Annie’s son was removed from her just days after he was born, the third of her children to be taken into care. This is the story of her battle to get him back by Louise Tickle
Annie’s son was removed from her just days after he was born, the third of her children to be taken into care. This is the story of her battle to get him back.  Guardian 20 February 2016
Louise Tickle writes on family issues for the Guardian
Louise Tickle

Annie has had
three children taken into care


This is the story of her fight to keep the youngest

Guardian Weekend



Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Sleepless nights reporting the family court


Care proceedings are held in private: publishing details is usually a contempt.

Here’s how I went to court to argue for the right to tell Annie’s story.




Louise has designed and delivered workshops for a range of professionals and created bespoke training for senior leaders across the education, voluntary, social care and environmental sectors.


Understanding that people working in complex and sensitive areas of public life often find media contact hard to contemplate, Louise specialises in fostering a greater understanding of journalists’ priorities and pressures, and can support you to maximise the public impact of your area of expertise.


Louise will work with you to devise training tailored to your specific needs, and can deliver sessions to individuals, small teams or larger groups.  If you’d like to discuss the options, please get in touch.


Clients include:


CAFCASS, University of Worcester, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of the West of England, London Metropolitan University, The Wildlife Trusts, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Cafedirect, Children in Scotland, Grayling PR.





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Speaker & event chair


Guest speaker


Louise is regularly asked to speak about her work reporting on social affairs and education issues to audiences including social workers, students, lawyers, press officers, journalists and – toughest of all – school children.


Please get in touch if you would like Louise to create a talk, a lecture or an interactive training session for your organisation or event.





“Enthusiastic from the outset, Louise was a pleasure to work with… she appeared to have complete mastery of the subject and the natural warmth of her approach meant she quickly built a rapport with the four panellists…. She facilitated a lively and interesting debate on degree apprenticeships that moved naturally between different aspects of the subject, always managing to bring it back round to the central issue.”


Caroline Murdoch, marketing manager, The Open University



Examples include:


  • Sleepless nights reporting the family courts: one hour talk for family judges at the Judicial College

  • "In conversation with” – a live interview with care leaver and public health commissioner Kerry Littleford,
    at the 2017 Early Intervention Foundation conference

  • Children’s issues in the media: working with journalists and how to shape a story you want to tell – AEGIS
    conference 2017

  • Media crisis management: why prevention is better than cure, and practical strategies for challenging
    moments – 90 minute bespoke talk with elements of audience interaction for the 2016 AEGIS conference

  • Reporting on unaccompanied child refugees – 15 minute talk plus Q and A for the ‘Uncertain Journeys’ seminar
    series, Royal Holloway, University of London

  • How to get your academic research covered in the national press – one hour talk with Q & A for the Arts and
    Humanities Research Council

  • Structuring a piece of long-form journalism – one hour lecture at Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

  • Adoption without parental consent is wrong in principle – invited speaker at the Family Justice Council
    annual debate

  • Transparency in the family courts: making it work in practice – 30 minute talk plus Q & A for The Transparency
    Project annual conference

  • Beyond the press release: 15 minute talk plus Q & A for the Arts and Humanities Research Council



Event chair


Louise has considerable experience of chairing conferences, seminars and debates. Her warm, open style is highly effective at encouraging delegate engagement in Q&A sessions, and she is always delighted to conduct live interviews or guided conversations with senior leaders, academics and individuals whose stories highlight the issues at hand.


Louise can chair an event on the day, or offers a package that that includes advance liaison with speakers, input on session design, and the creation of up-to-the-minute biographies for speaker introductions. Please get in touch to discuss options.



Some events previously chaired by Louise:


  • The Open University: panel chair for debate on degree apprenticeships

  • The Guardian: roundtable discussion chair and Guardian University Awards judging panel chair

  • What Journalists Want: Higher Education and Voluntary Sector conference series: 2011, 2012, 2013 – conference
    and session chair

  • So You Want To Be A Journalist? hosted by City University Department of Journalism: conference and
    session chair

  • Royal Geographical Society: Gender Equality in Education panel discussion chair


About Louise

An award-winning freelance journalist, Louise specialises in education and social affairs investigations. She has written extensively on domestic abuse, the effects of poverty on children’s education, and child abuse in the state school sector. She has a particular interest in family law and care proceedings, and is a member of The Transparency Project which aims to promote openness and understanding of the family court system in England and Wales.


In 2017, Louise was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain's Social Evils for her work on the BBC One film Behind Closed Doors and her Guardian reporting on domestic abuse. In 2016 she was also shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Journalism, and was joint winner of the Bar Council’s Legal Reporting Award. She won the outstanding schools journalism prize at the 2015 and 2013 CIPR Education Journalism Awards, and was the winner in the outstanding national journalism category in 2014. She won the Rosemary Goodchild Award for Sexual Health Journalism run by Brook and the Family Planning Association in 2013 and 2014.


An early foray into training in post-conflict Kosovo saw Louise spend nine months working with local journalists to improve independent reporting in the run-up to elections. She’s since designed and delivered courses for NGOs, social enterprises and HE/FE institutions in the UK and abroad.


A confident and engaging public speaker and commentator, Louise is available to to chair conferences, workshops and seminars.


Louise lives near Bristol with her partner and two sons, and heads west to the Pembrokeshire coast whenever she can.