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After completing my first degree in Education/Psychology (Cardiff), I trained as a Speech and Language Therapist (City University, London). I later completed a PhD thesis on the psychosocial implications of being born with a cleft palate (Southampton).
Before joining the Department as a Lecturer in 2011, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology. From 1982, I worked in the Stress Research Unit within the Department of Psychology, developing psychometric scales and stress management interventions. In 2000, I moved to the Centre for Reading and Language again within the Department of Psychology. My research projects whilst in the Department of Psychology largely focused on the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of intervention programmes for promoting psychological resilience in vulnerable learners, in both primary and secondary schools.
I am currently the Programme Leader for the joint BA in Sociology and Education programme, and a member of the Psychology in Education Centre for Research (PERC). Since moving to the Department of Education, I have worked collaboratively with colleagues in the fields of Forensic and Clinical Psychology, on two projects looking at school responses to disruptive behaviour in the classroom, and interventions for those at risk of exclusion from secondary school. Most recently, my research has focused on understanding the transitions to and from Sixth Form education. I am also interested in supporting the mental health of students and staff at school, college and university.
My current research interests focus on the psychological aspects of education e.g. school-based interventions, coping with disadvantage and promoting emotional well-being in schools.