The purpose of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology is to promote the professional interests of educational and child psychologists and to develop psychology both as a profession and as a body of knowledge and skills.
Co-Chair and communications: Dr Dan OHareShow content
Dr Dan O'Hare is a Chartered Educational Psychologist who currently works for a local authority and as a lecturer at the University of Bristol. He is the current co-chair elect of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology and in this role has contributed to a range of guidance regarding the wellbeing of children, young people, and teachers during the coronavirus pandemic.
He is the founder of edpsy.org.uk - an online magazine for educational psychologists.
Co-Chair and communications: Dr Melernie MeheuxShow content
Melernie Meheux is co-chair of the Division of Child and Educational Psychology (DECP) and a Senior Educational Psychologist working within a Local Authority. She is a Play Therapist and joint Year One co-ordinator at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education.
Her professional interests also include attachment, the social, emotional and mental health of children and supporting children who have been excluded or are at risk of permanent school exclusion.
Co-Chair Elect: Dr Olympia PalikaraShow content
Dr Olympia Palikara is a trained Educational Psychologist and Associate Professor in Educational Psychology in the University of Warwick. She is particularly interested in the educational and psychosocial outcomes of children and young people with developmental disorders and special educational needs.
She is also interested in the effect of educational transitions, including from primary to secondary school and secondary to post-compulsory education, on children’s wellbeing and mental health.
She is member of the DECP committee and also represents the DECP in the Psychology in Education Standing Committee of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association (EFPA).
Co-Chair Elect: Dr Victoria LewisShow content
Victoria is passionate about the profession of Educational Psychology and keen for the discipline to listen and reflect so that it can support the best set of possible outcomes for children and young people. She qualified as an educational psychologist in the year 2000, having first worked as a primary school teacher.
Victoria is interested in supporting inclusion and diversity and is interested in working at the organisational and systems level as she believes that this will help to maximise impact. Victoria is privileged to work as an academic and professional tutor at two initial doctoral training courses, at both the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield.
Victoria is seconded to the University of Nottingham by Derbyshire County Council, where she enjoys collaborating with a range of educational settings and their communities.
Vice Chair: Vivian HillShow content
Vivian Hill is vice-chair of the DECP and Director of Professional Educational Psychology Training at the UCL Institute of Education and a Senior EP for Schools and Community Psychology Service in the London borough of Wandsworth.
Vivian chaired the BPS working group that developed the curriculum for extended training in educational psychology, and supports the organisation of the annual DECP Trainee Conference. She is part of the BPS Medicalization of Childhood working group and spoke at a House of Commons debate on this subject. In March 2020 she was asked to lead the BPS COVID-19 Co-ordinating Group’s Isolation and Confinement work strand. She is also representing the DECP in the BPS Poverty to Flourishing Campaign.
Vivian has a keen interest in the role of research in developing the professional knowledge and skills base of applied educational psychologists. Areas of research interest include: the links between emotional development and mental health and wellbeing, the influences of life experience on cognitive development and learning, attachment theory, contemporary models and understandings of intelligence, the educational experiences of children in public care, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, children’s mental health and well-being, the rights of all children and in particular those with additional needs, specific learning difficulties and promoting equal opportunities.
Vivian actively promotes and engages in multi-disciplinary training activities and has an interest in community safeguarding. Vivian has been involved in a number of documentaries for the BBC and Channel Four promoting the contribution of educational psychology.
Honorary Treasurer: Dr Helena BunnShow content
Helena’s experience covers aspects of child and adult psychology, educational and life outcomes, academic and research practice in Romania and England. Whilst in Romania, she worked as a psychologist in education and as a course director and was actively involved in European initiatives focused on special educational needs practices and support systems for children in state care and asylum seekers.
In England, she works as a principal lecturer at a London University and as a senior educational psychologist. She delivers consultancy services to organisations and has a specific interest in providing expert witness services involving former Romanian orphans and immigrants.
Honorary Secretary: Dr Kim OConnorShow content
Kim is an educational psychologist, working in Kingston and Richmond, and the Honorary Secretary of the DECP committee. She works as an EP for a community interest company that provides local authority services and part of her role involves supporting children who are looked after, through the Virtual School. Kim completed her Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at UCL in 2016, and worked in Greenwich following this.
Her interests include promoting the psychological wellbeing of children and the adults who support them, improving outcomes for looked after children and evidence-based practice
Committee Member: Dr Abigail WrightShow content
Abigail currently works for Neath and Port Talbot Council in South Wales. Prior to her work as an educational psychologist, she has worked as a teaching assistant, learning support mentor, play worker, support worker, volunteer research assistant, and an 'Intensive Interaction' facilitator for children who were home educated. She undertook these roles whilst studying for her BSc Psychology degree and MSc in Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University. Abigail originally joined the DECP committee as a trainee representative in her second year of EP training and has remained on the committee ever since.
Abigail qualified as an Educational Psychologist after completing her doctorate at Cardiff University in 2016. She has worked as an educational psychologist for both primary and secondary school aged children, but has more recently taken up a role with an early years specialism.
Her specific special interests include social communication and interaction, inclusion, attachment, parenting/caregiving, play, and autistic spectrum condition. She is especially passionate about early childhood development and the role of parents/carers in supporting children’s wellbeing, learning and development.
