In 2001, after completing a degree in Health Studies: Health Promotion, Louise was employed by Wigan Council’s Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship (PSHE&C) Team and undertook a range of roles and projects during this time. Initially starting out as a Parenting Officer, Louise developed health projects and initiatives to support parents to lead a healthy lifestyle, to benefit both themselves and their children. In 2003, Louise trained as a Life Education Centre Educator and subsequently delivered health and drug education lessons for children in primary and special schools until 2005. Similarly, Louise has delivered lessons and health days to secondary age pupils and has delivered an extensive range of training sessions for school staff, parents and health/educational professionals to develop knowledge and awareness of the health/PSHE agendas.
Louise also secured the role of Wigan Healthy Schools Co-ordinator in 2004 and continued in this position until 2011. This involved managing the implementation of national guidelines and criteria with over 135 primary, secondary, special schools and pupil support centre’s to meet national and local government targets. In managing this programme, Louise was responsible for overseeing the Wigan Healthy Schools Core Team, including marketing, accreditation processes and monitoring and evaluation of the work. Louise also managed a caseload of schools which involved termly visits to support and develop the PSHE curriculum.
Louise has completed various CPD courses including a Primary Certificate in Stress Management and Primary Certificate in Relaxation Skills at the Centre for Stress Management in London and an NCFE Certificate in Drug Awareness. Most recently, in 2011, she trained to became a certified Relax Kids coach to support the emotional well-being of young people.
Louise’s key successes include; exceeding National Government targets for Wigan schools achieving the Healthy Schools Programme; leading the achievement of stretched Local Area Agreement targets for schools achieving National Healthy School Status in Wigan; school level data on the positive impact health initiatives have made to children and young people’s health; sitting on Regional Government Office North West working groups to develop materials, policies and protocols for use across the North West region; co-ordinating the development of local resources (e.g. Healthy Schools Policy Pack); and co-ordinating a lead group of professionals to develop enhanced practice for four priority areas identified for the Wigan borough namely, alcohol, healthy weight, teenage pregnancy and emotional health and well-being.
Joanne moved into the area of PSHE when she began a dual role in 1999 as a drug education trainer and Centre Manager for the NCFE Certificate in Drug Awareness Studies course. This involved the development and delivery of drug awareness sessions within the community, to parents, schools and other agencies. As Centre Manager Joanne was responsible for the effective running of the accredited course which included coaching and mentoring of other tutors, carrying out tutorials with participants, assessment of work, acting as internal verifier and delivery of some of the taught sessions. In 2001, as well as continuing her role as Centre Manager, she trained as a Life Education Centre Educator, delivering drug education lessons across Wigan primary schools for 3 years.
In 2005, she became the lead in Wigan for the National Certification of PSHE for teachers, community nurses and other professionals which she successfully delivered for 5 years. During this time she was also the lead for Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in schools, delivering training and offering support to schools and individuals. Joanne also managed a caseload of schools, supporting them with the range of PSHE issues, including achieving National Healthy School Status. She also acted as an assessor in Wigan for the National Healthy Schools Programme.
Joanne has completed her further and adult education qualification, assessor and verifier awards, training the trainers in Sexual Health, as well as being a trainer around delaying early sex.
Her knowledge and experience in the area of SRE across all key stages has enabled her to play a key role in improving standards across Wigan in relation to PSHE, and in particular SRE. Joanne’s key successes include: sitting on regional Government Office groups to develop regional materials e.g. Key Stage 3 SRE; co-ordination and development of local resources (e.g. It’s My Body, It’s My Choice primary school resource around developing healthy relationships, including unwanted touch); co-ordination of a multi-agency group of professionals to develop enhanced practice in the area of teenage pregnancy; conducting pupil consultation in 75% of Wigan secondary schools, presenting reports to the schools on the findings and making recommendations for future developments.