Meet our associates

Helen Owen

Helen Owen

A teacher for more than 30 years.  Helen’s career has focused on pastoral support and advice and guidance.

She has held the post of Head of Year in key stages across the secondary phase, and is a particular expert on post 16 and post 18 progression.

She has a wealth of knowledge in the area of higher education and the UCAS process.

She has been trained as a counsellor, and has extensive experience in mentoring both learners and staff.  She also has long years of experience of the one to one interviewing of learners to support high attainment and progression.

Her work with Walsall Children’s Services included responsibility for Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance for the borough of Walsall, including responsibility for the strategic and policy development of this service.  She is best known in Walsall for running the very successful Aimhigher programme, a national project aimed at widening participation in H.E.

Bachelor of Education degree. MBA. Prince 11Project Management.

Helen is now a fully qualified Ofsted Inspector.

Ian Pringle

ian Pringle

A highly experienced, energetic and committed facilitator with a background of over 20 years in the Royal Air Force, holding DTLLs and HSE approved First Aid Instructor and numerous service trainer qualifications. Twenty years Service Police experience involving extensive knowledge and experience of PACE 84 with over 10 years as a highly trained Special Investigator (Home Office Police CID equivalent) and Training Officer.

The last four years of service has been within RAF Careers as a team leader on the RAF Motivational Outreach Team, responsible for raising the profile of the RAF within educational establishments facilitating and developing core personal qualities. As such has provided up to date careers guidance including career presentations, generic interviews and interview technique guidance together with providing other up-to-date guidance for prospective recruits to the Armed Forces.

A career as diverse as travelling the world as the sole security specialist on board the ‘Queen’s Flight VVIP Royal Aircraft’, to training local Iraqi Border Enforcement Agency staff at Basrah International Airport in international aircraft security measures, to delivering bespoke forensic/policing training for several colleges within the West Midlands for students studying Uniformed Public Services courses to compliment the curriculum.

Level 3 – Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS). Level 4 – Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Centre (DTLLS) – currently studying – to be completed April 2012. IFL (Affiliate Member). Instructional/Facilitation Techniques – Brathay Foundation. Junior/Intermediate Leadership (European Ropes Course Association qualified). Home Office Police Crime Reduction Officer. Service Police Special Investigator (Home Office CID equivalent). National Investigative Interview Techniques qualified. Air Transport Security qualified. Equal Opportunities and Diversity qualified. Human Factors (HF) Foundation & Aviation Error management Systems (AEMS) qualified.

Professor Doctor Roland Rotherham

Professor Doctor Roland Rotherham

A lecturer, writer and radio broadcaster with a background in the armed forces. Originally an officer in the cavalry serving on the personal staff of HM the Queen.

Over 25 years experience as a lecturer and producer of learning materials from “Bite size” study courses to degree level.

Spent 3 years on the training staff of USDAW specialising in customer care and service. Has been involved with schools education since 1997 commencing as education officer in the museums service.

BA Ancient and Medieval Cultural Studies. BA Theology. MA Ancient and Medieval Cultural Studies.    PHD Ancient and Medieval Cultural Studies.

Linda Robson

Linda Robson

An outstanding teacher for 37 years and 17 as the school’s Work Related Learning Curriculum manager, overseeing the delivery of the Careers Education and Guidance syllabus together with the Work Experience programme. In addition activated all aspects of work related learning within every faculty especially Enterprise and Community network activities, school industry liaison with both businesses and local voluntary organisations.

Responsible and effective in the establishment of links with other outside agencies to enhance the values of community education within the locality, using a university qualification in advanced youth work.

Through teaching specialism, wide-ranging and profitable contacts have been made with businesses within the area and this has facilitated nationally recognised examples of good practice of working with businesses and the wide ranging community involving curriculum activities, training opportunities for business and support for vulnerable groups. A bid to LSN was enormously successful  endorsing the engagement of the curriculum with the work place through work placements and using this as creative stimulation to increase motivation and improve standards.

Certificate of Education (Birmingham Uni). PGCE (Manchester Metropolitan Uni)

M.Sc in Education Management (Manchester Metropolitan Uni).

RSA – D32/33/34 Assessor award. Advanced Diploma in Youth Work (Birmingham Uni)

Viv Russell

Viv Russell

A teaching career spanning 14 years included deputy head of the careers department and head of vocational studies, work experience co-ordinator, careers programme design and delivery to years 9, 10 11 and post 16.

Becoming Walsall’s School Industry Liaison Officer for the TVEI initiative, author of Work Experience Quality Guidelines, 14-19 Vocational consultant for Walsall LEA. Training nationally and locally for the Learning Skills Network in Vocational education and curriculum design.

