Educational Psychology

Meet the Educational Psychology Team

The team of Educational Psychologists are qualified to post-graduate level and registered with the Health and Care Professional Council.

In addition to professional Educational Psychology qualifications, many of our Educational Psychologists have additional qualifications in areas such as Narrative Therapy, Video Interaction Guidance and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, an attachment-based treatment for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.


Laura Jellicoe - Senior Educational Psychologist

Prior to becoming an Educational Psychologist for Education Services Laura worked as a Teaching Assistant in a Worcestershire special school and then a Teacher in mainstream primary. She thoroughly enjoyed these roles and they sparked an interest in promoting the use of outdoor learning environments for all children but particularly those with Special Educational Needs (SEN). While teaching Laura trained as a Forest School Leader and spent time researching the impact of Forest Schools for her Masters in Education, as a Trainee Educational Psychologist (TEP) and then during her first post as an Educational Psychologist in a West Midlands borough. Laura completed her Applied Doctorate in Educational Psychology at Nottingham University and has since returned to the University to lecture.

Laura has delivered a number of training courses for school staff including Meeting Attachment Needs, Precision Teaching, Counselling Skills, Emotion Coaching and Self-Harm. She has also supervised a Research Team to promote research and development within the profession. A recent training session in Precision Teaching was valued by a local school:

“Precision Teaching has made a huge difference for one of our students as his reading skills have improved and he wants to read every day. The intervention has also had the knock-on effect of improving parental engagement with school as they are keen to receive regular feedback about this intervention” Mrs Susan Darby, SENCO at Wilden All Saints CE Primary School (a co-founding member of the Severn Academies Educational Trust)

Laura volunteered with a Worcestershire bereavement support charity for a number of years and has an interest in supporting schools during critical incidents. She really enjoys offering staff consultations as well as individual work with children and young people based on Cognitive Behavioural Approaches, Motivational Interviewing and Counselling techniques.


David Scott - Educational Psychologist

Dave is a parent. He has practised Educational Psychology for nearly thirty years. Dave previously taught English, Drama and SEN in High Schools. He has a Catholic Teacher’s Certificate and an ongoing interest in faith-based education. He has managed psychology services and professional teams.

Dave previously worked as a Specialist Psychologist for Looked-After Children and has extensive experience of supporting and training foster carers and residential social workers. He also spent 10 years as psychologist member of Adoption Panels. He has been Specialist EP for Behaviour, leading a County Behaviour Team.

He has worked extensively in Oral History and has trained many interviewers. Dave has also worked as part of a CAMHS Team. He is ADOS trained and has been a member of integrated Autism Pathways in 3 authorities. He has carried out a series of 2 day Attachment Courses for Social Workers. Dave particularly enjoys working with groups of parents.

Dave has also been a Critical-Incident Co-Ordinator, and continues to offer Critical Incident training to schools and colleges. He has supported students undertaking masters and doctorates. He has provided input to university psychology courses.

Dave has carried out research into Teen Cooperatives and into interagency and professional communication and how to make this maximally effective. He has actively worked in promoting organisational change and renewal.

Dave has also an active interest in Youth Drama, especially with regard to helping young adults with social communication difficulties.

Professional qualifications/accreditations:

  • B.A. (hons) English, B.A. (hons) Psychology
  • M.A.. Education, MSc. Educational Psychology
  • Doctorate of Ed Psychology
  • DECP: Practioner Psychologist

Dave is able to deliver training on:

  • Facilitating Circle-based consultancy
  • Systemic Change in Schools
  • Behaviour Management
  • “ Behaviouralism 101”
  • Cognitive Behavioural Approaches
  • Positive Psychology
  • Bullying
  • Foster Carer
  • Prospective adopter training
  • Psychological perspectives on faith-based education
  • Input to/ facilitation of parental groups
  • Critical incident training for schools
  • Drama for promoting Social Interaction
  • Facilitation of shared pathway-planning for teams and organisations
  • Attachment (for both education and social care colleagues)
  • Oral History Interviewing
  • Achieving better parental consultation meetings
  • Precision Teaching
  • Monitoring the efficacy/efficiency of interventions
  • Consultative or supervisory research support to
  • Individual researchers
  • Autism

Rita Sutherland - Educational Psychologist

Rita is an experienced Educational Psychologist registered with the HCPC and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. Rita offers extensive experience of psychological assessment, therapeutic interventions, reporting and providing recommendations for young people and families. Rita has worked at the Meadow Centre diagnosing children on the autistic spectrum. She is trained with ADOS. She has worked with young people with a range of complex needs including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, neuro developmental disorders and learning and language difficulties. Rita holds a certificate in counselling, she is trained to deliver cognitive behavioural approaches, solution focused approaches and is a Family Links trainer. Rita delivers Precision Teaching training to schools.

Rita has been accredited with her Stage 3 Video Interactive Guidance and is a certified practitioner. She is training to be a VIG supervisor.

“Rita continued to be in many ways the only person I feel who has advocated for my daughter during this very stressful and uncertain period, as well as continuing to meet her to help her in trying to manage her behaviour and emotions, not to mention supporting me with phone calls, emails and attending meetings at the school to discuss ongoing arrangements for her education. I can honestly say the help she has provided has been invaluable.” Amelia Quirk (Parent Woodrush High).


Rachel Ashmore - Educational Psychologist

Rachel is an experienced educational psychologist and has worked in Worcestershire for 12 years

Before completing her MSc in Educational Psychology, Rachel worked as a Teacher in Birmingham and Kidderminster. Additionally, she worked as an assistant Educational Psychologist in a specialist SEMH provision for 3 years. She has built upon this experience to develop a particular interest and expertise in supporting adolescents in the social and emotional challenges they experience in schools.

Rachel has undertaken further professional training in using cognitive behavioural approaches in working with young people. Furthermore, she has recently enhanced her skills in delivering professional supervision practices to support colleagues.

As an adoptive parent of a child with additional needs, she is passionate about supporting children and families.

Rachel can deliver training on supporting students who self -harm.


Jen Kirwan - Educational Psychologist


Sophie Symonds - Educational Psychologist

Sophie is an Educational Psychologist, registered with the HCPC and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. Prior to this, Sophie worked as a Primary School Teacher.

Sophie recently completed her doctorate training course at the University of Bristol. Her doctoral thesis explored the factors that support care leavers to go to university and supporting children in care and care leavers to achieve their full potential is a passion of hers.

Sophie has experience of supporting systemic change, psychological consultation, psychological assessment, therapeutic interventions and gathering children’s views. She has had training in a range of interventions, including Therapeutic Storywriting, Story Links, Zippy’s Friends, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Dynamic Assessment, Narrative Therapy, Emotion Coaching and Cognitive Behavioural Approaches.

Sophie has delivered training in meeting attachment needs in schools, Precision Teaching, Solution Focused Working and an Autism Parent Programme. School staff have reported that Sophie presents training with, “Friendly, clear and confident delivery.”

Sophie has also provided training to Trainee Educational Psychologists at a regional level at a Trainee Division of Educational and Child Psychology Conference.

Professional accreditations: BSc, PGCE, DEdPsy, HCPC registered.


Eleanor Gray - Trainee Educational Psychologist


Ruth Thomas - Trainee Educational Psychologist