Tom has had a distinguished career as a teacher, trainer, adviser and consultant for children with special needs, and has particular interests in adoption and therapeutic work to address and overcome early disadvantage.
After initially working in mainstream primary education he was for 18 years a school leader in the BESD (Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties) sector.
It was during this time that his interest in the implications of attachment and trauma research for education grew. He was a founding director of Catchpoint Consultancy and is esteemed for his work there in helping educational staff understand the impact of early life trauma and support children and families in practical ways. This training and consultancy work is taken up and highly evaluated by schools, authorities and other groups with no direct link to Catchpoint.
Other areas of Tom's work include Positive Handling training (Team Teach) and, through his role in the National Union of Teachers, promoting the understanding of the employer's role in supporting staff working directly with primary trauma. He is a member of the adoption panel of a local authority and a voluntary agency. Recent projects have included working closely with a local authority on reviewing all its school based behaviour policies and practices and working with a small group of men whose children have been placed for adoption.
- 2012–Present: Trainer, New Oak Academy, Hengrove, Bristol
- 2012–Present: Area Co-ordinator, Teacher Support Network
- 2012–Present: Facilitator, Birth Fathers in Adoption project
- 2008–Present: Independent member and Vice-chair, Adoption Panel, Bristol City Council
- 2007–Present: Freelance trainer
- 2005–Present: Strategic Director and Education Consultant, Catchpoint Adoption Support Agency
- 1995–2012: Deputy Head and Assistant Head, Woodstock Special School (BESD), Henbury, Bristol
- 2006–2011: Health and Safety Advisor, NUT Bristol
- 1987–1995: Class Teacher and Special Class Teacher, Four Acres Primary School, Withywood, Bristol
- 1983–1986: Development Officer, Community Mental Handicap Team, London Borough of Bexley
- 1982–1983: Research and Development Assistant, Social Services Department, London Borough of Lewisham
- Certificate of Higher Education, Counselling Skills, University of Bristol, 2010
- Master of Education (with distinction), Special Educational Needs, University of Bristol, 2005
- Professional Certificate, Special Educational Needs in the Ordinary School, Bristol Polytechnic, 1990
- Postgraduate Certificate Certificate in Education, Goldsmith's College, London, 1987
- BA (Hons), Ancient and Modern Greek, University of Birmingham, 1980