Who we are

Emma Beresford
Managing Director

Emma has over 25 years experience of developing work with parents as a teacher, governor and parent in primary and secondary schools. She worked for 15 years as an advisor/consultant on engaging parents, and as a senior education manager/strategy lead on parents for Manchester City Council. 

She has initiated and developed best-selling practical resources for schools such as the PRIDE project; Partnerships with Parents in Practice (Learning from Newall Green Nursery and Infant School); and the Playclub resources (over 8000 packs sold nationally), and developed a Nuffield Foundation funded action research project on work with parents in secondary schools.

She has received an award for the Manchester Transition Project - training for staff to enable sustainable work with parents.

Emma has been a member of the National Home School Development Group for over 10 years, helped to develop work in Greater Manchester, been part of a DfES national advisory group,and run European training through a Socrates project.

Fiona O'Sullivan

Fiona O'Sullivan has 30 years' parenting experience as mother and step mother to 5 children. She has spent four years as academy principal in secondary schools in challenging circumstances. She has a total of 27 years teaching experience in greater Manchester across 4 local authorities, and 16 years senior leadership experience in secondary education settings. She is a also a qualified nurse and has worked for Children's services.

Dr Iyabo Fatimelehin

Dr Iyabo Fatimilehin is a Chartered Consultant Clinical Psychologist with 28 years' experience of working in the NHS and private sector in a variety of clinical, managerial and strategic roles. She is now director of Just Psychology CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise providing services to address the psychological and mental health needs of children, adults and families, with particular emphasis on cultural diversity, cultural competence and social justice.
She has particular expertise in working with children and families with a wide range of emotional, behavioural and developmental problems. She has strong management and research skills, experience in project management, delivery of training and internationally recognised expertise in cross-cultural work.

Erica Splawnyk

Erica has over 19 years' experience of developing practical work and promoting work with parents in primary schools and in the community. 

 In school 

  • Over 9 years experience as a Nursery Nurse at Hollingworth Primary School and St. Clements Primary school with responsibility for parental involvement within the school. She developed and managed a Parents Teachers Association, Family Learning Projects and a variety of parenting courses (including those for families of children with special needs) in school and extended to local children’s centres.

 As a trainer and writer  

  • Erica has also worked for Manchester City Council managing the primary strand of the successful ‘Transition Project’ for 6 years which involved running a wide range of training courses for teachers and support workers on engaging parents/carers in transition from home to school and from the Foundation Stage to KS1.
  • Involved in writing a report on the Transition Project commissioned by the Department for Education.
  • She has also developed and delivered a wide range of courses for teachers and support staff on consulting with, communicating with and engaging parents in their children’s learning  (particularly vulnerable families and those that are harder to reach) and has helped develop a range of practical resources including homework resources to accompany the successful ‘Transition Project’.
  • She has worked for 4 years as a Parent Education tutor for Manchester Adult Education services, writing and delivering accredited courses for parents.
  • Erica has also trained, mentored and supervised Parent Support Advisors and Outreach workers.
  • Set up and established 6 Parental Engagement District Networks for staff, agencies and parents across Manchester.

In the community  

  • Run a pre-school which also involved recruiting and mentoring parents and community champions in voluntary work within the setting.
  • Run a variety of parenting courses within the community for both staff at local pre schools and parents/carers and grandparents
  • Recently became community school governor at St. Mary’s Primary school in Stockport
  • Currently is advising the local gym on how to be more ‘family friendly’ and has set up designated play areas, access to parenting resources and links to Libraries and local children’s centres.

Janet Davies

Janet has 30 years’ experience in  teaching, managing and leading schools, settings and clusters across all phases. Janet strives to support and create inclusive learning communities which promote achievement for all.

Joanna Bricher
Office Manager

Joanna has worked for PEN since it started in 2011. She designs PEN's Updates and resources for staff, parents and children.

Helen Beswick

Helen is PEN's friendly administrator. She has experience of working for small charities and social enterprises in Greater Manchester