About our author Clare Williams

Clare is a primary teacher and educational psychotherapist, author, speaker and advocate for children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Clare works with a passion to enrich and challenge circumstances for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. She seeks to ensure that their emotional wellbeing and mental health are at the heart of their experience in schools, enabling them to thrive.

Clare has worked in primary schools in East London, Dorset and the SouthWest as well as various schools across the country. Her career developed as she became an advisor for schools in East Africa and continued in an advisory role in mental health and education services and within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Clare qualified as an Educational Psychotherapist and completed her MA in Therapeutic Education in 2007 and is a UKCP registered psychotherapist.

Initially as an adviser in East London, Clare worked to develop whole-school approaches and advocate for holistic cultures in schools where children’s emotional needs were prioritised and championed. She has led on national initiatives for local authorities as the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) Consultant across Dorset and then as Wellbeing Advisor for Poole LA, leading on training, curriculum implementation and development as well as the coordination of the National PSHE CPD programme. This supported teachers and health professionals to develop their portfolios for national accreditation.

Clare has been a trainer and consultant at national conferences and has led training in attachment, emotional wellbeing and mental health as an Education consultant and whilst working within NHS CAMHS, Dorset. She was a consultant trainer for the Institute of Education, London, and a lead trainer for the Education Development Association, at Homerton College, Cambridge, providing courses in behaviour management for overseas teachers.

As the manager of a multi-agency service for vulnerable children at risk of exclusion, Clare developed Thrive Education Zones, an alternative provision based on nurture principles. Through this work she is all too aware of the impact adverse childhood experiences can have on children and their long-term mental health.

Sock Puppets Therapeutic Sock Puppet Kits and Clare Williams

Co-author and co-creator of Jigsaw PSHE

PSHE Programme

Clare was the co-author and co-creator of Jigsaw PSHE. She believes that an enriched and exciting curriculum with a focus on teaching children about their emotional and mental health is essential for children to be able to express themselves, feel understood and to develop the life skills they need for long term mental health.

Jigsaw PSHE Programme Resources
Rainbow Pathway PSHE Resources

Trainer and supervisor for TISUK

Trauma Informed training for schools, communities and organisations

TISUK in an organisation committed to improving the health and wellbeing and ability to learn of the most vulnerable school children in the UK, namely those who have suffered trauma, abuse, neglect and/or have mental health problems or attachment issues.

Clare is part of the team for TISUK as a trainer and supervisor for the accredited diploma.

The vision for TISUK is to ensure exemplary practice in schools to support vulnerable children by embedding informed understanding and a pioneering approach to strengthen relationships and culture in schools. It is one that Clare wholeheartedly believes in and embraces throughout her work.

Author of Trauma Informed Schools UK (TISUK) Rainbow Pathway

Return to schools post-pandemic PSHE programme

Clare is the author of Trauma Informed Schools’ ‘Rainbow Pathway: Return to schools PSHE programme’ which provides in-depth resources to support children through the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Optimus Education Advisor

WELLBEING AWARD ADVISOR

Clare has been an adviser for the Optimus Education Wellbeing Award for Schools Award developed in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau (NCB), since its inception in 2016. The Wellbeing Award for Schools has proven to have an immense impact on wellbeing in schools for all stakeholders – pupils, staff and families.

As an adviser and award verifier, her role is to support and challenge schools to develop a whole school culture of wellbeing and to guide them through a process of self-evaluation, action planning, portfolio building to show they have met the necessary standards for verification of the award. Clare truly finds it a privilege to be part of each schools journey to support the culture and wellbeing of schools and their community.

Optimus Education SEND Conference

Mental health lead for stormbreak

MENTALLY HEALTHY MOVEMENT

Clare joined the initial core team as mental health lead for stormbreak, stormbreak, a charity supported by BBC Children in Need that brings mentally healthy movement as a whole school and community approach. It was an exciting role within an innovative team working to enhance the lives of children and families and to prioritise physical and mental health.

Total Children’s Therapy

A PRIVATE PRACTICE JUST FOR CHILDREN

Clare worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team supporting families and advocating for children’s needs within a holistic and coordinated approach. Total Children’s Therapy supports families in Dorset and the surrounding counties, helping children experiencing difficulties at home and/or in educational settings. The range of specialist paediatric therapists offer an approachable, professional and bespoke pathway of support to best meet the needs of children and their families.

Clare’s passion and vision are to enrich the lives of children, to advocate for their wellbeing and to provide schools and pastoral teams with quality resources to help children feel nurtured, cared about and special. Enabling children to express and understand their life experiences and feelings with adults who are compassionate, caring and able to really hear is at the heart of her approach and the founding premise for Hamish & Milo.

Cartoon of Milo sleeping on his chair

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Hamish with newspaper cartoon