Nursery World Awards 2018: Judges

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This year’s expert panel of judges were clearly delighted to come together at the Chesterfield Hotel in London, to scrutinise and debate this year’s entries. It was a day of enjoyable discussion and hard work, with the high standard of entries making the task of picking winners challenging. After much deliberation, the judges came to their final decisions and we would like to thank them for their rigour and enthusiasm.

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anne-o-connorAnne O’Connor

Anne taught in early years settings in London primary schools for more than 20 years before becoming an independent consultant, trainer and writer. She contributes regularly to Nursery World and is an associate of Early Education. She co-founded and is a principal consultant with Primed for Life Training Associates, providing innovative training for physical development and the prime areas of the EYFS.

ben-clayBen Clay

Ben has worked in education for 17 years and is passionate about early years pedagogy. He has taught in a wide range of communities across London and internationally. He is currently working as pedagogy manager at the LEYF, where he is responsible for driving quality across the expanding group of London-based nurseries. Ben provides a rich variety of CPD and training sessions that explore each of the seven areas of LEYF pedagogy.

janecomeauJane Comeau

Jane is chair of PACEY. She volunteered for the organisation for many years and joined its board as a trustee in 2011. Jane has been a registered childminder since 1995 and was awarded Outstanding in all areas in her last three inspections. She graduated with a BA in early years in 2010 and gained Early Years Professional Status in 2011.

julie-mountainJulie Mountain

Julie is a specialist early years landscape designer and educator. She is former operations director at Learning through Landscapes, while her community interest company, Play Learning Life, works alongside schools, settings and families to make the most of outdoor learning and play. Julie has travelled widely, written three books, created online resources, produced a DVD training programme for Nursery World and regularly writes for the magazine.

janeharrisonJane Harrison

Jane is director of Red Hen Day Nursery, which has gained national accolades for providing outstanding provision on a working farm. Jane has a first-class degree in early childhood and is an advocate for children’s healthy lifestyles. Her nursery has won awards including Nursery World’s Nursery of the Year. Jane was also a finalist in the BBC’s Food and Farming Awards in the Caterer of the Year category.

juliefisherJulie Fisher

Julie is an independent early years advisor and visiting professor of early childhood education at Oxford Brookes University. She held the post of early years advisor in Oxfordshire for 11 years, before which she was lecturer in early childhood education at the University of Reading. She has also been head teacher of two schools and in 2017 was the recipient of the Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award.

johnwarrenJohn Warren

John is the managing director of John Warren Consultancy. He has a Master’s in early childhood education. He supports day nurseries that want to make a change and enhance their practice, and also works closely with owners who are new to the sector or want to grow their business either organically or through acquisitions. John is most proud of achieving his NNEB qualification in 1983.

josephwrightJoseph Wright

Joseph is director of Paint Pots Nursery. His mother Anna started Paint Pots Pre-School and Nursery when he was three years old, and his father David joined her ten years later. He has been working with them for the past seven years and says childcare runs in his blood. He is also a member of SAMEY (Southampton Area Men in Early Years) and believes passionately that boys and girls need men and women.

mmasonMargaret Mason

Margaret opened her first nursery Children 1st in Long Eaton in 1988, and the group now operates 23 nurseries across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. She was a founding member of the NDNA, and has worked in advisory positions for local authorities, social services and the voluntary sector, including the Scottish Pre School Alliance. In 2016 she received an OBE.

judithtwaniJudith Twani

Judith is a passionate trainer with a background in teaching in the UK and in South Africa. She has held a range of roles within her local authority as a children’s centre teacher and consultant, a trainer and NVQ assessor. She also trained as an Ofsted inspector and has delivered a range of training nationally. She is co-author of Let’s Talk about Maths. Currently she works as a consultant/trainer and regional manager for Early Excellence.

kathybrodieKathy Brodie

Kathy has worked in the early years sector for almost 20 years in a variety of roles and settings. She is an author and trainer who specialises in creating and delivering online training for practitioners around the world. This includes weekly CPD on Early Years TV and the biannual Early Years Summit, as well as online training courses.

marydickinsMary Dickins

Mary trained as a primary teacher and worked with practitioners, young children and families for more than 35 years. She has extensive experience as a trainer of early years professionals and has written about issues such as inequality and inclusion. Since retiring from her post as senior lecturer in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan University she works as an independent consultant and author.

jenna-hollowayJenna Holloway

Jenna is a manager at an early years setting within the Elmscot Group in Cheshire. She has previously won Nursery World’s Nursery Practitioner award and continues the development of practice within her role. Her greatest passion is supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. She has attended seminars to share case studies on best practice in Manchester and London.

