Author, Trainer, Consultant

Specialising in bereavement, grief & loss 

Endorsements & Testimonials 

Sarah Helton

BackPocketTeacher

 I also work as a

freelance trainer for

Child Bereavement UK

​​​​​Feedback from SEND Bereavement & Loss Training - October 20th 2017


Your training was fantastic and others' experiences were truly humbling. I feel very empowered to return to school with a mission to get bereavement addressed and a policy put in place. Vicki Leigh, Complex Needs Teacher - Farringdon Centre


Thanks so much a great course. I have been using the resources already - especially the chart about what children understand about death at different ages. Kay Cutting, teacher - Watergate School


October 5th 2017​ - Managing Difficult Times Session

Thank you once again for you training.  It was also lovely to hear your story 'Remembering Lucy'. Joanne Robertson - Assistant Head Teacher, New Fosseway School, Bristol


Thank you very much for the notes from the powerpoint. I always find your training sessions so useful and so nicely delivered. Claire Sherman - Teacher, New Fosseway School, Bristol

September 4th 2017 Many thanks for providing such valuable training which the staff found to be both challenging but very informative and beneficial.We will be looking to maintain links with you so that we can utilise you further in the future. Once again many, many thanks. Linsey Tilbury - Training Services Coordinator & Hub Administrator, Victoria School, Victoria Education Centre, Poole ​

 

June 27th 2017 Thank you for delivering a very useful training session Jayne Walters - Horizons, Victoria Education Centre, Poole 

 

​​​​​Feedback from SEND Bereavement & Loss Training - April 27th 2017 

I'd just like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you for today. I've done many a course around bereavement - today was great! You really have a niche and should be proud of all you have achieved. It's a tough topic, but with dedication and passion people can be empowered to do their best with sad situations. Kirsty Tudor - Baytree Special School

Thanks so much - I found the course reaffirming and so positive in light of the subject being discussed. I shall indeed be pre-ordering your books from Amazon (or another reputable book source!) Kerry Hiscock - Culverhill Special School

We cannot thank you enough for providing this valuable and much needed training. Sue Hewitt - Deputy Head, Culverhill School, Bristol​

Brilliant grief and bereavement training day. We all need to be prepared so that the pupils get the support they deserve. Thank you, Sarah. A great day that was super useful. Kitty Eve (SENCO) - St Saviours Junior School

Your course has given me a lot to think about. I want to do more!! ​Debbie Packer - Larkrise Special School

I really 'enjoyed' the session last week, I found it very moving as well as helpful. Clare Mackavoy - Teaching Alliance of Dorset Special Schools

  

January 19th 2017​​ Thank you for providing this important training. Sue Hewitt - Deputy Head, Culverhill School, Bristol

 

New Fosseway School, Bristol - January 17th 2017  'Supporting Pupils With Bereavement' training ​@BackPocketTeach Thank you Sarah! Great session

 

Delegates at SEN South West, TeachMeet - July 15th 2016 
Presentation - Is your school equipped to support children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities with bereavement and loss? 
    •    Great talk. I'll be going back to school and asking what policies and procedures we have in place.
    •    Thank you for a very interesting and thought provoking presentation. 

Joanne Robertson - Assistant Head Teacher, New Fosseway School, Bristol - June 30th 2016
Thank you so much for the training I have already had people saying how good it was and asking for the next one.

Jill Owen - Head Teacher, Montacute School, Poole, Dorset 
I have been lucky enough to work closely with Sarah for several years. She is a lovely, creative, sensitive person to work with. She always has the children at the heart of her thinking. I have seen her enthusiasm, positivity and care sparkle through to those around her on even the toughest of days. I cannot think of anyone better equipped to tackle this hugely important and immensely challenging area of our work.
I worked with Jill for 7 years at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire (an all age SLD/PMLD school). Jill was the Head Teacher and I was a teacher and then Assistant Head Teacher.

Sue Flavin - Deputy Head Teacher, St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire 
Sarah really knows what she is talking about! I have worked for several years with Sarah on the Leadership Team of a very special school, and I can honestly say she is one of the best teachers I have ever known. She understands the abilities and the needs of the pupils, parents, staff and the whole school community. Sarah has a vast wealth of experience, and she is gifted when sharing her expertise with others.
AND
Like many special schools, our school has dealt with the sad death of pupils, and also with pupil with life-limiting conditions. Sarah has first-hand experience of working with pupils with extremely complex needs, supporting them gently and sensitively to come to terms with their loss.
I worked with Sue for 7 years at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire (an all age SLD/PMLD school). Sue was the Assistant Head Teacher and later Deputy Head. I was a teacher and then Assistant Head Teacher.

