Meet the EP team

Dr Jane Park

Co-Principal Educational Psychologist


Dr Jane Park is an Educational Psychologist (Specialist Practitioner) with Telford & Wrekin EPS, having trained with the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust. Her primary area of professional interest is in the field of supporting positive life outcomes for young people in the 14-25 age range with complex needs. Passionate about supervision, Jane is a British Psychological Society (BPS) trained supervisor and has supervised the development of trainee EPs from the University of Birmingham for several years. Jane also co-ordinates our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) training and supervision in Telford & Wrekin. Jane’s doctoral research was published in the BPS book ‘Applied Educational Psychology With 16-25 Year Olds’ and an academic paper ‘Using the Grid Elaboration Method (GEM) to investigate the transition experiences of young autistic adults’ was published in March 2020. Her chapter contribution to a forthcoming book publication on supporting young autistic adults into further education is due for publication in 2022.


Dr Alexandra Sewell, Dr Jane Park, Dr Janchai King, and Dr Hannah Fleming, Kara Pirttijarvi, Stuart Busby (2022). Voice Practices to Support Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). In Diverse Voices in Education London:JKP. [publication in October 2022]

Charli Franklin & Jane Park (2022) Transition Into Adulthood. In Judith Gainsborough (ed) Educational Psychology Perspectives on Supporting Young Autistic People, GB: JKP

Alexandra Sewell & Jane Park (2021) A three factor model of educational practice considerations for teaching neurodiverse learners from a strengths-based perspective, Support For Learning 36, 4 pp 678-694

Jane Park & Judith Mortell (2020) Using the Grid Elaboration Method (GEM) to investigate transition experiences of young autistic adults, Educational Psychology in Practice, 36:2, 193-207, DOI: 10.1080/02667363.2020.1731429

Jane Park (2018) From real-world research to the real world: Extending the free association in Grid Elaboration Method into applied educational psychologist practice with older students. In Brian Apter, Christopher Arnold, & Julia Hardy (Eds.), Applied educational psychology with 16-25 year olds: New frameworks and perspectives for working with young people (pp. 135-150). UCL Institute of Education Press.

Dr Meryl Newton

Co-Principal Educational Psychologist

Dr Meryl Newton is an Educational Psychologist with a Specialist Practitioner role in Early Years at Telford and Wrekin EPS. She completed her Educational Psychology doctorate at Cardiff University, having previously completed an MSc in Psychology at the University of East London.

Meryl’s professional interests include pupil voice work (gathering and representing young people’s views), working with children under the age of 5 and supervision. She has enjoyed providing clinical supervision for a range of professionals, including Social Workers, Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, school based wellbeing leads and Trainee Educational Psychologists. She currently supervises the assistant psychologists working for Telford and Wrekin Educational Psychology Service.


Meryl Newton & Ian Smillie (2020) Educational psychologists’ practice: obtaining and representing young people’s views, Educational Psychology in Practice, 36:3, 328-344, DOI: 10.1080/02667363.2020.1787955

Dr Colette Soan 

Educational Psychologist - Specialist Practitioner SEMH

Dr Adele Thacker

Educational Psychologist

I completed Educational Psychology training in 2017 at the University of Nottingham. Prior to becoming an EP I managed a provision for children at risk of exclusion which aimed to support the inclusion of young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.

Prior to joining Telford in March 2022, I worked for Staffordshire Council as an Educational Psychologist for the Virtual School. A large part of my role focussed upon the development of attachment aware and trauma informed schools.

As well as supporting a number of schools, I currently spend 2 days a week as a Specialist Practitioner Educational Psychologist for the Virtual School. I am also a trustee and advisor for the Attachment Research Community.

My Professional interests include:

  • The development of attachment aware and trauma informed educational settings including the use of Emotion Coaching and Restorative approaches at a whole school level
  • Working with care experienced children and young people
  • The use of creative, group consultation approaches to jointly construct new and helpful meanings of concerns
  • Dynamic models of assessment
  • Utilising flexible and creative approaches to capture the voice of children and young people and empowering them in the process of change

Dr Emily Williamson

 Educational Psychologist

I trained as a Child and Educational Psychologist at the University of Birmingham and joined Telford Educational Psychology Service in September 2021. I have been lucky enough to work and share psychology with a diverse group of amazing young people, families and professionals in contexts including short break care, residential schooling and local authorities across the West Midlands. I see my role as working collaboratively with others to apply psychology in complex situations and try to facilitate sustainable positive change.