edwinarevelEdwina Revel

Edwina is the programme director for nutrition at Early Start Group. She supports nursery settings to achieve standards of nutrition excellence to improve the health outcomes of children and families. She has developed Association for Nutrition-certified training covering topics such as menu planning, managing fussy eating and nutrition for young children.

juliammJulia Manning-Morton

Julia is an independent consultant and group facilitator for Key Times Professional Development. Her career spans 40 years and diverse roles as a practitioner, manager, advisor, inspector and lecturer. Julia’s training, research and writing is focused on practice and provision that meets the needs of children from birth to three, and on the personal, social and emotional well-being of children and practitioners.

joverrillDr Jo Verrill

Jo is managing director of research group Ceeda. Jo has worked with the sector for 16 years, conducting research to inform grassroots practice, local and national government policy. From continuous sector benchmark studies on parent satisfaction and employee engagement to influential studies on childcare delivery costs, Jo’s passion is carrying out research that makes a difference.

lindakeatsLinda Keats

Linda is an Early Years Foundation Stage Adviser who has worked in the sector for more than 25 years. Currently she is a local authority early years advisor working with pre-schools, nurseries, childminders and out-of-school clubs. She is passionate about promoting early intervention and the importance of a rich, enabling environment, and supporting our youngest children to reach their highest potential.

neil-leitchNeil Leitch

Neil is chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance. As the largest early years membership organisation in England, it represents 14,000 nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. Prior to joining, Neil held several senior posts within the commercial environment and moved into the area of financial underwriting in 1985. Until 2006, he chaired the Finance Industry Standards Association. Neil is a fellow of the RSA.

sarahfillinghamSarah Fillingham

Sarah has 25 years’ experience and is the area manager for Portico Nursery Group, supporting a team of around 100 practitioners across seven settings. Sarah is keen to support the management team develop their leadership skills. From NNEB to EYPS, and more recently NPQSL, Sarah has influenced the lives of many children during Portico Nursery Group’s expansion over the past 16 years.

rebeccamartlandRebecca Martland

Rebecca is an independent early years trainer, EYP, contributor to Practical Pre-school magazine and a three-times Outstanding registered childminder, with more than 18 years’ experience. She is co-founder of a thriving local childminding association, Magic Minders, and is one half of the Minding the Gap CPD team who were awarded Highly Commended in last year’s Nursery World Awards.

helenmoylettHelen Moylett

Helen is a trainer, consultant and writer. She has been head teacher of an early years centre and a primary, and a lecturer. While working for National Strategies, she was centrally involved in developing the Early Years Foundation Stage and led the Every Child a Talker programme. She co-authored Development Matters with Nancy Stewart and has written and edited several early years books.

stellalouisStella Ram-Louis

Stella is a freelance trainer and consultant who has worked as a nursery nurse, manager, NNEB course co-ordinator, training co-ordinator and consultant. Stella wrote about schemas in her first book, published in 2008, and has had articles published in Nursery World and Early Education. Stella has a Master’s degree, a doctorate in education and is a Froebelian-trained travelling tutor.

joolspageDr Jools Page

Jools is a senior early years lecturer at the University of Brighton. Her research, together with her policy knowledge and practice experience of attachment-based relationships between adults and children under three years in group daycare provision, has brought her acclaim, most notably for her conceptualisation of ‘professional love’. Jools is currently working with colleagues in Sydney, Australia.

katetylerKate Tyler

Kate is a social media expert and director of Shake Social – an online marketing agency with expertise in the early years sector. Kate, who has written a monthly column for Nursery World, works with nurseries across the UK to help them implement digital strategies that work, and raise their online presence.

wendyscottWendy Scott

Wendy received the Nursery World Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. She is a Froebel-trained teacher and honorary president of TACTYC, and served on the Nutbrown Review. She was chief executive of the British Association for Early Childhood Education Forum, and has worked with the DfES, the British Council and UNICEF. Wendy has judged the Nursery World Nursery of the Year Award since 2006.

nancystewartNancy Stewart

Nancy is a trainer, consultant and writer with extensive experience in schools, children’s centres and private provision. She advised the Tickell Review, and co-produced the revised Development Matters. At National Strategies, Nancy led Every Child a Talker in central England. She serves as vice-chair of TACTYC, the Association for Professional Development in Early Years.

purnimaPurnima Tanuku

Purnima is the chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association, a charity and membership association for nurseries across the UK. Recognised as an authority on early years and childcare, Purnima works closely with ministers and senior civil servants and is a major contributor to the policy debate in all three nations. She was awarded an OBE in 2011.

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