Save Childhood Movement: People across the globe, uniting to protect young children and their future
Sir Al Aynsley-Green
Sir Al Aynsley-Green began his medical career at Guy’s Hospital in London before developing his speciality of paediatric endocrinology in University hospitals in Oxford, England, and Zurich, Switzerland. He was appointed Clinical and then University Lecturer in Paediatrics and Fellow of Green College in the University of Oxford, then Professor of Child Health and Head of the School of Clinical Medical Sciences at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was invited to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the Institute of Child Health in London as Nuffield Professor of Child Health and Board level Executive Director for Clinical R&D. There, as well as leading the institutional organisation of world class clinical research, he developed further his personal scientific research, especially in developing new ways of alleviating pain and stress in infants and children, and understanding the effects of disordered hormone secretion. He has published over 300 papers from his scientific work.
Sir Al has been involved in the political arena of Children’s Services since 2000. He was appointed Chair of the first NHS Children’s Taskforce and then the first National Clinical Director for Children in government where he was responsible for defining the first national comprehensive standards of health care services for children, young people and expecting mothers. He was then appointed the first statutory Children’s Commissioner for England in 2005, a post created by Parliament to be the independent voice for the 11 million children and young people of England. In this he developed new ways of engaging with them, particularly those most invisible in society.
Among his achievements was the exposing to public and political view the injustices faced by children with mental ill health, those in conflict with the law, and those seeking asylum. He stood down after his five years of tenure as Children’s Commissioner in 2010 and is now Professor Emeritus of Child Health at University College London, and Founder and Director of Aynsley-Green Consulting, engaging with governments and organisations worldwide on children, childhood and children’s services. He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006 for his services to children and young people and in 2015 was elected President of the British Medical Association (BMA).
Wendy Ellyatt – Chief Executive
Wendy was the inspiration behind the creation of the movement and has been leading its growth. For the last thirty years she has dedicated her time to exploring the unique qualities of human learning and development, with a particular emphasis on the impact of the early years and on what creates lives of meaning and purpose. A well-known writer and consultant in the field, she has developed three educational websites, has been a feature writer for magazines both in the UK and beyond, has a chapter in the much acclaimed book ‘Too Much, Too Soon’, is a fellow of the RSA, and was recognised by the think tank Demos as a leading thinker for her contribution to the publication ‘Born Creative’. Through the movement she is the founder of both National Children’s Day UK and the International Festival of Childhood.
In her own home town of Cheltenham she has also explored how we nurture adult wellbeing through the establishment of two highly successful community initiatives. What does fulfill us and produce sustainable states of wellbeing? How do we protect both children and adults from systems that undermine our inherent creativity and potential? How do we ensure that we can all feel valued and connected? Wendy’s diverse projects explore the UK’s current education system, the modern world’s erosion of childhood and our shared need for meaningful relationship, community and contribution.
John Stevens – Strategic Development, Chairman of the Board
John Stevens joined us as a Strategic Development consultant and became a director in 2015. He has worked in the development of sport and physical activity since graduating from Loughborough University as a teacher of physical education and biological science in the mid 70’s. He taught in New Malden and lectured at St Mary’s College Twickenham and the University of Newcastle before joining the GB Sports Council as a Regional Development Officer in 1982, moving to the Sports Council for Wales as Head of Sports Performance in 1985. In 1992 he joined Humberside County Council as Senior Assistant Director of Leisure and Libraries and, following local government reorganisation, transferred to the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1995 as Assistant Director of Education and Libraries.
In 1997 he was appointed CEO of the charity Sports Coach UK and led a major turn-round in the fortunes of the organisation as well as establishing and advising the Minister of Sport’s Coaching Task Force, which led to a significant improvement in the qualification, training and employment of sports coaches in the UK. In 2004 he was appointed CEO of Active Gloucestershire with a remit to lead the organisation into charitable status. He led the organisation through the start up phase before establishing it as one of the leading county sports partnerships in England. In April 2015 he left Active Gloucestershire to establish his own management consultancy for sport, community organisations and SMEs.
He has an MBA from the Open University and the Institute of Director’s Diploma in Company Direction and has served as a Director of Coachwise Ltd; England Netball; British Weightlifting and StreetGames UK as well as chairing several industry working groups.
Sally Grindley – Editor SCM VOICE, Director Ambassadors Programme
Sally Grindley is an award-winning children’s author of some 30 years’ standing, who has had over 150 books published, including the award-winning Shhh! and Spilled Water and best-selling Knock Knock Who’s There?
