Ofsted Early Years Pedagogy and Practice Forum members named

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Ofsted has named the 22 expert members of the Early Years Pedagogy and Practice Forum, after receiving 1,400 applications.


Gill Jones, Ofsted deputy director for Early Education, will lead the new Early Years Pedagogy and Practice Forum

It has appointed a range of experts and professionals, from universities, schools and pre-schools, to join the forum.

The experts were selected after Ofsted put out a call to academics, researchers and practitioners to apply to take part in a new early years forum to debate early years teaching and practice.

When they meet for the first time in January, members will talk about early years research and practice, and consider, for example, how young children get a love of reading, learn about numbers, and develop their physical skills. The forum will also help to shape Ofsted’s research programme.

Gill Jones, Ofsted deputy director for Early Education, will lead the forum with HM Inspector Phil Minns, who is Ofsted’s specialist adviser on the early years and primary school, and Head of Research Professor Daniel Muijs. 

Ms Jones said, ‘I am delighted so many people expressed an interest in attending this forum; it shows that there is a real appetite for in-depth discussion about the early years. Unfortunately, we couldn’t ask everyone who applied to join the forum, but we are exploring ways that more people can get involved in the discussion online. We will be saying more about this in the New Year, when the forum will look at the teaching and inspection of physical development, early literacy and maths.'

The 22 members of the forum are:

Nurseries and pre-schools:

•         Alice Baillie-Bennett, Wray Pre-School and Forest School

•         Deena Billings, Busy Bees Nurseries

•         Jan Davies, Prenton Penguins Nursery

Nursery schools and schools:

•         Sally Cave, Guildford Nursery School and Children's Centre

•         Sallie Dodd, South Pennine Academies in Huddersfield

•         Dr Julian Grenier, Sheringham Nursery School and Children's Centre

•         Ben Smith, St Peter and St Paul Catholic Primary School

•         Trudy Spillane, Drapers' Maylands Primary School

•         Natalie Willcock, Candleby Lane Primary School


•         Emma Bailie, University Centre Grimsby

•         James Hall, Southampton University

•         Professor Kathy Sylva, Oxford University

Local authorities:

•         Joy Barter, Barking and Dagenham Council

•         Vanessa Foster, North Tyneside Council


•         Ann Langston

•         Lala Manners

•         Lisa Seymour

From other organisations:

•         Charlotte Lynch, Save the Children

•         Sarah Mackenzie, Childbase Partnership

•         Christine Rogers, Pre-school Learning Alliance

•         Penny Tassoni, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years

•         Penny Taylor, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Ofsted will be inviting a wider group of experts to inform the forum’s discussions when it considers specific curriculum issues, such as maths or physical development. This is to make sure that Ofsted brings together subject-specific expertise when necessary.  

Membership of the forum is voluntary and unpaid.

Early next year, Ofsted will be inviting those who applied but are not on the forum to use webinars and different on-line platforms to include them in wide-ranging debates on important early years pedagogy and practice issues. 

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