About me

This blog is currently mothballed. When I last updated it, I was the headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children's Centre in Newham, East London and also a National Leader of Education, one of the co-founders of the East London Partnership Teaching School Alliance and Director of East London Research School

Please note that this is my personal blog. It does not represent the views of my employer or anyone else I am associated with, so please apply the usual health warnings. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here are some of the things which matter to me. 

Firstly, practitioners should take a principled approach to early education and childcare. Children have a right to play. They need to be cared for by staff who have their best interests at heart, and can create an emotionally warm environment. 

Early education should be inclusive of children with special educational needs and disabilities, and it should promote gender equality and racial equality. 

Quality and equality must go hand in hand. 

Finally, early education programmes must be based on evidence: it's not good enough any more for people to say that they "believe" in one approach over another. We have a professional responsibility to the children, to their families and to their communities. We must always work hard to get that right. 

To find out more, have a look at some of the books I've co-written about Early Education and Childcare (commissions earned). 

I was previously senior Early Years Adviser for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and before that I was headteacher of Kate Greenaway Nursery School and Children's Centre in Islington. In my school career, I have worked in primary, special and nursery schools across inner and east London. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the most talented, hard-working and effective teachers, early years educators and leaders you can imagine. I am passionate about advancing equality through education and I'm a firm believer in comprehensive education. Because what happens early, matters for a lifetime, I'm proud to have dedicated my working life to play-based early years education, multi-agency support for families, and involving parents in their children's learning.

I have served as an adviser on two committees for the Department of Education: The Rose Review of the Primary Curriculum, and The Nutbrown Review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications. I am also a former chair of the Trustees at Early Education (the British Association for Early Childhood Education).

I gained my Doctorate in Education from the UCL Institute of Education in 2013 for my research into how a group of early years practitioners developed their theories about children's learning and their role as educators during a programme of support and professional development which I was leading. You can read my doctoral thesis here [PDF]

Over the years, I have written regularly for Nursery World and I have authored and co-authored books about early years education.

I've been interested in writing since my student days, when I edited the Oxford University Newspaper, Cherwell, and the magazine of the Oxford Union, Debate

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