Jalak PatelJalak began her career in the education sector in 2001 as a primary school teacher. After qualifying as an Educational Psychologist in 2005, she worked in the UK for seven years before moving to Hong Kong to take up a post with the English Schools Foundation (ESF). While working for ESF, Jalak provided school-based educational psychology services as well as providing private assessment and consultation to meet the needs of the wider Hong Kong community. She also supported ESF staff and schools through her role as Foundation Advisor for SEN Training and Development. Joining Real Group in 2017, Jalak became an online tutor for many of Real Training’s masters-level courses and a well-regarded facilitator of Real Training’s face-to-face intensive Certificate of Competence in Education Testing qualification. She has delivered lectures and workshops at higher education institutes such as the University of Greenwich and the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. Jalak is an experienced conference speaker, having delivered seminars and workshops in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. Jalak continues to work closely with UK and international schools to provide consultation, assessment and written reports in relation to individual students’ psycho-educational needs.
Dr Mark TurnerMark is a qualified and experienced educational psychologist. Previously in his career he was a primary teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Mark is personable, trustworthy and a good communicator. He has been described as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of psychology however his main passion is to help bring about positive change for children, young people, their families and schools. He writes, publishes and speaks at conferences and is a trustee and Chair of the Nurture Group Network and an independent school. Mark is a visiting fellow at the University of East London, having previously been a senior tutor on the UEL Educational Psychology Doctoral Training course for many years. Mark is especially interested in developing new services and training courses which apply psychology to deliver real improvements to the life chances of children, young people and families. Co-founder of Real Group with Alan in 2004, Mark remains its professional and academic lead.
Sarah NorrisSarah joined Real Group as a senior educational psychologist, having had over 13 years experience working within a local authority. She has extensive experience of working with schools and young people with a range of SEN needs and across all age ranges. Most recently Sarah has specialised in the field of mental health and young people with social and emotional needs. She has a diploma in solution focussed practice and has worked therapeutically supporting young people and developed, delivered and managed an early intervention approach based with a mental health service in her last authority.
Dr Siobhan MellorSiobhan has worked with children and young people in both mainstream and special schools for over 14 years, from pre-school through to early adulthood. Assessment and intervention around developmental disorders such as autism have been a significant part of her work, including as a member of a multi-disciplinary ASD assessment team with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and the Speech & Language therapy Service. In recent years, supporting the understanding of children with complex learning, social and emotional difficulties has featured strongly in her work. Siobhan is a Director of Real Group (UK) Ltd and the Module Leader for the National Award for SEN Coordination with Middlesex University, supporting SENCOs across the UK in meeting the needs of children in schools. Siobhan also regularly undertakes assessments for courts where children are going through care proceedings.
Dr Sue SheppardSue is a qualified educational psychologist who can offer a wide range of psychological services to schools. In addition she is a specialist who has developed expertise in the autism spectrum over the last 30 years. She joined the Real Psychology team in 2014. She also works for Real Training teaching on the NASCO award and the EPI programme, and has been instrumental in the writing and development of the autism modules for which she acts as module leader and tutor. Sue has worked in a number of London boroughs as a specialist EP and formerly as a teacher in specialist settings. Her experiences are diverse and include support for ASD outreach services, early years settings, schools, parents, CAMHs teams, and multiagency child development teams. Sue works in collaboration with universities to support training. She worked part time at the Lorna Wing Centre (NAS) for over 18 years and remains and active consultant. Within this role, she carries out specialist diagnostic work, assessment and training for a range of professional groups coordinating DISCO training nationally and internationally. Sue has a strong interest in girls and women on the spectrum and promotes the use of dimensional models of assessment which ensure the ‘insider’ perspective is strongly embedded. She also works intensively with young people to promote positive well-being.
Dr Joanna WoodJo qualified as a science teacher in 1995 and spent over fifteen years teaching in London secondary schools, including as Head of Science in a Pupil Referral Unit. After retraining as an Educational Psychologist, she worked in a local authority in London, before joining Real Group as a Senior Educational Psychologist in September 2019. Her doctoral research was on supervision for school staff. She has a particular interest in adolescence, school exclusion and mental health. Jo is also an Accredited Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) practitioner, as well as an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) trainer and supervisor.
Dr Richard LewisRichard is a fully qualified Educational Psychologist, Chartered by the British Psychological Society and registered with the Health Professions Council. His previous qualifications include an initial degree in Psychology and Counselling, School Centred Initial Teacher Training and teaching for 2 years prior to the Masters in Professional Educational Psychology at the Institute of Education. Since completing the MSc in Professional Educational Psychology in 2004, he has undertaken further training, completing the CPD Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman Trust in 2013. Richard also lectures on the Doctoral training programme at the Tavistock and Portman Trust.
Dr Hannah FairallDr Hannah Fairall, is an Educational Psychologist with Real Group. Hannah focussed her doctoral thesis on the implementation of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant project (a TA-led SEMH intervention), and her Masters thesis focussed on maximising the role of TAs in their settings. Hannah works in a range of primary, secondary and specialist SEMH schools in London. She is also a tutor on the Real Training Professional Assessment Programme and the MEd SEND programme.