Syb Rookwood - Deputy Head & SENCO at Minehead First School, Somerset
I had the pleasure of working with Sarah shortly after she started her teaching career. Even as a newly qualified teacher, her talents shone out and she quickly established herself  as a highly skilled and compassionate professional. She inspired not only the children in her care, but also her colleagues. Sarah led by example and quickly developed an inclusive culture at the school.
Long after she moved on to pastures new her influence was still felt at school and her legacy continues to this day. She is a truly inspirational educator, one who will always give up her time to help, support and advise others - always in a gentle and encouraging way.
Sarah has taught across a wide range of settings and has been employed in a variety of senior roles. However, her greatest attribute is the friendship that she offers to children and their families, whatever their circumstances. They willingly put their trust in her, secure in the knowledge that she will always put the needs of the children first and that she will work tirelessly to ensure that they get the very best chances in life.
I worked with Syb for 3 and a half years at Minehead First School. I was the teacher in charge of the school’s SEN Resource Base. 

Mrs AnnMarie Wyncoll - parent
Sarah is one of the most inspirational people that I have ever met. When my son started school at the tender age of four, Sarah was his first teacher. To initially accept that your child needs to attend a specialist educational establishment is really tough and Sarah was, for us, a life saver during that time. We knew that we could trust her to support our son and give him the care and assistance that he needed; her enthusiasm and dedication to her work was unwavering. We felt safe knowing that our son was in Sarah’s capable hands and we are only sorry that he was not able to spend longer in her class. Sarah genuinely cares about her work and the children that she supports and we will be forever grateful for the reassurance that she gave us during a difficult time.
I had the pleasure of teaching Mrs Wyncoll's son at St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Kitty Eve - SENCO Chandag Junior School, Keynsham, Bristol 
Sarah understands what it is like when death affects her classroom. Both the emotional trauma for the staff who have built up powerful relationships with the pupil and the sadness that the pupils feel for the loss of their friends. She has seen first hand what it can be like for children who do not have the communication tools to express themselves which is why she decided to write her book and help others to understand how to help the grief process for children with Special  Educational Needs. Her wealth of experience as a class teacher and school leader means that her training will be thorough and will facilitate the mourning process in a sensitive and appropriate way. 
I provided Kitty and Chandag Junior School with SEND Outreach Support.    

Suzanne Askham - Governor, St Nicholas School, Chippenham, Wiltshire 
In my role as a governor, I worked with Sarah on a range of issues at St Nicholas School. I always looked forward to our meetings. She was, and is, a breath of fresh air, able to bring understanding, empathy, practical solutions and positivity to a wide range of challenges. Sarah has always been brilliant at promoting inclusion for children with special needs; and also at understanding how to get specialist knowledge out to a wider audience, for the benefit of children who are not always well understood. Sarah has enthusiasm and a natural creativity that enables her to come up with original, workable solutions. I loved the button necklaces she made with her pupils, and wore with inimitable style!

About BackPocketTeacher


My entire career has revolved around special educational needs and disabilities. I am a passionate advocate for individuals with SEND, supporting them to achieve their upmost in learning and their greatest possible independence. Alongside campaigning to ensure that the world is as inclusive as possible.

My personal and professional mantra is that 'every moment counts'. We should all make the most of every second and working with children with SEND has truly taught me this. 

All children deserve an excellent education. Individuals with SEND have exactly the same rights as those without SEND and they must never be given a second class education or a life which merely considers their basic needs. 

Upon leaving school all children have the right to a fulfilling life. A life where they are a member of their local community.


With 20+ years of SEND experience and an outstanding track record in a diverse range of roles (Deputy Head, Assistant Head, Teacher, Local Authority Education Officer and Educational Publisher) I now work as an author, trainer and consultant. I write about SEND issues - books and resources for educational professionals and story books for childrern. I also provide excellent SEND advice, support, training and consultancy to educational settings, families and to individual children.

For further information and to see full details of my career to date please click here