SCM Advisory Board

Save Childhood Movement: People across the globe, uniting to protect young children and their future

SCM Advisors and Champions

We are grateful to have the support of a growing number of experts, many of whom are internationally acclaimed in their field. 


Reg Bailey – The Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood

Until 2015 Reg was the Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union, an international charity with over four million members in 83 countries around the world. Mothers’ Union is a Christian organisation that believes that loving, respectful and flourishing relationships strengthen and develop communities, and that faith is put into action through the nurture of families of whatever shape and size. The organisation is grass roots driven and works with some of the most marginalised communities in the world.

Married, with an adult family, Reg joined Mothers’ Union in 1999 from Danish Bacon Company plc (DBC) where he had been Chief Executive. Before his time at DBC, he had been Managing Director of Del Monte Foods International plc as part of a management buyout team, and has spent most of his working life in the food industry working on company turn rounds. He has been involved with the fair-trade company Traidcraft plc, as a trustee of the Traidcraft Foundation since 2001, and Chair of Trustees since January 2003. 

Reg has been heavily involved in the Mothers’ Union campaign Bye Buy Childhood concerning the commercialisation of children. From December 2010 he has led the government sponsored Independent Review into the Commercialisation & Sexualisation of Childhood which made a series of far reaching recommendations in June 2011


Steve Biddulph – positive parenting

Steve Biddulph is one of the world’s best loved parenting authors and educators. His books, including  Secret of Happy Children, Raising Boys, The New Manhood and now Raising Girls, are in four million homes and 31 languages.  They have influenced the way we look at childhood and especially the development of boys and men. Steve’s live talks have had a remarkable public response, reaching 130,000 people over almost  30 years . The talks catch many people by surprise;  as well as being helped and entertained, they are often deeply moved.  Steve is an active supporter of environmental causes, and also led a human rights project – the SIEVX Memorial Project that was part of a sea-change towards more compassionate government in Australia’s 2007 election.  He also supports Chilout (Children Out of Detention) and Sanctuary Refugee Trust.  

He was voted Father of the Year in 2000 for his work encouraging the role of fathers, and is  Adjunct Professor in the school of psychology and counselling at Cairnmillar Institute, Melbourne. He has two grown up children, and lives in Tasmania with his wife and co-author Shaaron, and assorted wombats


Emeritus Professor Tricia David – Early Learning, Children’s Rights and Child Protection 

Tricia David has been involved in research about young children’s learning since 1974, when she worked at Keele University as a member of the (then) DES-funded research project Play, Exploration and Learning. Following many years as a teacher, headteacher, community educator and subsequently a lecturer and researcher at the University of Warwick, Tricia is especially interested in the ways in which time and place influence assumptions about babies and young children. She has worked on a number of international projects, including the OECD survey of Early Childhood Education and Care provision, Starting Strong, and for the British Council in China. National work includes being lead author of the research review for Birth to Three Matters for the DfES. Her team for the Early Literacy Learning project, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, explored nursery provision in France and England, while their co-researchers at the University of Melbourne carried out a parallel investigation in Australia and Singapore.Tricia’s research and development work in the area of children’s rights, child protection and multi-professionalism are rooted in her experiences as a practitioner and researcher observing children in their families and communities.Although she officially retired from university work over five years ago, Tricia is still involved with Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, where she is also an Emeritus Professor of Education.

DAVID ELKIND – Cognitive Development and Education


Professor Elkind’s bibliography now numbers over five hundred items and includes research, theoretical articles, book chapters and twenty-two books. In addition he has published more popular pieces such as children’s stories in Jack and Jill, biographies of famous psychologists in the New York Times Magazine, as well as presentations of his own work in journals such as Good Housekeeping, Parade and Psychology Today. Some of his recent articles include Computers and Young Children,The Authority of the Brain, The Cosmopolitan School, On Becoming a Grandfather, and Thanks for the Memory, Knowing is not Understanding. Perhaps Professor Elkind is best known for his popular books, The Hurried Child, All Grown Up and No Place to Go, Miseducation,Ties that Stress and most recentlyThe Power of Play: Learning what comes naturally. His latest  book, is  Parenting on the Go: A to Z, Ages 0-6. Another book, Giants in the Nursery: A Biographical History of Developmentally Appropriate Practice will be published in February 2015. Professor Elkind is on the Editorial Board of numerous scientific journals, and has been  a consultant to state education departments, as well as to government agencies and private foundations. He lectures extensively in the United States, Canada and abroad. He has appeared on The Today Show, The CBS Morning News, Twenty/Twenty, Nightline, Donahue, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has been profiled in Peopleand Boston Magazine and was a Contributing Editor to Parents Magazine. Professor Elkind also co-hosted the Lifetime television series, Kids These Days. He is a past President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, (NAEYC). Most recently, Professor Elkind was the chief scientific advisor for JustAskBaby, He is currently consultant and advisor to Marco Polo Learning.