Sally began her career with a popular nationwide children’s book club, where as Editorial Director for 16 years she was responsible for selecting the very best children’s books to go into a monthly magazine, as well as producing the magazine. She was a judge of the Mother Goose Award (for the most exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration) and mounted a major retrospective at The Commonwealth Institute in London. Sally’s first books were published while she was still with the club, but she became a full-time author in 1995.
Sally has achieved great recognition for her ability to extend a child’s emotional experience, and her books for older readers are marked by lively curiosity and great humanity. She is equally well-known for her picture books, which are often used to demonstrate to adult readers how to engage and interact with their young audiences, and to have fun in the process! You can read more about her work on www.sallygrindley.co.uk
Diahann Hughes Hawkins – Membership and Parenting
An American by birth, Diahann Hughes Hawkins has lived in the UK for twenty years, and became particularly interested in early learning and education through having her two children. While her educational background is in International Studies and Economics (BA Hons) in the US, she has spent many years since in project management and marketing positions, including being director of a trust focused on the relevance of indigenous learning perspectives to sustainable futures.
In 2012 she was faced with the dilemma of being unhappy with the choice of local primary schools for her children and launched a successful free school campaign that ultimately led to the creation of a new school that subsequently merged with a local primary school that had a similar ethos. She then became Vice Chair of Governors for the school and chaired the marketing committee through the first year, successfully helping to replenish diminishing numbers. Diahann is passionate about the need for true parental choice and how we can bring international knowledge and perspectives to current UK policymaking.
Dr David Whitebread – Director of Research
Our Director of Research, Dr David Whitebread is a globally recognised developmental cognitive psychologist and early years specialist who is currently leading the development of the the new PEDaL (Play in Education, Development & Learning) research centre within the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Before joining the Faculty he taught mostly in the early years in Primary schools, mainly in Leicestershire, for 12 years.
His research interests are concerned with children’s cognitive development and implications for early years and primary education. This has mainly focused on self-regulation in young children, and the roles of play and oral language in its development. He has published widely in academic journals and book chapters, and has edited or written a number of influential reports and books, including Quality in Early Childhood Education – an International Review and Guide for Policy Makers (WISE, 2015), Teaching and Learning in the Early Years (Routledge, 4th Ed., 2015), Developmental Psychology & Early Childhood Education (Sage, 2012) and The importance of play: a report on the value of children’s play with a series of policy recommendations (Toys Industries for Europe, 2012).
National Children’s Day UK
Jennifer McQuillan – Project Director
Born in Cape Town, bred in Johannesburg and maturing in London, Jennifer has enjoyed the creative overlap of design and childcare for over 20 years. Jennifer was an outstanding childminder for nearly a decade and founded and heads the award winning Jenniflowers Pre-school Nursery in South West London. Her humanitarian and community approach stems from being brought up in the apartheid era and her mum being a pioneer in opening one of the first multi racial schools in South Africa in 1981.
Jennifer was nominated for a Merton Civic Community award in 2015 for her online support for over 12,000 local mothers. A Finalist at the NurseryWorld 2015 awards for Pre-school of the Year, her Pre-school Nursery won the Business Development of the Year Award for their organic growth, particularly with their community and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) focus. In 2015 they won the Best Family Friendly Business in Wandsworth Award and were a Highly Commended Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in the London Borough.
She has been involved with the Preschool Learning Alliance since 2014, sitting on their Audit Committee and Lambeth Wandsworth Sub Committee, and with Missing Children South Africa since 2008, facilitating their online design needs. She has collaborated with Early years colleagues on the One Voice campaign (website design) and attends the Ofsted Big Conversation in London. She has contributed to various Early Years childcare magazines and media over the years, attends round table consultations with the DfE about Early Years concerns, e.g.: ratios, childminding agencies, 30 hours funding, and is often invited to speak at conferences/seminars about children with SEND, specifically where there is an invitation to draw local business into supporting their local families with children/parents with an additional need.
Rosie Dutton – Social Media Officer
Rosie oversees the social media for NCDUK and has loved being part of the team that has developed the day from its small beginnings. She is passionate about the Early Years and allowing children the right to a playful, nurturing and happy childhood.
As a Forest School Leader, Relax Kids Coach and Developmental Movement Play specialist she runs sessions for children and their families in and around her local community. She also acts as a spokesperson for the Summerborn Campaign.
Caroline Jones – Co-ordinator
Mother to three young children, Caroline was formally Learning and Development Manager for the bread company Warburtons. This involved a variety of responsibilities including running internal and external training courses, mentoring, designing and delivering internal courses and liaising with external suppliers.
