amanda-orchardDR AMANDA ORCHARD originally worked as a Teacher in the private sector, before becoming a project manager for the BBC and Innovation Manager for the Regional Development Agency in the West Midlands. She subsequently moved to Coventry University, working on a range of creativity/innovation projects linked to social care, women’s development and transnational creativity, and was seconded as a Professional Advisor to the EU on programme funding decisions.

For 5 years Amanda worked as CEO of a regional social care charity, developing charitable marketing, fundraising and adult social care and establishing an educational social enterprise for the charity, becoming its Managing Director.

Amanda has been Trustee with a number of national charities, working closely with the Charity Commission and as Company Secretary. Currently a Level 4 Foster Carer in Staffordshire, she supports the development of Foster Carer practice & skills, co-delivering training relating to Education of Looked After Children. She is a keen advocate for children’s self-expression and self-determination and was one of the initial Head, Heart, Hands carers.

Currently Amanda runs an education consultancy, where she is working to embed social pedagogy in UK education. She is a School Governor, and Vice-Chair of the Virtual School Governing Body in Staffordshire.


helen-jones-editedHELEN JONES OBE has a background in social work with children and families including the management of family placement services and policy development and implementation in local government services as well as social work teaching and training. She has worked for the Social Services Inspectorate and the Department for Education  (DFE) as a professional advisor developing and managing policy for children in care and children on the edge of care focusing on quality improvement in these services.

Helen has a particular interest in evidence-based interventions and understanding cost effectiveness and led a range of initiatives and programmes to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and ensure the effective implementation of change and a number of pieces of scoping and piloting work related to social pedagogy in England were commissioned by DfE, including a pilot in residential care. As part of international charity consultancy teams she has extensive experience of developing family based care in countries around the world.
Helen is now a national and international consultant on children’s services.