Emeritus Professor Philip Gammage – Early Childhood Socialisation, Psychometrics and Comparative Policy. 

Philip Gammage is Emeritus Professor and former Dean of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has been a schoolteacher, academic and civil servant, most recently working in Australia; first as de Lissa Foundation Chair in Early Childhood Research, and later as Adviser to the Minister and Department of Education and Children’s Services in South Australia. Over the years, he has held visiting chairs in Finland, Canada and USA and, in parallel with his academic work, has worked for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since 1972. He holds two doctorates, has published widely and has worked in 21 countries, teaching regularly in Nordic countries and Australia. He was a member of the Start Right Committee (UK) and is a former president of the British Association for Early Childhood Education. His research interests are in early childhood socialisation, psychometrics and comparative policy. 


Sally Goddard-Blythe – Child Development, Neuro-Physiological Psychology

Author of several books on child development, Sally Goddard-Blythe is a freelance consultant in neuro-developmental education and Director of the pioneering Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester (INPP).  Sally trained at the INPP in 1987/88 and joined the permanent staff in 1988.  Since that time she has written numerous articles and papers on neuro-developmental factors in educational difficulties.  Sally has lectured on the role of infant reflexes in development and later learning problems to many different groups throughout Europe and in different parts of the United States.
INPP is a private self-funding organisationdedicated to the development of procedures for the assessment and remediation of neuro-developmental problems. Since it was established in 1975, the INPP has been at the forefront of research and clinical practice into the effects of abnormal primitive and postural reflexes on learning and emotional functioning and was the first to “map” the relationship between individual reflex abnormalities and specific educational and behavioural outcomes.


Dr Roberta Golinkoff –  Child Development, Language Acquisition, Play and Playful Learning, Early Geometric Knowledge

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff holds the H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and is also a member of the Departments of Psychology and Linguistics. An author of twelve books and numerous professional articles, she founded and directs the Infant Language Project, whose goal it is to understand how children tackle the amazing feat of learning language. The recipient of a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical award, she is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines and has appeared on Good Morning America and many regional morning shows. Dr. Golinkoff also speaks at conferences and for organizations around the world about children’s development. To learn more, click here.


Peter Gray –  Child Development, Evolutionary Psychology, Play, Biological Foundations of Education, Trustful Parenting

Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College, has conducted and published research in neuroendocrinology, animal behavior, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education.  He is author of a highly regarded college textbook, Psychology (Worth Publishers), now in its 6th edition.   Most of his recent research and writing has to do with the value of free, unsupervised play for children’s healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development. He has expanded on these ideas extensively, for the general public, in a blog that he write for Psychology Today magazine and in his recently-published bookFree to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books, 2013).  Dr. Gray speaks at conferences, businesses, and parents’ and educators’ organizations around the world about the value of play.


Baroness Susan Greenfield – the developing brain and the impact of digital technologies, brain mechanisms related to reward, addiction and obesity
Susan Greenfield is Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University and a neuroscientist, writer, and broadcaster. She has been awarded 30 Honorary Degrees from British and foreign universities and heads a multi-disciplinary research group exploring novel brain mechanisms linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In addition, she has published a neuroscientific theory of consciousness: The Private Life of the Brain (2003) and developed an interest in the impact of 21st Century technologies on how young people think and feel, as discussed in her book ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century (2008).

In 1998 she received the Michael Faraday Medal from the Royal Society, was awarded a CBE in the Millennium New Year’s Honours List, and granted a non-political Life Peerage in 2001.  In 2000 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and in 2007 to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was appointed Chancellor of Heriot Watt University in 2005.  Further recognition of her work includes L’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur from the French Government, and the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award, both received in 2003, as well as the Australian Medical Research Society Medal, which she awarded in 2010. Last year (2011) she joined the Advisory Board of the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute for Technology, Delhi


