Kat is a Chartered Psychologist who has developed a keen interest in the area of educational and child Psychology. She is a dedicated advocate for children’s rights and is eager to document and shine a light on children’s voices.
Kat has worked within Education and Educational settings for many years in a variety of roles. Varying from teaching within secondary schools/sixth forms, FE Colleges and a number of Universities. Additionally, prior to this, she has undertaken teaching and learning support within primary and secondary schools, pastoral care roles or has worked within the area of special educational needs across the sector. Finally, carrying out all these roles whilst simultaneously being an active school Governor has enabled Kat to form a thorough understanding of life within the classroom: including the impact of political ideologies and the changing dynamics of philosophies within educational settings. Furthermore, it has helped her to implement and drive forward new policies into school settings whilst attempting to ensure that children’s and staff’s perspectives were listened to.
Kat’s passion is in finding ways to ensure every child, young person or adult can access the Education they need, which means understanding why individuals may disengagement from it in the first place. For example, she has carried out research with Gypsy, Roma Traveller communities, children with SEND, and with children & young people with mental health concerns in an attempt to unravel what they perceive to be barriers within their learning journeys. This has abled her to deliver CPD events surrounding developing Peer-Mentoring schemes, delivering excellent Pastoral Care within Schools, working together with ‘hard to reach’ families and supporting Looked After Children.
A major underlying theme in all of the areas that Kat has provided support on is the transitional experience involved for individuals. Her PhD research ethnographically investigated the ‘Starting School’ transition to understand how children learn and respond to the idea of becoming a ‘school child’, whilst also drawing on parents’ perspectives of their own changing roles. This has allowed Kat to develop a full understanding of Educational transitions across the sector as she has already carried out research into the Primary to Secondary transition and the Secondary to FE and FE to HE transitions. Her focus now is on developing a research-informed understanding of various ‘life transitions’ during childhood and utilising the child’s voice to advocate for better support and care during these processes.