Meet The Team

Academy Team

Meet our wonderfully dedicated team

We are an open, welcoming and supportive academy. Our commitment to equality and diversity underpins everything we do. We build and sustain positive relationships with many communities.

Nickie Thompson

Nickie began her career in dentistry some 30 ago, as a trainee dental nurse, gaining the National Certificate for Dental Nursing in May 1990. Over the years she has gained additional qualifications in Education

Programme Director

Nickie began her career in dentistry some 30 ago, as a trainee dental nurse, gaining the National Certificate for Dental Nursing in May 1990. Over the years she has gained additional qualifications in Education & Training, Assessing, Dental Practice Management, Leadership & Management, Dental Radiography, Impression Taking, Oral Health Education and the Application of Fluoride Varnish and Coaching & Mentoring. Nickie’s experience and knowledge in the field of dentistry, equips her well, to support and guide both learners and practices through the apprenticeship process. She understands the commercial pressures of a training provider and the quality and compliance standards that a provider must adhere to. She is passionate about education and highly motivated, enthusiastic and committed to learner achievement and success.
Sam

Samantha Higinbotham

LEAD ADMINISTRATOR AND HEAD OF RECRUITMENT
Sam gained her dental nursing qualification through the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN) in 2014. She worked in a private practice that specialised in oral surgery and orthodontics. Sam also completed her Implant Nursing course with ICE. Sam has a thorough understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a dental nurse, which enables her to provide support and guidance to the learners. She is responsible for learner recruitment and administration within the academy.
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Nicola Robertson

TUTOR AND ASSESSOR – LIVERPOOL AREA
Nicola began her dental career over 12 years ago, as a dental nurse apprentice within a small NHS dental practice in Liverpool. Nicola progressed to head nurse, gaining skills within implantology, orthodontics and full smile makeovers. Nicola has gained the A1 Assessing award and the PLTTS teaching qualification. Nicola has also gained qualifications within team leading and customer service. She has a passion for dentistry and strives to gain the best from her learners, providing high quality tutoring and support throughout their qualification. Nicola continues to nurse on occasion, having experience in working with specialist oral surgeons, endodontists and with sedation specialists; this allows Nicola to keep her knowledge and skills up to date, to ensure learners gain the highest standard of learning to ensure they successfully achieve their qualification.
Lynn

Lynn O'Connell

TUTOR AND ASSESSOR – MANCHESTER AREA
Lynn began her career in Dental Nursing as a trainee in an NHS dental practice and continued in the same practice progressing from trainee to senior dental nurse once qualified. She has gained, during her career, qualifications in Oral Health Education, Fluoride Varnish Application and Oral Health, Customer Services, Team Leadership, Dental impression taking, Smoking and Alcohol Cessation, PTLLS qualification for Teaching and TAQA qualification in assessing and mentoring. Lynn has a great deal of Experience, knowledge and skills that she has acquired during her many years both as a Dental Nurse and Dental nurse tutor and assessor having trained dental nurses completing the National Qualification and now those on the apprenticeship scheme. Lynn’s’ experience and knowledge in the field of dentistry, prepares her well, to help and guide students and practices through the apprenticeship procedure. She is energetic about instruction and exceptionally energetic, excited and focused on student accomplishment and achievement.
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Sarah Tucker

TUTOR AND ASSESSOR – PRESTON & BLACKBURN AREA
Sarah started her career in dentistry as a trainee dental nurse in 2012, where she climbed the career ladder and went on to become the Practice Manager for a busy NHS practice, alongside being an experienced nurse of 7 years. Sarah has gained additional qualifications in Infection Control, Dental Practice Management and more recently, Education and Training and TAQA. Sarah gained her Leadership and Management qualification through the Smart Dental Academy and this inspired her to progress into a career, where she could share her knowledge and experience by becoming a tutor and assessor.