Trainer in motivation and skill building for industry. Bringing countless, fruitful links and contacts with local and national employers including the uniformed services.

Teaching certificate, Bachelor of Education Degree Birmingham University 1977.

RSA – D32/33/34 Assessor award. Prince 2 project Management.

 Winner of Walsall’s 2011 Inspiring teacher award.

Michael Donovan (Don) Smith

Michael Donovan (Don) Smith

An award winning speaker, education consultant and peak performance coach. Don has been delivering education and training programmes for over 25 years.

He has a unique breadth and depth of experience, from delivering Avionics and Aerospace courses to RAF technical trainees, to training and coaching senior officers and executives from a range of organisations, including Walsall, Wolverhampton and Dudley Education Business Partnerships’, Birmingham City Council, The Metropolitan Police and Barclay’s Bank.

Passionate about community empowerment and personal development, he has, for over 10 years, worked in schools, prisons and with community groups.
He is a member of the Brinsford Young Offenders Institution DREAT (Diversity & Race Equality Action Team) and is Chair of The Ethnic Minority Council Wolverhampton and one of the Trustees of the Birmingham Association of Youth Clubs.

A Non-Executive Director of the Mindful Policy Group, Don is involved in lobbying, at government level, for a range of effective, low-cost, psychological support measures. Helping to restore emotional well-being, self-motivation and responsibility, to families and communities, and to thereby ensure children are given the best possible start in life.

In 2005 he received the Sandwell EBP Quality in Partnership Award and in 2004 the Windrush Excellence Award for Mentor of the year.

Triple P [Positive Parenting Programme] Group/Teen/Seminar Practitioner,  IOD Diploma in Company Direction. Certified Professional Speaker. Master Practitioner NLP. Business Law (C&W College Coventry) Finance & Business Awareness (C&W College Coventry) Leadership. Goal setting & Motivation. Advanced Project Management (C&W College Coventry) MAST Project Management Techniques.     HNC Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Shrewsbury Tech. College) Avionics Technical Instruction Techniques (RAF Cosford) ONC Avionics & Aerospace (RAF Cosford)

Dorothy Sharpe (Dot)

  A teacher for 37 years. Dot’s career has encompassed both pastoral and academic roles. She held a House position for 9 years and was Head of Sixth Form for 11 years.

As Head of Sixth Form she developed expertise in guiding pupils/students from Key Stage 4 into Key Stage 5 and via the UCAS process into higher education including preparing candidates for Oxbridge.

Having been fortunate to observe Oxford interviews she has an insight into what is seen by many as a daunting experience.

Working as a one – to – one tutor and with small intervention groups has added a different dimension to her knowledge of supporting higher attainment.

Has been involved in writing bids for vocational programmes.

BSc Joint Honours ( Botany and Geography) – University of Hull. PGCE – University of Birmingham

RSA – D32/D33 – Assessor Award

Teacher Fellowship – Oxford

Gary Tranter

Gary Tranter

Gary is passionate about helping other realise their potential and has a proven track record in managing distinctive, high quality, high performance projects.

Gary has over 20 years experience of working with disadvantaged and unemployed people including 14 years working in Job Centres. He also set up & co-ordinated the JobSearch Centre at Wolverhampton College – helping unemployed find work via Advice and Guidance and delivering innovative training workshops on CV writing, interview skills, job-search methods, as well as motivation and self-esteem.  Gary has broad experience within Further Education in teaching, advice and guidance, personal development training, and working in projects that empower a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds.

Gary has more than 12 years experience working with young people. He set up and ran the Prince’s Trust Volunteers programme at Wolverhampton College from 2000 to 2002, where he demonstrated his expertise at introducing an exceptional programme, strategy and vision into a college environment.

A passionate and inspiring leader, he set many standards with the Prince’s Trust Volunteers, collecting the West Midlands Region Outstanding Community Project Award 2002 and Team Leader’s Excellence Award 2001.

Between 2002-2004, as Mentoring Co-ordinator at Sutton Coldfield College, he was responsible for curriculum development and outreach delivery of Mentoring courses. Gary was also the driver and author of the OCN Certificate in Mentoring.

Since 2004, Gary has been a freelance consultant and has worked on a wide variety of projects in business, education and community environments having delivered many training workshops and events themed around personal development, raising aspirations and mentoring.

These include 2 years working for the Mentoring & Befriending Foundation on their National Peer Mentoring Pilot Project, plus 2 years on their National Anti-Bullying project. Gary provided support and training across a network of 34 schools in the North West of England and across 25 Midlands schools.

