Each of our associates has years of excellence in practice, using the theory and research that underpins our training and consultancy to inform their own work.
They come from a variety of backgrounds: foster care, early years, teaching, therapy, social work, psychology, health and justice. Many of them have moved between disciplines, as their interests have taken them in different directions. What they all offer is a wealth of practical experience, both in direct work with vulnerable people, and in sharing their knowledge and wisdom with others.
Interested in becoming an associate?
If you have a commitment to sharing transformative knowledge with those who work with children and families, and experience of training or consultancy as well as direct work, then becoming an associate with KCA may appeal.
For more information or to express your interest, please contact us. We will then review your CV, discuss your experience and explore the potential for working together.
Chris worked for thirty-two years in a state secondary school in an area with high levels of social deprivation on the south coast of England. Choosing to live in the local area, Chris recognised the important role the school and its staff played in that community. Having progressed through a number of roles within the school including SENCO, she established the role of Designated Teacher for Looked After Children shortly after the role was first identified by non-statutory guidance in 2000. As an Assistant Headteacher, she established and ran an inclusion unit within the mainstream school.
Together with Kate Cairns, Chris wrote Learn the Child – Helping Looked After Children to Learn, published by BAAF in 2004, which set out a knowledge base about the nature and effects of trauma on the development of children and the devastating effects this can have on their ability to learn. In more recent times Chris has been involved in developing qualifications for the children's workforce, including the level 5 BTEC 'Strategic development for designated teachers'. She now works as an independent consultant producing materials specifically focused on developing the education workforce.
Finding positive ways of working with children who find life and learning in school difficult remains Chris's prime motivator.
- 2009–2011: Academic Manager, als-akamas Ltd
- 2007–2009: Education / Academic Director, Akamas Ltd
- 1976–2008: Teacher, Head of Department, Head of Year, Assessment Co-ordinator, Head of Careers Education and Guidance, SENCO, Assistant Headteacher (inclusion), Designated teacher at Applemore secondary school
- A1 Assessor Award, Edexcel, 2010
- Advanced Diploma, Drama in Education, Portsmouth University, 1983
- PGCE English and Drama, St Martins College, 1976
- BA (Hons) English, Lancaster University, 1975
- “ Very real and pertinent to the work that we do. Powerful in its directness and ability to stimulate grounded reflection ” Participant, Durham – November 2016
- “ I told my agency it was the best course I had ever been on. ” Participant, Wales – June 2016
- “ Fantastic presentation from a very knowledgeable, sparky presenter. On a personal level, a very inspiring character. On a professional level, a very useful, thought-provoking day. Lots of thinking to take back into school and share with the staff. ” James Brown, Bury – May 2016
- “ I found this training to be the most useful and engaging training. I have had a lot of experience and training about attachment and found this brought everything together in a way that gave me the most comprehensive knowledge and understanding in a way I feel able to pass on. ” Rona Barton, East Midlands – May 2016
- “ Exceptionally useful. Inspiring. Want to learn more. ” Cathy Draper, West Midlands – May 2016
- “ Excellent, inspiring delivery. Thank you very much. ” Emma Goy, Southend-on-sea – March 2016
- “ I really enjoyed this training and found it very inspiring... our children would really benefit from this as a whole school approach. ” Participant, Southend – March 2016
- “ The course was totally inspiring and I cannot think of anyway to improve it . ” Helen Watson, West Midlands – March 2016
- “ Just loved it! ” Siobhan Bullen, London – February 2016
- “ The course content was delivered brilliantly. The information was really useful and delivered in a way that was understandable to everyone. ” Rebecca Ozyurt, Southend-on-Sea – January 2016
- “ The training has piqued my interest and I would be interested in gaining extended knowledge at a deeper level. ” Tina Froggatt, Walsall – January 2016
- “ Probably the best training I have had the pleasure to undertake ” Janina Openkowski, Walsall – January 2016
- “ I am Head of a primary school where we have several children who are encountering chaotic lives and sporadic parenting. It helps me look for ways to see how they understand the world and why they behave and react as they do. ” Customer, Sandwell – January 2016
- “ WOW! An amazing talk - inspirational and I am looking forward to accessing the e-learning. Thank you so much. ” Davina Ashbolt-Smith, Southampton – December 2015
- “ Wonderful speaker! Highly inspirational. ” Participant, Southampton – December 2015
- “ I was not expecting such a great day! ” Sharon James, Debryshire – April 2015
- “ I thought the presentation was excellent and Kate was an inspirational speaker - thoroughly enjoyable ” Karen Highcock, Halton – March 2015
- “ I absolutely loved the training. It is so relevant to my post supporting vulnerable young people. It inspired me to go and research more around neurological research and latest thinking around attachment theories. I am keen to learn more ways to offer successful support. Thank you. ” Participant, Halton – March 2015
- “ The training was well presented. The references to personal and professional experiences helped to put the theory into context. ” Participant, Birmingham – March 2015
- “ I found this training inspiring and motivating; I could not wait to get back in to school and let my colleagues know about what I had learnt and had reinforced. ” Participant, Birmingham – March 2015
- “ It was an inspriational day and it made so much sense. What a change it was to listen to someone with such passion and knowledge, yet who delivered it all with humour and at a level we could all understand. ” Participant, Birmingham – March 2015
- “ Kate's honesty, clarity and knowledge were extremely engaging. ” Participant, Birmingham – February 2015
- “ A very enlightening course which made me consider many of the young people I come into contact with and how the approach taken with them can be adjusted. The course encourages practice reflection. ” Lisa Whitney, Luton – February 2015
- “ I found this course to be one of the best I have attended. It was so relevant to my work as a Family Worker supporting children and their families who are accessing education within a behaviour provision. ” Participant, Luton – February 2015
- “ All staff need this type of training. ” Elizabeth Duffell, Farndon St Peter's C of E Primary – February 2014
- “ The content was interesting and thought provoking. It made me rethink ideas and approaches to pupils in my setting. ” Designated Teacher, London – May 2012