Katy Parkinson
Founder Director

Katy Parkinson is the inspiration and creator of Sound Training. Prior to developing the Sound Training programme and setting up Sound Training Ltd, she was a senior Learning and Language adviser in a large urban unitary authority. It was here, and whilst teaching and observing mainstream pupils who were experiencing difficulties with reading, that Katy used her interest and expertise in phonology (and its effect on reading) to develop Sound Training.

Katy has 27 years’ teaching experience, specialising in supporting pupils with dyslexia. She holds a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Special Education, a PGC in Dyslexia and is an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).

Her commitment to enabling every child to fulfil their potential is underpinned by the belief that pupils have been, and will continue to be, her best teachers!

Claire Preston

Claire Preston is Sound Training’s CEO. As well as being a qualified teacher, she has spent 25 years in training and management. Passionate about education and raising standards, Claire has taught Sound Training to teachers and pupils around the country and fervently believes in the far-reaching benefits of the programme. She is committed to channelling her energy and experience to lead the team and develop Sound Training across the UK and beyond.

Sarah Earl
Business Development Manager

Sarah Earl leads on Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance for Sound Training. She brings 18 years’ experience of teaching modern foreign languages in addition to Head of Department, Director of Faculty and Course Leader for Teacher Training roles. Sarah’s energy, dedication and expertise is integral to the success of Sound Training.

Anne Wassell
Training Development Manager

Anne Wassell is one of Sound Training’s Managers. She is a fully qualified teacher with nearly thirty years’ experience which has involved roles as a Vice Principal, Director of Studies and SENCO. She is an enthusiastic member of the team, passionate about Sound Training.

Bianca Robinson
Marketing Consultant

Bianca brings a career spanning 28 years to her marketing consultancy role at Sound Training, managing a number of brand and web projects with a focus on growth and new markets. Bianca holds a Bachelor's Degree (BDes) in Visual Communications and has first-hand knowledge of today’s fast-moving digital marketing environment as a business owner. Bianca is also a Lecturer in Marketing for degree level students at Newcastle College.

Lisa Parkinson
Teacher Recruitment & Training Manager

Lisa Parkinson is Sound Training's Teacher Recruitment & Training Manager. She was involved in Sound Training from the start, is a qualified teacher and brings passion and commitment to the immensely important roles of training and supporting both our own teachers, and those within our customer schools.

Michelle Hicks
Operations Manager

Michelle Hicks is the company’s Operations Manager. She has 20 years teaching experience and has most recently had a particular focus on developing literacy and reading skills in children and young people. Her passion and interest make her a valuable addition to our team.

James Gowdie
Finance Officer

James is our Finance Officer and joins us with over 25 years experience in finance, holding positions in the public and private sector at small and large businesses such as Kwik Fit. James has a CIMA Diploma in Business and Management Accounting.

Emma Craig
Senior Partnership Coordinator

Emma is a modern languages graduate with over 20 years’ administration and customer service experience, gained in a range of organisations. Emma loves languages, is a passionate reader and is enthusiastic about helping others to succeed in such an important area.

Rebecca Grover
Partnership Coordinator

Rebecca is a marketing graduate and holds an MA in international social work and community development. TEFL qualified before joining Sound Training she spent three years as an EAL teacher in Bangkok, she also has experience in marketing and communications. She is enthusiastic and committed to supporting the Sound Training team in the role of Partnership Coordinator.

Heather Bolton
Partnership Coordinator

Having recently returned to the UK, Heather has joined our team as a Partnership Coordinator. She studied International Business at Teesside University before undertaking various work experiences around the world, including teaching English as a foreign language in South Korea. Heather has a huge interest in languages and brings a range of skills to the team.

Lucy Walsh
Partnership Coordinator

Lucy recently graduated from Teesside University with a First Class Honours degree in Sociology. She has since spent the last year working within a local college, giving further education advice and guidance to school leavers. Lucy is looking forward to building relationships with our schools and to see the results Sound Training students will achieve.

Verity Stangroom
Partnership Coordinator

Verity has a background in sales, marketing and fundraising. She has a Law degree from King’s College London and a Masters in Political Theory and Public Ethics and has spent her career in predominantly business to business environments. She is eager to bring her experience and enthusiasm to this new role and is excited to be part of this fantastic programme, having a particular interest in children with additional needs.

Joan Kavanagh
Partnership Coordinator

Joan is an experienced teacher of English Language, English Literature and History. She has taught in secondary schools and in sixth form. She holds an MA in History and an MSc in IT. She is passionate about education and an advocate of improving literacy skills in children and young people to help them to progress academically and in the future.