C&G 7307 Adult Teaching Certificate,

NVQ 4 Advice and Guidance

IAM (Institute of Administrative Management) Certificate and Diploma in Administrative Management,

Fully qualified Yoga instructor. 

Sarah Wolczek

Sara Wolczek

    Has a background in secondary education, with 18 years experience in schools across the region.

             2 years as Head of Careers in a high performing grammar school. Moved into the role of careers adviser after qualifying   in 2001, then gained 5 years experience in schools and colleges across Cannock and Stafford, specialising in both special needs and academically able students.

From 2005 -2010, took on the role of development co-ordinator for a regional charity delivering training about Autism  to health and social care teams, care providers and education staff in Sandwell, and offering support and guidance to young people and adults with autism, and their families.

Returned to working in schools since 2010.

I now work as an Associate Careers Consultant with ESS-TEAM, and as a freelance careers consultant and Autism trainer in thre Midlands region. For details see http://www.sara-wolczek-aldridge.co.uk/

            BA Combined Honours (PE & History Birmingham University 1976. PGCE (PE & History) Birmingham University1977. Diploma in Careers Guidance DipCG, College of Guidance Studies, Canterbury University 2001

Dave Carter

Dave Carter

1965-1974   Design Draughtsman and engineer in the Water Cooling Industry where Dave worked for a small company so got involved in all aspects of running the business from design to commissioning.

1974-2004    BT formerly P.O Telecomms. Worked in the business on all skill sets from telecomms to internet design and launch.

2004 ongoing – Exam Invigilator at 3 schools, Voluntary work for Educational Support Groups across the borough.

HNC/HND  In Mechanical Engineering Design  

Katrina Healey Davis

Katrina Healey Davis

Katrina has worked closely with children as both a school governor and teacher in recent years.

She studied International Business at university and has had a varied career as a management consultant working in many different industries both in the UK and abroad.

She is also a qualified life coach, helping her to support young people in choosing the career paths that best suit their needs and aspirations.

BA Hons degree in International Business from Sheffield City Poly; Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (after gaining Diploma from CIM); Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply; Makaton and Sing up Makaton certificate; Master Practitioner in Neurolingistic Programming (NLP)Diploma in Performance Coaching from Newcastle College; Diploma in Life Coaching from the UK College of Life Coaching

Cordell O@Neill

Cordell O'Neill

Worked in a local university for several years. Works part time in the human resources section of Walsall Council. Holds numerous work related qualifications including first aid, and recruitment related people management elements fully updated with equal opportunities and discrimination law, fully conversant with recruitment practice and advertising. Works locally as an exam invigilator and an event manager.

CIPD Certificate in Personal Development – UCE 1998. NVQ level 4 Business Administration – 1996 UCE
CIPP certificate in personnel practise – Walsall College 1994. First Aid Course – 5/11/2007 and refreshed in April 2011 for 3 years valid
Wave training 21/5/2008 Assessor training to assess behaviours. ILM Certificate in people management 4 days 16/2/2012 to 2/3/2012
Test user occupation ability – 2008. Test user occupational personality (OPQ) – 2008
Test user occupational personality (Saville wave) 2009. Assessment Centre Training Delivery 2010
Qualified Level A and B Assessor Training. People management skills 4 day course – 7/10/2009 to 8/10/2009


Training. Breastfeeding Councillor – NHS PCT Sandwell Training. Exam Invigilator training – Work for Great Barr School. Events Organisation – 19/9/2006

Age Discrimination – 20/10/2006. Diversity Challenge – 23/5/2007. Equal Opportunity Course – 235/2007, 2009, 2011, 2013

Immigration and sponsorship – 1 and 2 – 18/6/2008 work permits. Copywriter tribal 18/6/2008 Copy writing adverts. Work permits 24/9/2008

UK Naric 02/12/2008 qualifications – DBS/CRB. Uk Naric 2.12.2008 Qualifications – DBS/CRB. Wm JOBS – 5/12/2008 Web using the Web

Wm JOBS TRAINING – 5/12/2008 Web – Using the Web.Recruitment and selection best practice 10/06/2009 11/6/2009. Investigation Training course – 4 days

Diana Taylor

Diana Taylor

Diana has taught in the secondary sector for over 36 years. Her career has largely focused on Pastoral and Careers Guidance. She was a Head of Year for seven years, in a large comprehensive school, specialising in Key Stage 4.

Over the years Diana has had various responsibilities, including developing a Careers Curriculum across the school. She was also involved in teaching this curriculum for over 20 years, as well as being responsible for guiding pupils through personnel alternative curriculums where appropriate, within the school at Key Stage 4.

