Dr. Gemma Slack

BSc Hons (1:1) PGCE DAppEdPsy

Dr. Gemma Slack is a practising Senior Educational Psychologist currently working for a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in the Midlands. Gemma previously worked as a school teacher in an inner city school in the Midlands. It was there that her particular interest in supporting pupils’ emotional development first emerged. Gemma’s long-term research interests have focused on supporting the needs of children with autism with an additional focus on understanding and supporting anxiety within this group. Her doctoral thesis entitled ‘An Evaluation of the FRIENDS for Life intervention with an Autism Spectrum Population: Evaluating the Impact on Children’s Anxiety’ contributed to the development of the Special FRIENDS programme, the most recent addition to the FRIENDS Foundation series.  

Helen Nation

BSc Hons (2:1) PGCE MSc

Helen Nation is a practising Educational Psychologist currently working for a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in the East Midlands. Helen previously worked as a school teacher covering the whole primary school age range, including children with additional needs. She has taught within a wide range of schools in Lincolnshire, Kent and in Armed services schools abroad.

Teaching children from military families prompted Helen to develop further her interest in attachment and the effects of parental absence; linked with this she has a particular interest in supporting children to develop their emotional resiliency.

Helen has a long standing interest in Autism and has many years’ experience of supporting children and young people within this area of need. Helen has provided extensive training to both school staff and parents covering a wide range of issues related to Autism.  Her interest in this area has included university based research into the effectiveness of specific strategies to support children and young people with Autism.

As a mother of three Helen maintains a real interest in supporting parents to meet the needs of their children by maximising their parenting skills. 

Dr. Órlaith Donnelly

BA Hons (1:1) ARIAM DAppEdPsy

Dr. Órlaith Donnelly is a practising Senior Educational Psychologist currently working for a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in the Midlands. Órlaith and Gemma first met during their doctoral studies at the University of Nottingham. Órlaith has previously worked as a teacher at an international school in the United Arab Emirates, and as a music teacher and community sports coach in her native Ireland. Órlaith developed her personal research interests in exploring the social and emotional benefits of physical activity, as a result of her extensive personal and professional experience in the field of sport. As an Senior Educational Psychologist, Órlaith has carved out her specialism in creating and delivering expert training and development work for adults who support the emotional wellbeing of children and young people. 

Dr. Kate Taylor


Dr. Kate Taylor has 11 years experience as an educational psychologist. During this time she has worked for two local authorities in senior roles helping schools, professionals and communities to build positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Kate has a special interest in narrowing the gap for children in care or who have been adopted. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Kate mentored disaffected teenagers through Key Skills and taught over a number of years in an inner city primary school. She has led and supported a number of national and regional projects and has been training The FRIENDS programmes over the last year. Kate is also the mother of three young children and recognises the complexities and stresses of family life.

Dr. Vicky Clarke

BSc Hons PGCE DAppEdPsy

Dr Vicky Clarke is currently practising as an Educational Psychologist for a Local Authority in the Midlands. Vicky previously worked as a primary school teacher and has experience of working with children in the Midlands and in London. This included teaching children with a range of additional needs.  

Within Vicky's role as an Educational Psychologist she is committed to working with others to promote positive outcomes for children and young people. Vicky has a particular interest in mental health and promoting emotional wellbeing and resilience. This evolved through her doctoral thesis which evaluated the impact of the FRIENDS for Life programme on children's anxiety and core constructs of resilience. Vicky has recently completed three days cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) training which has further developed her knowledge and skills in this area.

Vicky is also a mother of two young children which provides an insight into some of the many challenges and rewards that can arise from being a parent. 


All of our psychologists are HCPC Registered.