Meet  the Team

Personalised Learning Dorset is a service set up by educational professionals committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to take part in a form of education, training or personal development even when they are not currently engaging fully in a mainstream education.

Phil Stephens

Director & Lead Practitioner


Phil has worked with young people in Poole and Bournemouth for the last 15 years, both in schools as a Head of Year and in the community through charity work and outreach services.


Phil has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing young people and schools in the area and vast experience in supporting positive change for those he works with. 


His vision for Personalised Learning Dorset is to enable all young people to have the opportunity to develop and grow into well rounded and positive members of the community, regardless of their academic ability or background.

Dianne Robinson

Support Worker


Dianne has been a Youth Worker for over 35 years, working both in the Voluntary and Statutory sector with young people of all different ages and needs through a wide range of projects and providers.


She also has experience running a Young Peoples Advice and Information Centre and supporting young people as a Young Persons Housing Officer.


Her previous 15 years have been spent working closely with young people with SEN needs, and further developed her already impressive understanding of the different needs young people have in todays climate.

Karl Hopton

Expedition Leader


After a career in the Army, Karl trained as an Accredited Facilitator working with NDPDU - National Drug Programme Development Unit of HM Prison Service, working with chaotic substance users in Closed conditions.

As well as amassing a huge array of life skills, including an Operational Hostage Negotiator and trainer with Dorset Police, he entered education and was employed firstly as a Head of Year then as Head of Behaviour.

His main role at PLD is facilitating an exciting programme of outdoor activities designed to develop confidence, self esteem and emotional wellbeing.

Emma Stephens


Emma is a qualified teacher with extensive knowledge of GCSE and A Level courses having taught secondary and A Level students for the entirety of her career.

After choosing to take a break from teaching, she has been vital in developing programmes for the young people at PLD and in her work supporting the day to day running of the company.

Building on her knowledge and skills as a geography specialist, she is currently undergoing training to become a Forest School Leader in order to be able to run focused sessions as part of our Alternative Provision offer.

Let's work together

If you would like to find out more, make a referral or are interested in working with us we look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your message, we will be in touch soon.

Personalised Learning Dorset

The Grain Store

Shaftesbury Lane

Blandford Forum, Dorset

DT11 7EG