Marcela Willis
HR & EAL Advisor

Marcela Willis is Sound Training’s HR Officer and EAL Support. She is a qualified TESOL Teacher with over 9 years of experience with EAL and SEN students. Originally from the Czech Republic, she has always been fascinated with English language and literature. Marcela’s own path into English acquisition makes her appreciate the challenges students face in mastering a second language.

Kane Elgey
Marketing Assistant

Kane is Sound Training's Marketing Assistant. Initially starting as an intern, he joins the team as a recent marketing graduate from Teesside University. Kane hopes to apply his knowledge to help improve the Sound Training marketing department.

Syma Qurban
Administration Assistant

Syma Qurban is Sound Training’s Administration Assistant and is committed to applying her incredible enthusiasm for Business Admin to help the Sound Training team. Syma was our first apprentice and is now a welcome addition to an ever growing team.

Cheryl Farrar
Lead Trainer

Cheryl is a Lead Trainer. A Cambridge graduate, she has taught Biology in a number of roles over 15 years. She was one of our first teachers and has delivered Sound Training in a local school since 2012. She brings her enthusiasm and experience to the role of training and supporting our teachers.

Anna Kempster
Teaching Resource Officer

Anna Kempster is Sound Training’s Teaching Resource Officer. A teacher, with a BA and MA in Classics, Anna has a passion for language and literature that matches her phenomenal knowledge. Anna teaches Sound Training in Primary Schools and leads research and uploading vocabulary for Sound Training’s online resource.

Lorna Grant
Lead Trainer

A graduate of both Exeter and London Universities, Lorna taught science in a number of roles for 18 years in various London schools. Lorna has delivered Sound Training in various schools in and around the London area since 2013. Prior to joining Sound Training, Lorna was an Advisor and Team Leader on the Specialist Schools Programme at the SSAT. She is passionate about reading and literacy; and brings her experience and enthusiasm to the role of supporting and training our teachers to maximise Sound Training in their schools.

Jess Lancaster
Lead Trainer

Jess has taught English Literature, Language and Drama for 18 years in both Primary and Secondary schools across all Key Stages, in roles including KS3 co-ordinator and whole school literacy co-ordinator. With experience teaching from A level masterclasses to vulnerable learners interventions, Jess' passion for language and literature, and love of teaching and learning, helps feed into her role as a Lead Trainer.

Ian Jones
Lead Trainer

Ian is a Lead Trainer. He is a qualified teacher with twenty five years' experience of working with children and young adults in the Bristol area.
He has extensive experience of teaching Sound Training, having been part of a team that successfully delivered the project to over 600 students at Orchard School Bristol.

Jo Hern
Lead Trainer

Jo is a qualified English teacher, with several years experience of teaching at a variety of secondary schools. She has been a teacher with Sound Training since 2013 and has delivered the Instant Impact Programme in schools all over the Midlands. Her role has now developed into that of a Lead Trainer and her first hand experience of delivering the programme means she is ideally placed to support and advise our new teachers.

Melinda Bower
Lead Trainer

As well as being a qualified Teacher of English, Melinda is an experienced study-skills workshop designer and presenter, working in schools all over the UK. She is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Neuroscience, Psychology and Education at the University of Bristol.

Etta Cohen
Lead Trainer

Etta taught for 22 years in inner city schools. She left to work in the public sector linking education with business. She then ran her own business for 15 years supporting women to achieve their full potential for which she was awarded an OBE. Etta brings a wealth of experience from all sectors and understands the importance of literacy to ensure every individual has the opportunity to succeed.

Tricia van der Vliet
Lead Trainer

Tricia has been a Sound Training teacher since 2013. She has a wealth of experience in teaching, training, senior leadership roles within schools and as an Advisory Officer for a Local Authority specialising in Primary English and School Improvement. She has an innovative and creative approach to teaching both children and adults alike.

Jane Abbott
Lead Trainer

Jane has 25 years experience working in sales and as a product specialist and trainer within the commercial sector. In 2008, she transferred her skills to education and has since worked as a HLTA in a primary setting. Jane’s passion for helping pupils achieve their potential and her love of literacy has brought her to Sound Training.

Amy Reed
Lead Trainer

Amy is a qualified teacher with ten years’ experience of teaching English Language, Literature and Media as well as leading on Literacy and PSHCE in schools in Coventry and Warwickshire. She is a passionate advocate of the importance of the link between literacy skills and raising aspiration in young people and adults alike. Amy’s approach to teaching has always been creative and energetic and she aims to utilise this to engage our Sound Training teachers in effective training and support in their own teaching practice.

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