My professional interests include:

  • Person Centred Approaches
  • Restorative Practice
  • Inclusion and Belonging
  • Positive Psychology
  • Staff and family wellbeing
  • Anti-oppression

Dr Penny Whittles

 Educational Psychologist

I completed the Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology at UCL’s ‘Institute of Education’ in London between 2017 and 2020. During this time, I completed placements with Lambeth Council and Hackney Council. Prior to this, I qualified and worked as a Teacher in Swindon having completed a PGCE from the University of Worcester.

Post qualifying, I returned to my home county of Shropshire and have been working for Telford and Wrekin Council. My work and interests include:

  • ASD and delivering AET training.
  • Sensory processing and sensory integration.
  • Early childhood development.
  • Interest in dynamic models as alternatives to psychometric assessment.

Dr Dan Cumber

Educational Psychologist

I trained as a Child and Educational Psychologist at the University of Birmingham and joined Telford Educational Psychology Service in September 2022. Prior to starting my training, I worked as a Learning Support Assistant in a school for children with cognition and learning and communication and interaction difficulties, before becoming an Assistant Educational Psychologist within Powys County Council where I worked in a wide variety of educational and community settings across the 0-25 age range.

My current professional interests include:

  • Promoting systemic level change to build capacity in schools and prevent as well as react to developing difficulties through holistic ecological assessment, consultation, intervention, training and evidence based practice.
  • Social justice
  • Developmental Trauma, attachment, loss and bereavement
  • Polyvagal theory and sensorimotor systems of regulation for children who have experienced trauma
  • Working with care experienced children and young people
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Restorative approaches
  • Personal Construct Psychology
  • Executive Functioning
  • Supervision
  • Play
  • Lego Therapy
  • ELSA
  • Solution focused and strength based approaches
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Positive psychology and wellbeing (adults and children)
  • Dynamic Assessment  

Kate Jobson

Trainee Educational Psychologist

I am a second-year trainee Child and Educational Psychologist studying at the University of Birmingham.

I joined the Educational Psychology team in September 2022, and am really enjoying getting to know the young people, families, and education settings across Telford and Wrekin.

Before beginning my training as a Child and Educational Psychologist, I worked as a volunteer counsellor for Childline, and as a PhD researcher specialising in supporting children and young people with literacy difficulties.

I am passionate about working with people to help them achieve meaningful change in their lives, or within the systems that they live and work in. I particularly enjoy taking a person-centred approach in order to understand an individual’s lived experiences and what is really important to them.

Areas of psychology that I am particularly interested in (and love using in my work) include:

  • Personal-Construct Psychology (PCP)
  • Solution-focused and strengths-based approaches
  • Therapeutic approaches
  • Joint working and group problem-solving

Julie Lewis-Smith

Trainee Educational Psychologist

Luke Nicholls

Assistant Psychologist

I work for Telford and Wrekin as an Assistant Psychologist. As part of my role in the educational psychology service, I support the EPs and visit schools and nurseries to listen to children and understand their views.  I am currently working with families to support children returning to school after covid-19 as part of the Blue Sky Project. I gained a degree in Educational Psychology from Edge Hill University, where I specialised in early child development from 3-5 year olds. After graduating, I completed a PGCE in primary education and I worked as a primary school teacher with in the Telford area, teaching mainly within KS1. I have also enjoyed working in early year’s settings and specialist provision. I am passionate about:

  • Supporting teachers, families and children in early years settings
  • Using therapeutic approaches to work with children and families to empower them to make change in their lives 
  • Using psychological approaches, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, at a whole school level within schools to support staff and children’s wellbeing
  • Working directly with teachers, using psychology and my teaching experience to support their practice

If I am coming to work with you, find out more about me and the work we will complete together by viewing my one page profile. 

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