Bonnie Harris – Parenting

Bonnie Harris, MS Ed, is the director of Connective Parenting in the US and has been a parenting specialist for twenty-five years. Parent educator, professional trainer, counsellor, author, and international speaker, Harris is known for her pioneering mindset shift out of the reward and punishment model to a connected relationship. She received her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College in New York City. In 1990, she founded The Parent Guidance Center in New Hampshire. Based on her book, When Your Kids Push Your Buttons, Bonnie teaches Buttons parent workshops and professional trainings internationally and has taught parenting groups in London for the past seven years. Her second book Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids: 8 Principles for Raising Kids You’ll Love to Live With distills her groundbreaking work into 8 key principles and practical strategies. She has appeared on The Today Show, Asia News, ABC Australia broadcast among others and has been featured in Parenting, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Essence, and Working Mother magazines. Bonnie is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in New Hampshire. To learn more —


David Hawkins – Free Play, Social Inclusion  

David Hawkins has worked for over 20 years with children and youth. He worked for 10 years for the Inner London Education Authority with boys who had been suspended from school for violent or racist behavior. From 1996-2000 he was Project Manager of “The Edible Schoolyard” at Martin Luther King Middle School, a multi-racial school in Berkeley, California. He worked with nine hundred 11-13 year olds to transform a trashed-out vacant lot into a beautiful and productive garden that has been internationally reported in the media. With Karen Payne he developed an exhibition and series of events at the Eden Project called Cultivating Community. He and Karen Payne are co-founders of Wild Zones, also known as Create-with-Nature Zones. These Zones are enticing spaces with open-ended possibilities for unstructured play in nature. They have been created in parks, forests, nature areas, botanical gardens, conference centres, housing estates, corporations and children’s museums in the U.S., England, Italy and Kosovo.


Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek – Early Years Policy-making, Early Literacy, Play, Social and Emotional Development

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, where she serves as Director of the Infant Language Laboratory and was the recipient of the Great Teacher and the Eberman Research Awards.  Her research in the areas of early language development and infant cognition has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and Human Development resulting in 11 books and over 100 publications. She has just received an Award for Distinguished Service from the American Psychological Association for her work on translational science.

She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, served as the Associate Editor of Child Development and is treasurer of the International Association for Infant Studies. Her book, Einstein Never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less,  (Rodale Books) won theprestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003. Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, served as the Associate Editor of Child Development and is treasurer of the International Association for Infant Studies. Her book, Einstein Never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less,  (Rodale Books) won theprestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003.

She has been a spokesperson on early development for national magazines and newspapers (The NY Times, People, US News & World Report, Newsweek,Parent’s Magazine, Parenting etc.) radio and television (The View, The Today Show. Good Morning America, 20/20, NPR, ABC News, CBS Morning Show), and is an advisor for Sesame Workshop, Fisher Price Toys, Highlights, K’NEX, The Cartoon Network, and a host of Children’s Museums across North America.  She is also the co-founder of An Ethical Start, a curricular program in moral development for children ages 3 through 5.  This program, created for the Jewish Community Centers of North America was funded by Stephen Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.


Grethe Hooper-Hansen – Child Development, New Approaches to Learning

Grethe Hooper-Hansen MA is a former President of SEAL, an international organisation founded to explore the work of Georgi Lozanov and other innovative approaches to learning. She is a former Lozanov teacher, a member of the Scientific & Medical Network, a contributor to many books and journals and a concerned grandmother.


Professor Richard House – Early Years Policy-making, Child Mental Health, Social and Emotional Development

Richard House is a leading campaigner on children’s educational rights and is the author of therapeutic books including In, Against and Beyond Therapy (PCCS, 2010), Therapy Beyond Modernity (Karnac, 2003), Critically Engaging CBT (Open University Press, 2010; co-ed. Del Loewenthal) and Against and For CBT (PCCS, 2008; co-ed. Del Loewenthal); and on education, Too Much, Too Soon?  Early Learning and the Erosion of Childhood (Hawthorn Press, 2011) and Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos (Karnac, 2009; co-ed. Del Loewenthal). 

Richard was a founder-member of the Open EYE Campaign, the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and the Independent Practitioners Network. He contributes regularly to the therapy literature and to a range of professional education publications. A trained early-years and class Steiner/Waldorf teacher and an active educational campaigner, he organised the three Daily Telegraph Open Letters on the state of modern childhood in 2006, 2007 and 2011. He is ‘Editor Elect’ of the journal Self and Society: International Journal for Humanistic Psychology and Theory Editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. Correspondence: [email protected]. He is also a co-founder of the new Early Childhood Action (ECA) group.


Dr Pamela Jarvis – Evolution, Play, Narrative and Learning

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’.

