Spotlight on…Dr Eunice Lumsden

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Head of early years at the University of Northampton

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Dr Eunice Lumsden

Dr Lumsden sat on the expert reference group to devise the Level 2 qualification criteria. She has also worked on the Early Years Professional Status and Early Years Teacher Status standards.

WHY DID YOU APPLY TO JOIN THE INSTITUTE FOR APPRENTICESHIPS AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION’S EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE ROUTE PANEL?

I’ve been so involved with workforce development for the last 17-18 years. I’ve spent my working life trying to raise the status of early childhood and any opportunity to do that I will take.

WHAT WILL YOUR ROLE AS A PANEL MEMBER BE?

From September, my role is to look at trailblazer standards coming through [Levels 2, 5 and 6 are in development] and give my opinions on them.

HOW WILL YOUR BACKGROUND HELP THE PANEL, WHICH HAS BEEN CRITICISED FOR NOT BEING EARLY YEARS-FOCUSED ENOUGH?

The early childhood sector is very complex and has many stakeholders: the fact that there are PVI settings and home care in the form of childminders, and health and social care and child protection… Aside from having worked on qualifications and standards development, I spent 20 years in social work and understand the importance of a holistic approach to early childhood.

WHY ARE APPRENTICESHIPS IMPORTANT FOR THE EARLY YEARS?

Apprenticeships are important for social mobility, for social justice and for personal development. People come into early years for different reasons and at different ages and stages. We need a range of routes.

ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT DEGREE APPRENTICES?

I don’t know if the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner competencies [which she co-devised with the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network] are going to be included, but I think the degree apprenticeship will provide an important alternative progression route for those already working in the early years.

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