EHE team bios

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!


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 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.


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.


Family Support Worker

I started working in Education in 1998 when both my children were at school, mainly because it allowed me to spend more time with them during the day and school holidays. After the initial shock of leaving my primary aged children at the school gates and meeting the teenagers I would be working with, I very soon grew to love it.

Initially I was only working with secondary aged children and their families, but I have also supported from Primary through to Secondary. I've worked alongside young people with additional needs in the classroom and also in Student Welfare, which involved supporting young people and their families during some very challenging times in their lives.

In my working and my personal life, I enjoy being someone that can be called upon when issues arise or offer that shoulder to cry on when things are tough. My motto is “If we can’t solve a problem together, I will find someone who can”.

I have a passion for photography and although I have taken courses, I probably use my phone more than my camera nowadays. I love swimming in the sea, even in November, but also like to sit on the beach and read while the waves crash! I enjoy wandering around Retro/Collectable markets looking for a bargain or just seeing items that make me feel all nostalgic.

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