Pam has been engaged in active research for over twenty years, and is currently concluding a piece of historical research on the life and work of Early Years practice pioneer Margaret McMillan. She is both a historian and a graduate psychologist, and her key research focus is that of ‘well being’ in education across all age ranges and academic levels.  She is currently preparing to extend her PhD research, focusing specifically on the original narratives that young children create within their free play. Her theoretical approach is that of human development through biocultural or ‘nature via nurture’ processes, viewing the evolutionary, biological and social aspects of development as intricately intertwined; this is outlined in her edited book ‘Perspectives on Play’ with Avril Brock and Yinka Olusoga (second edition Routledge,2014).

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.


Professor Lilian Katz – Early Years Policy-making, Teacher Education, Child Development, Parenting, Learning Dispositions

Lilian G. Katz, a graduate of Stanford University (Ph.D.—1968), is an international leader in early childhood education. She taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for more than three decades—from 1968 until the year 2000, as well as directing the ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education (ERIC/EECE) for more than 30 years. She has lectured in all 50 U.S. states and in 43 countries, and she has held visiting posts at universities in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, India, Israel, the West Indies (Barbados campus), and many parts of the United States. In 1997, she served as Nehru Professor at the University of Baroda in India.

She also was one of the founders of the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children and served as its first president. In addition, she served as vice president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) from 1986 to 1990 and later was elected president of NAEYC, serving from 1992-1994.

Dr. Katz has authored more than 150 publications, including articles, chapters, and books about early childhood education, teacher education, child development, and parenting. She wrote a monthly column for several years for Parents Magazine on parenting 3- and 4-year-olds. Dr. Katz founded two journals: Early Childhood Research Quarterly and Early Childhood Research & Practice(, which began publication in early 1999 as the first peer-reviewed, Internet-only, journal in early education, and recently became fully bilingual. Dr. Katz is currently Principal Investigator for the Illinois Early Learning Project and lectures and consults around the world.

ERICA KOMISAR, LCSW – Parenting, Family wellbeing

Erica is a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice in New York City for the last 25 years. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities and The New York Freudian Society, Ms Komisar is a psychological consultant bringing parenting and work/life workshops to clinics, schools, corporations, and childcare settings including The Garden House School, Goldman Sachs, Shearman and Sterling and SWFS Early Childhood Center. She lives is New York City with her husband—optometrist and social entrepreneur Dr. Jordan Kassalow—and their three children.

In 2017 she published the book ‘Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.’


Satish Kumar – Societal Values and Wellbeing

A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.
Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers.

In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally-respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon where he is still a Visiting Fellow.
His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence and The Buddha and the Terrorist

In 2005, Satish was Sue Lawley’s guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. In 2008, as part of BBC2’s Natural World series, he presented a 50-minute documentary from Dartmoor, Earth Pilgrim, which was watched by over 3.6 million people. He also appears regularly in the media, on a range of programmes including Thought for the Day and Midweek.

Satish is on the Advisory Board of Our Future Planet, a unique online community sharing ideas for real change and in recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and compassionate living, he was recently elected vice-president with the RSPCA. He continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is a much sought-after speaker both in the UK and abroad.

In 2013 Resurgence Magazine merged with the Ecologist Magazine with Satish as Editor-in-Chief.


David Lorimer – Character and Values Developmen

David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA is a writer, lecturer and editor who is Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network. He is also President of Wrekin Trust and Chief Executive of Character Education Scotland. Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, most recently The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew) and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson) He has a long-standing interest in the perennial wisdom and has translated and edited books about the Bulgarian sage Peter Deunov. He is also a founding member of the International Futures Forum and was editor of its digest, Omnipedia – Thinking for Tomorrow. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince – has been translated into Dutch, Spanish and French. He is the originator of the Learning for Life Values Poster Programmes, which this year involved over 30,000 young people from more than 200 schools. See and In what is left of his time he also runs a wine advisory service, an easy way to buy great value wines – see – and enjoys running with his two black Labradors. He is married to Jane McWhirter and has two children, Charlotte (16) and George (13). 


Stephen Moss – Reconnecting Children with Nature.

A lifelong naturalist, Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers. As the original producer of the BBC series Springwatch, and author of numerous books including The Bumper Book of Nature, he is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world to the widest possible audience. As a father of five, who fondly recalls the freedom he had to explore the natural world when he was a child, he has a longstanding personal interest in reconnecting all children with nature. He is the author of the National Trust report Natural Childhood, published in spring 2012. 


Professor Janet Moyles – Children’s Play and Learning, Reflective Practice for Practitioners 

Janet Moyles worked for Anglia (then APU) as Professor in Education and Research until the end of 2003 when I retired, being granted Professor Emerita status at that time.  During my time at Anglia, I supported staff research and publications through various means, e.g. research seminars, support days, tutorials, newsletters, and such like

I started my career in education as a playgroup leader/parent, eventually training (as a mature student) to be a nursery/early years teacher.  I gained a headship after seven years of teaching, before eventually moving to the University of Leicester. As a Senior Lecturer at Leicester I had responsibility for staff research and publications (including my own!) and was Director of the primary national and international taught doctoral programme, co-ordinator and course leader for the (very large) Early Years PGCE course, leader of the Masters and Advanced Diploma courses in Primary Education and course director of the early years Certificate in Education programmes, plus M.Ed and Ph.D. supervision. I have a Ph.D., two masters degrees and an advanced diploma, plus two children and six grandchildren!

A passion of mine is children’s learning through play and practitioner roles. I have undertaken several research studies observing, documenting and analysing children’s play in the context of education. I have produced a range of practitioner- and research-based books around play and children’s learning and directed several research projects.


Professor Agnes Nairn – Marketing ethics and the commercialisation of childhood

Professor Agnes Nairn is a researcher, writer, consultant and speaker on the ethics of marketing to children – something about which she is passionate.  Her aim is to marshal research to make a positive contribute to social policy concerning the commercialisation of childhood. She lives in Bath, UK but travels widely.  She is Professor of Marketing at EM-Lyon Business School in France and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath, the University of Edinburgh and Hult International  Business School in London. 

In addition to numerous award-winning academic papers her most recent publications include a book: Consumer Kids, a study for UNICEF: Child Wellbeing in UK, Spain and Sweden and a report on the effects on children of online advertising for Family and Parenting Institute: Advergames, It’s Not Child’s Play.   She was part of the team that authored the DSCF/DCMS assessment The Impact of the Commercial World on Children’s Wellbeing and has recently been advising the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and Department of Education on the implementation of the Bailey Review recommendations. 

Agnes is a frequent media commentator on marketing to children and is married with a son and a daughter.


Janni Nicol  – Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood, Policy- making, Storytelling and Puppetry, EY teacher training.

Janni trained as a Steiner kindergarten teacher in South Africa over 40 years ago.  Since then she taught in kindergartens there and in the UK. She has worked in marketing and PR, published articles and become a professional puppeteer. She is an executive officer for the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, UK as Early Years Representative working to support early childhood settings and with policy and advice. She supported the Alliance for Childhood UK,  and is on the board of the International Association of Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood (IASWECE)

Janni was a core tutor of the Foundation degree for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood, and teaches and lectures on various training courses on Comparative and Steiner education for Inspectors, Local Authorities, & other organisations. She publishes and edits KINDLING (Journal for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood), lectures in the UK and internationally on many aspects of Steiner Early Childhood. She is the author of many children’s story books and puppet plays, and her recent publications are ‘Bringing the Steiner Waldorf Approach to your Early Years Practice’ (Routledge 2011 2nd edition),  Understanding the Steiner Waldorf Approach Janni Nicol and Jill Taplin. Routledge. (2012) and Creative Play for your Baby and Toddler (Gaia books).
Correspondence: [email protected]


Lynne Oldfield – Early Years Policy-making, Steiner Education, Social and Emotional Development, Spiritual Development

‘Lynne Oldfield, BA(Hons) Education,Steiner Early Childhood Teaching Diploma,has been an early childhood educator for over forty years, both in Steiner, independent and mainstream education. She has taught in Australia, America, Greece and England and is an international speaker on early childhood development and Steiner Education.Lynne is the author of Free to Learn,an introduction to Steiner kindergartens, and Natural Childhood and has contributed to many journals. A co-founder of The OpenEYE Campaign, she has been the Director of The London Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Training Course for fifteen years.


Marjorie Ouvry – Play, Outdoor Play, Child- initiated Learning, Early Years Music 

Marjorie Ouvry is still fascinated by how young children think and learn after over 40 years in the teaching profession. She is a trained Froebelian and has taught primary and nursery children, been a NNEB Course Tutor, a head teacher of two large maintained nursery schools, one of which was the famous Rachel McMillan Nursery School, a lecturer in child development and education, an education researcher at Goldsmiths and always a campaigner for high quality nursery education. 
Marjorie is passionate about the importance of play, outdoor play and of the vital place of music, movement and singing in the education of young children. One of her best selling books is about the importance of outdoor play and is entitled ‘Exercising Muscles and Minds’ and another is ‘Sounds like Playing’, which describes appropriate and child-initiated ways for practitioners to recognise and extend children’s innate musicality. Now as an independent Consultant in Early Years Education, Marjorie travels widely to speak at national and international conferences and runs courses for practitioners from the private, voluntary, independent and maintained sectors on all aspects of the early years curriculum. Among her qualifications, she holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of London and a postgraduate diploma in Performance from Trinity College of Music, London.  


James Park – Shaping emotionally literate organisations that really listen to children

James Park is a writer and organisational consultant. He was the founder-director of the charity Antidote, whose mission was ‘to shape a society where the capacity to handle the complexities of our emotional lives was as common as the ability to read, write and do arithmetic’. While running the charity, he developed the PROGRESS Process, which is a way of drawing on the intelligence and creativity of everyone in its community to make schools into great places for learning. He is now the PROGRESS Director of Human Scale Education.  

He trained as an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Bowlby Centre. Publications relating to the work of Antidote include The Emotional Literacy Handbook, The Emotional Literacy Pocketbook and Detoxifying School Accountability: the case for multi-perspective inspection. He previously worked as a film journalist for the US showbusiness newspaper Variety. His other books include Sons, Mothers and Other Lovers, Cultural Icons: Key Figures of the 20th CenturyShrinks: the analysts analyzed and Learning to Dream: the new British Cinema


Karen Payne – Child-Directed Play in Nature, Social and Emotional Development 

Karen Payne has worked as a writer, filmmaker, consultant and workshop leader for over 25 years, focusing on issues of social and environmental justice, community development, violence prevention and social change philanthropy. She is the author of Between Ourselves: Letters between Mothers and Daughter 1750-1982 (Michael Joseph/Houghton Mifflin, 1983) and co-author of Inspiring Youth to Bring about Change: A Curriculum and Facilitator’s Guide for Youth Giving Circles (Inspired Legacies, 2010). With David Hawkins she co-founded Transforming Violence and developed an exhibition and series of events at the Eden Project called Cultivating Community. She and David Hawkins are co-founders of Wild Zones, also known as Create-with-Nature Zones. These Zones are enticing spaces with open-ended possibilities for unstructured play in nature. They have been created in parks, forests, nature areas, botanical gardens, conference centres, housing estates, children’s museums and corporations in the U.S., England, Italy and Kosovo.


Catherine Prisk – Play, Social and Emotional Development
Founder, Outdoor People
Catherine has been championing children and young people’s need for time and space for play and recreation for several years, having seen first hand as a teacher in both urban and rural areas the critical importance of play across children’s lives, both for their happiness now and for their future wellbeing. Catherine was Director of Play England from 2008, leading on the Play Shaper training programme as well as on policy, research and campaigns. Prior to joining Play England she was Deputy Head in two Children’s Centres in London, and before that spent several years as a policy lead and programme manager in the London Development Agency, a UK wide Sector Skills Council (for Lifelong Learning) and the South West RDA, leading major skills development programmes and working closely with the DfE on Government policy.

As well as her PGCE, Catherine has an MA in Social Research, a degree in Indonesian Studies and Social Anthropology, and has just started studying for a Philosophy qualification.


Wendy Scott, OBE – Early Education and Care Policy Development, Early Literacy, Curriculum Planning, Gender Issues and Staff Training 
I am a Froebel trained teacher with eighteen years’ varied early years teaching experience in the voluntary as well as the maintained sector.  Following headship of a demonstration nursery school, I became senior lecturer in early childhood education, co-ordinating an advanced diploma in multi-professional studies at Roehampton University.    After six years as early years and primary inspector in ILEA and Kensington and Chelsea, I combined consultancy, including leading OFSTED inspections across England, with the role of voluntary chair of The British Association for Early Childhood Education. 

Following appointment as their first Chief Executive, I became the elected chair of the national Early Childhood Forum.  This led to two years as a specialist adviser to the DfES, where I worked with early years development and childcare partnerships as Sure Start was being introduced, and then with the early excellence programme.  My work abroad with the British Council and UNICEF, and with local authorities nationwide has given me a broad insight into differing approaches to early years care and education. 

