How did I get to here? I often wonder! After taking a Sociology degree and CQSW at Bath University, I began my professional career in 1974 as a social worker with the now defunct Avon County Council. In those days social workers were generic, not knowing much about everything! Following the sudden death of my father - who was a rather unconventional Baptist Minister - I decided to take a break and to study theology at the radical Northern Baptist College and the University of Manchester.
I did a postgraduate theology degree, then became a Minister myself for over 5 years, before going to work for the Diocese of Lichfield Board for Social Responsibility at the time of 'Faith in the City', helping parish churches to make connections between what they did on Sundays and the rest of the life of their local communities. But I had become increasingly sceptical about traditional Christian beliefs so when that job ended I gradually gave up on Ministry and went back into social work and a new career in Education Welfare. This lasted until I took early retirement in 2011. During that time I also published widely on the educational implications of the Children Act 1989 and other welfare issues during over 20 years' experience in Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Local Authorities.
In both LAs I was Manager of the Education Welfare Service, working with schools across the LA in managing attendance, providing staff training and casework advice etc. I played an active role on the training committees of both ACPCs/Local Safeguarding Children Boards. I have delivered countless 'Level 1' Child Protection training sessions for schools and have co-delivered 'Level 2' inter-agency training events in 3 Local Authorities.
After almost 30 years' experience, I am now concentrating on supporting schools with managing attendance and absence until I retire after Easter 2019. I also facilitate occasional seminars and courses for FORUM Business Training, contribute to journals and speak at conferences on attendance issues, especially the legal framework, how it should be applied and whether it is still fit for purpose. I am a governor of a special school for children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs.
I am now developing new interests as the balance shifts between work and life. See RADICAL CHRISTIANITY for what has happened to my religious beliefs and my thoughts on God, Jesus and being human.
Make a loan. Change a life. Click the link above to find out how you can get involved in supporting small businesses in developing countries with microloans that repay themselves so you can lend the same money again!
I am retiring during the summer term after almost 30 years working in education welfare. Read more about why at RETIREMENT. The attendance content of this website will then be closed down once the final round of FORUM Training Attendance Officer courses have taken place, (see link below).
Until then I am still committed to promoting a welfare-based and strategic approach to ATTENDANCE, not only a focus on improving the figures. I will offer you an informed and independent voice that gives you real practical help in carrying out your statutory duties and which seeks to promote more effective solutions for those children and young people who most need them.
But there is more to life than work so my HOME page now reflects my other main interest. Can Christianity and its central figure mean anything to those who are not convinced that conventional ideas of 'God' take us where we need to go as modern, thoughtful, rational human beings? This will be the continuing subject of my website once I have retired.
FEEDBACK AND COMMENT are always very welcome.
ALL INFORMATION AND ADVICE PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE, AND IN RELATED RESOURCES AND EVENTS, IS GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH AND IS TRUE AND ACCURATE TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF. HOWEVER NO LIABILTY IS ACCEPTED FOR ANY ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES ARISING THEREFROM OR FOR ANY IMPLICATIONS OF UNINTENDED ERRORS. I HAVE BOTH PUBLIC LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE.