The Tavistock and Portman successfully appoint their next Chief Education and Training Officer/ Dean of Postgraduate Studies



Professor Mark Freestone, the current Director of Education at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has been appointed as the next Chief Education and Training Officer/ Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. 

For 100 years, the Tavistock and Portman NHSFT has forged new and distinctive ways of understanding and approaching all aspects of mental health and wellbeing for children and adult outpatients, locally and nationally. They also have a strong focus on education and training – and uniquely, both an Ofsted registration for the integrated school they run; and registration with the Office for Students, for their education and training activity.    

Mark commented, ““As someone who has worked with relational and psychoanalytic approaches research, teaching and clinical practice for over twenty years it has been a dream of mine to join the Tavistock and Portman. I am delighted to be joining now in a role that will help me to shape the future of the Tavistock and Portman as a provider of a unique and internationally recognised curriculum that equips clinical and allied staff to tackle some of the most challenging problems in modern healthcare.” 

Society was retained by the Tavistock for this pivotal appointment to conduct an extensive national search for an ambitious and visionary leader with a growth mindset to expand on what the Trust is already doing, whilst honouring their heritage. The incoming Chief Education and Training Officer / Dean of Postgraduate Studies will help lead and shape the ongoing future of the Trust, as well as encouraging new ideas, innovative interventions, services, and models of education which respond to contemporary challenges.  

Regarding the process, Mark commented “Society have been enormously supportive in helping me understand the role and the history of the post, and to prepare thoroughly and efficiently for the recruitment process. I am very grateful to Holly and Emily for their superlative support.”  

Mark is currently Director of Education at the Wolfson Institute of Population Health at QMUL, a position that he took up in 2020 when the Institute was first established, having acted as Director of Postgraduate studies at the former Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine. Under his tenure, student numbers on the mental health courses at QMUL have risen from 67 in 2016/17 to 324 in 2023/24 and satisfaction rates were at their highest level since 2017. His key principles of developing sustainable, research-informed and relationally focused education practices have ensured that QMUL’s mental health postgraduate programmes are some of the most successful in the UK.  

Mark is also a Mental Health Theme Lead and Director of the North Thames NIHR Applied Research Collaboration and Research Lead for the Relational Practice Movement. He has over 50 peer-reviewed academic publications on the topics of complex emotional and relational needs, violence prevention and mental health services research. He is also recognised internationally as an expert on the presentation of mental disorders in film and television media, with consultancy credits on several programmes including BBC America’s Killing Eve series 1 and 2, and the Channel 4 prison drama Screw.  

Mark will join the Tavistock and Portman NHSFT in June 2024.  

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