Make a booking now Campus Online Login

Sarah Norris

a headshot of Sarah Norris - Educational Psychologist

Programme Leader – Mental Health, Senior Educational Psychologist

Sarah joined Real Group as a senior educational psychologist, having had over 13 years’ experience working within a local authority. She has worked extensively with schools and young people with a range of SEN needs and across all age ranges.  Sarah’s specialism is in the field of mental health and young people with social and emotional needs. 

She has a diploma in solution-focused practice, has worked therapeutically supporting young people, and developed, delivered and managed an early intervention-based approach with a mental health service in her previous local authority role.  Sarah is deeply interested in the wellbeing of young people and what educational practitioners can do to help and support them. 

In her current role as Mental Health Programme Lead Sarah has responsibility for developing training courses across Real Training.  She also continues to work in schools in south west London providing educational psychology services to mainstream and specialist provisions.

A short Q&A with Sarah

Q: How can taking Real Training’s courses in social and emotional mental health help education professionals?

Current data on young people’s psychological well being is clearly indicating our need to focus on this subject area and there is something profoundly important about working with children and young people and trying to help them to change the course of their lives. It is an endlessly interesting area and the modules reflect that. You are dealing with a whole range of needs right through from children with serious social/environmental difficulties, through to children with defined psychiatric/psychological difficulties and everything in between. But, essentially, you are trying to work out (forensically) what the issues are and how best to help each child. Every child is unique and you have to try and work out a path through layers of complexity. It’s a great challenge but a worthy one and this module is designed to help you with that challenge.

Q: Why are these modules different?

Despite growing awareness of the importance of children’s well being and psychological health, there is still paucity of information and training available. The SEMH module not only expands learning and knowledge, but it is truly practice led and links to real substantive changes in educational organisations. The online learning also signposts and supports delegates every step of the way, and is a really engaging way to learn.

Q: What can someone who has taken these modules offer?

It will improve their professional expertise and confidence and give them a real framework to work with – because it is essential to have a framework when you work with children and young people with SEMHD. Our delegates will also be provided with the latest research and will be able to use that research to inform their thinking when they are working with families, young people or other members of staff. This module will help them to make sense of particularly complex situations and respond appropriately in a positive way. In essence, it’s about understanding complexity and being able to work out what’s important and what’s not. To be able to focus on the things that you can change and succeed with, as opposed to attempting the impossible. It’s about having a practitioner framework around which you can build.

Q: What makes you most proud about the programme?

The difference that this approach can, ultimately, make to the lives of those children and young people with SEMHD.

Q: What are the typical backgrounds of people who take the course?

We have a wide range of delegates from those working in mainstream provision to more specialist settings both within the UK and internationally.  Mental health is an issue for everyone working in education, essentially it is ‘everyone’s business’ and this is reflected in the delegates who complete the course.