The EHE Team

The Elective Home Education team would like to extend a warm welcome to all our Devon home educating families. The Elective Home Education team consists of a a Case Administrator, Education Officer, 3 Elective Home Education Advisers and a Professional Lead.

The team has a wealth of experience working with children and young people across the full age range and all abilities including children and young people with additional needs. We would be pleased to provide you with any support and advice you may need. 

Allow us to introduce ourselves to you…

EHE Case Administrator

Irene Love

I joined Devon Learning Development Partnership in 2008 as a Personal Assistant for the Primary Literacy team before undertaking my current role with the Elective Home Education Service since September 2010.

Prior to this, I worked for the NSPCC Specialist Investigation Service for 9 years and the National Foster Care Assocation for 8 years.  I have also previously worked for The Haemophilia Society and as Deputy Director of Doncaster Council Voluntary Service.

My hobbies include dolls houses and miniatures, playing crib, antiques and collectables.

EHE Professional Lead

Emma Hitchins

I joined Devon Learning Development Partnership in September 2002 as a Science Consultant, having previously worked as a Secondary Science teacher for 9 years both in the UK and overseas, in a wide range of schools.  This included selective and non-selective schools, as well as state and independent settings.

In my role as a Science Consultant I worked with school leaders, classroom teachers, teaching assistants, parents and pupils across Devon primary, secondary and special schools, supporting the professional developmenf of all teaching staff involved with the delivery of science education.

In September 2009 I took on the role of leading and managing the One to One Tuition Programme across Devon primary, secondary and special schools before commencing work with the Elective Home Education Service in September 2010.

In my free time I enjoy keeping fit.  Running is a particular passion of mine but when I’m not running, strolling up mountains is a favourite past time too!

EHE Officer

Georgina Bennett

I have worked in the education sector since 1993, both within mainstream & special schools, having experience of supporting primary & secondary aged students.  Since 2000 I have specialised in working with students who experience a range of issues linked to emotional needs preventing engagement in education. 

I graduated from Plymouth University with a First Class Honours Degree in Education Studies, completing a dissertation in Alternative Approaches to Education, with a focus upon Elective Home Education & Education in the Environment.  I therefore have a wealth of experience to draw upon in supporting families who are home-educating, in addition to offering guidance & advice with regards to school admission and other relevant support services. 

My interests include genealogy, needle craft and walking.

EHE Advisors

Roderick Graham

I moved to Devon after 35 years teaching experience in Hampshire in 11-16 and 11-18 schools. I was fortunate to have experienced a variety of roles including:

  • Teacher of Geography and Geology
  • Head of Geography and Geology
  • Head of Sixth Form
  • Head of Humanities
  • Head of Pre-Vocational Education
  • TVEI Co-ordinator
  • Assistant Principal - Community, Adult and Family Education with additional responsibility for Creative Arts Specialism

Much of my time is now spent in house and garden renovation, growing a variety of vegetables on an old nursery site and attempting to improve my guitar playing.

Judith Nielsen

I trained as a teacher in Edinburgh and taught for 2 years in a Primary school in Glasgow before marrying and moving to London where I taught for 5 years in a Middle school.  After having my children I began a job teaching children who were out of school for a variety of reasons before specialising in reintegrating children of all school ages back into school.  I began working as an EHE Adviser in September 2010 and I am enjoying the work.

In my spare time I enjoy walking especially in Scotland, and have a weakness for finding bargains at auctions.

Judy Topley

I have been a qualified teacher since 1976, working with children of all ages and stages and have specialist expertise to offer those with additional needs and their families and young children in the early years of education. 

I have had many roles, having been an Acting Headteacher, Foundation Stage Co-ordinator and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, as well as a teacher in a special school.  More recently, I have held advisory and consultant roles within the local authority involving project management and leading a team of advisory teachers.

In addition to being a Home Education Adviser I teach on an Early Years Initial Teacher Training Programme and contribute to several different training programmes within the South West.

I have been awarded the degree of Master of Education, with Distinction.

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