As President of TACTYC, an organisation concerned with promoting high quality early education through improving initial training and continuing professional development, I am delighted to have served on the advisory panel for the Nutbrown Review of Early Years qualifications.  For me, the calibre of people working with young children and their families is a prime interest and concern, as these are the most important years, with huge potential for individuals and wider society.   


Dr Aric Sigman – Child Health

Dr Aric Sigman is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a recipient of the Chartered Scientist award from the Science Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He recently  addressed the European Parliament Working Group on the Quality of Early Childhood in the European Union in Brussels, on reducing alcohol misuse among children and adolescents, and has been the keynote speaker for two Department of Health NHS Conferences on Alcohol during 2011.

Dr Sigman previously addressed the European Parliament Working Group in Brussels, on the impact of electronic media. He addressed the 2011 Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference: Meeting the Challenges. His book, Alcohol Nation (see below), has just been published and his biology paper, A Source of Thinspiration?, on the biological aspects of media, body image and dieting, has recently been published in The Biologist, the Journal of the Society of Biology.

Dr Sigman has worked on health education campaigns with the Department of Health and acted as advisor to the Institute of Personnel Management on health and psychology issues. He conducts seminars and public speaking. He gives talks to schools and parents on the effects of alcohol and other health issues, and he writes the Brain and Behaviour column for The Times Educational Supplement magazine.

Dr Sigman’s previous books include The Spoilt Generation and Remotely Controlled: How Television is Damaging Our Lives. His health and psychology book Getting Physical won The Times Educational Supplement’s Information Book Award.


Miranda Suit and Pippa Smith – Children’s Media

Miranda and Pippa, as concerned parents, shared a vision to do something about content standards in the media  and  formed mediamarch in 2000 which became Safermedia in 2010. Safermedia is a registered Charity which seeks to reduce the harmful effects of the media on our children, families and society. The portrayal of explicit violence, sex and bad language are becoming normalised as mainstream fare, but research suggests they are partly to blame for violent crime and anti-social behaviour, family breakdown, pornography addiction and sex crime.  This is also having a detrimental effect on children’s health and educational development.

We seek to inform, educate and help parents, teachers and carers to protect children and young people better from harmful media by: making submissions to Government Committees and Public Consultations on the media;  giving talks to parents, clubs, students and churches;  publicising academic research on the media ; organising Parliamentary conferences, and lobbying government and regulators.

In February 2012 Safermedia launched the highly publicised  ‘Safetynet’ – Protecting Innocence Online’ campaign.


Leigh-Anne Stradeski  Play, Playful Learning, Family Play, Children’s Cultural Experience

Leigh-Anne Stradeski has been involved in the world of children’s museums for almost 20 years in both North America and Europe. She is currently the Chief Executive of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire.  Eureka! delivers play-based learning  experiences to more than 250,000 children and their families each year in its hands-on immersive galleries, and reaches thousands more through outreach and virtual media. Its unique approach which combines the familiar with the fantastic ensures that children feel an immediate sense of excitement, joy and sheer delight as they set about to explore, play and learn about themselves and the world around them. 

Leigh-Anne came to Eureka! from Canada where she was  Executive Director of the London Regional Children’s Museum in London, Ontario between 1994 and 2000 after spending the early part of her career working in communications and fundraising in higher education and health care. She has held positions on boards and advisory committees in arts, culture and museums on both sides of the Atlantic and is immediate Past President of Hands-On International — the European association of children’s museums — and a trustee of the Association of Children’s Museums based in DC.  She  holds an MPA from the University of Western Ontario and a BA from the University of Alberta.   

Leigh-Anne is passionate about ensuring that children have the time and space necessary to play, fully enjoying their childhood regardless of their abilities, background or circumstances.  She is especially committed to enhancing the opportunities for children to learn through play in children’s museums, art galleries and other cultural organisations, and feels that this is something which is  often overlooked or, at the very least, given lower priority in traditional settings. 


Susan Stranks – Children’s Radio, Social and Emotional Development

Susan Stranks started her career in film, theatre and TV and is probably best known as host of Thames Television children’s shows, Magpie and Paperplay, in the 1960 and 70s. Susan launched abracaDABra! in 2002, as the world’s first digital radio station for London’s children, which now broadcasts as a world-wide non-profit internet service. www.abracadabraradio.comShe promotes children’s needs and rights in UK broadcasting and communications legislation and, working with children, families and educators, has produced a number of articles, lectures, events and articles to highlight the unique potential of daily radio in encouraging the basic skills of listening, talking, understanding and communication, shown by a succession of government reports to be in serious decline. 

