Marion Bennathan Obituary
Marion Bennathan, a revered educational psychologist and former colleague of mine, passed away at the age of 90. She was a staunch advocate for nurture groups in schools, which were designed by psychologists to support vulnerable children and help them remain in mainstream schools. Her efforts through co-writing Effective Intervention in Primary Schools: Nurture Groups (1996) with Marjorie Boxall and co-founding the Nurture Group Network led to a significant impact on national practices in this area. In recognition of her contribution, Marion was appointed OBE in 2011.
Marion was born in Blackburn, Lancashire and grew up as the fifth child of John Shaw and his wife Nancy. She graduated with a first-class degree in social and political science from Birmingham University in 1948, following which she pursued a career in psychology. At the Child Guidance Training Centre, she became friends with Marjorie, the pioneer of nurture groups and went on to work as an educational psychologist for 12 years before joining Bristol as its senior educational psychologist in 1969. Marion co-founded Young Minds charity and was its first director until her retirement in 1991.
Marion’s marriage to Esra Bennathan, an economics professor, ended in divorce. She married David Eversley and Melvin Sabshin, who both predeceased her. Marion is survived by her son, Joel, and five grandchildren, Ella, Matthias, Rosa, Oliver and Clara, as well as three great-grandchildren. She lost another son, Joshua, in 2014.