The last 17 years Diana was a Senior Teacher in a large comprehensive school, with the responsibility for Child Protection and Procedures in the school, and also making sure that the Child Concern model was also effective, which involved frequently liaising with outside agencies, as well as chairing meeting that would be looking at ways of helping individual pupils.

Wynne Perry

Wynne perry

An enthusiastic and dedicated classroom teacher for over 30 years, Wynne’s background is in language teaching in secondary schools across the borough. Over a period of 15 years she was also responsible for setting up and delivering the Work Experience programme at one such school with the aim of preparing pupils for the World of Work. Wynne also organised and ran many School/Industry liaison activities within her subject area, and participated in and promoted Work Related learning activities wherever possible.
At the same time Wynne set up her own business working as an agent for a number of national and international companies and organisations finding Work Placements and Accommodation within the West Midlands area for foreign students. She has built up numerous contacts in the local business community and among local families over many years now, and has travelled extensively in Europe and built up many contacts there.

Teacher’s Certificate (Manchester Uni.)

Diploma in Special Educational Needs

Institute of Linguists (French)

Diploma in French (Liverpool Uni.)

RSA French for Commercial Purposes

Work Placement/Accommodation Provider

EU StudentConneXions


Tracey A Daybell

Tracey A Daybell

Tracey worked in manufacturing for over twelve years within a Human Resources role. She has extensive experience within recruitment and training.

For the last four years has worked with European students visiting England to further their English skills and to work within English companies.

She has a vast database of companies spreading across many sectors. She also works part time for a well established local garage business and regularly invigilates for her local school.

Her qualifications include BTEC Business & Finance, IPM Certificate in Personnel Practice and IPD Stage 1

Sarah Taylor

Sarah has a varied catalogue of experience within Recruitment, Marketing and Sport.  A qualified assessor, tutor and mentor she currently tutors Functional Skills Maths and English, Employment Rights and Responsibilities and Technical Certificates, Customer Service, Business Administration and Management NVQ’s and BTEC’s in Trade Business.

Within sport Sarah works closely with the National Governing Body – British Triathlon and Triathlon England and is currently is Coach Educator delivering their coaching qualifications.  She also works for the International Triathlon Union and European Triathlon Union as a Continental Technical Official where she officiates across Great Britain and Europe.  She also facilitates the Officials Pathway courses to become International Officials.

Sarah is also a Level 2 Triathlon Coach and coach’s juniors, adults, novices and experienced athletes with swimming, cycling and running techniques.

With over 12 years experience within recruitment Sarah’s knowledge and skills set includes: recruiting, CV and Job Advert writing, interview techniques and vacancy handling.

·       CIPD – Certificate in Personnel Practice

·       A1 – Assessors Award

·       CTS – Certificate in Tutoring Sport

·       IAPS – Assessment Practice in Sport

·       Tutor for Principles of Coaching Sport and Multi Skills Development in Sport

·       Coaches swimming, cycling and running

Sarah was lucky enough to be chosen as a Technical Official for the triathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games and is also involved with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as many local novice events.

Please contact Sarah: sarah@kweenb.co.uk

Heatha Gregory

Heatha Gregory has been supporting potential students with their progression onto higher education for over 20 years. She has held a post at a local university within the Schools and Colleges Liaison department for over a decade, delivered the IAG programme for the Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull Lifelong Learning Network and currently works for a Russell Group university and a metropolitan university.

Heatha is regularly employed to write guidance materials on a freelance basis and over the summer 2014 directed the IAG programme for the British Science Festival.

Heatha has a personal interest in environmental science related activities and is the National Coordinator for the National Association for Environmental Education.

A member of HELOA with DBS clearance. If you would like input specifically designed for your students regarding the progression onto higher education then please do get in touch.

Heatha holds qualifications in Mentoring and Information, Advice and Guidance and achieved a BSc (hons) from a local university.

Ian Morton-James

Ian Morton-James

With a career in retail management and marketing spanning three decades, Ian now runs Social Media for Small Business (www.socialforsme.com), a consultancy helping small businesses market and promote themselves using social media, web as well as ‘traditional’ press and PR.

Ian is a volunteer mentor, speaker and trainer with PRIME, The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise, and a regular ‘surgeon’ with SocialMediaSurgery.com, which helps voluntary and community organisations with marketing and communications using the web and social media.

BA (Hons) in Modern Languages (with International Studies),
London South Bank University.

Université de Lyon, Lyon, France.

Fachhochscüle für Wirtschaft, Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Sandwell Common Purpose, 2000

Affiliated to The Chartered Institute of Marketing

contact: ian@socialforsme.com