Susan has led the National Campaign for Children’s Radio for the past 30 years: attracting support from MPs and Peers across all parties and generating Starred Questions, Early Day Motions and debates in both the Commons and the Lords. She coordinates the Sound Start Group of parents and child-care professionals who are recommending an independent Review and Evaluation of radio’s potential in children’s leisure and development, with published outcomes to inform the BBC and the wider industry.


Dr Sebastian Suggate – Developmental Psychology, Early Literacy, Early Years Policy-making 

Dr Sebastian Suggate, Ph.D.
Sebastian Suggate is currently an assistant professor in Education at the University of Regensburg, Germany. His PhD thesis on the long-term effects of early reading received wide-spread media interest and was placed on the University of Otago’s list of distinguished theses. In 2009 he was awarded an Alexander-von-Humboldt fellowship to work as a guest scientist at the University of Würzburg. He also works to promote cultural freedom in education and his upcoming book “Contemporary debates in child development and education”, co-edited with Associate Professor Elaine Reese, brings together prominent scholars to debate key issues in education and child development. Dr. Suggate’s current research interests focus on testing and sorting the “true” from the “false prophets” of healthy child development, for example, in the difference between language and literacy and early childhood experiences that lay the true foundations for later thinking.


Adrian Voce, OBE – Childen’s Play as a Policy Issue, Planning for Play and Play Provision 

Adrian Voce is a writer and consultant on policy and planning for children’s play. In November 2016 he became the second President of the European Network for Child Friendly Cities (succeeding Dr. Jan Van Gils), and is also on the steering group for the UK’s Playwork Foundation. Previously, as the founding director of Play England, Adrian was the main architect of the Play Strategy for England (2008-11): advising the government, drafting and commissioning guidance documents and directing the support services for local authorities. He played the key role in securing £350m of public funding for children’s play in England and led the support for councils to build 3000 new play areas and 30 staffed adventure playgrounds.

Earlier, after more than 10 years as a playworker, Adrian was the first director of London Play (1998-2004), securing a play policy from the London Mayor and drafting official guidance on play strategies for the London Boroughs. Under his leadership, London Play built a number of successful independent play associations and developed the gold standard for quality assurance in staffed play provision in England: Quality in Play.

Adrian has contributed to and produced a number of influential play and playwork publications and has appeared often in the national media speaking or writing about children’s play provision. His first book as an independent author, Policy for Play – responding to children’s forgotten right (Policy Press) was published in 2015.

In 2011, Adrian was awarded an OBE for services to children


Jan White – Being, playing and learning outdoors; Natural Play; Outdoor environments, provision and practice

Jan White is a nationally recognised independent early childhood consultant working across the UK to advocate and support high quality outdoor provision and experience for children from birth to five years olds in educational settings. She is the author of Playing and Learning Outdoors: making provision for high-quality experiences in the outdoor environment (Routledge, 2008), Editor of Outdoor Provision in the Early Years (Sage, 2011), was consultant/author for Two-Year-Olds Outdoors,Toddlers Outdoors and Babies Outdoors (Siren Films, 2010) and has over 40 articles in major early years magazine publications.
Jan publishes her own blog on


Dr David Whitebread – Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development, Early Years Education 

David Whitebread is a globally recognised developmental cognitive psychologist and early years specialist. Before joining the faculty at Cambridge University he taught 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. A particular focus has been the development of metacognitive awareness and strategic control in relation to a number of areas of learning. These have included children’s problem solving and reasoning, mathematical strategies and road safety skills. Other interests include children learning through play, evolutionary psychology and the the application of cognitive neuroscience to education. 

David’s current research focus is concerned with the early development of metacognition and self-regulation in young children, and with the role of play and language in supporting this development.

See David’s publications


Suzanne Zeedyk – Developmental Psychology, Early Attachment

Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk is a research scientist fascinated by babies’ inborn capacity to communicate.   Since 1993, she has been based at the University of Dundee, within the School of Psychology.  In 2011, she set up her own independent training enterprise to disseminate more widely the science of the early years. She now spends much of her time speaking to the public about our human need for emotional and physiological connection.  She is able to bring to this her research expertise on topics including parent-infant relationships, family support, communicative disorders, and the socio-political contexts that frame our responses to scientific information.  She works closely with organisations throughout the world to increase awareness of the decisions we take about caring for children, illuminating the way in which those decisions are integrally connected to our vision for the kind of society we wish to build.