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Why does professional learning matter in the early years sector?

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Why does professional learning matter in the early years sector?  Following the launch of the Chartered College’s Early Childhood Hub, we are joined by early years experts to discuss the potential impact of professional learning on early years education and development.  Hear more about the resources available on the Hub to support early years practitioners.

The Early Childhood Hub has been developed by and with experts, including researchers and practising teachers.  

Our panel of speakers include: Dr Catherine Gripton, Preeti Patel, Jenna Watson FCCT, Liz Pemberton and Professor Dame Alison Peacock


Chartered Status is growing. Due to its popularity, the Chartered College of Teaching is providing more opportunities to be recognised for your expertise by becoming Chartered.

Our Presenters

Dr Catherine Gripton, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham.  Cath is a researcher in mathematics education and an experienced teacher educator.  Formerly, she was a teacher for 14 years, working with 3-7 year olds in a number of Nottingham schools.  Cath has a special interest in early childhood mathematics and has conducted research on early counting, patterning, spatial reasoning and professional learning. She is involved in the Early Childhood Mathematics Group (ECMG) and was on the mathematics working party for Birth to Five Matters.  Recently, she worked on the mathematics content for the government’s Early Years Professional Development Programme for practitioners working with 2-4 year olds in England.

Preeti Patel, Head of Education at MCI, which is part of the Montessori Group.  Preeti draws upon her extensive experience at a practitioner to support and develop students and their learning experiences across a wide portfolio of Montessori training and recognised qualifications.  Familiar with the demands of discipline specialism provision and the involved delivery of regulated qualifications, Preeti oversees academic and professional support staff to ensure that both trainees and their qualifications are well prepared to enhance the professional sector upon graduation.  Of particular focus for Preeti is the integration and value placed upon the integral experiences developed onsite through work practice and placements opportunities within training for students, new teachers and educators entering the sector.  After fifteen years practice in a Montessori day-care nursery as a qualified Early Years Educator and Nursery Manager, mentoring and supporting staff teams and individual Early Years practitioners is a passion for Preeti; having held the position of lead Academic Placement Tutor for Diploma and Degree level programmes and Course Leader she recognises the skills and professionalism required for this sector.  Preeti holds a BA (Hons) Degree, Montessori International Diploma and an Early Years Teacher Status.

Jenna Watson FCCT, Nursery Teacher and Science & Technology Lead, El Colegio Británico (The Edron Academy) in Mexico City.  Jenna is an Early Years Practitioner with over 13 years teaching experience across Nursery, Reception and KS1.  She holds a Masters in Education and International Development.  Before her recent relocation to Mexico, she worked at the University of Cambridge Primary School working in collaboration with members of the Faculty of Education.  Jenna’s particular interests focus on the curiosity, playfulness and dialogic teaching in the early years, she is also working on the development of curricular programmes and pedagogical approaches linked to Education for Sustainability in her current position.  She was part of the Inaugural Board of Trustees for the Chartered College of Teaching and oversaw its launch and the development of programmes such as Chartered Teach Status, which she is presently participating in and hopes to obtain this September.

Liz Pemberton (she/her), Director of The Black Nursery Manager Ltd, a training and consultancy company which focuses on anti-racist practice within Early Years.  With 16 years in the education sector, Liz’s roles have included Secondary School Teacher (QTS), public speaker and up until 2020, Nursery Manager, allowing her to teach, manage, support and educate Early Years students, practitioners and professionals in a variety of forums.  Her mission is to promote inclusive practice in the Early Years (under 5’s) education sector, with a particular focus on how race, culture and ethnicity should be considered in this practice.

Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, a Professional Body that seeks to raise teacher status through celebrating, supporting and connecting teachers to provide expert teaching and leadership.  Prior to joining the Chartered College, Dame Alison was Executive Headteacher of The Wroxham School in Hertfordshire.  Her career to date has spanned Primary, Secondary and advisory roles. She is an Honorary Fellow of Queens College Cambridge and UCL, a Visiting Professor of both the University of Hertfordshire and Glyndŵr University and a trustee for Big Change.  Her research is published in a series of books about Learning without Limits offering an alternative approach to inclusive school improvement.

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