Beth Thomas – Researcher
Beth has worked in a variety of early years settings over the past fifteen years; an out of school play club, as a teaching assistant in a Reception classroom, as a childminder (for six years), as a lead practitioner in a busy day nursery and as a practitioner in a pack away preschool. She also writes regularly for practitioner magazines. Beth studied her BA (hons) Early Years with The Open University for six years before embarking on Early Years Initial Teacher Training at the University of Brighton. She continues to study and is currently working toward a Master’s Research degree in Childhood Studies.
E-Zine Editorial Team
Sally Grindley (SCM Director) – Executive Editor details as shown above
Dr Pam Jarvis – Senior Editor, UK Policymaking
Dr Pam Jarvis is currently a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Trinity University on the Children, Young People and Families team, and an Associate Lecturer for the Open University. She was awarded a PhD by Leeds Metropolitan University in 2005 for her thesis ‘The Role of Rough and Tumble Play in Children’s Social and Gender Role Development in The Early Years of Primary School’. She is currently a regular writer on the early years for the Huffington Post.
Pam is originally from South London, but has lived in Yorkshire for over 25 years. She has three adult children who provided her initial education relating to the importance of play-based learning within human development, and she continues to learn from observing the play of her two young grandsons.
Julie Sherratt – Content Co-ordinator
Julie also works as a facilitator at an outdoor nursery for 2-6 year olds in South Cheshire. From 2006 until 2015 she worked in a wide variety of educational establishments with children aged 4 to 16 using horticulture and later nature as therapeutic mediums. She worked with individuals and small groups, supporting children who were refugees, bereaved, had mental health issues or who were disengaged from the formal curriculum.
She started her professional career in nursing, working in the NHS for 15 years. She has always actively engaged with social media, has accounts on several platforms and has started and managed a forum to help support families attending the setting.
Penny Webb – Early Years Education/Social Media
Penny Webb has been involved within the childminding sector for over 30 years. She has had two separate registrations as a Registered Childminder from 1984 – 2004 and from 2010 – 2016. In between the two registrations she worked as Childminding Development Officer for Worcestershire Local Authority, taking the lead on Childminding Networks. Penny has also been involved with other areas of the early years sector such as nurseries and pre schools through tutoring, quality assurance assessments and her volunteering.
Penny is passionate about ensuring that all children experience enabling environments, that enable them to reach their full potential, whatever that might be, through following their interests, supported by interested adults who know when to become involved and when to stand back. Through it’s campaiging activities, she has also been a core member of the SCM Early Years Education Team
Harriet Broadfoot – SCM Membership Communications Manager
Harriet studied at Durham University and went onto train and work as a volunteer adviser with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, a mentor with the County Council for foster care leavers, and worked part time as a medico-legal assistant. Her love of young children, coupled with an avid interest in society, culture and mental health, led her to train as a Montessori directress and from there, to qualify as an EYT with a PGcert in early years professional teaching. Through this journey she developed a deep passion for enabling children to have the best start in life by ensuring they have access to environments (physical, social and emotional) that allow them to follow their own natural developmental path, respect and nurture their natural curiosities and abilities, and celebrate their idiosyncrasies and unfolding characters. She is an active member of MQ Research, CALM, EYTO and MSA, as well as a supporter of Mind, Unique Childhood Network and Project Wild. She adores being immersed in nature, taking long walks, drawing, experimenting in the kitchen, anime and pursing yogic practice and meditation.
Jane studied Illustration & Graphic design at Liverpool John Moore’s University before qualifying to teach Art and Design and working in Liverpool comprehensives and with children no longer in full time education due to permanent exclusion. Teaching continued in the primary sector in St Lucia as a classroom teacher in addition to working with the St Lucian Education Secretary and the Rotary Club implementing a curriculum for art in primary schools and working with local teachers, teaching how to teach art.
She left the education sector in 2002 and worked as a designer in magazine publishing before becoming an independent designer and illustrator and later founding Round Circle Design Ltd. She has been actively working with the Movement since 2012.
Torkild has been working as a web developer for many years. He has extensive knowledge in building and deploying websites for the business world. He is based in Manchester (UK) and is a certified WordPress expert. He also specialises in security and malware cleanup.
He is currently responsible for several client websites, both large and small, including those of high visibility, multi-national companies and brands such as DeLonghi and Kenwood. His focus is on developing websites that are not only great looking, but also highly effective.
Saleem is the proud father of four children. A software engineer by profession, he also has a keen interest in developing relaxation and meditation techniques for young people, parents and teachers.