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Dr Helena Odine Bunn

Academic and Professional Tutor (Principal Lecturer)

  • AE 1.23, Stratford Campus
    School of Psychology
    The University of East London
    Stratford Campus
    E15 4LZ

    Helena graduated in Psychology from University of Bucharest, Romania, before moving to England and completing a three year Professional Doctorate Programme in Educational and Child Psychology at University of East London.

    Whilst in Romania, Helena worked as a psychologist in education, whilst taking on roles of university part-time tutor, then lecturer, assistant director and lastly, director at a Romanian university. During the 1990s Helena co-designed and delivered a range of inclusion training programmes to schools and wrote literature in this aspect. She became involved in international activities with Germany, Israel and Finland focused on learning and sharing experience in the areas of special educational needs practices and support systems for specific groups of disadvantaged children (immigrant and publicly fostered).

    On coming to England in 2004, Helena continued working in similar areas, after re-qualifying as a practitioner psychologist in education. She is currently a senior educational psychologist within Norfolk Local Authority, Educational Psychology and Specialist Support services, and an academic and professional tutor (principal lecturer) at the University of East London. She also provides expert evidence in Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal and Family Court cases.

    Helena has undertaken research and has produced materials (some of them published abroad and within the UK) in the areas relevant to the educational psychology practice, including special educational needs, inclusion, children with complex medical conditions and looked after children. Her current research interests include making a positive difference in children’s lives, and the role of children, parents and schools in this aspect. She has taught courses in aspects of child development, research methodology, special educational needs, psychological assessment and organisational change.

    Helena’s passion guiding her work, has been and remains, to search for and identify the “diamond in the rough” in every individual, but especially children, to help the individual shine by inviting and co-constructing impactful stories and then to amplify those stories to individuals and to others, and promote the process of positive change.



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    Children with complex medical conditions and their school experiences - a tentative model.

    Bunn, H., Robinson, M.. 2017. DECP Debate 165. 12-20.

    High school transition – an intervention that empowers children with special educational needs and improves school practice.

    Bunn, H., Davis, D. & Speed, E.. 2017. Support for Learning, 32(3). 231-244.

    Complex medical conditions: issues for parents and what can be done in practice?

    Bunn, H.. 2015. DECP Debate 154. 45-53.

    Nita, N., Stafie, C., Agrigoroae, D., Savin, A., Popovici, C., Damian, B., … Vacaru, L (2004). Psihopedagogia pentru personae cu cerinte educative speciale. Strategii de educatie integrate. Piatra-Neamt. Romania: Alfa.

    Popovici, H. (2002). Strategic issues at the contemporary challenging teenager: theoretical aspects and work experiences. In Petre Andrei University, Jubilee Session of the Faculty of Psychology and Social Work — ‘Petre Andrei Days’, 10 years anniversary of the School of Psychology, Scientific Reports. Iasi, Romania.

    Popovici, H. (2000). Children looked after need us: how do we help them?, in Educator-infant-family relation in the educational action (risks and social problems), Bucharest: Semne Publishing House.

    Popovici, H., & Popovici, C. (1999). Specific issues in social and professional integration of young people with Special Education Needs, in Youth and socio-professional integration. Bucharest: Semne Publishing House.



    Helena has a particular interest in children with complex medical conditions and how the medical condition shapes their life, including schooling and family. She is also keen on how systems around the child perceive themselves in relation to the condition and adaptations that should be made particularly in the child’s education in order to promote and sustain a positive cycle of development.

    Other areas of interest for Helena are trading in a local government context, children and young people as actors in systemic change in education and increasing favourable life outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.



    PY8103: The Process of Psychological Assessment (Module Leader, 2017-2018)

    PY8 106: Professional Practice in the Real World (Module Co-Leader, 2016-2017, Module Leader, 2013-2016)

    PY8 107: Developing the Competent and Reflective Practitioner in Simple Systems (Module Leader, 2016-2017)

    PY8 108: Research: Data Analysis (Module Co-Leader, 2016-2017)

    Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology (initial training)
    Doctorate research focused on a small sample of children and parents who have experienced school life where the child has a complex medical condition
    Collaborative research projects focused on evaluation of intervention programme (e.g. FRIENDS)
    Organisational change projects delievered in special and mainstream schools
    Research focused on improving teaching strategies and pupils specific interventions, whilst working in Romania