He has worked as a schoolteacher, university lecturer, educational psychologist, senior and principal educational psychologist, mentor, supervisor, and coach. His PhD was in the area of school leadership and pupil behaviour, and he has acted as a consultant to schools. He has worked as an educational psychologist for more than 25 years, before taking up his university post in 2000. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching at UEL.
He served as chairperson of the British Psychological Society Training Committee for educational psychology and was a member of a government working group on the future role and training of educational psychologists, and the audit commission working group on poorly performing schools, as well as an Adviser to the Home Office on the Lower Moor Enquiry into water pollution and special needs in Cornwall. He has co-edited or written five books, (on Behaviour, Mediation, Parent Coaching, Parenting and Drama-therapy) and published chapters in books and articles in the fields of listening to children and pupil involvement, behaviour management, school leadership, systems analysis, management, educational psychology training, conciliation and mediation in Special Needs, teacher stress and the future of educational psychology. In 2002, he received the British Psychological Society's annual award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology. In 2016, he received the BPS DECP Award for Distinguished Contribution to Educational and Child Psychology.
His current research interests include listening to children, spiritual listening, SEN mediation and the role of children, parenting and the future of the profession of educational psychology. His publications in 2012 and 2015 include the Little Box of Big Questions and the Little Box of Big Questions 2: Learning, Behaviour and My Future. In 2016, Little Box of Big Questions 3 - philosophical questions to help you think about your study choices and career plan, was published. These tools aim to facilitate meaningful and philosophical conversations with children and young people. They are the subject of national and international research and aim to empower and help children, and young people plan their lives through deep listening to their motivations.
Together with his grandchildren, Bertie (10) and Jesscia (7) in 2021 he published a children's story book and adult guidelines for helping parents manage childhood sleep difficulties, called "The Amazing World of the Little Sleep Doctors". (Small World, Big Imaginations Ltd. In 2021 he published, with colleagues, the Philosophical Life Compass: How to make great decisions - a coaching tool for adults. This is available on thelifecompass website.
His passion throughout his career, guiding all his work, has been and remains, pioneering and developing new methods of listening to, respecting and amplifying the innermost voice of the child, with a view to empowering children and young people, especially those who are vulnerable and whose views might be unheard. He is now extending this work with adults, through supervision, mentoring and coaching.