 Sept 2002

Social Work, MA

1 Sept 1994 → …

Award Date: 1 Sept 1994


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