Key People



Alastair Lidster (BSc (Hons), PGCE, MSc, C.Psychol., FRSA): Educational Psychologist and Co-author of Fagus

Fagus is the brainchild of Beech Lodge School’s Educational Psychologist Alastair Lidster. Alastair has worked with educators for over twenty-five years. He has been a Teaching Assistant, Teacher and Educational Psychologist. He completed his training as an Educational Psychologist in 1998 after which he spent fifteen years working for Local Authorities in Berkshire. In 2013, Alastair started in private practice and has since worked in this capacity with parents, schools, and Local Authorities. He recently returned to Local Authority work part time and a Senior EP in Bracknell Forest. As a psychologist, Alastair soon developed an interest in helping teachers to meet the needs of children who have experienced early trauma which led to him writing guidance materials for teachers and setting up nurture groups in schools.







Becci Best (BSc (Hons), DEdPsy): Educational Psychologist and Co-author of Fagus

Becci co-authored the Fagus materials with Alastair. Becci graduated with a First-Class Psychology degree from the University of Manchester in 2012.  She qualified as an Educational Psychologist in 2019, having completed a doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology at the UCL Institute of Education. Prior to qualifying as an Educational Psychologist, Becci worked within schools as a Mentor, Learning Support Assistant, Assistant Speech and Language Therapist and Assistant Educational Psychologist. Becci currently works full-time as an Educational Psychologist for Surrey County Council and continues to support Beech Lodge as an Educational Consultant and Director on their advisory board. Her professional interests include the impact of developmental trauma on children’s educational experiences and emotionally based school non-attendance.




Daniela Shanly: Development Director and Proprietor of Beech Lodge School

Daniela is the driving force behind Fagus. Adoptive parent to two children, Daniela recognised through her own personal experience that it is vital for some young people to have a developmental approach to learning in order to maximise their educational potential, wellbeing and increase self esteem.  In 2013 she founded Beech Lodge School (the birthplace of Fagus) and is responsible for the day to day running of the school. She has a strong personal commitment to the needs of vulnerable children and is actively involved in adoption and children’s charities. Daniela’s background is in Advertising and as a Theatrical Literary Agent.