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YourSpace Counsellors

My name is Meriel Whale, a counsellor from Your Space Therapies. I used to be a SEN teacher and now work as a school counsellor, completing my training from Brighton University in 2010. I particularly like working with sand tray and art in the counselling room, and am at Oak Grove College every Thursday.

Mandy is an Integrative Child Psychotherapist who works therapeutically with the arts and play to develop and promote the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the children and young people she works with. Using an integrative approach Mandy draws upon a range of psychological theories and applications to work most effectively with each individual child/young person’s unique circumstances and needs. Her focus is on longer-term psychotherapeutic treatment for in-depth understanding and exploration of the individual’s difficulties and using the therapeutic relationship as the primary vehicle for long-lasting change. Mandy has worked for Your Space Therapies Ltd since 2010 in primary and secondary educational settings. Her experience includes working with children/young people with learning difficulties.


Speech and Language Therapists

Andrea is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language therapist and also the School Age Complex Needs Clinical lead for the Worthing area. Andrea is a Regional Makaton tutor and is experienced in working with children and young people with a variety of different communication difficulties. Andrea is also the specialist for providing eating and drinking assessments and advice.

Amy is a Specialist Speech and Language therapist with a particular interest in Alternative and Augmentative Communication Systems including communication books, eye gaze systems and tablet devices with communication software on. Amy works across all the Special Schools in the area which provides excellent transition opportunities for our students as well as working a day in Mainstream schools.



Sally Vye

I am a Senior Physiotherapist with a speciality in Paediatric Neurology.  I am employed by Sussex Community Trust, based at Worthing hospital and attend Oak Grove College on a weekly basis.

Children can be referred to me for a physiotherapy assessment by other health professionals, eg Paediatricians, GPs, School Nurses.  I assess and treat children in school and, where appropriate, provide an exercise programme.  I then show school staff how to carry this out with the child.  I can also prescribe equipment, eg walkers, standers and can refer to the Orthotic Clinic if children require assessing for splints or insoles.

Kayleigh Ziaie: Physiotherapy Technical Instructor

My role is to support the Physiotherapists in school by carrying out weekly blocks of exercises with pupils and teaching staff how to continue to do these sessions longer term. Adjusting walkers and standing frames and advising staff on how to transfer children in and out of them safely. I also help to fit and monitor specialist orthotics like foot splints and helmets to make sure they are fitting correctly.


Andrea Birch 

I am a children’s physiotherapist based at the Child Development Centre in Chichester. I have an interest in neurodevelopmental physiotherapy. I am currently visiting Oak Grove College on a weekly basis for assessment and treatment of  children that require physiotherapy intervention. I provide physiotherapy programmes and advise school staff on activities to work on with the children in school. I am also involved with postural equipment and orthotics and work closely with other staff as part of the multidisciplinary team.


Therapies in Schools (TIS) – Therapists

Jo Wilkes

Jo has been a Chartered Physiotherapist for 12 years, she has an MSc qualification in complex physical disability and a Post Graduate Certificate in clinical based education. Jo transferred to Paediatrics in June 2016 and was fortunate enough to be successful in application for the Therapies in Schools role which has been both exciting and creative since its inception in October 2017. Personally Jo enjoys the teaching, training and complex physical management challenges that this role offers. Jo is also Mum of one little girl and five goldfish!’

Linnie Chapman

My name is Linnie Chapman I’m a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who has been working with people with learning disabilities for the last 11 years. I specialise in assisting children and young people with sensory processing difficulties. I have completed post-graduate training in Sensory Integration with University of Ulster and the Sensory Integration Network. I am passionate about empowering the children and staff that I work with to be the best that they can be. So that everyone can have positive experiences, through meaningful activity, every day of their lives. I enjoy using creative, problem solving approaches to find ways to overcome any barriers that life sometimes throws at us, be that through equipment, adapting environments, or strategies to change the way we do things. I love working with extraordinary and inspiring children and young people who conquer huge obstacles in every moment of every day. I love my job!

Laura Bagwell

I have worked as an Occupational Therapist since 2006 and Specialised in Paediatrics since 2008.  During this time I have worked with children aged 0-19 in a range of settings including nurseries, schools, children’s centres and in their homes.  I enjoy working with children to help them reach their full potential in their self-care skills, learning and play.  I teach children and their families a range of strategies and approaches to use to help them maximise their independence in daily activities and I have a particular interest in supporting children’s emotional well-being.

I am a mum to 3 amazing children and love running, socialising, being outdoors and reading!

Occupational Therapists –  Annie Powell and Ceri Byrne

As the NHS OT’s our role is to work with the school staff, other therapy colleagues and parents to enable students to access and engage in daily activities within their school and home life.  This may involve advice to develop a student’s independence skills such as dressing or eating and drinking  or school based activities such as recording work or accessing curriculum activities such as food tech.   OT’s may also provide advice on developing hand skills or sensory processing skills ,recommend equipment to help develop independence or to improve the young person’s sitting and posture.

Moving and Handling

West Sussex County Council has a Moving and Handling Team who work within establishments, schools and homes across the county.

Oak Grove College is supported by Alison Cooke.

Alison provides :

  • Induction training for new staff
  • Refresher training for staff who have attended induction training
  • Recommendations for equipment and adaptations to improve working environments within the school.
  • Complex risk assessments and handling plans alongside moving and handling leads and staff in school
  • Supporting SMT to source cost effective resources and solutions to reduce the risk injury to the staff and children in their care through moving and handling practice
  • Complex sling assessments
  • Ongoing support for Moving and Handling Leads to ensure that they are up to date with current moving and handling practise, legal requirements and equipment