Mrs Hopkinson qualified as a secondary school teacher in 1975 and for some years she was head of English and Drama teaching. Her interests then led her to work with children who had a range of specific learning needs. She was given the responsibility of setting up a unit for these children within a large comprehensive school. At the same time she became the Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) lead, which involved prompting staff in becoming more aware of the importance of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning. She developed and taught the SEAL programme. She was invited to present her ideas on SEAL with other professionals at the County Conference.

Her interest in the development of literacy resulted in her being appointed as Literacy Co-ordinator. One of the requirements of this role was to ensure that all students with Dyslexia had a range of appropriate resources to work with. Her ideas were considered to be extremely successful and as a result the community college was awarded the Devon Dyslexia Award.

As Head of Year 7 with the responsibility for Transition, Mrs Hopkinson worked closely with the Primary SENCOs, developing individual programmes for the children with specific needs. She became a SENCO before being appointed as a Head Teacher of a small secondary school. She is now retired from this post. Mrs Hopkinson has an additional Diploma in Education Coaching and she is trained in Restorative (Psychological) Approaches.