Debbie receives many requests to recommend tutors able to provide systematic synthetic phonics lessons in the UK and around the world.
Private tutors who have completed Debbie’s Phonics Training Online course can request to be listed on this page. Please note that we cannot vouch for the tutors’ experience and/or ability – and that any arrangements should be based on following your own due diligence as to their suitability.
Debbie highly recommends that learners’ parents or carers are always present during ‘lessons’ provided by tutors – and that certain qualifications and safeguarding may be necessary depending on your country’s requirements.
Tutors – to request to be added to this page, please complete our Tutors Registration Form.
Click on the name of the tutor for biographical information.
Susan Jean Spence
On-line Synthetic Phonics Training – Debbie Hepplewhite – 2016
Level 4 Certificate in Literacy Specialism – City & Guilds – 2007
Post Graduate Certificate of Education (FAHE) – Manchester University – 2004
BA First Class Honours degree in Linguistics – Manchester University – 1997
I am a teacher, literacy specialist, teacher trainer, mentor and individual tutor; an excellent communicator and passionate about the English language and its mastery from an early age. My particular interest and specialism is the phonology of the English language and its evolution and this has developed into a literacy specialism and a devotion to the systematic and continual teaching of phonics.
I started teaching English in language schools in France and The Netherlands in the 1970s and 80s, where I wrote bespoke English courses for foreign business people. I also ran after-school classes for some of the clients’ children, which entailed pronunciation games and letter sequence recognition.
I had two children in The Netherlands in the 1980s. I taught them English as even though both their parents were English, I wanted them to go a Dutch school. They were completely bi-lingual.
After returning to the UK in 1990, I gained a First class honours degree in Linguistics and eventually started teaching Literacy and ESOL in a further education college, a prison and in the community. I have extensive experience of working with students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. I have worked as a teacher trainer and staff development manager in improving teaching and learning.
In 2011, I went to India where I worked as Deputy Principal alongside The Principal of a school in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, to improve the teaching methods and concepts as well as the English of both the staff and students. I introduced phonics into the nursery and Lower Kindergarten classes, where I team-taught with teachers to give them the confidence and understanding to use the new approach.
After I returned to the UK, I worked within the adult community, to reach those who had struggled or were struggling with learning English, due to having dyslexia or other learning difficulties, a non-UK background or different learning style needs.
In 2014/15, I worked in and around Seremban in Malaysia. I worked in five schools with primary aged pupils on a weekly basis, to improve teaching approaches and English language competency. My focus was on phonics, promoting a better understanding of ‘The English alphabetic code’ in order to ensure all pupils could improve their English knowledge and pronunciation. I also ran CPD sessions for teachers from over 20 schools both from within the project target groups and also from outlying schools.
Since returning to the UK, I have worked in Primary School learning support, to help individual children with their reading, writing, spelling and comprehension. However, I would prefer to be working more with systematic phonics teaching.
Now, I also travel to Indonesia as my daughter is married to a man from Sulawesi and they have a new son who will be bi-lingual.
Although I am not a primary school teacher, I have the transferable skills to support anyone who needs help with aspects of English.