Committee member: Dr Gavin MorganShow content
Gavin is currently vice-chair of the DECP Committee. Having been an Educational Psychologist for over 20 years, Gavin has held a number of roles in the profession, and for the last twelve years has been an Academic and Professional Tutor on the Educational Psychology doctorate courses at University College London, a role which also includes supervision of research into the practice of Educational Psychology.
Gavin is also a Senior EP in Northamptonshire.
Committee Member: Dr Christopher ArnoldShow content
Dr Christopher Arnold has been a practising Educational Psychologist for over 35 years and developed special interests in reducing exclusions and dropout rates by analysing risk factors as well as numeracy assessment.
He is a regular contributor to conferences and has worked in a range of European locations as well as advising the EU on dropout reduction policies. He has published a number of books and is currently working on a book looking at the effect that the Covid pandemic is having on children. He is currently principal psychologist with psychologicalservices.gb ltd.
Committee Member: Dr Cynthia PintoShow content
Dr Cynthia Pinto works for Hillingdon Educational Psychology Service. Cynthia is currently involved with three projects for the DECP. She has been working with the Joint Professionals Liaison Group to develop guidance for EPs when providing statutory advice.
In addition, Cynthia is involved in the BPS’s Psychological Government programme which has produced a report examining the stressors faced by those working in the House of Commons.
Finally, Cynthia is working on a paper reviewing alternatives to medication for children and young people with an ADHD diagnosis. She is a joint Year One co-ordinator at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education.
Committee Member: Dr Hester RiviereShow content
Hester is an Educational Psychologist working in Oxfordshire in a Local Authority multi-disciplinary team that supports care-experienced children and their families. In this specialist role her professional interests are in attachment and developmental trauma, how these impact on children’s experiences in education, and how school staff can best be supported to work with children with complex emotional needs.
Hester is interested in introducing schools to the principles of Non-violent Resistance and to the approaches of Dr Dan Hughes in working with children who have experienced trauma. She is an accredited VIG guider.
Hester also works as a main grade EP with an independent group of colleagues in schools in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties, and as a tutor on the UCL Institute of Education Doctorate in Professional Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Committee Member: Dr Sarah ChestnuttShow content
Sarah is an Educational Psychologist who qualified from the University of Exeter in 2018. Sarah works within a local authority supporting children, families and school communities. She is involved in specialist work within the early years, as well as with young people who have social and emotional needs.
Sarah’s interests include supporting with trauma-informed approaches, enabling young people to share their views and aspirations, and community psychology. She is a member of the BPS’ DECP committee and is the Undergraduate Student Conference Lead for the BPS Branch in the South West of England.
Sarah is passionate about growing access to opportunities within psychology for communities, students and the wider psychological profession.
Committee Member: Dr Sarah Taylor-WhitewayShow content
Sarah is an Educational Psychologist working for Wandsworth local authority and is a lecturer and tutor on the DEdPsy course at the Institute of Education, UCL.
Prior to her doctorate, Sarah taught maths in a secondary school.
Sarah is interested in supporting whole-school change and has recently undertaken projects promoting the ‘voice of children’ in special schools and introducing psychological supervision for teachers.
Sarah also publishes a regular podcast, The Emotional Curriculum, where she interviews academics and practitioners with a view to promoting social and emotional development to people working in schools and education.
Committee Member: Andrea HigginsShow content
Andrea is a co-opted committee member.
DECP NI Chair: Dr Marie J. HillShow content
Dr Marie J. Hill is a Chartered Psychologist & Senior Educational Psychologist, currently working in Northern Ireland. She has been Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Educational and Child Psychology Northern Ireland Branch since October 2016.
She is experienced in working with children from 0-19 years with Special Educational Needs. She is skilled in psychological assessment, dynamic assessment, systemic working, consultation, training, public speaking, media work, policy work, psychological interventions, multidisciplinary working, communication, negotiation, psychological coaching, supervision, Special Educational Needs, mental health, critical incident, and is the founder of a psychological blog site.
Marie has a particular interest in trauma and neuropsychology.
Debate Editorial Board: VacantShow content
Information to follow.
Educational and Child Psychology Editor: Dr Fraser LauchlanShow content
Fraser is a registered educational psychologist and has more than 25 years experience of working in a variety of settings. He is Honorary Lecturer at the Universities of Strathclyde and Manchester, where he contributes to the respective Doctoral programmes in Educational Psychology.
He also runs a training and consultancy business in the UK (www.fraserlauchlan.com). His main research interests are in the use of dynamic assessment, labelling, and the cognitive benefits of bilingualism.
He is General Editor of the member network publication Educational and Child Psychology, a role that includes his membership of the DECP committee.
Ethics Committee Representative - VacantShow content
NAPEP Representative: Rhona HobsonShow content
Biography coming soon.
Programme Director Link: Dr Nick DurbinShow content
Programme Director Link: Dr Tony WilliamsShow content
Year 2 In Training Link: Lianne LustedShow content
Year 2 In Training Link: Richard GregoryShow content
Year 3 In Training Link: Rachel MeyrickShow content
Internal Representative for PPB: James McTaggartShow content
Biography coming soon.
TEPICC Representative: Mikel JohnsonShow content
Biography coming soon.